Dublin and Scotland Adventures :: Reflections

Talk about an exciting past 10 days. As always, it’s hard to say goodbye and come to the realization that vacation is over. The husband and I took a flight from Edinburgh to Newark and then to San Francisco before we made it to Seattle. I was amazed how quick the flight from Edinburgh to Newark was. With the tail wind it actually took less time to fly over the Atlantic ocean than it did to go from the east coast to the west coast. Unfortunately for us, our smooth ride home from the UK came to an abrupt halt when we were cozied up in our upgraded seats and the United representative told us our flight was cancelled due to the lack of a pilot and we needed to deplane. We were rebooked for the first morning flight out of San Francisco but after a three hour delay I started to think San Francisco didn’t want us to leave.

When we finally made it home to Seattle, the sun was shining and I was reminded how my I love this city and how nice it feels to come home after a vacation, yet I still missed my Scottish family. When ever you come home from a long holiday everyone you chat with wants to know what your favorite part of the trip was. It’s always difficult for me to answer. For this trip I’m going to break it into two adventures.

Dublin

If you ever find yourself in Dublin, I highly recommend stopping by The Winding Stair for lunch or dinner. Situated north of the Liffey, you can take a break from absorbing your Irish literary fix with a nice glass of wine, bookshop, and a fabulous meal. Another highlight for the trip, for me, was doing the literary pub crawl. If literature is not an interest of yours then I recommend looking into one the music pub crawls for an amazing evening filled with Irish culture and laughter. Also, if you are interested in Jameson and Guinness, I would recommend skipping the Jameson Distillery and for sure playing in the Guinness Storehouse. The husband and I were very disappointed in the Jameson Distillery tour and think you would get your moneys worth elsewhere. To end on a high note, I also loved the Chester Beatty Library; it’s free, has fascinating artifacts, beautiful grounds and is located across the street from Dublin Castle.

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Scotland

For me, all of Scotland is a highlight but if I have to choose specifics then St. Andrews tops my list. If you couldn’t tell by now, I absolutely love that town. There is so much history and character in this town, from the university to The Old Course to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral there is plenty to see and do! On top of all the sites to see, you can have a splendid meal or visit one of the local craft breweries in the area. Whatever you do, promise me you will stop by Balgove Larder and M. Mitchell for lunch during your visit. Another highlight from our time in Scotland was our day trip to Stirling. Another great town with beautiful buildings, landscape, and history to visit. Not far from Edinburgh or Glasgow, I highly recommend taking the train out to see Stirling Castle. You can spend a good chunk of the day wandering around this castle and learn about its important historical events. Also, if you buy a ticket to visit Stirling Castle, for a little bit more, you can visit Edinburgh Castle (I believe within 24 hours of your visit). These two castle carry so much historical importance for Scotland and its people. The country is truly breathtaking, even the view from the train or car, getting from place to place is one of a kind; I look forward to coming back in the future and exploring the Highlands more next time.

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