Monday, June 10, 2013

Fabulous Fanad!

Fabulous Fanad!
Donegal. Day 3

Welcome to Fanad
The roads called again today, this time those of the fabulous Fanad peninsula.

But first let me tell you that we have had a spectacular drive down from our cottage on the hills above Downies every morning so far, the golden sands of Sheephaven Bay and the blue of the Atlantic waters filling the view. So there was no trace of temper at all today when we had to slow down as a farmer drove a half dozen cattle to a nearby field. Just relaxed and enjoy the view.
Some fine views too as we left Carrickart behind and drove over the Mulroy Bay Bridge, our entrance to the Fanad peninsula. Mulroy Bay is unexpectedly large and its waters accompany us for much of the journey towards Kindrum which has its own lake.

Soon we came across the first of the day’s spectacular bays, this a very long one called Ballyhiernan Bay where we were greeted by another bunch of cattle (see pic). Fanad Head was now within easy reach and it, with its lighthouse, looked so well in the morning sunshine.
Walk (under golf course)
to access Portsalon beach
But even better sights awaited as we drove down the east coast of Fanad. Stopped at Portsalon and reached the beach via a passage sunk into the golf course, the beach trekkers protected by an overhead net, the golfers facilitated by little bridges overhead.

The beach is huge but we didn’t realise how big it is nor how beautiful the beach (and Ballymastocker Bay) is until we reached the heights of Saldanha Head. Took our breath away, the camera going click, click, click! 
Fantastic beach at Portsalon
Not so nice though for the British frigate after which the head is named as it was lost here in 1811. There were no survivors out of the estimated 253 aboard, and some 200 bodies were washed up on shore.

Called then to Rathmullan (from where the ferry crosses Lough Swilly to Buncrana) and then Ramelton. Up then to Milford and the listed St Peter’s Church, with its separate bell tower. The church was built as recently as 1961.
Old docks at Ramelton
Almost got into a panic about dinner as we realised how many of the local restaurants were closed on Mondays, indeed quite a few opening only Fri-Sun at this time of year. But, the Rosapenna Golf Hotel, perhaps the closest to us, came to the rescue.
St Peter's Church (1961) at Milford, a listed building
Sipped an aperitif in the bar as we waited. All the pictures and most of the conversation, aside from some political, currency and culinary strands, were golf orientated in the very pleasant surroundings. The restaurant, with a stunning view, over the local beach, was equally luxurious, the service Donegal soft and Donegal friendly.
Caviar Muscovite 
And the food was excellent. Starters of Caviar Muscovite and Orange Segments in Kirsch got us underway. The mains, served with lots of vegetables, were also excellent. CL was delighted with her Escalope of Veal Viennoise while my Grilled fillets of Hake with a sun-dried tomato and basil dressing was also top notch. Add in tea or coffee in the lounge and the lot, with two glasses of wine and an included 12.5% service charge, came to €79.87. Not a bad end to another brilliant day. Drops of rain now but fingers crossed for tomorrow!
Back to diary index

No comments: