From South to North and back – The end

EElena Shumilova workshop

This is the last blog post of the series about my Inishowen adventures (starting from October 23). I miss my favorite models, and hope to work with them some time next year.

map of ireland

After leaving Abbeyleix, I drove to Port Laois where I stuck for almost an hour, changed my route, and headed to Tullamore Co Offaly, the motherland of Tullamore Dew, the triple distilled Irish whiskey.There I took this picture of the Visitor Center with the neighborhood of happy consumers in background.


After that I crossed the  bridge over the Grand Canal and proceeded to Mullingar, Co Westmeath.


The sun started to show up but the fog didn’t clear away. My plan was to stop at the Belvedere House and Gardens on the shores of Lough Ennell to take a break from driving and eat something.


The house was built by Robert Rochfort in the 18 century. This man had big issues with his family. He had incarcerated his wife in their previous home at Gaulstown for an alleged affair with his brother Arthur, whom he later put in debtors’ prison in Dublin. He also built the Jealous Wall after falling out with his other brother George, to block off the view of his house on the adjacent estate.


The wall is built at a distance from the Belvedere House, and it is very high to ensure that the offensive sight is blocked off.

I walked through the gardens  down to the lake and back. I shared my sandwich with a friendly goat, took some photographs, and resumed my journey.


I didn’t stop in Mullingar, but took a photograph of the Cathedral of Christ The King.


I took R394 through Castlepollard because it is familiar to me and very beautiful. After the village of Finnea I entered Co Cavan. My luck was obviously pushed too far.

Driving around Cavan, I missed my turn to Cloverhill and wasted at least 30 minutes until I figured out where on earth I was. They say that the Celtic word for Cavan means both ‘hollow‘ and ‘small hill’… Do you remember hoodoos? There is another lovely word for you – drumlin, a clay hill of glacial origin. In between drumlins the valleys are poorly drained, with bogs and lakes.


(William) Percy French (1854 – 1920) once wrote:

The Garden of Eden has vanished, they say,
But I know the lie of it still.
Just turn to the left at the Bridge of Finnea,
And stop when halfway to Cootehill.

I read this poem with a map in my hands trying to figure out where was he coming from when he arrived to Finnea… I think I have to go to Cavan again to find out…

In Clones Co Monaghan I got lost again. I didn’t miss my turn or anything, I just didn’t know how to get to Omagh. Well, I knew the long way ( I used it on my way home), but there was a tiny road on the map  that I wanted to explore. I ate a 99 and walked around the square. Trust the 99, it is a cure for everything. I came across the guy who stood idling in the doorway, and he explained me how to find the road. He warned me of the dangers I might encounter, wild sheep etc. I was only happy to hear that 🙂 With his directions, off I went. My luck was back – not like in this video 🙂

A narrow country road took me to Fivemiletown Co Tyrone, and then up North to Fintona.

murley mountain

Halfway between Fintona and Fivemiletown lies Murley Mountain.

workshop 1 185ares

workshop 1 189ares

On the summit is the Lendrums Bridge wind farm, one of the largest in Ireland, with 20 turbines.  Another 8 turbines are located on Hunter’s Hill.

workshop 1 197aresiz

From Omagh I traveled through Strabane and Derry, which took me another 2-3 hours – 9 hours altogether with all the stops.

As you already know, I had a wonderful time in Inishowen.  The images below were taken from my hotel window early in the morning. There is no color processing, I only made a subtle change in the Levels  moving the black point slider to 4. It was exactly what  I saw with my own eyes.


This image is zoomed and taken from a slightly different angle some 20 minutes later.


Isn’t it a fairy tale?

My journey back home was quiet and filled with sadness. As it became a tradition, I got lost around Clones again ( I wasn’t supposed to be there at all; I took a different road…) , but a good old 99 cheered me up, and I got directions at the petrol station. I crossed Co Cavan without incidents, my little car wriggling between the drumlins; stopped for petrol in Mountmellick at the sunset; sneaked through Durrow and Ballyragget in the dark and took a motorway from Kilkenny to Waterford “when the stars went blue”.  Couldn’t fall asleep that night.

I am missing Inishowen, but it is the time to move on. Thank you again Elena Shumilova  and Brendan Diver, Sean Derry, children and their parents! Thank you fellow photographers Dirk Lecluse, Katrina Parry, Suzanne O’Connell, Steve Thomas-Jones, Renata Dapšytė, Gemma Burton, Karolina Zadwórna-Turczyńska and many others. Hope we meet again soon!

elena shumilova workshop


I am very honored to be nominated for the Lovely  Blog award by Patrick Jones from The Linden Chronicles. Please visit his blog and read his books. I love them!

Thank you Patrick, I hope to maintain the loveliness 🙂


Now I have to reveal 7 things about myself

  1. I have seen all Bond movies
  2. I am a lousy swimmer
  3. I think that spiritual and physical self-reliance is a sign of maturity
  4. I want to learn how to swim before I die
  5. I want to climb Kilimanjaro before I die
  6. I adore cats
  7. I love all other creatures

And here are the blogs I am nominating – a tiny fraction of the bloggers I like.

Here is the list of rules to participate:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to her/his blog.
  2. List 7 interesting facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate up to 15 other bloggers 
  4. List the rules and display the award.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a great weekend!


  1. The fact that you kept getting lost made me laugh almost as much as that hilarious video. The route looks a fantastic one, with so much to see, and plenty of places where you can tkke a wrong turn… or six. I also enjoyed the interesting history of Belvedere House and Robert Rochfort’s squabbles with his family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey and, of course, your excellent photos.

    1. Thank you so much, Millie! Glad I made you smile 🙂 That was an enchanted place, and I was laughing at myself too. Like, when I asked for directions, but was embarrassed to ask where I was…

      1. I think your escapades would make as good a video as the one you showed! I can imagine your embarrassment. I’d feel like that, too.
        That video was priceless, wasn’t it? It’s a wonder he didn’t tie his tongue in knots. That was far more that the gift of the gab!

        1. I too love this video 🙂 Clever lad, and such an innocent face 🙂
          Unfortunately, I cannot blame anyone – I got lost because my own lack of focus.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! My grand trip was amazing, I wish I had more time for proper photography, but the driving took more time than expected.
      Have a great weekend!

  2. Beautiful and very inspiring pictures. I must stock on 99s. They seem to work wonders (they should help with translations too, right?). The video is fabulous. It reminded me of a trip to Louisiana with a friend. Unfortunately we never got GPS although we had paid for it, and the directions we go were amazing. They normally referred to houses or places that had been there years back. We still managed to get to the places we were going (most of the time!). Congratulations on the nomination!

    1. Thank you so much, Olga! You cannot stock on 99s, unfortunately – they are freshly individually made in the shop. If you happen to come across such a shop, take a large size 99. It goes with a ‘flake’, but I wouldn’t advise it. Just a plain, large 99.
      Haha, sometimes I think that giving directions should be taught in school. Some people are very bad on that.

  3. Dear Inese , What a beautiful calm place with its own sort of wildness …that last photo is so tender …congradulations on a well deserved award …love , megxxx

  4. I so enjoyed your Inishowen adventure, Inese. The photos are really lovely, of a breathtaking place on earth. I admire your spirit of adventure, especially with getting lost. Thanks for taking us along too, Inese. 😀

    1. Thank you so much! Agree with you on your description of Mr. Rochford 🙂 I am getting around just fine if I ask for directions. The opposite happens when I trust my GPS.

      1. Listen, you always make my day my darling xxxxx Truly loved these pics, Every one is different. I found that I loved each one as they came up. I was looking thinking, that bridge one is stunning, it is the best, and then up came the trees….. Such talent xxxx

        1. Thank you so much! Let’s not discuss who is a real talent here 🙂 When I have an interesting image, I edit it in different styles to use it for different purposes. The bridge was all wrapped in fog, so I have a foggy picture from a distance and a geometrical close up 🙂
          Hugs! xxxx

  5. Was that Santa Clause!!! That or his twin brother.
    So you don´t know how to swim, why would anybody would want to swim, I can swim and after seeing “Jaws” never got back into the ocean nor the swimming pool. Too dangerous.
    Although I would go with you on that hiking trip to Kilimanjaro, a bit of adventure has never stopped me.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, you are right, Sean is the man, at least for one month a year 🙂
      I cannot believe you don’t swim! How far are you living from the Ocean? I grew up surrounded with water and could cross a big and deep lake in/on any floating object, but never learned that kicking.
      Just make it your goal, and one day you will climb Kilimanjaro. I have seen a very inspiring video of a group that made it in a week – the youngest member was seven, and the oldest seventy.

          1. Thank´s for giving me another reason not to get into the salty beach water, plus all that sand that gets in every part of your body….I can´t comprehend how people like it.

    1. Thank you Derrick! I too suspect that if followed his directions one could get straight to Donegal instead of Kerry 🙂
      Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you so much! I wish there was more time – I had a list of interesting locations with me. Next time I will travel when the days are longer.
      Have a wonderful day!

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