SCOTLAND AND IRELAND

Hello! I think I have mostly recovered from jet lag and bus riding, so thought I would share a few observations and photos from our trip.

It was a most wonderful trip! The scenery was spectacular,

and the people were warm and welcoming…the weather not so much, but the cool rainy weather just made the tea, coffee, Guinness, whisky, and whiskey even better!

I mentioned whisky twice because one thing I learned on this trip is that Scottish whisky is w-h-i-s-k-y and Irish whiskey is w-h-i-s-k-e-y. We learned this because we visited several distilleries. Now we don’t normally drink whisky (or whiskey) but when in Rome….. 😉

  

We also visited the Guinness Storehouse, which is the number one tourist attraction in Europe. Yup…it beats out the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, the Venice canals, etc!   Hmm.

We also visited a small brewing company where we were told we could take a tour; when we got there, the door was open, but not a soul in sight.

We waited a bit, and then inquired at the pub next door, and they told us that the Brewmaster was out of town and wouldn’t be back until the next day.  That did not deter us! Our new bus friends just happened to be home brewers and knew a lot about the process, so Doug took the script (which just happened to be lying on the desk), read it, and explained everything. Awesome!

Then we went next door and had a few samples….had to wait our turn at the bar, but all went well, and we left knowing so much more about beer and the deliciousness of it. 😉

We really did not drink that much, but you wouldn’t know it from this post. HAHA

A few words about being on a bus tour… It is touristy. It is tiring. People get on your nerves. You are on a bus… a lot. BUT….it is a wonderful way to get a good overview of a country. Our guides were PHENOMENAL–extremely well-educated and knowledgeable–and we learned so much about the culture, the people, and the sites. The hotels were first-rate, at least two meals a day were provided, and the food was good.  If we ever had any kind of problem (which we didn’t), all we needed to do was let our guide know, and he would take care of it, all of which adds up to a stress-free vacation.

We had experiences we would never had had on our own (like not getting killed by driving on the opposite side of the road HAHA). Some things might have been touristy, but hey, we were tourists! We had dinner and music at an Irish pub,

we saw Scottish bagpipers and dancers,

and we had dinner in a castle built in the 1200’s.

We visited St. Andrews golf course and had lunch in the public dining room,

we took a couple of ferry rides and a boat trip on Loch Lomond

and we visited a working sheep farm and saw the most amazing demonstration. Hard to describe, but this man’s 12 dogs each respond to a set of personalized whistle commands such as go left, right, in, out, far away, stop, come back, cut sheep out of the flock, etc. He knows each dog and all the commands for each one, and trains them all from puppies.  AMAZING!

My husband even got to try his hand at shearing:

And I got some puppy time:

Some people on the bus might have been a tad annoying, but we also met wonderful people whom we hope to keep in touch with forever. We came home with wonderful memories, quite a few souvenirs, and new friends. We also learned so much about the countries we visited, and will never forget the people or the places that we saw.

If you have gotten this far, thanks for looking at my vacation photos! Hope I didn’t post too many, but there are a lot more where those came from, and it was so hard to narrow it down to a “few”.

Since a couple of you asked about my outfits, I will tell you that it is kind of hard to look put-together and fresh on a bus tour..in fact, it is pretty much impossible, but honestly, I didn’t worry too much about clothes…just had a great time enjoying everything. And as you see, I wore my jacket most of the time. I did find a couple of shots without the jacket:

And this outfit gets the booby prize, and will never see the light of day again! What was I thinking?

Thank you so much for stopping by. I wish you had all been on the bus with me!

I might be taking a small blogging break, since I will have grandchildren here for a few weeks, but I will do my best to post something if I can. In the meantime, I will miss you, and thanks again for taking time out of your day to look at my vacation pictures! You are the best.

13 thoughts on “SCOTLAND AND IRELAND”

  1. Thank you for sharing your trip. You seem to make the best of the annoying parts of a bus tour and know how to highlight the more interesting parts.

    I would have loved the part with the border collies. Working dogs are so fascinating to watch. I wondered about the story of the big dog placing his order at the bar in another photo.

    There was nothing wrong with your pink hoodie; it just looked out of place with all the busts of famous authors or whomever. All those bound volumes just call out for dressing up — we’ve never dressed up to go to the library here.

    Enjoy your summer kids, but don’t miss the online sales this month.

    1. Thanks, Jean. The dog was a regular at the pub. The bartender keeps carrots for him, so he comes in and “orders” a few 🙂 So cute.

  2. Oh Susan, you have enforced my desire to visit the U.K. Greg and Stacy went last fall and loved it, as well! As always, you looked beautiful and put together! Kudos! Thanks for sharing…

  3. Beautiful pics!! I knew you and Howard would LOVE Ireland and Scotland!! My hat is off to you for successfully traveling on a bus!
    Can’t wait to see more photos!!
    Have a “grand” time with your cute grands!!

  4. Susan, your photo’s are wonderful. I love the dog in line for beer, precious. your outfits look great, perfect for unpredictable weather.

    How many people were on your bus? I would love to have the information, because we loved Scotland but never have been to Ireland. It was so fun following your pictures during your adventure.

  5. Thank you. We toured with a company called CIE, and they do tours mostly of Ireland and the UK. They were wonderful….I have no complaints at all. I would highly recommend this company for touring. The hotels where we stayed were beautiful, charming and comfortable. In Scotland we had 32 people on the bus and in Ireland 41.

    1. I am so glad to hear about your travels (and your lovely outfits). We are planning a trip next year for our anniversary and this one sounded fabulous! So glad you posted about it! Looking forward to hearing more!

  6. That dog at the bar is too funny! He’s like a human ordering a beer! I went to Ireland back in April but I was mostly just in Dublin. It was a good trip for sure. I definitely want to return so I can explore more of the countryside.

  7. I agree with everything you said about a bus tour. There are a lot more good experiences than bad experiences. We had the same great experience with the sheep in New Zealand. The dogs are amazing !!! I am glad your trip was so great

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