Tuesday, June 30, 2015

London is Awesome!

Trafalgar Tour Day 8 (last day)


This old city still has its original Roman Baths. It was awesome going through the old part of this city and seeing how the Romans used the baths, and how the city was laid out. This is another place I would love to come back to and enjoy the view.


We had seen this castle before the Trafalgar tour started, so I ended up exploring the local farmers market. Also, since horse races were happening, the Queen was in residence!


I love London! It is super hectic, especially when you are trying to learn the tubes. My gosh! So many bodies, and very little ventilation. Defiantly suggest you give yourself 30 to 45 minutes more time to get somewhere if you’ve never used the tubes before. Especially when the close tubes for maintenance. Also recommend getting an Oyster card for public transportation, it’s so much cheaper and you can get your unused money back (score!).

I also went on a separate Jack the Ripper Tour. The tour guide from London Walks was amazing! I will say that in total I counted 11 other Jack the Ripper Tours going on at the same time, and only one other was associated with London Walks. This was also only one of the meeting times, there was at least 2 other times during the day that this walk was happening. That is a lot of tours! So sad I couldn’t do a Sherlock Homes Tour. Next time!

Monday, June 29, 2015

I love Wales!

Trafalgar Tour Day 7

A four our ferry ride from the Republic of Ireland to Wales. I personally enjoyed the ferry from Scotland to Ireland better. I don't know if they were different companies, or perhaps it was an older ferry this time, but it wasn't as nice of a vehicle as the one that brought the tour to Northern Ireland.

There was also quite a bit of driving on this day. SO much!


This city was amazing! I would love to go back and just have time to explore Cardiff. We really didn't have much time to explore the city, but what I was able to visit was wonderful. We sadly also just missed what looked like an awesome Renaissance festival. But, there is always next time!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Awesome Republic of Ireland!

Trafalgar tour Day 6 (Republic of Ireland)


This was an awesome area if you were looking for a quiet, secluded part of Ireland. It was very quite and I would have loved to have stayed in this area for one more day. They had a wonderful farmers market, and a beautiful town.


I loved Waterford. We had a local tour guide walking us around the area showing us the different parts of the old town and the awesome historical information we would have missed on our own. Interesting fact, it's home of one of the only architects that designed several different religious churches, and whose wife also had 22 kids! So many!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ireland! (both the Northern side and the Republic)

Trafalgar Tours Day 4 and 5

We took a 3 ½ hour ride on the ferry from Scotland to Ireland. The ferry was awesome, the food was better than the fast food you would get on the farriers in Washington.  I will not lie, there was a lot of driving this day


Another working city, we briefly stopped here before moving on to the Republic of Ireland. I will say, it had a very interesting memorial to President Bill Clinton.


I personally did not enjoy my time in this city. It could have been my lack of sleep from the night before, it could also have been with my issues/problems I had with reading the map of the city. No matter how many times I orientated myself on the map, I got lost every time. It was so frustrating and overrode my ability to enjoy the town. It was a bit like Seattle hopped up on steroids. We used their tram to get back to the city, and it only took cash (euros) and we only had pounds. It also wouldn’t take our cards, which wasn’t fun. I do know that most of the rest of the group had fun while in town shopping, so perhaps it was just me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I Love Scotland!

Trafalgar Tour days 2 and 3
Grasmere (England)

We took a wonderful ferry ride in the Lake District. Windermere lake was beautiful and it was a relatively clear day. We saw old homes, caught a swimming race, and in some ways the view was very similar to Washington states ferry rides.

Glasgow (Scotland)

This city is a very working city. It is in some ways like Seattle, in that you have the local population working their every day jobs while tourists run around the city. It was definitely not like Seattle, in that many of the old buildings were centuries old. They were wonderful buildings, filled with many different themes. We ate dinner at Thai-lishises. It was an amazing meal.

Edinburgh (Scotland)
I love this city! I could not gush enough about this place. In some ways it is the old city that everyone wants to visit. We had a local tour guide showing us around. I learned so much about half hung Mary and other local old issues, like taxing people when they entered and when they left, which caused some people who were born there, to die there (in the old days). We visited a castle, ate haggis, bangers and mash, and just missed out on doing an underground city tour.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Trafalgar Trip Here I Come!

UK Day 2

Trafalgar Tour, Day 1

Going on day 2 of our UK trip and I have to say that I am getting tired of this weird nasal drip I acquired on the airplane ride over. Losing my voice and constant snot in my stomach is not fun.
This is the first group tour trip I’ve gone on, and I think that it is a good way to get your world travel started in a safe environment. It’s kind of like a cruise, but way more land, and less food included.


Ann Hathaway- Shakespeare’s Wife House and Shakespeare's town

Didn’t actually go in, but did look around the outside. Not a bad looking place. Restored to look era appropriate, not the actual house since that place was apparently derelict, and possibly burned down. They did do a group photo here that I thought was a little weird since our group didn't actual go into the house, but I opted out of this anyway.

 This part of UK had several options in relation to Shakespeare. You could by admission to see his birthplace, which also included Hall's house (his daughter's house) and Harvard house (the home of one of the original founders of Harvard University in the US), or you could buy the 5 house pass. We bought the first one, only looked at Shakespeare's birthplace, than huffed it down to wear he was buried. This place is operated by the local church and cost 2 pounds for admission.


I love York! I want to go back soooo bad.  Defiantly a fun place to spend time, but probably need at least 3 days to do so. Fun fact, all the butchers used to have businesses all in the same place, which caused a horrible street display of gross disgusting guts when the hocked the unusable parts into the streets, this street name was shambles. So, when someone says a place is in shambles, you now know where the meaning comes from!


Didn’t really spend too much time out and about in Leeds, it was more of a stopping point of the night. The hotel did have sample soap, conditioner, and hand soup. It also had heated towel racks, and a 2 faucet sink, one for hot and one for cold. The food they served for dinner was amazing, and the view was wonderful.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Have Arrived (in London!)

Let me just start out by saying that a 24 hour day is not something that you should look forward too! Especially if most of that day is flying.

I flew out to Iceland on Iceland Air, and let me just say that I really enjoyed this airline, even if my in flight entertainment didn’t work. They were waiting at the door with a bottle of water, and each seat had a pillow and a blanket. The only complaint I have is that they kept saying that two trolleys would be coming by, one with paid items and one with complementary items. Both times and on both flights, only one came by, which was very confusing.

After arriving in Iceland, I had about an hour to entertain myself. And let me just day, the airport portion that I occupied made me feel like I was in a very expensive Ikea. Nice quality items, with clean uncomplicated lines. It will be interesting to see how I feel  about this airport after spending 9 weeks in Amsterdam. After a three hour flight to London, I finally made it to my hotel, yeay!

One thing to note, at least about the hotel I stayed in (IBIS), is that you don’t get complementary shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles. Instead you get two auto dispensers. One is hand soap next to sink, and the other is soap in the shower. There are no wash clothes provided, so you’ll either use your hands or bring a washcloth, shower scrubber, etc...

After sleeping 12 hours, dad and I did a Stonehenge tour. We hit Winchester Castle, Oxford, and finally Stonehenge at sunset. This was scheduled with Evans Evans Tours (which was an amazing tour company).

Windsor Castle

Was a lovely place, sadly we were unable to see the church, and weren’t allowed to take pictures in the state rooms, but it was filled with large paintings of past important people, and loads of swords, guns, and armor.


This was a really interesting old timey town/school.

Notice anything Hogwarty about this?

Sun dial that is apparently close to useless the majority of the time, but still lovely

One of the libraries


This was amazing to see. We were able to get photos of this location without any persons in the scene. The stones are huge, monolithic, and amazing to try and figure out how they were moved and stacked.

Overall a good way to end the first full day in England :)