We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.
Flashback to our first RV trip in the summer of 2006. On this day 13 years ago, August 8, 2006, the Wandering Dawgs were enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park.
That day we watched Old Faithful erupt and drove the Lower Loop Road where we saw Bison herds (American Buffalo), waterfalls, and spectacular scenery. It was one of our most memorable days from all of our RV travels.
We spent about a week camping outside of Yellowstone National Park and spent most of those days exploring the park.
The drive from Inverness to our next destination, Aberdeen was not very far. To get there all we had to do was stay on the same road through about 50 round-a-bouts. The drive took us through several pretty villages and beautiful countryside. We were in desperate need of a laundry so when I spotted a self serve launderette at a gas station we pulled over and washed clothes.
The beautiful old trees and gardens surrounding the MacDonald Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen made me feel like I was on a country estate. The hotel was once a private home and later converted to a hotel. Although it is supposedly haunted we didn’t see any ghosts. While we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the dining room there was a wedding going on in another part of the hotel.
The next day was another short driving day. Before we left Aberdeen we were talking to the father of the groom from the wedding the night before. He lived near Aberdeen and gave me some insight about my Scottish ancestors who emigrated to America from the area. He also recommended we stop at Donnottar Castle on our way to Fife.
I’m so glad we took his advice. We ventured off the main road to visit the castle which sits on a cliff high above the North Sea. The fog made it really eerie.
It was early afternoon when we arrived at Fernie Castle in Fife, our home for the night. We enjoyed having time to relax and enjoy the castle and the beautiful grounds. The castle was haunted but alas, we never saw a ghost there, either.
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
Huge Yew tree at Fernie Castle
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland
The bar at Fernie Castle was once a storage area for castle
There are Highland Cows, a horse and goats on the grounds of Fernie Castle. One of the things on my bucket list for Scotland was to see a Highland Cow up close and personal so I thoroughly enjoyed watching them and taking lots of photos. Hamish was not shy and came over to see what I was doing while the Heather ignored me and kept on eating her grass. I fed Hamish some potatoes and other vegetables but when I tried to pet him he nudged me gently with one of his horns to let me know he didn’t like it.
Hamish the Highland Cow at Fernie Castle, Scotland
Feeding Hamish the Highland Cow at Fernie Castle, Scotland
Horse at Fernie Castle
We said good bye to Hamish, Heather and Fernie Castle and continued on to Edinburgh for our last two nights in Scotland. The city is built on hills with Edinburgh Castle at the end of the Royal Mile on top of one of the hills . The walk to the Royal Mile from our hotel was down steep stone stairs and through an alley. We spent a day and a half wandering along the Royal Mile.
Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland
Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
Bagpiper on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Yes, there are unicorns in Scotland
In case you need to call someone while strolling the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland
Our small tour bus with Rabbie’s Tours departed Inverness early on a Saturday morning for a 12 hour tour across the Scottish Highlands. As we rode from place to place our guide Colin filled us in on Scottish history and folklore.
Soon after leaving Inverness we were riding along with views of Loch Ness to our left. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one on the bus who was searching for Nessie, more commonly known as the Loch Ness Monster. We didn’t stop at Nessieland, a small theme park.
Our only stop on Loch Ness was at historic Urquhart Castle. The castle is undergoing some restoration and we did not tour it. It was our last chance to see Nessie and she wasn’t cooperating.
Most of the day was spent on the spectacular Isle of Skye. There are dramatic mountains and cliffs, charming seaside villages, and gorgeous scenery all around the island.
We stopped in the town of Portree for lunch and a view of the harbor.
A few people on the bus brought back some beer from the Isle of Skye Brewery.
Our last stop on the Isle of Skye was the town of Kyleakin. It was raining as we walked around the waterfront with a nice view of the the Skye Bridge and the Kyleakin Lighthouse.
It rained most of the way back to Inverness. When we arrived in Inverness that Saturday night the restaurants and pubs were hopping with young people out on the town. We found a restaurant with no wait, had a quick supper and called it a night after a long but fantastic day.
After we returned our rental car in Cork, we set out on foot for the train station carrying and rolling all our luggage with us. The ride was relaxing and I enjoyed watching the scenery go by.
The next day we arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland after another enjoyable train ride. After we were settled in our hotel we spent the afternoon visiting the Titanic Belfast. The Titanic was built and launched from Belfast. As we walked through the self guided tour we learned about the history of the boat industry in Belfast and about how the Titanic was constructed and built. In 1912 the Titanic left Belfast for what turned out to be a doomed first voyage.
After a big Irish breakfast the next morning we met our guide Emily and boarded a tour bus for an 8 hour tour. For most of the day we would be traveling beside the water on the scenic Causeway Coastal Route. Our first destination was the Giants Causeway.
The bus made a quick stop at Dunluce Castle for a photo op. For you Game of Thrones fans the castle is one of the film locations from the series.
The Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery was just down the road. There wasn’t enough time to take a tour but we did have time for a tasting.
The scenery was stunning all along the Causeway Coastal Route.
For those with no fear of heights and a taste for adventure, the Rope Bridge at Carrick-a-Rede is must do attraction. With my fear of heights I can’t walk on swinging bridges but I enjoyed the scenery from the trail and had fun watching everyone else walk across the bridge.
We discovered palm trees grow in Northern Ireland.
There was a quick stop at CarrickFergus Castle before returning to Belfast.
Our guide Emily was awesome. She was a wonderful storyteller and kept us entertained as she told us some magical tales and a bit of Irish history. She even sang for us.
Next up, we say goodbye to Ireland and hello to Scotland.
One afternoon during our stay at a delightful Bed and Breakfast in Killarney, we took a jaunting car tour through parts of Killarney National Park. Our guide Mark and his horse Susie took us through the forest, beside the lakes, and we had our first view of Ross Castle.
On our way to our next destination near Cork, we drove to Ross Castle for a close up view. I was fascinated by all the fishermen unloading their fishing gear in the parking lot so I looked around to see where they were going. Boats were lined up on the banks of a stream which led to the lake on the other side of the stone bridge.
Ross Castle is in a beautiful setting on the banks of Killarney’s lower lake inside Killarney National Park. We wandered around the castle before driving to County Cork,
At the end of the day we arrived at our next bed and breakfast near Blarney. The gardens and views from the B&B were stunning.
On Henry’s birthday we visited Blarney Castle to join the millions of others who have climbed the steps to the top of the tower to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence.
Kissing the stone sounds easy. However, actually doing it isn’t so easy. First you must get in line and then go up a series of steps before arriving at the parapet walk at the top of the tower. Once it’s your turn to kiss the stone, you must lie on your back, hold onto an iron railing, lean backwards over a crevice, and hope you can reach the stone to kiss it! I needed help, but I did it!
Our next stop on Henry’s birthday was the pretty seaside town of Cobh which was the last place the Titanic picked up passengers before beginning it’s maiden (and only) voyage in April, 1912. We enjoyed a tour of The Titanic Experience Cobh before wandering around the waterfront and watching the activity in the harbor from a waterfront park.
Next up was a tour of the Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery in Midleton.
To top off a fun filled day we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a nearby pub.
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