Donegal Ireland

This county on the northwest of Ireland continued a trajectory of magic that I experienced in Western Ireland. It’s hard to explain the feelings I had in Ireland, but I will try to share it a bit as I explore these photographs with you and because I think that this is something I’m going to try to capture in my next book (not my work in progress, which is already FULL of other travel locations!)

I was sick with a cold the last week, and when I have a cold, I rest. While resting I discovered a new (to me) TV show called Room to Improve with Dermot Bannon, an Irish architect. The first episode was set in Donegal, which when I first heard pronounced properly by an Irish person, sounded musical to me, and the Sligo taxi driver who said it was delighted when he heard we were going there next. He said we’d love it.

We plan our trips ourselves, and this one was ambitious. I planned four hour driving days sometimes, which is nothing here, but it is WAY too much in Europe. The roads are not the same, and it’s exhausting. The outcome of that planning error was that many things I had planned had to be thrown out the window, but I’m still thrilled with everything we accomplished.

The planning had to account for driving time and working in sights along that path. We booked all our hotels and B&Bs in advance and we sometimes had to choose them based on where we needed to get to that day to be set up for the next day.

We chose to stay in Dungloe because of just such math. We found a wonderful B&B.

Our B&B

Tired of driving, we walked to town and saw this view. I hadn’t brought my camera, but we both snapped photos with our phones. I was so happy to have a camera on my phone, the light was just right!


Here are two views of the town of Dungloe.


Dungloe from the road above

By the way, I recommend Room to Improve and especially that episode set in Donegal. It really gives you the sense of the people, the architecture, and the countryside. Plus in that episode the way the house turns out is lovely, a bit hard in some of the interior finishes for my particular tastes, but I love the way he lets in light, opens spaces, creates a sense of peace, and optimizes for the views and “bringing the outside in.” In other words, a lot to love in the finished product.


Funny thing is, I’m wearing my Aran Islands sweater today, and I didn’t even know I’d be writing this post when I put it on! It’s toasty warm and brings back good memories of meeting one of the women who knit the sweaters from local wool. I am warmed on the outside by the wool and the craftsmanship and on the inside by the memory of our interaction with the lovely woman in the little shop.