Scotland (Glasgow, Orkney, Inverness & Edinburgh)

After Ireland, we spent 4 days around Scotland.

Glasgow

I have had a fascination with Glasgow for a little while and wanted to go there so it was a good experience to actually be in the city.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship docked in Greenock and we took a bus from there into Glasgow. The city seems like it has a younger population and felt hip with lots of cute trendy looking cafes and thrift shops which the tour guide said most of the kids get their clothing from.
  • We drove by the University of Glasgow which looks like something straight out of Harry Potter. It was used for filming the show Outlander.
  • The tour took us to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The building itself was unlike any other I have seen. The museum was very diverse, rooms filled with artefacts from Ancient Egypt, another room with things from the Vikings, the halls were filled with paintings and statues/sculptures. Downstairs also had a natural history area with many animals.
  • The bus drove through George Square and off to Glasgow Cathedral, St. Mungo’s Museum of Religous Life and Art (I didn’t go in here, I don’t think there was enough time), Provand’s Lordship (which had very nice gardens), and Glasgow Necropolis. Everything was so old, it was crazy to be there and think about how long that area of Glasgow had been there.

Photojournal

Orkney

The cruise ship we were on had a population almost the size (or maybe even bigger) of all of Kirkwall, which is the main city in Orkney.

Places visited and what I did

  • I took a bus tour to one of the beaches. Orkney has a very empty feeling to it. It’s not very populated, it’s very windy so there are no trees, there aren’t very many buildings. It’s sort of peaceful. The beach is sandy but there are also rocky cliffs. Some of the very small islands have sidewalks between them and people get caught when the tide is in.
  • After visiting the coast, the tour headed into the town of Stromness. It was very cute and had a little harbour.
  • From Stromness, we went to Neolithic Orkney. The bus drove by The Standing Stones Streness and we stopped at the Ring of Brodgar. It was crazy to stand there by the ring of stones and see how vast the sky is at that point and imagine how long they’ve been there. On one side of the Ring the water is from the sea and on the other side, it is fresh water. This place was very purposeful. It’s crazy. There was also wild cotton in the fields which looked like pompoms.
  • After the tours, we ventured out into Kirkwall for free wifi at the library. There was a church from 1100 AD that we couldn’t go in because a concert was taking place. The town is very well kept and filled with small shops.

Photojournal

Loch Ness & Inverness

This day was spent looking for Nessie on the lake. It was also very cold and I wasn’t prepared for that.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through a little town and the countryside to get to Loch Ness. It was so lush and the colours of everything very intense. Again, it was a great day for weather besides being a bit chilly.
  • At Loch Ness, there is a little inn and gift shops. As part of the tour, we boarded a boat to take us along the Loch. The lake itself is very deep (and dark, it’s easy to see how they don’t know if Nessie is there or not) about 750 feet at its deepest point. It’s also very foggy, making it super mysterious looking.
  • The boat went to Urquhart Castle. Some passengers got off here but we took the ride back to the inn.
  • Next stop was Inverness. It was very pretty. There were flowers everywhere and the River Ness runs through the city. We went into the Inverness Cathedral which seemed so modern compared to the previous cathedrals on the trip. Still, it was very old.

Photojournal

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is everyone who is on Amazing Race’s worst fear. It is like one giant maze. I could spend much more than a day in Edinburgh. The city looked stereotypically medieval.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship had to dock in South Queensferry so it was a bit of a drive out to Edinburgh. It was much darker than other cities, not because of the weather but the difference in architecture. It was more ominous than London or the other bigger cities.
  • We went down the Royal Mile which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace where the Queen stays when she’s visiting. They were setting up for the Queen’s garden party so it was difficult to get photos of Holyrood. The Mile is filled with cashmere, sweets and other little shops like that for tourists.
  • In what seems like the middle of the city there is suddenly mountains and a park? Where people were rock climbing, hiking and walking their dogs.
  • After the drive around the city, we stopped at the National Museum of Scotland. A. Great. Museum. It was super diverse, ranging from animals to furniture. It’s also the home to the first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep. There was a fashion exhibit on so that’s where my time was spent. The museum itself is also very beautiful.

Photojournal

Next post will be the last day of the trip which was spent in France.

P.S. It’s Peri

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Ireland (Cobh, Cork, Blarney, Dublin, & Antrim Coast)

After travelling through England, we headed off to explore Ireland for 3 days.

Cobh, Cork & Blarney

The cruise ship docked in the town of Cobh, we then took a bus through the city of Cork to Blarney on day 1 of Ireland.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through Cork (I took some photos from the bus) and into the countryside to get to the village of Blarney.
  • Once in Blarney, we walked around the Woolen Mills, which is filled with lots of super soft sweaters and things made from the wool of the local sheep. Also, a lot of cute sheep stuffed animals.
  • We walked a little bit over to Blarney Castle where the famous Blarney Stone is. I did not kiss the stone because 1) it was an hour and a half wait in line and the bus left before that and 2) it seems kind of terrifying to almost hang off the edge of a castle to kiss a stone. Instead, I walked through the gardens around the castle and I also went into the castle’s dungeon. Much less scary than a stone?

Tips

  • You have to pay to get close enough to even see Blarney Castle. All around the castle is a park with beautiful gardens so you could spend awhile walking through the gardens if you’re not going into the castle. There is also a little cafe in the park.

Photojournal

Patrick Street from the bus while driving through Cork
Also in Cork
A church where a truck photobombed in Cork
Blarney Castle from many angles and a photo from being in the dungeon 
Blarney Castle and the gardens 
Geodes?? or just fancy rocks in the gardens at Blarney

Dublin

Places visited and what I did

  • In Dublin, we took another hop on hop off tour like in London. I think this might be my favourite way to see around a city since you have the freedom to get off wherever you want as well as have a bus tour where they tell you lots of history.
  • Dublin was one of my favourite places because it reminded me of where I live a bit and where I lived in Kentucky. Plus all of the people were very friendly and kind. It was also quite beautiful and we were lucky to have great weather that day.
  • We saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Wellington Monument, St Ann’s Church, Christ Church Cathedral, Spire of Dublin, and of course we had to visit Guinness (I did not drink any) and Trinity College. I did not know much about Dublin’s history before but it is a history-rich city and I think there would definitely still be more to see.

Tips

  • I would definitely take a hop on hop off bus tour through Dublin. It allows you to be able to see lots of the city and its famous points.

Photojournal

The Spire of Dublin
General Post Office 
A fancy bridge made to resemble a harp I believe. 
Trinity College which was very pretty. And another candid photo of strangers
Dublin is famous for its multicoloured doors
From top left to bottom right, me outside of Guinness, Ha’penny Bridge, Dr Steevens’s Hospital and Jeanie Johnston a replica of Irish emigration vessels

Antrim Coast

The ship docked in Belfast and we took a bus ride to Glenariff park.

Places visited and what I did

  • The bus tour took us along the Antrim Coast. The ocean was extremely blue, the coast is black and white because it is made up of basalt stone and limestone. It looked almost fake the colours were all very intense.
  • We stopped at the little village of Carnlough, walked around the harbour and admired the ocean. If it is clear enough, you can see Scotland’s coast.
  • The bus tour continued into Glenariff Park in the middle of the Glens of Antrim. It was very beautiful. There is a tea shop in the park where we stopped for tea and scones (I did not have the scones because of possible allergy contamination).
  • It was a very lush drive back to the ship. All of Ireland is so green. And filled with sheep.

Photojournal

Driving through the glens and all the sheep 
The harbour in Carnlough 
Sheep on the coast and Scotland very far off in the distance to the left
Black beaches 
At the tea shop in Glenariff park. Everything looked almost fake. 

Next up on the trip is Scotland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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