Monday, April 25, 2011


The trip is over. I really enjoyed experiencing Scotland and Ireland... but am so very happy to be back home with my loving husband. He's such a heart's companion that traveling without him loses it's luster. Also, I missed the dog. People all during our trip were tramping with their dogs and I wished I had mine with me, too! He adds so much exuberance to a hike :). All in all, it's good to be home.

We had a long day of traveling to get to our first destination. Our round trip to and from the states was through Dublin, Ireland, but our trip started in Edinburgh, Scotland... so we had a long LONG layover after a red-eye flight to Dublin before we boarded RyanAir for Edinburgh. The Dublin airport is... very nice. We survived it. And RyanAir is an experience I'd recommend to anyone traveling in Europe. On our way back from Scotland we landed a full half an hour early (??!!!???). But, I digress...

The big to do for the whole trip started after we got to Edinburgh. I was driving the rental car. Which means I was driving on the wrong side of the road (for me) and the wrong side of the car (for me)... and it was a stick with the shifter on the wrong side of the driver (for me)... and I was doing this all on 0 sleep. Eek.

For the record we had no accidents and only a handful of incidents where I could be heard to say "Oh shit! The left! Drive on the left!"... all involving only our car. I'm quite proud of myself.

We stayed at the Best Western in Dublin... one of, that is. It was a good walk to city center, but Lori and I like to walk, and there were multiple enticements to motivate us.
The view from our hotel room. The building in the background on the left is Edinburgh Castle.

Beautiful architecture

Sunset on our quest to find food

Guinness at a cute little pub
 We had delicious coffee and croissants from a shop right across from our hotel the next morning and set off to find Edinburgh Castle and other sites.

I want!

On our way to the castle we stopped into a church and church yard. Donald the caretaker showed us around and talked about the history for a while... and even told us about his pet squirrels that live out in the cemetery. I had already met one of the squirrels. It grabbed my finger asking for food!

Spring had certainly come to Scotland! Everything was in bloom. We had to walk through a large city park on our way to the castle. It was beautiful and alive with color.

Of COURSE William Wallace was standing out in front of Edinburgh Castle.
 Edinburgh is a very pretty city. I really enjoyed the vistas from the castle.

If you serve in the Scottish military, you are allowed to have your wedding at Edinburgh Castle. This groom (his face is not visible in the photo) had just returned from a tour of duty in Afganistan.

Tiny kilt!
 After visiting the castle, we wandered around a while and then went on an "underground" ghost tour. The tour was a bit of a cheesy experience, but we got a shot of whiskey and a shortbread afterwards. It was my first shot of whiskey and while it was I'm sure watered down, it was quite pleasant.

We met a couple of girls on that tour who were traveling around, too... and walked to a park at the other end of the city with them. They were quite fun.
Another view of the pretty city

Karen (left) and Angelina (right)
Thus ended our stay in Edinburgh.

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