Scotland, London & Italy (Venice)

We had several weeks in Ireland, and from then on it was bam, bam, bam… couple days here, couples days there, buses, trains, taxis, airports, etc. First we caught a ferry from Ireland to Scotland and made our way up the city of Dundee. The next day the girls came on a little hunt to find the old Affleck Castle that apparently my ancestors lived in. It was located just outside of a teeny little town called Monikie. With the help of a hand-drawn map from a waitress at the only (but shockingly classy) restaurant in town (which was hidden waaay back in a little park), we found the yard and took our chances trespassing. Turns out, there were 3 driveways… so we tried all of them, got the tar scared out of us by a barking mutt before making enough noise to get the attention of the older woman that owned the place. I’m not real great at turning on the charm but I did my best and she at least let me get a few photos from an imaginary border she drew. She wasn’t the happiest camper I’ve ever come across but I guess she gets a ton of people trying to follow their roots back to this old relic… the waitress had actually warned us that we might get our heads chewed off so we were careful! My 2 traveling champs were awesome in putting up with me for this; I know it wasn’t near as exciting for them but I loved it. And it gave us a chance to see part of Scotland that wasn’t just the regular tourist area.

Next we caught a train to Edinburgh, Scotland – amazing. I could have spent a looong time and a LOT more money here. Just had a couple days to take it in and then we were on to London, where the lovely Sarah left us. Met up with a sweet cousin who is living and teaching over there so she showed us around. We saw a fair bit for the amount of time we were there, and it happened to be Gay Pride week so that was educational. Then there was just two of us and we flew to Venice. We had a bit of trouble adjusting to Italian and finding our campground (yes, we stayed at a campground…enjoyed the experience of a hard-core rain/thunderstorm in our sketchy little tent) but it actually worked out just fine. The actual island of Venice is incredible and glamorous and beautiful, although its sometimes hard to focus on that with all the tourists clamoring through the little alleys. But no, it was great too!

And we’ll continue this later… enjoy a few of the photos :)

Ferry food on the way to Scotland

Getting warmer… we could see the castle just behind the trees and the old greenhouses.

Tadaah!

Edinburgh-we loved the look of that castle in the center

View from the Edinburgh Castle

Had to try some local dishes like haggis

Just more great food in Scotland. No big deal.

On to London for a weekend…

A little on the haggard side as Venice begins…

Can’t go to Italy without trying their gelato

No jacked up Fords here, just gondolas comin out their kahinas

Italian goddess ;)

Walking through these stores is so awkward because you know they know you can’t afford even a thread off one of their pieces, but what the heck right.

1 euro for coffee, 7 euros to sit down

5 seconds flat?

That big red boat is a vaparetto-a water bus

Probably one of my favorite pictures from the trip

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