Our trip to Ireland, bookended by England happened because of people.
There are many memorable things about our summer trip to England and Ireland, but spending time with people we knew was a big highlight!
We forged a plan to travel to Ireland for 2016 in 2014 while old friends visited from Germany. The four of us wanted to get together again and wanted it to be sooner than the nine years since our earlier visit. The question was, “how do we make this happen?”
We discussed the possibility of meeting up while traveling and moved onto places we wanted to visit, but had not. Tom immediately said, “Ireland.” This location was also on their list.
We agreed on Ireland and the summer of 2016, figuring we had lots of time to make our plans.
Christmas of 2015, family was home from England. They suggested we visit them as well. We planned to do so, but hadn’t figured out the details. Jonny was great in suggesting a route allowing us to begin and end our trip in England. Instead of traveling back and forth in one country and then heading to the other, we would travel in one direction, starting and stopping in London. This also simplified travel arrangements to and from the U.S. Once we had that information and a contact in Europe who could make recommendations to us, the planning became much easier.
We landed in London and took the bus south where we spent the first days of our trip in the Dorchester, Dorset area. Reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying such a relaxing atmosphere was the perfect way to start a long trip. Thank you Sony, Alastair, Jonny and Abby. We had a great time!
Then we were off to Ireland. After landing in Dublin and renting a car, Tom navigated the challenges of driving on the ‘other side’ of the road. The first week we spent alone in county Kerry, Tralee.
From there we drove to county Galway, Galway and connected with our friends from Germany. What a delightful adventure, the four of shared as we toured the surrounding area and explored the seashores. Thank you Gudrun and Caj! We also had the pleasure of meeting Larena and Chris, missionaries to the youth in Galway.
We spent a few days in county Wicklow – Bray exploring by ourselves. One day was a train ride to Dublin where we explored part of the city; one we went to Waterford to visit the crystal factory and a trip to a lighthouse that has been in operation over 800 years; one we explored local gardens and old city ruins.
Then a short flight from Dublin to London allowed us to explore parts of London and wind down with Tim and Marina. This provided an opportunity to slow down a little and reconnect with family before heading back to America and home. Thank you Tim and Marina for your hospitality!
Interactions with people are what I tie my memories of places to. This trip was so rich with those experiences and opportunities. There are many we exchanged conversations with not mentioned here; they each added to my memories.
Thank you all for contributing to my memories. It was an amazing epic trip.