My daughter had turn-by-turn directions to the cottage on her ipad, but despite that it took us almost an hour to find it, even when we got to Newcastle, where it was located. We drove by the cottage about a dozen times, not realizing that what looked like a pathway up the hillside was supposed to be a road. We finally asked at the visitor center, where the woman showed us on a map exactly where the cottage was located. Even then, we drove by it twice more. Finally, we figured out where we needed to go. The cottage owner, Margaret, (bless her heart) had waited for us, even though we were almost two hours late and she had to drive back to Armagh that night.
Our destination was more than worth the trouble. The Slieve Donan cottage is charming and beautiful. Plus, it had the best internet service of anywhere on our trip, over 60 satellite TV channels and a fully equipped kitchen with a washer and dryer. Pure heaven for travelers.
But there always seems to be a dark side to even the most enchanting aspects of Ireland. The address for the cottage is "Widows Row" for a rather chilling reason. In 1846, boats from Newcastle and another nearby fishing village were caught in a gale. Seventy-six seaman perished, 48 from Newcastle. Those men left behind seven widows and 118 children (those Irish were fertile!) and so the town got together and built them a row of cottages, including Slieve Donard cottage.