Category Archives: UK

August 9: Carlisle

We should have taken the 8:50 A.M local bus to Carlisle. Instead, we tried to take the National Express bus from the P & O ferry port in Cairnryan, but it was full. So we took a taxi to Stranraer, a port city (left), then a bus to Dumfries, and then a train to Carlisle,…

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August 8: Cairnryan

We said goodbye to our hosts, Tim and Ethy at the Abbeydene House B & B. Tim is a collector of single records of songs that made the top one hundred list; music memorabilia is scattered throughout the manor. I will miss the wonderful breakfast conversations with Tim and his deliciously creamy porridge. After visiting…

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August 6: Giant’s Causeway Day Tour

We decided to take the Allen’s Tours excursion to Giant’s Causeway, in County Antrim. The bus driver, Ian, was a wealth of information, Irish “craic” (jokes and enjoyable conversation), and “useless bits of information.” Our first stop along the coastal drive, was at Carrickfergus Castle (left), a 12th century Norman structure and the place that…

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August 5: Belfast

We walked into Belfast from our B & B along the coast for 5 miles, and then through the industrial area into the city center. Because of the paved roads, shade, and not wearing backpacks, we managed to hoof it in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Dennis wanted to see the place his mother was…

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August 4: Belfast

Guest blog from Dennis R. Blanchard: (Photo left caption: “today’s plan is already yesterday’s – the streets that were there are gone.”) Snipers were shooting at my father. This wasn’t World War II, it was Belfast, Ireland, 1969. I was doing my military duty in Germany and took leave to ride my BSA motorcycle over…

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August 3: Belfast

If only we had known that we could not get to Belfast from Clifden, we could have saved over €70 by buying the cheaper round trip bus tickets from Clifden to Galway, and then Galway to Dublin where we took the train to Belfast. We arrived in Belfast around 7 PM. There were no city…

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July 26: Aberdovey

Glorious day all around. Cloudless deep-blue skies, mild temperatures (mid 60s to start, and then lower 70s) made this the perfect day to explore Aberdovey. As we waited for the bus, a local to Plas Panteidal (where we are staying) offered us a ride into town. I love how helpful people are in Wales. The…

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July 25: Tywyn

Today started off rainy and cool (upper 60s), but ended up glorious. We hoofed the mile to the road, and then waited almost an hour for the bus to Tywyn. (toe-in). This seaside town does not have the charm of Machynlleth, but it did have a few interesting buildings. The Market Hall (left), once known…

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July 24: Machynlleth

We took the local bus into Machynlleth (mack-unth-leth); the bus drivers are very skilled in maneuvering the bus on the narrow and winding roads, at times skimming the bushes as we passed on-coming vehicles. I think I have been walking too long; riding in a vehicle seems very fast, almost scary. Welsh names are difficult…

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July 23: Aberdovey

I am very grateful to our host for the library stocked with regional maps and books. From these, we planned our itineraries and learned about the local folklore. The bird book helped me identify the various species that came to the bird feeder. I spied the Ménétries and Sardinian warblers, jays, finches and others that…

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