From London we flew to Dublin to spend the night before Mom and Dad’s flight arrived the next morning. They were total champs the next day as we took the train to Belfast and then the ferry to Cairnryan (Stranrear), Scotland. We stayed in a great little guesthouse with rooms above the bar and some of the friendliest people working there that we’ve met on the trip so far. From Stranrear we started our Scottish road trip and headed towards Edinburgh. On the way we stopped for a really fun visit in Stirling to see the castle and William Wallace memorial. That night we also made it to see the Edinburgh tattoo. It was absolutely fantastic and a definite highlight of the trip.The next day we went back and toured the Edinburgh castle before driving on to Aberdeen. The drive from Aberdeen to Fort William was full of even more castles. Stopping first at Tolquhon (described as pretty, but not meant to withstand attack), Fort George (just the opposite) and the Urquhart Castle (a gorgeous combination of both set on the banks of Loch Ness). We tried to spot Nessie, but alas no luck! We crossed off a bunch more of our Scotland to-dos on our drive from Fort William to Glasgow the next day. First we did the drive through the highlands of Glencoe, and although it was foggy the views were still breathtaking. We next stopped to meet Hamish the highland cow (and his friends). He totally lived up to the hype and was completely worth seeing. Finally, we went on a tour of the Glengoyne distillery. Our final night in Scotland was spent in Glasgow with a quick visit to the Glasgow cathedral before going back on the ferry and to Dublin via Belfast. All in all if was a wonderful week of sight seeing and getting to spend time with Mom and Dad. Exactly what we were hoping for!
September 2013 Archives
We had a really great week in England and can’t thank Leo, Sarah and Sander enough for letting us stay with them. We spent our first day getting to hang out with them starting first with a lovely brunch in Notting Hill followed by a walk through the Portobello market. Sunday was just as chill with lunch and a walk along the canal. The rest of the week was spent just hanging out and meeting up with a bunch of friends either from or who have relocated to the U.K.. Shout outs go to Nemo, Leon and Max for the lovely day I spent in Manchester, Andy for hosting Greg in Bristol, Tom for the lovely afternoon catching up, Steve and Mischa for dinner, and Seren for the wonderful afternoon at the Tate Modern. We also managed to meet up with and have a drink with Kabir who was in town from Salt Lake City on business. We certainly made up for the past few months of not seeing anyone we know. We did spend some time as tourists too; walking along the river, checking out Covent Garden and seeing a great exhibit of 150 years of Tube posters at the Transportation Museum. Our time in London wound up being the perfect place to relax, regroup and get used to being back around people we know!
After a quick flight from Munich we arrived in Madrid and grabbed our rental car to drive down to Cordoba for the night. We stayed in a hotel with a great view of the old town and spent a few hours the next morning wandering through the mosque and the charming little side streets around it. From Cordoba we drove to Granada where we spent most of the day wandering around the Alhambra. We weren’t sure what to expect and were completely impressed. The palace was gorgeous and we had a wonderful day exploring. We spent that night in Malaga and the next day went on to Gibraltar. My favorite part may have been being able to walk right across the border, but taking the cable car up to the monkeys (Barbary macaques) was a ton of fun too. We had fish and chips and enjoyed our day in the UK before heading back to Spain for the night! After Gibraltar we went to Seville. We had plans to explore the city a bit, but after such a whirlwind week just needed some time to regroup. We had a lovely evening just catching up on a few things and a good night’s sleep before driving back to Madrid for our flight the next morning.