S: Elaine & Karen's Excellent Adventure - British Isles - 2010
BC: Elaine & Karen's Adventure 2010
FC: Elaine & Karen's Excellent Adventure Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and a wee bit of France 13 August - 03 September 2010
1: "May your blessings outnumber The shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go." ~Irish Blessing | Elaine and Karen's Excellent Adventure - Part 1 We left on August 13th and arrived in Dublin, where we made our way to Dun Laoghaire to settle into our hotel. Our first adventure was to Malahide Castle on a very beautiful warm sunny day. We met up with our tour group for cocktails and introductions just before dinner. | Malahide Castle is one of the oldest and most historic castles in Ireland.
2: Georgian doors of Dublin
3: The campus of Trinity College where we saw the Book of Kells
4: Rock of Cashel
5: The Rock of Cashel (also known as Cashel of the Kings) in County Tipperary is home to the ruins of a great Celtic cathedral.
12: Downtown Killarney
14: Ring of Kerry | The Ring of Kerry is part of the mystical & unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.
16: Skellig Michael | This monastic complex, perched since about the 7th century on the steep sides of the rocky island of Skellig Michael, illustrates the very spartan existence of the first Irish Christians
19: Blarney Castle
22: Cobh, Ireland ...
23: Cobh is the last stop of the Titanic before "you know what" happened.
24: Cobh, Ireland ...
25: In Gaelic, Cobh is pronounced Cove | Annie Moore, with her two brothers, is the first to be processed at Ellis Island when it opened on January 1, 1892. | Lusitania Memorial | The Titanic Memorial It's maiden and final voyage, April 11, 1912. "This is in memory of the Irish emigrants and all those who lost their lives in this great tragedy."
26: If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough! ~Irish Saying
27: On our way to Wales (by ferry)
28: A very nice place to enjoy the rain
29: The Goat Major Cardiff, Wales
33: Around Britain's only hot spring, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex that still flows with natural hot water.
34: A walk in Bath, England
36: Stonehenge symbolizes mystery, power and endurance. Its original purpose is unclear, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities
38: John Our super duper CIE Tour Bus Driver | Deidre Our super duper CIE Tour Guide
39: We arrived in London late in the afternoon. So after settling into our hotel, we walked along the Thames to a pub for a fish and chips dinner.
40: First stop: Tower of London
43: After the Tower, We got around on a hop on hop off tour bus.
44: Elaine and Karen's Excellent Adventure - Part 2 We boarded the Crown Princess on August 22, 2010 for a 12 day cruise around the British Isles | See Elaine with her roses and chocolates from Mr. Romance (aka her husband Jim).
45: Day 2 was to St. Peter Port on the island of Guernsey. It was canceled due to choppy seas. Instead we had a luxuriating day at sea.
47: Day 3 we were back to Cobh, Ireland. We had a tour to Blarney Village (we went shopping at the woolen mill), Cork City, Kinsale, Charles Fort and more time in beautiful Cobh.
49: Day 4 our port of call was Dublin. We took a tour to Glendalough in the Wicklow Hills. The monastic ruins (dates to the 6th century) are tucked into a glen with two small lakes We even hiked to one!
51: Day 5 our port of call was Liverpool. This time our tour was to North Wales to the village of Llangollen. We then headed to Chester, a lovely timbered city who boasts a magnificent cathedral and clock tower. We hiked some of the wall!
54: Belfast | Day 6 our port of call was Belfast. Since it was a rainy cold day, we took the hop on hop off bus. The theme of Belfast's murals are varied and tell stories of many different issues of Northern Ireland throughout the decades.
55: May luck be our companion May friends stand by our side May history remind us all Of Ireland's faith and pride. May God bless us with happiness May love and faith abide. ~Irish Blessing | We took a break to warm up in Bittles Bar . And yes, Elaine had another hard cider (YUM)!
56: Day 7 our port of call was Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland. We were really excited because we were going to the Edinburgh Tattoo. Here's Karen with police officer "Tim", who grew up in the highlands, is married and has a young son. We know a lot about him because we were in line for a long time! There were thousands of people in queue...
57: Here we are at the Tattoo. It looks like we are making new friends; it's really a stranger sitting on Elaine. We call it the "Agony and the Ecstasy". Despite the crowds, the rain, and the tight seats, it was truly a highlight of our trip. When we heard the first note of the bagpipe, we got chills and teary eyed. IT WAS AWSESOME!
58: More from the Tattoo
59: Day 8 was a peaceful relaxing day at sea as we sailed around the top of Scotland. We had fun on board with meeting other passengers, reading, shopping, the casino, spa, and evening show. We even had High Tea (at sea)!
60: Lock Ness and Urquhart Castle Ruins The impressive ruin of Urquhart Castle sits on a rocky promontory with commanding views along Loch Ness. It is one of Scotland's oldest castles. We didn't see "Nessie".
61: Day 9 our port of call was Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland. We had a tour set-up with "The Taxi Tour Experience". They took us to Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield, and Cawdor Castle. A day of fun fun fun! | Inverness and it's castle
62: The afternoon took us to Cawdor Castle (it's still a home). The gardens were incredible! Along the way, we passed through Culloden Battlefield where one of the bloodiest battles happened.
63: Day 10 our port of call was South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland. We had tickets for Edinburgh Castle, so we took the shuttle to town and made our way to the Castle, explored the Royal Mile and joined a "Hop on Hop Off Bus" before we had to get back to the ship. | Edinburgh castle
64: Some sights from Edinburgh Castle!
65: St. Giles Cathedral
66: Here's the view from our obstructed ocean view room. On the left, with a life boat and on the right without. Most mornings, men were in the life boats cleaning. Surprise! | They used the lifeboats to tender us to the pier in South Queensferry. Here we are coming back from a full day. To the right, look what Elaine found!
67: Day 11 was another relaxing day at sea as we made our way to France. Below is our waiter, Enrique...he's from Mexico.
68: Day 12 is the last day of our cruise. Our port of call is Le Havre, France. Our tour takes us to Giverney, Monet's home and inspiration for many of his paintings. We also went to the beautiful city of Rouen, where Jean d'Arc was martyred.
70: We lunched in the village of Fourges (and so did the cat!), then on to Rouen! Elaine discovered some terrific pastries down the street to the right. We really needed to use up our eruos!
72: Here's some photos while on the ship. The photo on the right is a French Canadian lady and tour guide we kept running into, who speaks French. She was fun. | On the next page are some photos with our dinner companions. It was a highlight of each day to meet up with them and discuss our adventures.