Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My final posts of photos taken during our recent trip to the British Isles with Dennis and Liz Fledderjohann are of those all taken on our 4-hour train ride from Holyhead, Wales to London. These three pictures are the extreme northwestern coast of Wales before entering England near the city of Chester. (Just remember that you may see reflections in photos due to the sun shining through the train windows.)

At one point on this particular train journey, the train enters a tunnel and when it comes out of the tunnel, the castle in the above photo is visible. You have to *know* that it's coming, or you'll never have time to get your camera ready for a picture! (Fortunately, Phil told Dennis and me to be ready. Thanks, PJ!)

Wind turbines out in the Irish Sea....

....and in the photos above and below, a long-abandoned ship sitting at the water's edge. Wonder what will ever be done with this thing?

A NOT uncommon sight, regardless of the mode of transportation (except for when he's the one at the wheel, driving)! ha

Our train stopped at this little station.

One thing we look forward to when taking this particular train trip across England and Wales is the sighting, over and over, of the little houseboats on the canals that run through the Lake Country. Above and below are photos of such houseboats. (The boat in the photo below is NOT sitting in the middle of a field adjacent to a tractor, but is on a canal.) Smile. There will be more photos, but I won't add verbiage. :-)

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We had just left Ireland, the land of the shamrock, so I couldn't resist this photo of a little house in Wales as our train passed by.

Canal, Lake Country, England

Houseboat marina?

Four photos - houseboats on canals.

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Final four photos....more houseboats, Lake Country, England

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Monday, March 29, 2010

After a delightful day of travel from Edinburgh to Dublin (via trains and a bus), we checked into the Conrad Hotel Saturday evening, March 13th, where we had a great night of sleep...and enjoyed six of the largest bed pillows (each just *shy* of being a body pillow! ha) we've ever had!

We had arranged ahead of time for a rental car in Dublin. We knew that we wanted to make at least one "day trip" while there, so Sunday March 14th, the four of us took a taxi from the hotel to the rental facility where we were surprised with a Jaguar Hatchback (automatic transmission, btw) waiting for us. Phil usually gets vehicle upgrades because of the large number of car rentals he has yearly with Hertz (due to his travels with IBM), but never to a Jaguar....and we didn't even *know* that Jaguars made hatchbacks! :-) I don't even need to tell you that Phil *really* enjoyed the day! ha

Dennis took the above photo (from the back seat) of Phil's hands on the steering wheel of the car while Phil drove on an expressway from Dublin (east coast port city) across Ireland to Galway (west coast). Once we arrived in Galway and began our drive southward (headed to the Cliffs of Moher), we didn't have much to say other than exclamations such as, "Oh, my goodness!" "Oh, how beautiful!" We soon found that words were insufficient, so our utterances dwindled to, "Oh, ooh, ooooh, ah, "and such as we stared out windows, and I often yelled "Stop!" to Phil so that Dennis & I could get the *perfect* pictures. (Phil's used to that, by the way! ha)

I won't bother you with verbiage about most of the photos. Suffice it to say that both Dennis and I sat in the car, poised with cameras in hand, ready to capture the sights (such as the castle-type structure...and we actually got out of the car and walked back a distance to get pictures of this place) and abundantly beautiful & memorable scenery of western Ireland.

While paused at a red light....moss on stones.....

Colorful buildings behind ancient stone fence....

Stone........so much stone.....

...and I absolutely LOVE these photos which I took of the roadway as we drove along!

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We came to a pasture with lots of black-faced sheep, so Phil pulled off the road and right next to the fence so that we could get pictures. When the sheep and lambs saw us, they all started moving toward where we were, baaing as they came. (They thought we were there to feed them, evidently.) I was fascinated by the differing registers of sound as they all baaed....basses (deep!), sopranos, altos, and babies baaing....all at the same time! How I wish I could have recorded that sound!

Mother is insistently baaing...baby stands near.

Oh, those adorable babies, their baggy skin showing, evidently freshly shorn (lambswool, you know?).

Ah, what a way to eat! :-)

As we drove southward along the coast, we soon arrived at Black Head, a huge linear mound of limestone to our immediate left. To our right were the sights in these four photos. Stone, stone, stone....immense. Phil and Dennis walked down to rocky (sounds redundant, doesn't it?) shoreline. I zoomed to get the above photo.

The stone fence had an opening that tiny people could squeeze through! ha

In the very center of the above photo and near the water, you can see some light beige color. I zoomed in to get the bottom photo, and you can still barely see that there is a small patch of pasture there with a flock of sheep grazing. :-) (Click on the photo to enlarge, then click the "Back" arrow in the top left corner of your computer screen to return to the blog format.)

Fledderjohanns, the west coast of Ireland.

Phil and Myrna, west coast of Ireland.

Dennis picked up pieces of Irish rock for Liz and me. :-)

Phil & the Fledderjohanns, and the Jaguar Hatchback, stopped at Black Head, on the west coast of Ireland.

Roadway, western Ireland: (Clydesdale) horse-drawn carriage....

Hillside with stone fences.....

House with thatched roof, stone fence, and chickens...

mountainous limestone...and someone's favorite color is turquoise!