UK Trip, Part Two

Aug 07, 2016

This part of the trip sees us through Ireland, Wales, and then back to England to spend some time in Oxford. I must admit, after driving through England and Scotland, I had the thought, 'How can things get greener? Surely the whole Emerald Isle thing is a myth, it can't be THAT different.' I was wrong. Ireland is its own shade of green; it's truly emerald, deep and alive and all over the place. Also, the stereotype about Irish hospitality? In my experience, it was totally true. The people I encountered were incredibly kind and open. They also taught me how to dance, which was unbelievably fun, however that's a video you're NOT going to see. Ever.

Crossing over.

Glendaloch, just an hour outside Dublin. Home to an ancient monastery and some of the most beautiful views you will ever see.

Our stalwart bus driver, Steve, navigating the streets of Dublin.

Georgian houses, and famous Rainbow Doors in Dublin. All of the following photos I grabbed at about six o'clock in the morning, because I woke up panicking at five about being late for the bus. Dublin early on a Saturday morning is a quiet town, which meant I could stand in the middle of the street and get photos if I wanted to without disturbing anyone.

Out of the city, and on to the National Stud Farm (which, by the way, was much more immaculate than most front yards) + Gardens. 

Sunset in Waterford, after the Great Dancing Incident of 2016.

Steve, our bus driver. By the end of the trip, I'd like to think we were great friends. I gave him lemon cake, and he called me Davina (after British photographer David Bailey). We sat outside for about forty-five minutes after dinner while he told me (hilarious) stories from his many driving adventures across the continent of Europe. 

Back in the UK, at dinner in Llanerch, a Welsh vineyard.

A fiddler we watched while waiting outside the Roman Baths, which you can see below.

Stonehenge, of course (featuring sheep which I'm pretty sure were only there for scenic purposes). At the end of this day we had to say goodbye to our tour mates, to Roxy our lovely tour director, and to Steve. After one night in London (which included seeing an incredible performance of The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre), we hopped a train and headed to Oxford.

My grandparents spent a year living in Oxford back in the 80s, and wanted to revisit their little house on M--e Road along with some friends and their church. Seeing the town (and surrounding area) through their eyes was a real treat, as was listening in to all of the intelligent, academic chatter going on in every corner.

Ah, protests. Where would we be without them?

The commons at Wolvercote. Well, that's all folks! I'm not sure if it can ever be shown in words or photographs, but this trip was life-changing. It expanded my world in so many ways; it introduced me to new friends, customs, foods, and geographies. The UK was all-out beautiful and grey and old and new. And I can't wait to go back.