Driving on the Donegal Peninsula along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, we had problems finding a decent breakfast, went for a long walk along windswept Traemore Beach, and then arrived at Bloody Foreland just before heading through a mountain pass to Glenveagh National Park.
This area of county Donegal is Irish-speaking, and the road signs are ONLY in Gaelic.
The spelling was so unfamiliar I had difficulty in remembering the names of towns, especially when I was trying to match them to a town on our map, which only gave their names in English!
Cnoc Fola / Bloody Foreland.We stopped at a pullout with a sign explaining how Bloody Foreland got its name. In Gaelic it’s called ‘Cnoc Fola’ or ‘Hill of Blood’ because of the way its red granite cliffs look in the setting sun. Then we turned inland through a fog-shrouded mountain on the pass to Glenveagh National Park.Typically bleak and somehow beautiful.We were still having problems figuring out where we were. The GPS didn’t recognize any of the ‘Point of Interest’ in this part of Ireland; even Glenveagh Castle didn’t register. And with only the English names of places on our map, programming the GPS was a problem. It seemed to be refusing to understand English, only recognizing place names in Gaelic. At any rate, here is Dun Luiche, listed as Dunlewy on our map.Coming down into the valley.Annotated map of Donegal’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ route on a placemat. The darker green sections are the Gaelic-speaking parts of the county.Next up: Glenveagh National Park…
- Green Woodlands in Glenveagh National Park
- Glenveagh National Park Castle & Gardens
- More on our 2015 trip to Ireland.
- The Friendly Friday Challenge: Road Trip.
I didn’t realise that Gaelic was still a live language. We’re so dependant now on GPS, we’d be literally lost without it – much like we were before 🙂
Ireland was an amazing road trip – we had the car for 25 days and in the Irish Republic we followed the Wild Atlantic Way to all these little out-of-way places that “even the Irish didn’t know about” according to a local. Our answer was “there’s an app for that.” Both a real map and the GPS were essential to finding our way out of these little known places, but they failed when it came to the Irish-speaking areas in County Donegal…
It sounds lovely! Did the people also speak only Gaelic or did they speak English?
Everyone we spoke to spoke English, although they did try to make us pronounce the Gaelic words – good for a laugh – it was utterly impossible for me although Al managed to produce some of the sounds…
Sounds like you had a great time. I had fun trying to read your annotated placemat 🙂
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Thankks for a great read
Thank you for reading it!