Thursday, April 13, 2006

Portstewart, Castlerock, & Down Hill

Palm Sunday began with Mass at Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Portstewart, where Fr. Brendan was pastor.

Here is the Portstewart Strand.

The convent in Portstewart sits on a cliff. There is a beautiful cliff walk that begins in the Strand and winds around the convent.

We returned to the homestead in Coleraine where William had prepared a succulent Sunday Dinner (apparently a tradition in their household).

Here are Simon, Sarah, and Adam eating their fill. Potatoes are a definite favorite in the family.

Here we are enjoying our meal.

Our last destination before returning to England was: Castlerock.

Here is a view of Castlerock Beach.

Isn't this a great picture? We are standing on the pier at Castlerock Beach. Danny captured the waves beautifully!

This is a view from the pier looking toward Castlerock town, which is lost in the glare. The structure you see on the point is called the Mussenden Temple. You'll see it closer up in just a bit.

Again, this view is from the pier, looking toward Portstewart in the distance. In the foreground is the mouth of the River Bann.

Here is our wonderful host family. Love that hat, Judy.

This gate to the Down Hill estate leads to gardens and a footpath up a hill, across a sheep pasture (including plenty of sheep), and eventually to the 'Castle.'

William called this a 'folly.' It is in the middle of the field with a 360 degree view of the surrounding country. The castle and temple lie much closer to the cliff.

To get an idea of the size of the structure, that's Adam standing at the base on the rocks.

Here is the façade of the castle. It was really just an ordinary home (for the local bishop).

This is what the back door of the main house looks like from the second floor.

This doorway leads back out to the front of the castle.

Here is the Mussenden Temple as seen from the walkway from the main house.

At one time the temple served as a library. Now, for £3,000, you can have it opened for special celebrations, like weddings. It stands right on the cliff's edge.

This view of Donegal was taken from Mussenden Temple. If only we had more time, we'd be going there, too!

We had a wonderful time with our Irish 'family.' And someday they'll come visit us, either in Cambridge or back in the States. (Won't they? Nudge, nudge.)


At 7:03 PM, Blogger The Purvis Family Blog said...

I'm on the case!

At 7:04 PM, Blogger The Purvis Family Blog said...

I'm on the case!


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