Picturesque north-west of Ireland
Dongeal on the north-western edge of the Irish Republic is one of the most remote and pristine regions in the country. Even before 10 years ago tourists avoided the region largely because of the proximity to Northern Ireland and the conflict there. Therefore, yours are still noticeably different.
For example, you can book a tour bus tour like the ones of Manganco Coach Tours and still have a great tourist experience, because the small bus only takes 15 people, but also runs along roads which are hardly accessible, to give the guests an extra view.
Or you can meet people like Marie, who want to take a spontaneous on a northern light watching tour. The people here have a great pleasure to show the beauties of the region.
Europe's highest sea cliff
Even the tourist magnet Slieve League, which stands as Europe's highest cliff, imposing 500 meters above the Atlantic, is still so tranquil to enjoy. Also here you can measure yourself in a four-hour hike with the forces of nature, but it has to pass partly on all fours, because the path is so narrow that you run the risk of being blown down.
Very close, in the village of Kilcar, Sarah Jessica Parker has her summer residence. In Crolley, close to the airport, there's Leo's Tavern, a small celebrity SIGHTS. Because the tavern belongs to the father of Enya and Clannad. Unfortunately, they do not appear there anymore, but you can admire numerous photos here.
Glenveagh National Park
On the other hand, you can also meet celebrities from other tourist attractions: the Glenveleagh National Park and the associated Victorian castle. This has an exciting, if also young, story:
1857 - 1859 bought the land speculator John George Adair (1823 - 1885) several neighboring plots of land and formed from them Glenveagh. He sold 1861 tenants from the area to 244 for promising better livestock profits. 1867 he started building Glenveagh Castle. The castle was completed 1873.
After his death 1885 his Texan wife Cornelia took over the lands. She had the castle removed and landscaped and spent the summer here until 1916. After their death 1921 orphaned the plant and was seized during the Irish Civil War by troops from both sides. 1929 bought Professor Arthur Kingsley Porter the estate. After his death 1933, the castle was empty again until it was purchased by Henry McIlhenny 1937.
Like Greta Garbo and Sean Connery
Both Kingsley Porter and McIlhenny liked to welcome artists and celebrities in Glenveagh. There are pictures of AE Russel in the library. Yehudi Menuhin has stayed here several times, as have Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly or Sean Connery. McIlhenny had 1940 by Jim Russell remodel the garden and increase the variety of plants. Since the 70 years there is even a heated swimming pool. He sold 1975 the lands to the Office of Public Works for the National Park to be established. 1983 he then left the garden and the castle with most of the establishment of the National Park Administration. The National Park has been made accessible to the public 1984 and the castle 1986.
Probably due to its contrast between the romantic garden and the wild landscape of the village, Glenveleagh is today a tourist attraction, through which visiting groups in the half-hour act are welcomed. The castle can be reached either by bus or by e-bike, which the Communety Center Grassroutes.ie offers here at the parking lot. 100-150 hour kilometers create the eBikes with a charge and supposedly the eBikes can be even in the hotels at normal sockets.
With the eBike on the road
Since the eBike rental companies are networked along the Wild Atlantic Way, it would theoretically even be possible to use eBikes to travel to the West Irish coast. Practically, however, this poses some organizational challenges for the vendors, as Mary McGrenra of Grassroutes tells me - eBiking is still in its infancy in Ireland, and as a rule you will also have to drive on the road, because many of the hiking trails are also in Glenveagh National Park not for biking.
Therefore, on this July day we limit ourselves to a very small tour - the 5 kilometers up to the castle and then to the end of the lake, where you can admire a picturesque waterfall. The bus tourists are left in this way soon behind, but the way soon becomes impassable. I leave the bike (it will be picked up later) and walk up the hill on the stony but wide path.
Hike your head empty
A tour that is also suitable for beginners and yet provides a feeling of absolute loneliness. Suddenly only the mountain and I are in an incredibly imposing but humane landscape and my only thought is whether I will really arrive.
Loneliness compels you to deal with the really essential and with your own fears. All the worries and problems appear so trivial and far away. Even if the hike, as in my case, only takes about an hour. So if you want to get your head free, you should go hiking in the solitude of the Glenveagh national park.
In fact, Glenveagh is a good place to go for several days on such lonely routes and camping. This absolute loneliness is not without certainty, especially if you walk alone.
Because while you meet in many other regions again and again on hikers, you probably can not meet anyone for days. And that can be scary. After all, Mary picks me up again on top of the mountain: After all, a driveway leads here and on the weekend brings a bus people here so they can walk back to the castle.
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