The British Isles

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

After one night in London, it was on to Bath.  We arrive just in time to get on another bus to Stonehenge!  It was amazing to finally be there, live and in the flesh.  After learning and hearing about it for so many years, it was definitely a dream come true.  We stayed in a very well-appointed hostel and went out to a proper English pub for dinner.  The weather even co-operated enough for us to sit outside while I ate my traditional fish n’ chips – complete with mushy peas.

The next day we wandered around Bath and saw the ruins, and tried to drink the awful Bath mineral water that apparently has miraculous properties – gross.  That afternoon we took a bus to Bristol, which is a lovely city, even though we didn’t see much of it.  We tried to get right down to Land’s End from there, but the schedules just weren’t working, so it was off to Cardiff, Wales instead!

Cardiff was fantastic.  We stayed in a cute little B&B and went to the very nice Cardiff Castle where they let peacocks roam free!  That afternoon we saw masses of people in matching jerseys all heading in the opposite direction of where we were walking.  We stopped one, asked what was going on, and decided that we, too, needed to watch the Cardiff Blues absolutely kill the Edinburgh whatever-their-name was’s.

The next morning we took the train to Fishgaurd and then a ferry to Ireland, where we are now!

Dublin was lovely, though we stayed at the worst hostel ever.  The city was beautiful and the churches we visited, especially Christ Church, we exquisite.  Of course, no trip would have been complete without a visit to the Guinness Factory, very very worth it.  We rented a car yesterday and drove from Dublin, through Tynan Town (where Jake’s family is originally from) to Armagh where we pretty much saw nothing because we overslept and had to get going!  Today we drove way up to the northern end of Ireland and took in Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder made up of tens of thousands of interlocking hexagonal basalt columns formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.

We’ve been travelling for 7 weeks and one day, have 18 days left, and intend to make the most of them!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We are actually in Glasgow! Came up yesterday from the south of Scotland, where we landed late the night before after taking our ferry from Belfast.  Rest of Ireland was a blur, so much driving on very skinny roads with exceptionally high speed limits.  Kissed the Blarney Stone, visited the Rock of Cashel, completed our counter-clockwise circumnavigation of one of the most beautiful places on Earth and made it back to Dublin in time to take a train to Belfast, to take an overnight ferry to Scotland.

So far Glasgow is exactly how I remembered it: a bit of a drunken mess!  Arriving on a Wednesday meant that I got to go to one more International Students Night Out with all of my friends!  Definitely a highlight so far.

Today we are headed to the highlands for a few days.  We are going to visit Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and Inverness, before heading back to Glasgow for Scott, Sean and Paul’s birthdays.

Our last few days will be spent in London, and the Tower of London and the British Museum are definitely at the top of our hit-list!  Less than two weeks to go, and I would do it all again tomorrow.


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