A short but intense holiday among the wonders of Scotland and Ireland.
August 16 2013
We leave from Rome Ciampino airport on August 16 at 11.00 with destination Edinburgh (Ryanair flight). We arrive at about 13.30 pm and immediately make the ticket for the bus that will take us? to the city center. We get off the bus and we start looking for the tourist information point, which we know is near the central train station (Waverly Station). Once found, we go in and take all the information possible for the visits to be done in the city? and out (Lochness). We take a map of Edinburgh and walk away to our hotel (Destiny Scotland-Campus Accomodation 200? For 4 nights for a double room with shared bathroom). We take a nice walk of almost 3 km and on the way, taken by hunger, we stop at a bar where we have a bite. So let's taste the first typical dish of Scotland, the famous Pies, stuffed savory pies. We finally arrive at our hotel, which actually? ? a hostel with shared bathroom and we take possession of the room. Just enough time to put down our small suitcases, freshen up and immediately we set off to reach the center again to visit the city. We have walked one of the most? important, The Royal Mile, the road that sees Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Palace at both ends. Did we enter the streets of the city? old and we passed the famous? The Elephant House ?, the pub where the writer JK Rowling gave birth to the adventures of Harry Potter.
For dinner, given the late hour, and since here they are used to eating very early, we find almost everything closed and therefore we are forced, in spite of ourselves, to opt for a banal pizza from a banal Pizza Hut !!!
August 17 2013
Alarm clock ringing very early. A very busy day awaits us. We left the hostel around 6.30 and at 7.00 we were already there. sitting in the front row on the van that would have accompanied us on our trip to discover the Lochness monster.
The driver, a very nice and exuberant guy named Patrick? was also our guide. The tour ? in itself quite tough since Loch Ness is more? 200 km from Edinburgh and we had to go and come back in the day, but all? been made pleasant by the majesty? and the beauty of the places that we gradually met.
After an hour the first stop is made at a service area where there was given the opportunity? to see the Highlander cows, the very famous orange cows that are normally encountered only in the North of Scotland but which are raised here by the owner of the motorway restaurant.
Resumed the trip another significant stop? what is done at the foot of Glencoe, a very suggestive hilly area that characterizes the Scottish Highlands and what? It has also been used as a location for films such as Bravehart and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Around 13pm we arrive at Loch Ness to try to see the dreaded monster. Our guide gives each of us two sandwiches, a fruit juice, an apple and biscuits and leaves us free to wander around for about an hour. After devouring everything that was in our possession (the Scottish air makes us hungry) we went to a fish and chips nearby and took one to take away so we could enjoy it on the shores of the lake.
Once refreshed, did we walk a bit? on the lake, took the usual photos near the sign with the word LochNess and around 14:00 we returned to the parking lot to find ourselves with our guide and with the other passengers.
After two hours of travel the last stop of the tour, Pitlochry, a small but nice village where we stopped for an ice cream. We stayed there for about half an hour and then we took the bus and the way back. We arrived in Edinburgh around past 19pm.
Unfortunately in the city? at that time almost all the premises had already? closed but fortunately we found a restaurant with specialties? fish (Mussel & Steak Bar) with longer hours? accessible to us and we booked them for 21:00, in the meantime we did a little tour in the historic center. At 20:30 they called us from the restaurant to tell us that our table was ready earlier than expected and so we immediately rushed them since? hunger was starting to make itself felt again. We ordered a very tasty salmon steak and the famous Scottish haggis served rolled in a layer of puff pastry. All very good indeed.
August 18 2013
This morning we started the day with a full Scottish breakfast with eggs, bacon, haggis, tomatoes, toast and jam.
Soon after we started towards the center, our destination this morning? Edinburgh Castle. Once there there was a long enough queue but despite this in a good half hour we were able to get the tickets. The castle ? very large and it took us the whole morning to visit it all. There are many indoor halls to visit such as the Treasury Hall, the Weapons Hall, the Scottish History Hall and the prisons, but also many things to see outdoors. on the pi? from the top of the castle you can enjoy a fantastic view of the whole city.
Once the visit of the castle was over, we headed towards the city center? chock full of street performers why? in this period here in Edinburgh there? a very famous festival and the city? it is filled with artists of all kinds. After listening to various groups scattered on the street, we headed towards the Greyfriars cemetery famous for the tender story of Bobby, a little dog who, after the death of his master, has watched over his grave for 16 years. In fact, inside the cemetery there? Bobby's grave filled with flowers, letters and drawings of children and toys suitable for dogs.
Leaving the cemetery, we realized we were close to one of the nearest churches? famous of the city, the Cathedral of St. Giles and so, of course, we also went in to take a look.
Since? here we eat very early around 18:00 we went to dinner in a cute restaurant in the old area. We ordered salmon and haggis again but this time the haggis wasn't there? not liked at all, in fact we could not finish it.
After dinner we still had a few hours of daylight to take advantage of and so we headed towards a famous monument in Edinburgh, Calton Hill, which is located inside a very large park and frequented by many Scots who use it as an ideal base. for picnics and walks with dogs.
To conclude the evening we went to World? S End, the largest pub. old town famous for the production of their typical beer. After a nice drink we went back to the hotel to rest a bit, tomorrow the last Scottish day awaits us!
August 19 2013
Today ? our last day on Scottish soil. This morning we woke up very calmly and again decided to have a nice savory breakfast so that we could skip lunch and wander around the city.
We headed to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the last residence of the rulers of Scotland and the Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Unfortunately we didn't have cash with us and we didn't? was it possible to enter since our ATM did not? past.
On the way back we stopped to visit the Parliament building. The entrance ? free, you only have to queue at the entrance for the check
After a brief visit of the aforementioned building we returned to the center and visited a small museum of toys with free admission. Leaving there, we stopped in a nice place along the road where we ate a typical dish. These are boiled potatoes to be filled with what more? It is preferred. We ate them stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise and cheese and a whimsical salad. Really very good.
Around 17:00 after we stopped to buy the last souvenirs we headed to the hotel to change and wear something more? heavy, the long awaited Royal Military Tattoo awaits us tonight! It is a military parade in which military bands from different countries of the world parade under the beautiful scenery of Edinburgh Castle.
The show ? lasted about two hours, it has a slightly high cost but it is absolutely worth it !!
August 20 2013
This morning we left the hotel very early since? at 08:20 we had a flight to Dublin (Ryanair flight for the price of 23?).
We arrived in Ireland around 09:30 and left the airport we went downtown to take possession of our hotel, but when we got there they told us that the rooms were all full and that they had placed us in another hotel nearby ( Arlington Hotel).
Leaving the luggage, we go out to put something under our teeth and find a very nice American-style restaurant.
Finished having breakfast / lunch, we walk towards the Trinity Collage. The tour in Italian? already? started and so we decide to take a ride alone and after taking some pictures we head to the library where you? the famous Book of Kells. The library is definitely worth the ticket price ,? really beautiful and huge.
Leaving there we head towards the center to visit it a bit? and then we go back to the hotel to rest for an hour.
Around 19:00 we go out again and after a small stop at the Hard Rock for the usual photos we head towards the famous Temple Bar area for a small tour of the premises with relative drink !!
August 21 2013
Does the alarm go off a bit? pi? late this morning, we have a leisurely breakfast and then with a 30 minute train ride we head to Howth, a small fishing village on the outskirts of Dublin.
Arrived there, after taking some pictures of the cute little port where we were lucky enough to be able to admire a seal, we headed towards a small cliff and with some difficulty? we went down to the sea. The water was really freezing and we were unable to bathe in it.
Before returning to Dublin we took a walk on the pier and reached the lighthouse.
Once in Dublin we took a bus that would take us to Kilmainham Gaol, the historic prisons of Dublin, now transformed into a museum. Unfortunately, they were on the outskirts and the ride wasn't? it was very short, so when we got there we found that they would close after an hour and that they could only be visited with a guided tour in English, but everything was complete. (Here's a good reason to return to Dublin).
Returning to the center we passed in front of the Guinness factory, which we preferred not to visit, and then we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is really worth a visit. Leaving there we passed inside the St. Stephens green, a huge park of about 9 hectares.
After relaxing for half an hour, lying quietly on the lawn, we decided to go to Merrion Square to see the famous statue representing Oscar Wilde. The statue looks real, Oscar Wilde in green jacket and dark pants leaning on a rock.
To end the evening we went to a typical Irish pub to eat something and have a nice cold beer before returning to the hotel. Wake up early tomorrow? a tiring day awaits us to reach the fantastic Cliffs of Moher.
August 2 2013
This morning we woke up early and at 07:00 we were already? sitting in the bus that would take us to the Cliffs of Moher. Having no chance? to rent a car we decided to rely on one of the many tours in the city.
After about four hours of travel we finally arrived at the Cliffs and there? been given the opportunity? to be able to visit them independently for about two hours. The cliffs are beautiful, very high and very suggestive. We recommend everyone to visit them why? they represent one of those views that you will not easily forget.
At about 13:00 the bus? restarted and after about half an hour yes? stopped in the Burren to give us the chance? to take some pictures and let us admire more? its wonders up close.
After about twenty minutes spent admiring this wonderful panorama, we left for Galway, one of the cities? pi? greats of Ireland after Dublin.
The city? ? really nice, very lively and colorful and with a historic center full of artists and people from all over the world. After taking a stroll downtown we went into a pub to enjoy a great pint of Guinness accompanied by excellent Galway oysters.
We left for Dublin around 16pm.
Once back in the city? we had dinner in the restaurant of our hotel and then we decided to take a walk to reach the Temple Bar area to make a last tour of the various places before returning to the hotel. Unfortunately, tomorrow we return home.
This holiday ? it was short but intense and we won't forget it easily.