We dropped back into Utah last night after three weeks in Ireland and southern England. Today is the first day I've used a desktop computer in three weeks. It was a wonderful break! I even tried to avoid using e-mail and removed my e-mail apps from my phone and tablet before going, but as soon as we got to Amsterdam our flight to Dublin was cancelled and they said "for updated travel information, check your e-mail." So the first thing I did in Europe was install Outlook. Lol.
Ireland was simply wonderful. I had no idea what a lovely country it is. Although it lacks big mountains, the hills and coastlines are rugged and beautiful. It was cool and showery too, which we absolutely loved. I think the highest temperature we saw there was about 21˚C when we were in Belfast. The rest of the time it was sweater and shell weather. I can't tell you how good it felt.
We did a full circumnavigation of the island, doing lots of short hikes and enjoying Irish food and beer. We then spent a few days in London and southern England before returning. Here's a longer than needed tour.
|This is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on the north coast. It's a short hike and requires a fee. I'm sure it is a massive tourist trap, but we get up early and it was raining and we had the place to ourselves. Fantastic!|
|Giant's Causeway is a geological formation on the north coast, also very touristy, but pretty cool. We parked in a far lot and did a nice circle hike through it.|
|Dunlewey Church (abandoned) at the head of the Poisoned Glen. Scenes like this are everywhere.|
|It is possible to hike out along the Slieve League Ridge, but my foot was still giving me trouble so we did a shorter hike up to One Man's Pass. What scenery!|
|Near the summit of Silver Hill in Connemara National Park.|
|One of our favorite areas was the Dingle Peninsula. This was taken near Clougher Head.|
|Also on the Dingle Peninsula is the Brandon Group Mountain Range. We did a short hike from Connor Pass to enjoy the vistas. Yeah, it was green. I believe that Brandon Peak is right of center in this photo.|
|Above is the view of the Gap of Dunloe from Molls Gap. The mountains to the left of the gap are the highest in Ireland at a bit over 1000 meters. My foot was not ready for an ascent on this trip, but I would like to return and hike them.|
|We flew across the Irish Sea to London for a few days. Yes, we did this. I am a closet Harry Potter film. We had a great time.|
|And it gets even better than that. As we were exiting the cathedral, one of the cathedral workers asked if we would like to see the library. I was going to say no, but somehow we decided to check it out. In it, they had a Nocolas Copernicus' De revolution iorbium coelestium, 3rd edition, published in 1617, shortly after it would have been placed on the Catholic Church's Index of Prohibited books (see https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/library/files/special/exhibns/month/apr2008.html). The first edition was published in 1542.|
Thanks for entertaining my travel blogging. I'll be attending the Mountain Meteorology Conference in Park City next week, so blogging may continue to be light for a while longer.