Ireland is beautiful. So so breathtakingly beautiful. Kevin and I really should have honeymooned here. It is bigger and more magical than all of your Irish imagination. One week is not enough! I need a month in Dingle alone! We focused on the Southwest corner of Ireland for this week and still didn’t have enough time. We drove our car on a boat!!! It was so cool! I’m feeling sad because our trip is coming to an end. I love this picture of Kevin and the boys because Colin & Henry look small and young.
We asked our innkeeper in Bath about the easiest way to get to Bristol airport. He stuttered a bit then said he always uses a service, very reasonable, and they know the back roads, so he didn’t know how to get there. I thought that was funny until we were driving there, it wasn’t hard to find, but it was on little back roads.
We landed in Dublin and got right on the road to Clifden and the Connemara National Park. It was a long drive, but so beautiful, precisely like the Ireland of my imagination.
Clifden and Connemara are breathtaking. Our first views of the Atlantic since leaving New York 5 weeks earlier. The cliffs, the sheep, mountains shrouded in clouds.
At dinner, we listened to live Irish music, and I ate the best meal of my entire life.
The next morning our innkeeper, Mary, played the fiddle, the tin whistle, sang while we were having breakfast. This sweet guest house by the sea had us 4 Americans and visitors from France, Germany, and Denmark. Not only did Mary sing to us, but she broke out in French and German! She was incredible. We were sad to leave.
Not my video, I was happy to find this on YouTube.
We used Bath as our base to explore Oxford, Cambridge and Stonehenge. Unfortunately we didn’t leave enough time to really, properly explore Bath. All the sites were closed when we were in town, but I loved wandering the streets and alleys. Absolutely beautiful. Of course I loved imagining Jane Austen there.
I’ve been told by a few people that Stonehenge is just ok/not worth the fuss, so my expectations were set pretty low. We came upon it so suddenly that it took my breath away.
I do think it is worth visiting. Part of my awe was definitely the shared experience of seeing and appreciating this world icon. Part was the history and wonder, stories that have changed or evolved since I very first read about Stonehenge in the World Book Encyclopedia.
We knew this one was worth getting up early for, it paid off. We were on the first shuttle and for about 5 minutes it felt like we had it to ourselves. We had time and space to listen to the audio guide and sit and stare and wonder. The first of the big tour buses started pulling in just as we were leaving. It was a wonderful morning.
Oxford has an audio tour for prospective students, that was awesome. They also have an app with different highlights, one of which is a tour of where they filmed part of the Harry Potter movies! It was so cool to see the inside of Hogwarts!!
It is so hard for me to comprehend that Oxford started in 1096! The incredible rich history, the people who have come through here.
They were having graduation here too and I spied a mom walking with her robed son and I couldn’t help but imagine how awesome that must be. I felt like giving her a high-five.
On a side note, we heard more sirens the short time we were in Oxford than anyplace else we’ve been, and we’ve been to Rome and Paris! I don’t know if it was graduation parties or what.
Overall, a great day.