Epilogue to Ireland trip
posted in July 2015
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In July 2015, eighteen months after the trip, I had an unexpected inspiration to write down some impressions from the Ireland-Scotland trip in October 2013, which I took with two of my three sisters, Doris and Mary, who planned the entire trip. Of course Doris' husband Paul was along too.
I had the amazing good fortune, for two weeks, of having no idea where our next destination was, starting from the time we landed at Shannon Airport. It's a great way to travel.
When the trip photos were posted in late 2013, I failed to acknowledge their efforts so on this page I wish to apologize and acknowledge the planning work they did, and, how well it paid off. Every day overseas on this trip to both Ireland & Scotland was fun and rewarding and our accommodations were the best. Being by the coast for much of the trip was a great outcome.
note: Since Mary was along only for the Ireland part, or the first week of travel, and did not go to Scotland, then it is likely that Doris did most planning for our second week of travel.
Castlegregory - Castle B&B at 353 66 7139183 - high quality home, easy to find, with an out-in-the-country feel. This B&B is by the sea and is extremely quiet at night. Comfortable and spacious rooms and large beds. With the windows open I had good air and the sound of waves breaking nearby. Great hosts and a high quality breakfast. Has 3 or 4 rooms.
Ventrys - Ceann Tra' Heights B&B - Ventrys is a few miles from Dingle, Ireland. The B&B house has especially comfortable rooms. Great owners, easy to talk with and great breakfast.
I had a huge window in my bedroom to open as much as I wanted, and sat up late reading, the Atlantic Ocean only a thousand feet away, and the air quality was superb. Bring binoculars, and bring the longest-distance telephoto lens you can. The owners can tell you which turn to take to see the old Norman Castle nearby.
Kilarney - Mountain Dew Inn - 353 26 45097 - In-town location with quiet streets at night. It is an enjoyable ten minute walk into town or into the National Park. Animated owner couple, very attentive. Has 8 or so rooms; we stayed here two nights. Top notch in all departments, but watch out for over-sized breakfasts.
Being on a busy road, you might notice early morning vehicle sounds at say 6 or 7 am, in case you are a light sleeper. Once I heard the early traffic noise, I closed the open window and could sleep in a little more.
Cobh - Elmville House - B&B 353 21 4813206 - exquisite historic home with ultra-modern basement-level rooms, large too. There might also be some upstairs rooms. First class in all things, and the owner is fun to chat with. But you must print out a map ahead of time for how to get here because smart phones might not function, and this place took us 40 minutes to find, and we had to keep calling the B&B for help. The B&B owner did not seem to be aware of the need to post an access map on the B&B website. Nothing on her website or handout indicates how to get there. Terrific breakfast in an elegant mid-1800s setting. It's an easy walk into the small City to see Titanic related Museums or exhibits.
Tramore - Oban House - 353 51 381537 - This one is easy to find, in the suburbs of a tiny coastal town. We were here two nights.
Ennis - Glenomra House - 065 6820537 - We were here only one night. Best rated B&B in town with easy freeway access to get to Shannon Airport. High quality house and owner, who was up late at the hurling match the night before, but she had breakfast ready for us early-risers at 6:00 am. Nice city lot with large back yard & garden, has 3 or 4 rooms.
Glasgow - Jury's Inn Jamaica Street - coming from the airport, and not realizing that most of the main downtown streets are one-way, we had a nightmare of a time finding this place. But once in, whew ! ....it was quiet and pleasant. The bathroom was so small that when I sat on the toilet, I could also brush my teeth, the sink being right there. Jury's is next door to one of two main Glasgow UK Rail stations, which generates a tremendous amount of noise, starting at 5 am, even on a bank holiday. We also had to pay 30 pounds to park a car overnight. For three reasons, this place is not recommended.
Do not stay nor drive into Glasgow in a vehicle unless you are unhinged.
Stirling - Monument View B&B - is in a pleasant suburban neighborhood. Owners are nice and good quality rooms and a fabulous breakfast, once again. Easy to find and close to the Wallace Monument. I could see the Monument lit up at night from my room until the flood lights went off at midnight.
Callendar - Coppice House, Leny Road, easy to find. An elegant historic home that has luxurious rooms with high ceilings. Owners are very nice and the guy is very knowledgeable about where to go ice-climbing in the winter, or hiking in the summer, since he was an outdoor enthusiast in the Scottish Highlands for years. He has a substantial library of books dedicated to Highlands walks and climbs. Another fabulous breakfast.
Pitlochry - Wellwood House, West Moulin Road - classic stone house and great interiors, a super-charming small hotel, my favorite place on the two-week trip by far. The owner Jim, an Irishman, was nice to chat with. This hotel probably has 8 or 10 rooms and we stayed here two nights. The rooms were as clean as could be. We enjoyed sleeping in a bit and as a result had late breakfasts with the owners and their staff, who are mostly young Polish women, polite and courteous. The building has a series of third storey attic or dormer rooms where the help live, so this place has its own little community.
Edinburgh - White House B&B - 44 131 336 2881 - one virtue is that it is easy to access, Corbiehill Rd. being a rare left turn with a light from A90. Easy driving access to EDI airport too. The best part is that this B&B is on a main bus line into the City, the bus stop being one house away, so this place is a fabulous jumping-off place, in a quiet suburb. The bus to Princes Street or back takes about 20 minutes.
The owner is a good conversationalist and we (the only guests) enjoyed talking with her. A great breakfast is the norm.
We had to get up really early to get to our flights out of EDI and the Host left out an assortment of sandwiches, which we grabbed and ate later. It was especially helpful because our flight from Edinburgh to Newark was cancelled, but in the end we all got to our home ports only a little later than expected.
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