Ireland's beaches are spectacular, and one of the most stunning of all is Knockalla Strand, also known as Portsalon Beach, in County Donegal.
And so, as everyone head's back to work on this Monday morning,I thought why not start the week off with some beautiful scenery.
Hopefully, these peaceful views of Ireland's shoreline will set the tone for the rest of your week.
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Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland may be a small country, but as an island, she boasts a long and varied coastline. The actual length of this coastline is debatable, and any statistic for said length is totally dependent on how much detail was used when measuring.
There may always be a hidden cove not traversed or measured. However, the Ordnance Survey of Ireland estimates the total length of Ireland's shoreline at 3171 kilometers (approx 1981 miles).
Cliffside View of Spectacular Sandy Beach
And Knockalla is no hidden cove. It is approached from an elevated cliff side road, with amazing viewing points along the way.
Donegal's coast is festooned (I love that word) with sandy beaches, and Knockalla is probably the most breath taking of all.
This is Ireland at its best - the Ireland made famous in poetry, song, legend and film.
Views of Lough Swilly
Knockalla lies on the western shores of Lough Swilly, with commanding views of the Inishowen peninsula across the waves.
Beaches like this are why Ireland's coastline is described as dramatic.
When designing Ireland, God spared no extravagance.
Donegal is an untamed landscape, with three-quarters of its borders formed by the Atlantic Ocean. The sea has shaped this land.
This magnificent beach is a photographer's paradise.
This is Ireland, at her best - a place of tranquility and great natural beauty.
Portsalon was named the second most beautiful beach in the world by "The Guardian", or maybe it was "The Observer" newspaper.
I'm not quite sure who awarded this beach the runner-up prize in the world beach beauty pageant, but let's face it, who cares.
Most Beautiful Beach in County Donegal
Portsalon's beauty may be much appreciated around the world, but luckily, the Donegal climate means it can be enjoyed without having to deal with crowds similar to those found on sunny Mediterranean shores.
These photos were taken on a bright, sunny day, and not a soul can be seen on the strand below...... Only in Ireland......
Even on a cold winter's day, a run on this beach is perfect for getting rid of excess energy, and clearing the cobwebs from the brain.
And so, to start my week off on a positive note, I am imagining myself going for a leisurely stroll along a sandy beach in Donegal.
You're welcome to join me on my mindful morning walk.
For me, the wind is blowing a soft gentle mist across my face, cleansing my spirit and strengthening me for a busy week ahead.
Stiff breezes feature in all my Irish imaginings - I wonder why?
Wishing you all a wonderful week, full of promise and accomplishments.
I hope this little tour of Knockalla Strand has stirred your Irish dreams, and lifted your spirits on this Monday morning.
Remember, ocean blues are the only Monday morning blues allowed in my little corner of the web.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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