Thursday, July 4, 2013

I'm Back!

Some of you may know that I've been away for the last 2 weeks, travelling in Ireland and Scotland.  I have long wanted to visit, as my father's side of the family came from Scotland.  So my husband and I booked a tour that took us somewhat off the beaten path in these 2 beautiful countries.

We started out in Dublin, and it was there that sweet Heather, a friend I met through the Hero Arts flickr group, rearranged her schedule and came to meet me one afternoon, taking me on a walking tour of Dublin, while Denny visited the Guinness Storehouse.  She showered me with some fun local craft supplies, and some of her amazing stitched creations, and we had a lovely sunny day to get acquainted while we walked.  What a wonderful way to begin!

Heather and I in Dublin

Ireland is a lovely place, as green as they say it is, and the people are so friendly.  We visited pubs for our lunches, with amazing seafood chowders for me most of the time.  We were there during the longest days of the year, and many in our group of 36 took advantage of the lack of darkness in the evenings and extended their days even longer.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this beautiful place.  We had many days of "softness" (as the Irish call their rain), but it didn't detract from the beauty of anything.  First are some pictures of Ireland. We visited big towns to stay overnight, but my favorite places were the countryside:

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We spent 1 day and night in Northern Ireland, visiting the city of Derry; and in that area we loved the Giant's Causeway, unusual hexagonal formations near the sea that extend into the water (supposedly all the way across the sea to Scotland), and are 39 feet at their largest along the cliffs.  These ones range from a few inches to 6 or 8 feet tall here:

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This is a picture of the same area, looking inland - you can walk along that little path to get to the top of the cliffs above:

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I'm so glad we did!  This was the view on the left at the top of the cliff, looking inland:

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And this on the right.  Yes, those are cows grazing in that field at the edge of the cliffs!  And you can see a little farm down there on that little island, to give you an idea of the scope here!

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Now we crossed by ferry into Scotland.  Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from there.  This is a cottage covered with roses in the town of Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns:

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Here is a picture taken at a stop in the Scottish Highlands.  Most of the mountaintops were covered with clouds and mist. There was a piper there, adding the perfect ambience to the scene:

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Our last stop was in Edinburgh.  Here's the Castle:

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And 2 more fun photos; this one is a Highland Cow; isn't he cute?  Yes, they all had long bangs!  I have no idea how they navigate!

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And finally, a picture of our bus driver, Billy, a Scotsman from Glasgow, in his regimental kilt.  And I'm wearing a scarf that Heather knit and gave to me:

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We also visited a farm where the owner trains sheepdogs to herd sheep.  We got to bottle feed some little lambs, and see puppies, too!  Unfortunately we didn't get many good pictures there.

If ever you get a chance to visit these beautiful countries, do it!  Now I'd like to go back and do it more leisurely on our own. .......though driving on the other side of the road is still a scary thing for me!  

Thanks for visiting today, and Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!

31 comments:

  1. Fantastic! What great photos and sounds like a lovely visit! And you got to meet up with Heather! Wonderful!

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  2. Happy to have you back Lin and thanks for sharing these beautiful pics! I LOVE the sweet cottages!! Happy 4th of July ;)

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  3. looks like you had a fantastic trip - wonderful pics - glad you're back - happy 4th!

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  4. What a wonderful trip! We have friends in Northern Ireland and visited them many years ago - so I was excited to see your pictures of Derry - it brought back special memories :)and we have also been to Scotland - so your pictures of Edinburgh were special too! We were able to attend the Military Tattoo while there. I know you totally enjoyed it and glad you are safely home. I think I will have to pull out my pictures of N. Ireland and Scotalnd and reminisce again. :)

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  5. Oh, Lin, what a wonderful trip! I went on a tour of Ireland with my mother back in the 1990's and your pictures reminded me so much of all the lovely sights we saw, too! (We did feed the lambs, too!) Thank you so much for sharing your pictures, it was a trip down memory lane for me! And how wonderful that you met Heather! I'm sure that was wonderful, too...the scarf she gave you is gorgeous! Welcome home!

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  6. Happy 4th July, Lin! Your post is wonderful - I loved reading about your holidays and seeing your photos from here and Scotland!

    I was absolutely delighted to finally get to meet you and thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon spent chatting and roaming around Dublin - the time just whizzed by way too quickly! Unfortunately you experienced a few too many of our soft days here in Ireland but hopefully next time you're here the weather will be kinder to you:) I hope you'll come back soon! Hugs:)

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  7. Looks like an amazing trip, Lin! My sister got married in Scotland and it is indeed a beautiful place. Ireland is still on my bucket list. How fun that you got to meet Heather! Thanks so much for sharing these fantastic photos. Happy 4th!

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  8. What magnificent pictures Lin, you've captured the scenery beautifully. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  9. What wonderful pictures of your travels Lin. Once I get my passport, we too plan to visit there as well. Every picture is breath taking.

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  10. What a fabulous trip! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. *sigh* Thank you for posting the photos, it looks like a wonderful place to visit. It's high on my bucket list.

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  12. Welcome home, Lin! So happy for you to have been to both of these beautiful countries. I love the
    you've shared - hopefully you will bring along more when we meet on Monday?

    That little cottage with the poppies in front is my favorite photo!!!

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  13. Welcome back, Lin!!! I thoroughly enjoy reading your post and seeing the delightful photos!How awesome that you got to meet Heather and seeing the beautiful sights! I had to laugh about the cow with long bangs!! What a fun sight! TFS!!

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  14. Welcome back, Lin!!! I thoroughly enjoy reading your post and seeing the delightful photos!How awesome that you got to meet Heather and seeing the beautiful sights! I had to laugh about the cow with long bangs!! What a fun sight! TFS!!

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  15. Wow Lin looks like you had a fabulous holiday and lucky you visiting Ireland and meeting Heather too!!

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  16. what awesome fun Lin. I've never been to either place, but Ireland is on my wish list. Love all the gorgeous photos and what fun to meet with Heather, Added bonus to our holidays when that happens.

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  17. I loved your post, Lin! Beautiful photos! Sounds like you and Denny had a wonderful trip! So happy you and Heather were able to spend some time together!

    Welcome home - glad you're back - I've been missing you lots lately!

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  18. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photo's! I enjoyed it to see it! I visited scotland for two times. Beautiful.

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  19. Oh what a wonderful trip you had. I really enjoyed the pictures. How fun that your online friend Heather was able to meet up with you! Glad you are back!

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  20. Thanks for sharing your pics Lin, looks like you had a fabulous Time. The countryside looks so beautiful :) Cathy x

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  21. Welcome back! And thanks for sharing the pictures! I wish I will visit there one day!

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  22. Fabulous pictures, Lin--what a great time you must have had! Brings back memories when I was there over 30 years ago. So special that you got to meet Heather! Welcome home!

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  23. wow Lin looks like you had a wonderful trip...I'm so sad that you visited my homeland and we didn't get to meet up...maybe next time...as we say...haste ye back...hugs kath xxx

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  24. I loved your pictures and comments about your trip: how fun!! So lovely! Thanks for sharing it with us! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

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  25. Looks like you had a wonderful trip Lin....wow...great photos...

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  26. How marvelous, Lin! Sounds like you packed your fortnight's holiday! Beautiful pictures - I feel quite homesick! ...and meeting Heather - YAY!!

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  27. What an amazing trip - your photos are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing all this with us!!!

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  28. Welcome back Lin! Thanks for sharing such beautiful and interesting photos!!! I've wanted to visit those countries for a long time and I'm hoping I can convince hubby after showing him your pics! And what a treat to have the opportunity to meet Heather! Robin:)

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  29. Welcome back Lin! Glad to hear you had an amazing time!! All of the pics look wonderful!!

    hugs...

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  30. Such beautiful pics, Lin! So glad you had a wonderful trip! TFS!

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  31. What a spectacular trip and wonderful memories! I'm so glad you were able to make this happen. I feel as if I was right there with you. I know that Heather is as dear as she seems. What a great adventure!

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Thank you so much for your kind comments - they make my day!