It took a while but I was finally able to get all of the photos uploaded from our last trip in Europe. Yup, there are a lot but it truly was an EPIC trip. I really do hate to admit it but MIUK (Maggie In The UK) was a better trip that MITA08 (details here and here). Over 9 days we went about 1200 miles driving across Scotland, Ireland and Wales and it was Awesome!! Here’s an example of just how great the trip was. Happy Snaps posted and details after the break.
The last part of the Tucker’s European Vacation was to complete the tour of the Three Kings and the Scottish whiskey tour. We started with an overnight ferry from Zeebrugge to Rosyth, outside of Edinburgh. This was better than the Athens-Heraklion ferry because we didn’t have to get up at 5 to get off the ferry at 6. This ferry didn’t dock until 13oo which was OK because we were able to get right into Edinburgh. We spent the rest of the 27th and the morning of the 28th in Edinburgh and then drove up to Inverness by way of Dundee, the birthplace of Scotland’s Favorite Son, Robert Burns. The morning of the 29th, we toured the best of the Scottish single malt whiskey distilleries, Glenmorangie. A quick note: I’d entertained the thought of testing the different types of whisky whilst living overseas, however, when the bottles get above €20 a bottle, I passed. When a Scot buddy of mine offered to teach Jon and me about proper Scottish whiskey, I was happy for the chance. Once it was over and done with, I found out that of all the single malt whiskeys, including the expensive 18 and 21 year old ones, I really preferred the bog standard Glenmorangie Original both straight and with a wee bit of water. So, at the end of the distillery tour, they let you sample a wee dram of Glenmorangie. Not just the cheap stuff either. Nope, we got a bit of the GOOD stuff, Lasanta. That is now the Uber special occasion sippin whiskey. Not just the “Look at me, I’m an Eagle Scout” or “I graduated from school” special occasions, either. Nope. I’m talking about the “Look at me, back in the STATES!!” type occasions!! And just one, wee sip, not the drunken frat house guzzle junkie!! For the record, Kelly and I goth just tasted the whiskey, Matt and Nyssa were very happy to finish our samples!!
We then went down to Oban and skirted the shores of the Lock Ness. That single track road was THE best road in Europe but only because I was never able to get onto Top Gear’s Best Driving Road. I have a GoPro video of the road but won’t be able to get it posted until I get my editing computer next week or so.
After Oban, we ending up in Glasgow for the night. Admittedly, a couple of stops were just for the “block check” but Matt and I did spend some time in an Official Rangers FC store. I had to get me scarf to hang on Maggie’s passenger seat with my Liverpool FC scarf! That afternoon, we caught the ferry over to Belfast because I wanted to see Shankill Road and the murals. I have to admit that my spidy senses were tingling driving down the Shankill, especially after seeing the police car that had more armor on it than an MRAP!! We quickly left Belfast after seeing a couple of murals and headed towards Dublin.
We ended up spending two nights in Dublin and it was great. The first night, we ate at the Bloody Horse and watched the Spain-Portugal WC match. Not too many better places to watch a football match than in an Irish pub! The next day, we wandered the city checking out Trinity College, the Book of Kells and the Guinness Brewery, where Matt earned his certification in the proper pulling of a Guinness Stout!! The 30th we spent down in Kilkenny Castle and caught the overnight ferry from Dublin to Liverpool.
In Liverpool, we saw Anfield, home of the Liverpool FC, John Lennon’s boyhood home and killed a pigeon. Yup, deader than shit. A suicidal pigeon tried to beat Maggie across the road and lost. Scared me!! Kelly wanted me to keep on of its feathers as a souvenir!?! We then drove over to Caernarfon, Wales but along the way were attacked by a rampaging sheep that had jumped its fence! Yeah, I could see the look in its face as it cleared the hedge, “I’m free!! Oh, shit!!” Fortunately, it was able to avoid us as Maggies’ excellent brakes stopped us short. Eventually we made it to Caernarfon and saw the castle and Royal Welch Fusilier Museum. That evening we stayed in a B&B in Hay-on-Wye, the city of books. Luckily for us, Kelly didn’t wanna see all 26 of the used bookstores in the village, just the best dozen, or so!
Finally, on the 3rd, we plowed back down to Dover, caught the ferry and wandered home to Kerkrade. We took the 4th as a down day and on Monday, the 5th, I put Maggie on the boat to ship her home.
Well, what a trip!! Now, I’ve gotta get goin and finish cleaning house. Tomorrow, the inspector is coming to clear us from the quarters so I can start another trip: the Tucker’s Grand Return to the United States of America!!