First three days...

I'm really here! Let me see if I can bring you up to date...

I couldn't find my camera when I was on the train from Newark Airport to New York City to visit my friends Heather and Mary Ann on my layover there- PANIC! I was sure I had forgotten to pack it. I have since found it in a zippered compartment of a suitcase, but at the time, I was sure it was lying on my bed at home. So after a most luxurious Italian lunch at Becco's, my friends took me to B&H Cameras in Manhattan and I bought a new Panasonic Lumix and have been loving it. I got back to Newark Airport in the nick of time and found my gate had been changed to another wing of the terminal, so there was actual running involved. Stop laughing. I had good flights and arrived in Dublin at 7 a.m.
This nice bus driver was amazing in his driving skills. Narrow roads with a shear wall of vegetation often on the left (where I sat so I could snap photos) and the enormous bus didn't seem matched well, but he managed- all on the 'wrong' side of the road and from a seat on the right. He slapped his leg in time with all the songs on his radio station, sang under his breath a bit and laughed along with all the DJ's commentary. He got me to Belfast, and two other buses got me on to Ballycastle on the northernmost coast.

After a taxi ride to the bank to exchange Euros for Sterling, and a stop at a tea shop to pick up a quick sandwich, I got to my first guesthouse. Not all went well there, but it was in a beautiful place and I took a great walk to gather provisions after a four hour emergency nap.
The view from the patio of the guest house.
My room was inside and to the right.
I took a long walk and every turn had me wishing I was shopping for a home in this beautiful town.

The next morning, Joan and Harvey who were staying at the same guest house, gave me a ride to Limepark where I'll be staying the rest of the week. Joan's taking the workshop and Harvey's along to play golf. I met my cottage mates and one of them, Christine, asked if I wanted to go on a long drive to Donegal and beyond to the west coast. I leapt in the car and off we went. I had not returned the memory card to my camera, so was limited to what the internal memory would hold. It was difficult deciding what photos to delete to make room for others. I don't think I've ever been anywhere so beautiful as Northern and Northwestern Ireland. People tried to tell me, but you just have to see it.
Stunning views.
The highest cliffs in all Europe.
Perfect little farms and houses with the surrounding fields dotted with sheep and happy, clean, grazing cows. So different from Texas.
Foxglove growing wild and abundantly along the road.
Donegal Castle. Christine and I were offered the Senior price since it was almost closing time. My first entry to anything on a Senior ticket. The castle had been restored in many ways. It was amazing to be inside at the top looking out.
We got back after midnight and I hadn't had a chance to really see where I was, so today took photos of Limepark. This is the cottage I'm sharing with Christine, Mary and Judith.
The yellow door is the entry to the studio space where I got to paint today. The owner of Limepark Cottages, Melanie, offered to model for us this afternoon, so I got to paint for three hours even though it was a Sunday!
It was good getting to meet most of the other workshop participants, too. Tomorrow the workshop resumes for real. I'm eager to learn from Robert. I've heard lots from very happy artists about how wonderful he is.
Our cottage is called Poet's Corner. Guess I'll need to do some writing, huh?
After we painted this evening, Annie invited me to drive with her to Ballycastle for more provisions. This is the view above the town as we walked along the sidewalk. Can you believe it??
It's 1 a.m. and I need to get some sleep before the workshop tomorrow. The plan is to do some plein air landscape painting. Say a little prayer for me.
Thank you all for your sweet good wishes you've sent. Consider yourselves hugged! I'll write more tomorrow....
-Susan

10 comments:

THEARTBRUSH said...

Hi Sue:
Good job on the reporting and pics,feels like I am right there at your side. Nice painting of the landlord. Looking froward to future posts.
Happy brushing.
Pete,Theartbrush

Dream Leader said...

Beautiful! I spent a week in Ireland at the end of (one of:-)) my honeymoon(s)about 10 years ago.

It was wonderful. Stayed with some friends who lived there and gave us a private tour of the place.

Really enjoyed it. Sounds like you are too.

Mark Bridges said...

Woohoo Susan. You can rest when you get back home. Love the photos.

Carol said...

I'm loving your travelogue! It must be so inspirational. Thanks for taking us along on your trip!

Professor J said...

I am glad you're surrounded by such beauty and inspiration. I can't wait to hear about the lessons!

Bonnie Mann said...

I can not believe how envious I am at this moment after viewing your travel log! Wow! What a beautiful place! Keep sharing. I look forward to seeing more pics soon.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Susan,

What gorgeous photographs, and the painting is leaping with life and colour -- it tells its own story about how happy and excited you are. I am so proud of you for doing this.

Thanks so much for sharing with us.

xoxoxoxoBarbara

Marian Fortunati said...

So glad you're having a great time and seeing another beautiful part of our world!!

ENJOY EACH SECOND... thanks for sharing with us...

Terry Krysak said...

Wonderful portrait, and fantastic photos. Feels like we are right there with you, what a blast.
Thanks so much

Gwen Bell said...

Sounds like you're having a great time. The photos and portraits are fantastic...thanks for sharing them!