Monday, October 2, 2017

Ballybofey and Stranorlar

Coming to you tonight from a B&B in Stranorlar, just over the River Finn from Ballybofey (pronounced bal [like pal with a b]-ee-buffet [as in all-you-can-eat]). These two towns are usually referred to as the Twin Towns. We've gone through on the bus many times when we were going back and forth to Sligo and a few other times as well. I sometimes get 'vibes' about places, both good and bad, and every time we've gone through here I have thought it seemed like a good place. We could have done day trips here, but we decided to book a room and wander around for a couple of days.

I am quite pleased with myself today--we walked a smidge over 5 miles altogether. This is normal for Bill, but sadly, I have not been able to walk any distance for over a year, due to reactions to mold and then a muscle problem, and then my fall. I was curious to see how I would feel today after walking around and I am pleased. The leg that has been injured is tired, but not painful.

One thing I always liked about the place was this sculpture on the bridge between the towns.
It's called The MatrimonyTree and it's based on Donegal Folklore:

" Local folklore indicates that when a couple were engaged to be married two different varieties of tree would have been planted next to one another. At the time of the wedding these would have been grafted together, and left to grow from thereon as one. The two trees would have retained their unique characteristics, but formed a distinctive shape with the grafted section – like a bridge."

You can read more about this on the Donegal County Council Public Art page here.

We got here at 10:15 this morning and had some time to kill before we could check into the B&B at noon, so we wandered up and down Main St in both towns and went down a few side streets. We stopped at Aldi and got some hummus for lunch. We wanted to find Drumboe Woods, so we found out where that was. After we checked in, we had our lunch and headed back out to the woods. It rained and it was sunny--pretty typical Irish weather!

The ruin in the photo above is what's left of the carriage house that used to be connected to a castle. You can just see a small bit of the castle wall (nothing else remains) on the left of the photo.

There are several trails in these woods, but we stayed on the main one along the river. We started in Stranorlar and walked along until we crossed the river on the footbridge.
By then we were back in Ballybofey and we came out on a lane that led us back to the main road.

We headed back towards the bus stop, because we'd seen a bakery/coffee shop right there and thought it'd be a good idea to check it out. We had some good coffee and almond cups. These were like bakewell tarts in a cupcake shape--almond cake with raspberry jam. Yum!

Now we're hanging out in our room and I'm about to put the kettle on. Tomorrow we'll be out exploring again.

Hope your week has started off well.

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