Glencolmcille Atlantic sunset.
Donegal's magnificent landscape has a starring role in Europes's Atlantic Fringe – Exploring the West Coasts of Portugal, Spain and Ireland, a fascinating and beautifully illustrated new book by author and travel writer Michael Fewer, which was launched last month by Ashfield Press at an event in the Embassy of Portugal in Donnybrook, Dublin.
Although ten EU countries have an Atlantic coastline, only three, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, extend significantly into the Atlantic Ocean. From Cape St. Vincent in Southern Portugal to Horn Head in northwest Ireland, including Glencolmcille and Glengesh, Fewer describes people and places of the Atlantic edge as they are today, the rich historic and prehistoric heritages that link them, their shared pasts, their similarities and their differences.
The book, Fewer's twenty-second, is punctuated by stories of this Atlantic edge, of momentous events that were of importance for all of Europe, such as the Roman and Moorish occupations of Portugal, Prince Henry's 15th century explorations of west Africa, the Peninsular Wars, the Spanish Armada, Marconi's first trans-Atlantic radio transmission, and the first flight across the Atlantic by Alcock and Brown.
Along the way, there are constant reminders of Neolithic and Celtic heritages that are common to the coastal regions of the three countries and evidence that important and frequent cultural communications occurred between them in prehistoric times.
Europe's Atlantic Fringe – Exploring the West Coasts of Portugal, Spain and Ireland is published by Ashfield Press and is available, price €25, at good book shops and from firstname.lastname@example.org.