County Donegal, Ireland

Monday, May 21, 2012: Greencastle

On Monday morning, I awoke early with what I at first thought was a hangover. It wasn’t that we had drank that much on any one day or night, but over the course of the week I had drank more than usual so I thought maybe my body was catching up and punishing me. It turned out to be a virus, but fortunately the worst of it hit me after we got home. I was determined to get through the day, though, because the last major place where I wanted to go was on the agenda today.

We decided to take the ferry near Greencastle, and to revisit Glendowen Craft Studio near Clonmany. I’m so glad that we did, because it was full of handwoven and local textiles, sewn and assembled by Ann McGonigle. If I had had the money and the room in my luggage I would have spent a bundle there. It was the first shop I had been excited about since we were at the weaver’s shop in Dingle. Although the woolen sweaters and coats and scarves were beautiful, I knew that I would not wear them here at home much. On the very coldest days a few days a year perhaps, but I am hot natured and can go without a coat when others are wrapped up and shivering. I bought a simple linen shirt (and wore it out of there, since I was on the third day of wearing my last clothes) and an Irish tweed shawl to wear this fall.

When we reached Greencastle, we were a little early for the ferry over to Northern Ireland, so we drove up the road a little ways and discovered, completely by accident, an unstaffed public site of a 1305 castle ruin and Napoleonic Martello tower next to the shore. We spent about 30 minutes exploring the site. It was covered with vines and wildflowers and completely thrilled my inner child, since I lived to explore old abandoned buildings in the woods when I was a free-range kid.

I took some video while I was walking up and down through the different openings, but it is all sideways and I haven’t figured out how to edit it. Maybe that’s something I need to practice before our next big trip.

Next post: Monday, May 21, 2012: The Giant’s Causeway

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