Sunday, August 6, 2017

11 Urgent Signs That You May Need to Visit Ireland and/or Scotland Without Delay

If you have one or more of the following symptoms, it may be crucial that you pay a visit to the country(ies) of Ireland and/or Scotland at your earliest convenience:

1. You like St. Patrick's Day.

Or St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Or St. Patrick's cross.  

Or leprechauns.

Or potato chips with tiny bits of shamrock in them.
I'm lucky on the inside AND the outside now.

2. You wish you were a viking.

Sitric "Silkenbeard," king of Dublin, is actually my ancestor. 
Not bragging or anything, but if I had a beard, pretty sure it would be silken. 
It's in the genes, man.

 Okay, I'm starting to rethink this whole viking thing.

3. You eat ice cream. 


"Delicous Ness" at Loch Ness.

                       Eating ice cream with a view.

 Sticky toffee pudding. And ice cream.

4. You want to hear some good music. 

Ireland: live traditional music in the pubs.
See the musicians there, to the right?
(I may or may not have teared up when these guys played. 
They were incredible.)


   do you think my scary neighbors 
   would move out if I got me some bagpipes?

5. You love redheads. (who doesn't?)

 We counted gingers in Dublin for a whole day. 
This gal was number 17 out of 35.

6. You think that driving on the wrong, I mean, left side of the road sounds fun.

(thank you, I need all the reminders I can get.)

 7. You like green stuff.


                 Wildflowers grow along the roads.

 The waterfalls running down the hills of Glencoe are said to be tears.
The heartbreaking MacDonald Massacre happened nearby.

If you zoom in on the background behind us, you can see the Hogwarts Express bridge.

8. You aren't scared of monsters.

                        Scoping out Loch Ness...

Oh my goodness! What is that?!

  don't touch the Kelpies
or your hand will get stuck, 
and you will be dragged underwater to drown!

9. You like castles.

   hmm... they look much smaller in person, don't they?

 just kidding! they are big and old
(Kilkenny Castle)

sometimes cold
(Stirling Castle)

and they're great for shooting at the bad guys.   
(Edinburgh Castle) 

and this one isn't a castle.
 (Rock of Cashel) 
Only religious buildings remain now, 
but  kings used to live here and cashel  and castle totally rhyme.

10. You want to experience something truly amazing. 

 the boat ride out takes almost an hour

 you can't tell from the picture how huge the waves are. 
I may or may not have been convinced that I was going to die, 
and more than one person lost their breakfast into the sea on the way out.

  so glad I wore a long rain coat. 

view from the boat. disembarking was tricky.

climbing the ancient stairs was a wee bit scary. 
maybe because they kept warning us that people have died climbing them.
(over the years, three tourists have fallen and did not survive the fall)

the monastery at the top of the stairs           

and waaaaay at the top of this amazing cliff (do you see the black stone wall up there?) the monks built another hideout where they could secrete themselves when the vikings raided the island. 
how did they build anything up there without dying??

            thousands of puffins. they let you get so close.

 the other "skellig" in the background

goodbye, Skellig Michael.
(see you in the next Star Wars movie.)

11. You have an amazing sister-in-law who is willing to hang out with your monkeys while you're away. Please be advised that you are going to miss them like crazy. Especially that baaaaby

(thank you, Heather!)

More from this American tourist:

10 Things You Wonder about the Land Down Under: the American Tourist in Sydney
Gripes and Worth-the-Hypes for the American Tourist in Paris