Today, we travelled into the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, (Irish Language-speaking area) to the beautiful Glencolmcille.
We were guests of Margaret Cunningham and the staff of Glen Folk Village. The folk village includes a reconstruction of rural Irish cottages from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The students were able to see the type of homes from which many of their ancestors would have left- and the experience was made all the more real by the folk village staff in costume, demonstrating crafts including spinning, carding, knitting and rope-making. The unmistakable aroma of turf fires was everywhere, and the hearty Irish soup served to us made us all feel warm and cosy.
We gathered in the old schoolhouse to meet Liam O' Cuinnegain, director of the Irish Language learning Institution, Oideas Gael. Liam spoke to the students about the Irish Language, and its current resurgence in Irish-America. Go raibh maith agat, Liam! One of our students, Allison, got to meet with locals who knew her great-Uncle, and Margaret kindly gave her a little memento collected from the family home.
We also had fun studying the newest arrival in the Glen - a huge map of Ireland, created by thirty-two artists, each designing a county made from local stone. It's beautiful!
Then we were off to one of the most beautiful places on the Wild Atlantic Way. The Sliabh Liag cliffs are the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and our hike rewarded us with jaw-dropping views, and amazing photo-opportunities. We did enjoy creating the illusion of seeming very close to the edge, but Moms and Dads, I can assure you we were very careful! We really enjoyed this incredible place, and the charming and entrepreneurial chap who was selling home-made ice cream at the top!
Tired and exhilarated, we made our way home, with a brief stop in the pretty fishing village of Killybegs. From there to home, the only sound on the bus was the gentle snore of a group of happy teens. It's the best sound in the world! Later this evening, we are going to be rappelling and climbing.
Tomorrow, we have to tackle the Flight of the Earls and the Ulster Plantation, and we have castles to visit. Thanks for liking and sharing the blog, and for your nice comments :-) good evening, talk to y'all tomorrow.