Posted by: mdmusingsie | May 29, 2010

Lá an trí

I didn’t quite make it in time to hit the Swiss Cottage which is in Cahir last night, so made that little excursion in the morning.  It’s a very cute fairy tale-like thatched cottage with a gabled roof.  They only let you see the rooms via tour and I had to wait over half an hour for the next one, so I spent time taking pictures from the outside, in the intermittent mist.  There was a beautiful Wisteria plant growing in the back with gorgeous blooms cascading in all their splendor.  A few of the roses in the rose bushes had bloomed, but the rest were holding out for the return of more sunshine.  They also had the most gorgeous bluish/purple fuchsia bush (at least I think they were fuchsias or of a similar family).  Some day when I get around to downloading my pictures I may post a few.

I did learn from the tour that the hotel (Cahir House Hotel) used to be the manor house for the Butlers, as the castle had by then fallen in ruin, and they had also built the Swiss Cottage as a day-retreat.

Normally I’m a planner and have things fairly well mapped out as to where I’m going, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t decide where to go for the last two nights of my long weekend.  I hemmed and hawed and considered everything from Dingle to Doolin, but really had my heart set on Donegal.

I had thought to visit Adare castle before heading northward, but when I arrived at a few minutes past one (should have been earlier, but lack of useful signage took me along a more scenic route), and found out the next tour wasn’t until 2 pm, so I decided not to stay.  I really wanted to try and make it to Donegal and that delay would not suit my plans.

Still not entirely sure where I would end up, I headed north, hoping beyond hope that I could actually make it to Gweedore in a reasonable amount of time.  Well, the gods had other plans and a few too many folks driving 40 km under the speed limit along with a long, tiring day of driving left me only as far as Bundoran.

The last time I was in Bundoran was nearly 10 years ago on a bus tour.  We had stopped for 2 nights as the driver required a day off (we were on a near month-long trip).  On one of the days we made a day trip to Donegal Town and that’s when I first fell in love with the County.  As is always the case with bus trips, we didn’t stay in the town long enough and were unceremoniously dumped back in Bundoran for the rest of the time. 

Now, back then, there wasn’t that much to do in the town.  We quickly exhausted the few stores as we shopped for more trinkets to fill our suitcases.  My travel companion and I did take a nice long walk along the ocean shore and came across the Fairy Bridges, which ended up being the highlight of the visit. However, three days was a long time in such a small place.

Since then the place has literally exploded.  It’s now a sprawling mecca for holiday seekers.  I do have a nice, albeit small, room at the Great Northwest Hotel with an ocean view and took that same walk over to the Fairy Bridges to commune with nature and regain some peace after the long drive.  Gweedore will have to be a day trip, this time {sigh}.

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