What is a girl to do when good friends say, "come away with us....." I think we know the answer,
So..... Where, when and how?
How do you decide which places, on this gorgeous planet of ours, do we explore....
Not too many countries.... Not too few ....
How much travel, in one trip, is just enough?
How much travel, in one trip, is just enough?
(21 July - August 1st. 10 days using a hire car)
We arrived in Dublin, picked up our hire car and travelled straight to Newgrange. The Neolithic passage tomb is the most visited archaeological site in Ireland. Over 5000 years old it pre-dates the first phase of Stonehenge by 1000 years and the Egyptian pyramids by 400 years. It is a truly massive structure measuring 76 m in diameter by 12 m in height.
|Newgrange archelogical site|
Killarney National Park has some lovely scenery.
Cameron and Arron loved all the old crumbling castles they could climb over and in . . .
I liked, being able to see out through the glass roof of our hire car, as we drove through the countryside . . . We all found Muckross House and gardens interesting, and enjoyed the tour.
Traveled through to the Cliffs of Moher through Limerick and onto the Ring of Kerry. Stayed in a hotel right on the water, with incredible views. Beautiful, peaceful and very enjoyable.
Then we drove through Cork to Waterford. I visited the crystal factory, while the boys walked around the town and looked at the Castle. Stayed overnight on the river . . .
Drove through Kilkenny, back into Dublin . . Stayed a couple of nights right near the church/St patricks Cathedral . . .great location. Did all the touristy things . . .Hop on Hop off bus, stopping at Castle, Trinity college, Little Museum of Dublin - which we all loved, due to the eccentric professor who guided our tour - superb!!!!
Temple Bar, Farmers market, and a wee wander through the streets . ..
Flew from Dublin to Glasgow.
Scotland in August is gorgeous.
(1 - 16th August )
We had sunshine, very little rain, and just enough coolness to make walking pleasant.
Who knew ~ I did not? Scotland is gorgeous.
A fascinating night in loch Awe and a look around loch Lomond and now we are staying at Alvie Estate...Met up with our fiends. Scrumptious night in pub and piped out by beautiful men in skirts.... I may not come home. Last drink before bed...
|Alvie Estate - gathering of the Clan !!|
Our cottage is big, comfortable, old worldly, and built for the minus 20 weather they experience here in winter. There is a wood fireplace in lounge, and a shed full of wood and coal ... At the moment we have sunshine and warmth during the day .... Good company and plenty to see. Life certainly is full of wondrous small joys ..... And I am truly thankfully!
..Woke this morning to birds whistling, cows mooing and scenery out the bedroom window, to blow your mind.... I am loving this place.
Another eventful day looking at how the other half live. I may not be into castles, but I do adore the gardens, the furnishings, and the art works. Visited Ballindalloch, Duff, Stirling and ? .....yep! Typical me, forgot the names, but we enjoyed gorgeous walks, and even a maize or two.
Imagine . . .upstairs down stairs or Downton Abby . . .only older !!!
Then we found an entire room of old embroidered linen - which I could not resist, and silver. Yes! I bought some serving spoons and odd bits, to add to all the other 'bits' I don,t use ... Yes! I can just see Margaret Ollie's rooms, and hear you all groan. More StuFF!!!
The boys said I spent 2 hours ferreting around, but I am sure it was only 30 minutes.
We spent a day at Cairngorm mountain where the views are spectacular.
Today visited a Whisky distillery and had a tour of the Loch Ness . . . and enjoyed another gorgeous meal.
Fair is fair . . .Boys Castles . . .Girl - Bling!
Tonight is our last night, here in Alvie Estate with our friends. We will all gather at Ann and Peters cottage to hear a Bag Piper play, and tell stories concerning Scottish History, while eating freshly caught trout, smoked by the boys themselves . . . and be grateful for such a stupendous week, and sad that it is over.
We travelled across to visit Inverness, Loch ness, and Poolewe . . . enjoying some heavenly seafood, and landscapes.
Battle of Culloden. The boys were delighted to see a full re-enactment.
Cannons at full blaze!
Drove through mountains of Corrieaballoch,
We all delighted in our visit to Inverewe gardens. Lovely accommodation, gardens and ocean views. This was a highlight for us all.
Then we drove through to the . .Isle of sky. This drive is picturesque and extremely enjoyable.
We discovered another series of incredible antique stores. One had all of their pottery outside in an open area, open to the elements .. . stuff we would have behind lock and key.
I bought a set of these fine cups, certain that they may not survive the trip . . . but I had to buy them as they have a transparent image of a geisha in the base of each cup and saucer . . . lovely . . .they survived!!
Could not resist two small cloisonné ware vases with dragons on them . . . and a small egg, beautifully made.
We saw Mason, Paragon, ridgway, Rockingham, Rosenthal, Royal crown Derby, Spode, Villeroy and Boch, and Satsuma ware . . .just to mention a few. Also some incredible pieces of jewellery . . . . I bought enough items to fill 5 boxes, which we posted while staying in Hellensvale . . . Beautiful pieces!!!!!! I would have loved to have bought some more larger platters, vases and bowls . . .but his nibs said NO! . . .
managed to buy one . . . or two!!!!
and then through Fort Goerge,and into Hellensvale . .. another gorgeous series of incredible landscapes and quaint villages . . .and Yes! more Castles for the boys to explore and gardens for us to wander through . . .. Beautiful.
We do love Scotland.
Stayed at a variety of beautiful B and B's and very old, 'Grand Houses'
Everywhere we went, that had orchards, the boys were pinching the fruit, and devouring it. . . I was expecting them to complain of insecticide poisoning . . . or for some gardener to complain that they were stealing . . .But, No! the gardeners we encountered were very enthusiastic, and pleased that their fruit was being enjoyed.
Here Arron is waiting to see what Cameron decides . .
Is it good? .mmmm! . . . it was!
Gardens were a highlight throughout our travels - through both Ireland and Scotland .
Another door - more delights!
Then we drove into Edinburgh . . .for the The Edinburgh Tattoo . . We were surprise just how much we enjoyed the evening . . . was impressive!
Walking home afterward at 11pm, slurping on gelato, while catching the people enjoying the fringe festival events ...trying to avoid being dragged into alleys so very like Harry Potter, you find yourself keeping your eye open for Professor Moody ... And often thinking you have found him, until you focus and see it is but a wee lad who has enjoyed his Whisky a little too much. . . and there were a lot of them.
Throughout our time in Edinburgh, the streets were interspersed with buskers, and businesses staying open to the wee hours, in the hope of nabbing the last minute deal. I think being the week of the Fringe festival and the Writers Festival added to the bustle. Loved listening to the buskers reading poetry, the comedy in every pub
More Cathedrals and Castles and the Hop on Hop off bus. . . . Edinburgh Castle, Hollywood Palace, Merchant House, and the Gorgeous Pastries from Patisserie Valerie . . .
and drinks at the Local Pubs. . . . what is there not to like?
and then it was time to catch the afternoon train on to London.