Friday, April 10, 2020

Tour of Scotland, England, and Wales in 2019

Ed and I embarked on an one month (Sep 2 - Oct 4) tour of the Great Britain.  We flew into Glasgow, picked up a rental car, drove (Ed the driver) to Oban first.  Using Oban as a base, we explored the surrounding area mostly via hiking.  Then we moved to Isle of Skye and did some island hopping. The weather in Scotland and Isle of Skye are very similar to Ireland:  "Scattered shower with occasional sun"


A nice young couple we met on the trail (Billy and his wife), and we shared a delicious fresh sea food lunch together after the hike.
The field was covered with beautiful heather blooms:
Hiking in the rain and visited a garden full of unique rhododendrons
I found a monks dwelling:
On the Staffin Island:


Scenery of Isle of Skye:

We took a train from Glasgow to Stratford-upon-Avon, and joined Ed's Cascadian friends for the planned hiking and biking tour of Cotswolds.
Strtford-upon-Avon, where you can see a memorial for William Shakespeare.


Broadway Tower:


Almost like in Kansas:

We got to pick wild blackberries along some trails: They were delicious!

Stopping in pubs for lunch was always delightful after a few hours of hiking:

I almost did the biking, but bailed oout along with Sue and Monica. The three of us rode the luggage van to meet up with the bikes at each destination.

 Karen and Donna suited up in the morning to ride in the rain:
While I just stayed and wondered around town:

 Visited a bird farm:
Alan our van driver:
Sue, Monica and I certainly enjoyed the English Tea and scorns:
Ed and I said good-bye to the Cascadian friends, and headed out to Wales.  Our hiking tour continued.  The weather of all the days except the last day was cloudy or rainy.  I found the folks in Wales are more villagers.  They are more reserved and seem not to go out much to support local restaurants.  As a matter of fact, Ed and I had some hard time finding restaurants to dine in a few places we stayed. But most of the time we hikes and especially enjoyed the trail along the coast.
 A picture of one of the little village:

 Coastal trail:

 The last day we got to see some blue sky:

I am so glad to have taken this tour with Ed, and was reaffirmed that I am blessed by having a brother with such a kind and generous heart.  It made me happy to see him being friendly, kind, and generous to the people we ran into on this tour: Billy and his wife, the Air B&B owners, the people who served us in the restaurants, and to his Cascadian friends.  Hence it was  indeed my pleasure to treat him with a nice sea food dinner and tiramisu for dessert before we head back separately to US.

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