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!
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:
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:
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:
I'm so glad we did! This was the view on the left at the top of the cliff, looking inland:
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!
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:
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:
Our last stop was in Edinburgh. Here's the Castle:
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!
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:
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!