After Galway, we drove back to Dublin to catch a quick flight to Edinburgh. We had planned to stay several days in Edinburgh and then take a day trip to another town, but one of our days had such crappy weather, and Edinburgh was so cool that we just decided to stay there the entire three days we were in Scotland. Edinburgh is a magical fairytale land. I’m not even exaggerating. There are castles (note the plural) and hidden passageways all over the place. Also, Edinburgh is where JK Rowling wrote the first and the last Harry Potter book so there is a ton of Harry Potter history. We visited the graveyard where JK chose some of the character names from tombstones, walked past the coffee shop where she wrote, and saw the school that Hogwarts was based on.
The first day we just got acclimated to the city and wandered the Royal Mile and then took a tour of the haunted underground that night which was truly terrifying. Definitely the scariest ghost tour I’ve taken (and I’ve taken a lot of them.) Space was so tight that people used to live underneath the buildings in these damp, dark cavelike rooms where lots of terrible things happened. On the second day, we went to tour the castle on top of the city. I was really taken with the story of Mary Queen of the Scots. Did you guys know she died in her early 20’s? Then we so were shocked that it was actually raining and cold (for the first time the entire trip) that we went to see a movie. I know this sounds weird, but it is a thing we have done on every trip to Europe so far, and there is something really special about doing something so normal in such a far away place. On the third day, we walked around the new town and then hiked up Calton Hill for some truly breathtaking views of the city. Edinburgh is like nowhere else. I really hope I can visit it again one day.
All of this was shot on Portra 400, Portra 160, or Ilford Delta 3200 and scanned and process by Photovision.
Sorry for the two (or three) weeks of radio silence. What had happened was some jerk hacked our website. The really cute thing about having your website hacked is that the hackers usually create a backdoor in your files. So you can have the whole thing cleaned up and feel like you’ve washed your hands of the situation and then realize that the rat bastards hacked right back in and you have to start all over again. So that was me over the past two weeks. Cursing in between sips of egg nog. I think I fixed it but if you see any weird things, let me know. Also, while I was cleaning all the files I accidentally deleted our subscribers list. So if you wanted to get an email when we post (which is not quite as often as it used to be), then please subscribe again.
Let’s discuss Dublin, since we haven’t yet, which is really a shame. But first, a quick story about our trip into Castletowne Geoghegan on our way back into Dublin after staying in Dingle and Galway. While we were in Galway, Corey decided to do some sleuthing into his family history via the Geohagan Facebook page (yes that’s a thing). He found out that the town from which the Geohagans originated would be on our way and was called Castletowne Geoghegan which led me to believe that I would be given a castle upon arrival. I wasn’t, which is also a shame, but we did meet a charming bartender who answered all of our questions and served Corey a pint even though his bar wasn’t open yet. Also, a sweet Irish man stopped his car and asked me for directions while I was taking the picture below of Corey in front of the sign which led me to believe that I should maybe one day be a local.
The thing I loved most about Dublin was that even though it was a big city, there was still so much charm. We were really lucky because we were able to stay with friends who live in a great townhome right in downtown and they told us all of the good things to do and see. They also have an adorable cat named Sprout that made our time away from our kitties a little less painful. We kept her in our room at night to try to force her to cuddle with us. Some of our favorite things were walking around Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green and taking a tour at the Trinity College by the students in Harry Potter robes. We also did the Guinness Brewery Tour which was cool for the view at the top but not the best tour we’ve ever had (Corey preferred the Smithwick’s Tour in Kilkenny). The food was all delicious. Don’t let those liars tell you that the food in Ireland is bad because they are just trying to keep you away. It is delicious. Some of our favorites were Neon Asian Street Food, Bunsen, Fallon and Byrne (the wine cellar section), and Bibi’s Cafe. I’m particularly sad that I’m not there right now because apparently Dublin really does it up for Christmas. Ah Dublin, until we meet again…
After Dingle, we drove up to stay a couple of nights in a little town called Oranmore, just outside of Galway. Although we enjoyed our time in Oranmore, if I had to do it again I would probably just stay in Galway so we would have been able to spend more time there. We spent a few hours on the first day wandering around Galway Old Town, which was adorable, and eating pretty much everything they had to offer. Most notably, we both shoved an entire pizza from Dough Bros Pizza into our faces, and it was one of our favorite meals of the entire trip. The next day we took our time driving through the Burren and then to the Cliffs of Moher, which is every bit as spectacular as anyone has ever said. I remembered/found out from some other American girls that the cliffs was where they filmed that great scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Dumbledore and Harry went to find a horcrux together. Obviously when I got back to our room I watched the scene in its entirety. I think that was one of my favorite things about Ireland. It doesn’t matter where you are or who you are talking to, everyone is so nice and welcoming. Even other tourists are more delightful.
On the third day, we were planning on going to the Aran Isles, which I’m sure would have been amazing. But we had just been seeing a whole bunch of cliffs so we thought a change of scenery might be nice. Instead we decided to go to Connemara. Oh man did I love Connemara. I felt like we were in this isolated magical place with mountains, lakes, bogs, and sheep (lots of sheep). The drive through the park is truly unbelievable. We visited Kylemore Abbey which is right in the middle of this mystical, beautiful place, and it pretty much blew my mind. Ask Corey, I was jumping around like a maniac the entire time I was there. The abbey has a romantic and tragic back story, where a man built the home for his wife in the late 1800’s after they fell in love with the area on their honeymoon. The wife tragically died 14 years later, and the home transferred ownership several times until it ended up as a school.
I started with the Connemara pictures and ended up with the Cliffs of Moher because I liked the order better that way :).