Glencolmcille is located in a beautiful part of Donegal with a lot of really interesting things to do and see just a short drive away. Even if you don't bring a car to Oideas Gael, you'll invariably get invited to go somewhere by someone with wheels.
That's how I got invited to go swimming in the Atlantic. In Donegal. In APRIL.
It all started as a joke between some of the girls about how they wanted to go swimming. Then it became a dare for other students. Then it became a challenge. Then our teachers caught wind of it and said we couldn't go swimming just anywhere, we had to go to the Silver Strand.
Once the details were sorted, our teachers wished us luck (and declined to tag along since they were NOT crazy) and we found ourselves hurtling along the tiny roads over to the Silver Strand (or An Trá Bhán, since we're learning Irish after all) near Malin Beag.
It was a beautiful afternoon. The sun was shining and the water looked lovely. Until you stuck a toe in, that is, and realized it was absolutely frigid. Mercifully, I hadn't packed a swimsuit so I volunteered myself to be the official photographer.
Braver souls than I.
My friends claimed that after the initial shock, it wasn't really that bad, but I'd say that was the hypothermia talking.
After they all returned, dripping and teeth chattering, we bundled up in towels and coats and drove back to the village, where we took over the local restaurant and celebrated the victory over steaming cups of tea and enormous plates of Irish home cooking.
If you're going to jump into a freezing ocean in April, at least you have tea and comfort food to look forward to afterwards.