Today’s scheduled road trip was a two and a half our car journey that would start from Ashford Castle and end at the Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal. Donegal is in Northern Ireland geographically but in the south politically. Donegal is a landscaped dotted with mountains and large seaside cliff’s separated by rolling hills of green. It is also the birthplace of Irish tweed and the final resting place of irish poet Y B Yeats.
Out trip north started with an unscheduled stop in the town of Knock, which is the home of the Knock Shrine. The Shrine marks sacred soil for catholics around the world since August 21st, 1871 when Mother Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John appeared to the locals. After Knock we headed north to the town of Tubbercurry -the Irish home of the Armstrong family. There we met our Irish cousin Paul Armstrong who became our family history tour guide. We were able to visit all the landmarks in our Irish family history and all the graves of the last six generations of Armstrong’s. The Court Abby Cemetery, as it is named is located in on beautiful rolling hills outside of town. Graves there date back to the late 1600 and 1700’s.
After Tubbercurry we followed Paul to Donegal Town which sits at the mouth of the Donegal River and acts as the gateway to this beautiful area. Donegal is a popular holiday spot for American’s, Europeans and Irish alike. Our day ended with our arrival at our lodging destination for the next two nights – Lough Eske Castle.