aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Browse by Travel
Browse by Food
TheRoadUnleashed.com
donegal
breaking hearts

Ardara

Glengesh Pass, looking onto Ardara

{In honor of St. Patty's Day and Patrick's Irish heritage, today, I am reminiscing about one of our favorite destinations in Ireland, County Donegal.  Hope you had a fun filled St. Patrick's Day!}

Views of Donegal

Views of Donegal (most of the white dots in the grass are sheep)

Off the bat, let me just admit that I married the first guy I fell in love with, so I am probably the worst person to be writing about broken hearts.  But, nonetheless, a broken heart is beautiful --- in an intense, wild, frustrating sort of way--- because it is lonely and untouched, but retains the majesty and ardor of something incredible and unexplainable.  And, I imagine that if a broken heart could be a living thing that we could see and touch, it would look like Donegal.  

Gaelic sign County Donegal
Road through Donegal Car dropping off cliff sign

Signs and road to Slieve League Cliffs

Driving through County Donegal means driving through winding small roads, with mountains stretched high into the sky, valleys below, small cottages burning peat, thousands of sheep dotting the landscape, and a wildly tossing ocean looming at every turn.  When we drove through Donegal, we felt like we were the only living people in the world because rarely would we come across another car, and we could see for miles with no houses or people in sight.  There is no rhyme or rhythm to this County --- it just is beautiful and unkempt.

Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League Cliffs

Even the main attraction in Donegal County, the Slieve League Cliffs, involves a treacherous trip.  The signage is poor, and halfway through the drive, the signs converted to Gaelic only, and we were constantly afraid we missed the turn, not to mention that we were driving on one-lane roads throughout.  The entrance to the Cliffs is merely a metal gate with a cardboard sign reading “Please close the gate behind you.”  We crept up a road no wider than our car, with sheer cliffs dropping into the ocean on the left, mountain walls on the right, and cars coming at us on the same one-lane road.  As one of the regulars at Nancy’s Pub in Ardara put it, it is a “bloody ‘airy drive.”

Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League Cliffs, looking down

But, at the end, we wound up at the cliffs, staring at a mass of rock, higher than imagination, gray, orange, and red, with green grass climbing over it, that crashed into the navy ocean below.

03/18/2010 18:34
Gorgeous photos and they take me right back to my own trip through rugged and wild Donegal :-) Great shots to see on St. Paddy's Day!
03/19/2010 08:06
Robin
This brings back memories. My husband stopped the car and said he didn't want to go any further. I convinced him to keep going and then I was the one that freaked out. It was beautiful once you got to the cliffs, but all I could think about was that we had to drive back on that road.
03/20/2010 17:29
A Belated Happy St. Patrick's Day! Beautiful post on County Donegal.
Sonya's recent blog post: 5 Greener Mountain Trips
03/22/2010 04:34
Nice Post! I love Donegal and Ireland. 5 years ago I came to Ireland for St Patrick's Day with a broken heart. I met an Irishman from Donegal who healed it, and 5 years later we are still here, and in one week leaving for our RTW!
N's recent blog post: I heart Dublin
03/23/2010 13:31
"And, I imagine that if a broken heart could be a living thing that we could see and touch, it would look like Donegal."

Beautifully written! I didn't get to see Donegal when I traveled around Ireland, but I agree, so much of the scenery is just heartbreaking. like a devastating kind of beautiful, tortured and yet so green...man it's hard to describe, you got it spot on!
Edna 's recent blog post: Gaelic Football in China
03/23/2010 17:18
Thanks all!

Robin, I know exactly what you mean. We sat there at the Cliffs forever because we didn't want to do the drive back.

N, what a wonderful story. Congrats on your RTW and have fun!

Edna, thanks! The whole country is gorgeous but Donegal is a special type of beautiful.
Akila's recent blog post: thailand: the low-down
06/10/2010 14:29
Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing your story of your experience in Donegal. It was great reading about it.
New Orleans Attorney's recent blog post: Garlock Sealing Technologies files for Chapter 11
08/02/2010 07:11
Ah, it's a real beauty! Breathtaking beauty!! If only I could find myself there some day.. Those of my friends who were lucky enough to visit that picturesque place told me that Slieve League had taken their breath away. The cliffs of Slieve League in Donegal are the highest sea cliffs in Europe. It's unbelievable. It's one of the biggest nature's wonders, I believe. It makes me shiver indeed...
12/14/2010 10:43
That was a truly wonderful write up about the County Donegal and with the pictures to compliment it; it was as though we could see all the places there for ourselves!! It really has a serene and peaceful look to it and I can well understand why people with broken hearts want to go to this quiet but wonderful place!!
12/15/2010 08:49
Thanks New Orleans Attorney!

PDFok Files, I hope you go there because your friends are right - it is an amazing place.

Thank you, Dr. Goulet! It is incredibly serene and peaceful.
Akila's recent blog post: overlanding 101
06/03/2011 08:54
feliz aniversario">feliz aniversario
its an amazing blog on country donegal. and its a beautiful view of valley, i really enjoyed it thanks for sharing.
06/06/2011 20:13
Thank you!
Akila's recent blog post: food unites in south africa
03/21/2012 22:06
It really has a serene and peaceful look to it and I can well understand why people with broken hearts want to go to. i really love to go these kind go places really really good
juegos de bob esponja's recent blog post: Al rescate
03/27/2012 07:11
Thanks!
Akila's recent blog post: the undefeated dolac market

*Name:
*Email (won't be shared):
Website:
*Image text:
To personalize your comment with a picture, get a gravatar.