Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reflections on our Ireland/Scotland Trip

My first reflection is actually a question and the question is "when can we go again?"  We did so much but we could go again and again and never repeat anything.  Isn't that the truth about travel anywhere?

There wasn't much I didn't like except for the prices of food in Ireland and the fact that all signs in Ireland, including road signs, are in Gaelic first and English second.  That's even though in our whole time there I only heard one conversation conducted in Gaelic.  People assured me that all students study Gaelic though.  I loved the roundabouts.  That's because by the time we were reading the English on the signs, we had missed where we should exit so we could just go around again. 
Back to the topic of the price of meals ... they were expensive and the amounts were excessive.  I think American restaurants give ridiculously large portions, but Irish ones were even larger.  There is so much waste.
I wish we would have had time to go further onto the Dingle Peninsula.  I loved the parts we saw.
The deforestation depressed me, especially in the Highlands of Scotland.  Someone assured me that the companies must plant new trees but I honestly didn't see it in any of the places we were.
I LOVED that there are virtually no pickup trucks in Ireland and Scotland.  I saw a total of two and driving is so much more relaxing when you don't have maniacal oil boys zooming by in ridiculously large pickups at ridiculously high speeds.
I LOVED the ruins everywhere and the rich history that goes back centuries.  Nothing seems to be torn down, but rather kept in whatever condition money allows. 
I LOVED that we were in pretty, little places where we could enjoy nature rather than being on roads filled with box stores and commercialism.
I LOVED traveling with this man ... there's no one I would rather travel with.
I LOVED the castles and, really, we didn't see too many regardless of what I said
about being castled out.
I LOVED going through every door and every gate because I could expect
  great experiences beyond.
I LOVED the gardens whether wild or tamed.
I LOVED the countryside which held surprises in every direction.
I LOVED the people we met and the stories they had.
When I was going out to Trossachs to pick saskatoons, I was imaging the drive from the point of view of Irish or Scottish visitors.  They would be taking photos of the wide, wide two lane road, the barbed wire fences, the beautiful canola fields, and so much more.  They would be remembering the friendly Canadians who chatted with them at the Co-op gas station or the café.  They would love the Walmart and Canadian Tire and lament that they don't have them at home.  We live in a great place and Bob and I are so fortunate to be able to visit other places too.


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