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  • Writer's picture Jana

We Celebrate the Summer Solstice in Ireland!

We started planning our five-week trip to Ireland and Scotland last August, just a month after we arrived home from Portugal. The amount of time it took to complete the planning far exceeded anything I could ever have imagined. We did it all ourselves, including nineteen different accommodations and countless timed-entry tickets to a variety of sites. That said, only two days into our trip and I can say it was worth it.

We departed on Tuesday, June 20, and arrived last evening in Trim, Ireland, after twenty-one hours of traveling, door-to-door. We had quite a bit of drama before we left when we realized two of our tickets (Garin's and mine) had been entered incorrectly by American Express, who we used on the outbound leg, to book our flights. Our passports didn't match the ticketing information and that's never good. Dealing with that crisis kept me up until nearly 2 AM, the night before we departed, and took up much of the next morning when I should have been taking care of all that last-minute, day-of-travel stuff that is unavoidable. After countless phone calls to American Express, American Airlines, and the TSA, we were never able to sort it out and had to deal with it at the airport, once we arrived. Fortunately, they were able to reissue the tickets and get us on our flight.

Everything went smoothly from there on out, until we arrived in Dublin to get our rental car. They informed me that they only had a manual/stick shift car for hire. I know how to drive one, but haven't in many years and would have preferred not to deal with that hassle in addition to adjusting to driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road (in a country with fairly crazy drivers and frighteningly narrow roads).

But we made it to Trim last, with me only driving into head-on traffic a few times en route from Dublin. I would call that a success! Today I did a little better, but I still need a fair amount of practice to get this driving thing down. Recovering from the jetlag and eight-hour time difference won't hurt either.

We had a fairly peaceful evening our first night and a great first day, I am happy to report.

Although the trip was long, it went fairly smoothly with no late or canceled flights, which is a lot to be grateful for these days. Fitzy is at home at the Wisner's house, which is where he is pampered beyond belief and always enjoys his time away from us when we are traveling.

Our first evening in Trim was lovely. The sun didn't set until well after 10 PM, so we were able to do a little scouting around when we arrived. We were pleased with our family room at our B and B and had a delicious Indian dinner at Khan Spices in the center of town. The Indian food in the UK is superb and this restaurant did not disappoint. The kids and I, who are connoisseurs of Indian food, decided it was the best Indian food we have ever had! Miles (and Graham), both fell asleep at the table after the long day of travel and the jet let.

This morning, started our day with a full Irish breakfast, prepared by our lovely hosts, Caroline and Rob, at the Caravogue House in Trim. We even had a neighborhood cat visit us during breakfast, which was an unexpected, but welcome surprise.

Our first stop was the Battle of the Boyne, in Drogheda, Oldbridge, which is where the largest battle even fought on Irish soil, was fought. To read more about this fascinating piece of Irish history use this link:

Our next stop was the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. It is Ireland’s richest archaeological landscape and is situated within a bend in the River Boyne. Brú na Bóinne is famous for the spectacular prehistoric passage tombs of Knowth, Newgrange, and Dowth which were built circa 3200BC. These ceremonial structures are among the most important Neolithic sites in the world and contain the largest collection of megalithic art in Western Europe. To read more about his fascinating place, use this link:

We were even allowed inside one of the larger tombs. To stand inside a sacred burial ground that was built nearly 5000 years ago is not something you do every day, and was certainly an experience none of us will soon forget. Older than Stonehenge, this was a remarkable experience.

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