Sunday, December 4, 2011

Northern Ireland and Donegal with Ron

Uncle Ron, as he's lovingly known around here, came to visit Mom and I and we all headed up to find his family castle, or fort, in Northern Ireland. 
It took a bit of driving around to find the actual way up to the castle, but once we got there it was amazing to walk around and inside the ruins.
Amazing this staircase was still intact! I wanted to hop up there and see if I could get to the top, but it looked a bit risky and no one was willing to give me a boost... 
That night we stayed in a lovely B&B in Omagh. Fantastic antiques were all throughout the house as the owner collects, re-finishes, and auctions antiques.
Our regal B&B owner

Adorable kitty in the kitchen window waiting for breakfast scraps
We continued on our journey but were shortly stopped for a very Irish scene of sheep crossing the road...
After driving along the beautiful Donegal coast all day we found our second amazing, yet slightly more eccentric B&B, The Green Gate just outside of Ardara. 
The owner is a fabulous French man who bought this place on a whim while visiting Ireland for a wedding, and thought it would be a nice place to finish his book. He loves art and culture and the amazing coastal view from his B&B.
It was lovely to chat with him and enjoy a cup of tea upon arrival, as we were a bit road weary as you can clearly see in the next photo...
The two guest rooms are each their own little huts, and everything was perfectly Irish.  
After a quick jaunt back to Ardara to have some dinner and pick up some Tullamore Dew, we decided to have some good craic in the comfort of our own little house. 
Amazing to hear the wind whipping off the Donegal coast, howling at the doors and windows. 
Ron by his little house
The next morning we could see the grounds and amazing view more clearly
And daylight also revealed just how scary our little drive up to the B&B really was ...didn't see that drop off on the right to a stream the night before! Ah well, we survived ha!
That evening, back in Athlone, we had a wonderful gathering of the Abbey Road Artists who I have been working with the past few months at Left Bank Bistro. 
It was wonderful for Ron to meet everyone and have a nice dinner before I headed out to Germany and Ron headed back to the states.
A wonderful few days with a wonderful friend!

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