It was really sad leaving beautiful Ireland but the time had come to move on to Scotland. We boarded the Stena SuperFast VII Ferry in Belfast for our 2 1/2 hour voyage to Cairnryan, Scotland. The ferry was huge with lounges, restaurants, and even free WiFi. The seas were calm and the sky was clear for the entire trip.
As the ferry was passing by our first sighting of Scotland, we saw the Corsewall Lighthouse.
We picked up our rental car at the ferry dock and were soon traveling on Scotland’s roads on our way to Glasgow, our first destination.
Glasgow is a huge city, much bigger than I thought it would be and we only had one full day to explore. After a good night’s rest we enjoyed our first Full Scottish Breakfast before starting our sightseeing. Henry tried the haggis with eggs, I passed on the haggis. We set out on foot to explore the area around the hotel. Our wandering took us to the Museum of Modern Art, George Square and the Glasgow City Council Building.
We decided the best way to see the highlights of Glasgow would be to take the Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour. The tour was about two hours around the city, making a few stops along the way. If you got off, you could get on another bus to continue the tour. The top deck of the red double decker buses were open and a guide pointed out places of interest as we went. The city is an interesting mix of old and new.
The next day our adventure was a ride from Glasgow to Inverness in our rental car. After a few wrong turns and a ride through the Glasgow suburbs the scenery got better and better as the day went on.
Inverness is a much smaller city with the River Ness running right through the center of town and a castle at the top of a hill. The name Inverness means “mouth of the Ness”. We arrived early enough to take a walk beside the river.
Next up, a full day bus tour through the Scottish Highlands.
Three days after returning home from a three week trip to Ireland and Scotland I’m still a little jet lagged, haven’t finished unpacking, and just started going through the 3,000 photos I took.
Ireland has always been at the top of our bucket list. Henry and I both have Irish ancestors and I have ancestors from Scotland so we planned our trip to see both countries.
I loved everything – the people, the jaw dropping scenery, the green fields and mountains, the sheep and cows, the castles, the churches and cathedrals, everything! And yes, Ireland really is that green! Here are a few photos from our first days in Ireland.
Dunguaire Castle, just outside Kinvara, Ireland on Galway Bay
Yes, there really are thatched roofs in Ireland
Scenic Ring of Kerry tour on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
Dingle Peninsula, west coast of Ireland
We traveled by planes, trains, automobiles, a ferry, and even a horse drawn jaunting car. We rented a car to get around and took a few bus tours along the way. We walked along spectacular cliffs, drove on narrow winding roads, stopped at castles and even did laundry at a gas station in a Scottish village. We watched a sheep dog demonstration, petted some sheep, and fed a Highland Cow. We stayed in hotels in city centers, bed and breakfasts away from town, and a castle. We sampled local beers and whiskeys in the pubs. For three weeks we ate a huge full breakfast every day and dined on delicious seafood and beef dishes at night.