June 26, 2015

Scotland Adventures - Days 4-5 - Companions and Castles (Edinburgh and Alnwick Castle)

Scotland Adventures - Edinburgh, Alnwick Castle - theretherekitten.com
I'm baaaack!! It's been a busy week but I'm back to let you know what I've been up to on my adventures.

The morning was Wednesday and I got up quite early, looking forward to my Mom joining me on the next half of my UK travels!

I guess I could have taken the subway then airport bus to the Glasgow airport but instead I called a taxi for a quicker ride. (A taxi company my lovely rental flat hosts so helpfully provided!) 
I arrived and waited at the gate and shortly my Mom emerged. Yay! 

She was joining me for two nights in Scotland then six nights in London and Ashford before we headed back home via Dublin. 

June 17, 2015

Scotland Adventures - Day 4 - Jacobite Steam Train

After quick instructions on a shortcut the night before, I found the subway station on my own. It's about a 5 min walk from my rented flat. An easy walk but boy my body was so tired!! I've been go go going for almost a week!

I used an automatic ticketing machine and paid for an all day pass and found the right stop for the downtown Buchanan St station. It terminated at about a 3 block walk to where the tour buses parked downtown. On the way I found an open cafe and bought a small orange juice and cookie for the road. 
A few fellow passengers were waiting and I met a nice mom and son duo from New York who were bound for the same bus.

The weather was overcast and a bit chilly but I didn't need to put my jacket on, after walking a ways I always tend to run a bit warm. ;)

Scotland Adventures - Day 3 - Loch Ness, Castle Urquhart, Culloden (& maybe some whiskey!)

After another excellent nights sleep I packed up. I tried a different method that a customer at one of my Saturday markets told me about. Lay everything flat and just fold the extra edges up the sides. But it was about the same as rolling it all. I still haven't worn about half my clothes.

I'm headed downstairs to the eating area over looking the luscious grassy backyard sporting a pair of brilliant pheasants pecking for their breakfast and the green hills in the background. I ordered a full cooked breakfast. Poached egg over "black pudding", bacon, sausage, tomato. Tea and oj. Everything was delish! Even the black pudding! I sort of knew what it was but I refrained from looking up its' ingredients until later. (I'll let you do the same in case you are eating right now.)

Scotland Adventures - Day 2 - Circling Skye (Kilt Rock, Portree & Fort Augustus)

Kilt Rock cliffs
Time for a whole day on the Isle of Skye, Scotland!

Agnes, my lovely B&B hostess made me an excellent full cooked breakfast: poached egg on toast, beans, two big pieces of juicy bacon, two yummy sausages, a little cooked tomato, orange juice and tea. I slept so well! My first real full nights sleep since arriving in the UK.

Scotland Adventures - Day 1 - The Isle of Skye (Fort William & Castle Eilean Donan)

So, I left off getting up super early (3am!!) on a crazy noisy night in downtown Dublin, Ireland for my back-up flight over to Glasgow, Scotland.

From the noise beneath my room as my alarm went off at 3, I heard them shout out "last call". At least the majority of merry makers would be off the streets by the time I had gotten up, ready and packed to go around 4am. Here's hopin'!

June 16, 2015

Irish Adventure - Day 4 - The North (Giant's Causeway & Titanic)

I started off my final day in Ireland with a conundrum: I waited at the place where my day tour said the first pick up point would be, in front of a certain Starbucks. There were regular bus stops right at the curb but no "WildRover" tour buses anywhere. However, directly across the street there were four "Irish Day Tours" buses. Now I had seen the WildRover buses and they are clearly marked. Conundrum!! 

Ok Conundrum averted. I asked the other buses and got the correct side and went away on my tour bus! Yay!! I love it when a plan comes together!!

We were going to Belfast in the North of Ireland. They use British pounds instead of Euros. I'll do the amazing new Titanic Exhibit built there. Then we drove to the Giant's Causeway and thw awesome Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge!!

We had a totally full bus!! And it had wifi!!

We had  a very amusing bus ride to Belfast. Our guide was a short, ginger headed man in an old brown blazer who drone on and on, spewing facts and statistics and barely took a breath after each section of his expansive epic historical recitations. Sure enough, later he admitted he used to be a history professor. He was very nice and organized and truely knowledgeable, but not at all fun to listen to. A shame, really. 

June 15, 2015

Irish Adventure - Day 3 - Ring of Kerry

On to Day 3 in Ireland.
I was catching a train again, only a few blocks away. Soooo...somehow I mixed up my times when setting my alarm and thought I had to be there by 7. I got up, got ready and walked to the station thinking, no problem. Buuuuut I WAS supposed to be there by 6:30!!! I got there at 6:55 and they literally had to run me onto the train that left the station literally 5 seconds after I set foot on board! But I was on my way.

I had to walk through 4 train cars until I found the rail tour guides in their yellow shirts and jackets. We had a whole car reserved for us. I sat next to a lady and her friend from Edmonton. Across the aisle was a group of four (grandma, mom, 2 daughters in their 20s) from Florida. All very nice and friendly. 

June 10, 2015

Irish Adventure - Day 2 - Bunratty, Cliffs of Moher, The Burren

Well, it's just been so crazy busy and I've been so super tired that it's taken me a few days to recuperate and keep updating you on my amazing adventure! 

My I slept marvelously in my fancy Bunrattey Castle Hotel room! The self-serve breakfast spread they put on was top notch! I love that cooked mushrooms and tomatoes are always available. The local sausage and bacon were so tasted as well! My new friend from the medieval feast came in and joined me and had an excellent chat about our families. 

Irish Adventure - Day 1 - Galway & Medieval Banquet

I'm finally here!! I'm in Ireland!!

I arrived in Dublin with no further troubles or hiccups. I stopped into a restroom at the airport to brush my teeth, comb my crazy hair and generally wake up a bit. 
My last flight from Toronto direct to Dublin took me from sunset to glorious sunrise and I didn't get much sleep, thus felt a little groggy when I arrived. 

I sought out the Airlink bus where I bought a ticket to connect me to the train station half an hour away. There, I was meeting my Irish Rail Tour that I had signed up for at 10:30 am. 
The bus ride took us all around and through the downtown area so I had a good look at the area. Dublin is a neat, bustling city with many people walking, bussing or biking to work.

June 8, 2015

WestJet is the BestJet!

Okay, so I'm not quite at my desired destination yet (IRELAND!!) but I had to fill you in on the almost panick-inducing goings on so far and the good that has come of it all.

I had three separate flight legs today and as soon as I finished the first leg, entered the airport, turned my phone back on I received an unsettling email. My last leg flight was totally cancelled! That's right, not just sort of cancelled but gone, kaput, no longer an option!
And, to top that off, the new flight the airline sent me had an overnight delay so I wouldn't get to my destination until a whole DAY LATER and I'd MISS my first scheduled rail tour! 
I stayed the panick and quickly went to to WestJet care desk where they found me and my flights and assured me they had already "built" a new leg so I would be at my destination only an hour later than expected. 

June 7, 2015

A Dream Come True!

Here I am, back from the non-blogging abyss of real life busyness and lack of motivation.

I've been meaning to write. Trying to write.

But for one reason or another I never make it here by the day's late end.

I do have LOTS to write about but today is a special day, so I made special time to write about it.

Today is the day before one of my  dreams comes true!

Tomorrow I hop on a plane, well, several planes over the course of almost 24 hours, but who cares, because tomorrow I am flying overseas to visit some of my most dreamed about places!!!

Yes, for those who know me, that's right, I am going to Ireland, Scotland and England!!!