The morning we drove from Rosyth to Liverpool Josephine loaded us up with tons of food and then her and John hopped in their car to lead us to the correct highway. I was so sad to say goodbye to them.
It snowed a little bit on our drive to Liverpool while we were still in Scotland, which was a little exciting but at that point Evan was very used to driving on the wrong side of the road so we were fine. The further south we got the more populated and drab the countryside became. I was totally missing the highlands and the "hairy coos". I forgot to mention in my last post about the "hairy coos" of hairy cows in normal speech. They are Scottish cows that are an orange color and have extremely long hair that covers their eyes and they are absolutely adorable! Every time Evan or I would see them we would shout out "hairy coos!". Got to love the Scottish accent.
The best part of the drive (and really the whole reason I wanted to drive from Scottland to Liverpool) was when we stopped in the adorable and beautiful small town of Thirsk, where the famous James Herriot lived and worked. James Herriot is one of my favorite authors, who was veterinarian and wrote stories about his experiences. I have read his books so many times and will continue to re-read them. His house and practice have been turned into a charming museum about his life and about the history of veterinary practice in general. It was great to see the green rolling hills that he always described in his books. Though, I must say, the rollings hills and highlands of Scotland were way better.
We made it to Liverpool around 7 that evening and dropped off the car at the John Lennon airport and hopped on the bus to Liverpool. Our hostel was really nice and Evan and I were excited because we booked a room for 2 people and there was a single double bed!!! Say what?! We have been so used to sleeping on 2 twin beds pushed together, this was quite a nice treat. The breakfast was also quite good with delicious coffee.
We only had one full day in Liverpool because the next morning our flight to Dublin left at 8 am. So we walked around the city, took the tourist bus, and went to the Beatles museum. The museum was very nice but a little too done up for me. Liverpool was a nice city but it didn't have very many trees or green spaces so I was kinda depressed by it. Everything was centered around the Beatles, which is why I wanted to go there but it was a little much.
So our flight to Dublin left stupid early in the morning (as Evan would say) and we felt pretty zonked when we got into the Dublin airport and bought some over priced coffee there. We also rented a car there so we could go hiking in the Wicklow Mountains just south of Dublin. Here is where the problems started. Whenever we rent a car Evan always puts it on his credit card that covers the insurance but of course it doesn't cover it in Ireland, Italy and Jamaica, which we find out at the airport and then have to pay 50 euros A DAY for insurance. Joder. Then we waited for 20 minutes for a shuttle car that never came to pick us up to take us to the rental car area. We had to hop in one for a different rental car provider. We got on the freeway just fine but when it came to finding the right exit the map and the roadsigns were completely different. AND if you want to exit to right, thus crossing over the freeway, they just spit you back out on the freeway going the opposite direction!! When we finally found an exit that seemed like it would take us in the right direction we ended up just driving through the countryside having no idea where we were headed because all the little towns we found weren't on the map! So we stopped at the first gas station we found and asked for directions for somewhere to go hiking. We got lost with those directions too and just started following signs for some waterfall thing. We got directed to a hiking area that was basically just a network of logging roads in a plantation of all the same kind of trees. After getting lots and asking for directions a few more times we reached a cool mountain that we climbed. There were a bunch of cute shaggy ponies hanging out on the mountain that we got some good pictures of. There was a great view of Dublin from the top of the mountain. The Irish countryside was beautiful and pretty similar to Scotland. We stayed at a super cute B and B that night in a cute tiny town. We had some pizza and cider for dinner and watched TV. It was very relaxing. I have decided that when Evan and I retire we are going to turn Evan's parents house into a bed and breakfast and that will be our income.
We dropped the car off at the Dublin airport and made our way into Dublin. Dublin was a big, beautiful city and full of life. It is funny because there were way more Mexican restaurants in the UK and Ireland than in Spain....kinda weird. Our hostel was really cool and we stayed in a 4 bed room. Over the course of the 2 nights we were there we stayed with a South African man, a French girl, and a guy from Taiwan. There were lots of Spanish tourists at our hostel and throughout Dublin as well. That first day we went to the Guiness House and Evan was overjoyed. We had had a huge traditional Irish breakfast with many kinds of sausage so we didn't eat lunch so the 2 free Guiness we had at the brewery hit kinda hard. We wandered around the city and checked out the sights before getting dinner and listening to some live music in the Temple Bar area. The whole time we were in the UK and Ireland I was drinking delicious cider. I definitely miss that here.
The next day we went on a free walking tour of the city and had a hilarious guide that told us all kinds of great history tidbits. We wanted to do the tour bus there as well but it was wayyy too expensive and the walking tour showed and told us so much. We didn't really go into any cathedrals or museums because they were expensive and we were kinda cathedral-ed out. I have been for a while actually. We spent a lot of time in this really cool bar called Against the Grain that had really good food and many different kinds of beer and cider. We saw lots of beer from Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, CA which was pretty cool. I went to a free art museum while Evan visited the Jameson Distillery to taste more whiskey. That night we broke down and got amazing burritos with delicious cheese at a burrito place. It was heaven.
I must say, it is very true that the Irish love to drink. We saw so many stag and hen parties aka bachelor and bachelorette parties that were dressed up in costume. We saw a herd of Robins like in Batman and Robin. So yes, a herd of Robins and one Batman cruising from bar to bar. The first night we were there we saw quite possibly the funniest thing ever. There was a guy in a princess dress complete with large fake breasts being supported by his two friends as they half carried him down the street. He was completely wasted. I assume he had a wig at some point but that was definitely gone. Unfortunately Evan only got a picture of him from behind.
Overall, it was a very successful trip. I really, really want to go back to Scotland. It was my favorite by far. I WILL go back someday soon!