Page 2 of AndrewHL Travel Blog Posts


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Isle of Skye August 12th 2017

Between Greenock and Inverness was a day at sea in which we would sail though the Hebrides archipelago, past the Isle of Sky and around the northern tip of mainland Scotland. Both the Inner and Outer Hebrides could be seen in the distance as Caribbean Princess navigated the Sea of the Hebrides and The Minch. (The Minch is the body of water between the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland.) South Uist in the Outer Hebrides was clearly visible, but distant. We did pass very close to the Isle of Skye in the early afternoon and were afforded an excellent view of its wild, rockbound and mountainous landscape. Neist Point and its lighthouse, Loch Pooltie and the Duirinish Peninsula could be seen. As the afternoon progressed, islets in the Outer Hebrides appeared as well as the ... read more
South Uist
South Uist
DSC_0536p1

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin August 8th 2017

Returning to Dublin the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough, we drove up the left bank of the Liffey, admiring the many bridges. Because of the delayed arrival of Caribbean Princess at Dublin that morning, the tour was about two hours behind schedule. The motorcoach let us off at Trinity College for some planned free time to explore. We made a dash for Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells exhibit before it closed at 5:00 p.m. The Book of Kells is an elaborately illuminated manuscript book of the Gospels ca. 800, a must-see in Dublin. We made it in time to see it and its companions on display, as well as the Long Room, the original reading room of the library, now a museum. Afterwards, there was time to see the main campus area and ... read more
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Rory O'More Bridge
Church of the Immaculate Conception

Europe » Ireland » County Wicklow » Glendalough August 8th 2017

Our shore excursion from Dublin was again by Paddywagon Tours. The motorcoach tour would take us to the Wicklow Mountains and the Glendalough monastic site, then return to Dublin for a city tour. The Wicklow Mountains range south of Dublin. The mountain peaks lie mostly inside Wicklow National Park, but there is a considerable amount of private farming and dairy cattle and sheep raising going on in the valleys. It's a very scenic area, and in August the heather was in bloom. Our driver/guide said he regretted that few Dubliners visit this natural area so close to the city. We took the scenic drive up to Glendalough on the Eastern side of the park. Glendalough (Gleann Dá Locha or Valley of the Two Lakes) is the central attraction in the park. The two lakes are referred ... read more
Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Glendalough Visitor Centre

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Cobh August 7th 2017

Returning to Cobh from our shore excursion to Blarney, Cork and Kinsale, we passed several sites of note. One was the Father Mathew Tower (1846). The tower was built to honour Theobald Matthew (1790-1856), a temperance reformer, popularly known as Father Matthew. Another was the Clonmel Church (The Old Church), a ruin today. The graves of 193 victims of the Lusitania sinking are in the Old Church Cemetery. (Lusitania was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale in May 1915.) I had not known of the connection between Cobh and Lusitania before. In Cobh proper, we stopped to visit St. Colman's Cathedral. The Cathedral Church of St. Colman (Cobh Cathedral) is relatively new as Gothic Cathedrals go. It was designed by architects Edward Pugin and George Ashlin who designed a number of Victorian era churches in ... read more
Tympanum Over the Main Entrance
High Altar
Rose Window

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Kinsale August 7th 2017

Paddywagon Tours drove us through Cork enroute from Blarney to Kinsale. We did see a fair amount of the city from the motorcoach, though we did not have the opportunity to walk it. The River Lee flows though Cork and several attractive bridges cross the river. Our guide was proud that Cork has more tall buildings than Dublin! Cork is is also famous as the home of Murphy's Brewery and its Murphy's Stout (now owned by Heineken Ireland). South of Cork city is Kinsale, a picturesque harbour town at the mouth of the River Brandon. Our first stop was at Charles Fort for a scenic overlook of the harbour. Charles Fort was established in 1682 to defend Kinsale harbour. The companion James Fort (1607) can be seen on a promontory across the harbour. Charles Fort remained ... read more
Murphy's Brewery
Cork City Hall
The Elysian

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Blarney August 7th 2017

Cobh was our first port of call in Ireland. (More on Cobh later.) In Ireland and Northern Ireland we booked shore excursions in advance through the Paddywagon Tours company. (Their gimmick is to have green motorcoaches adorned with shamrocks and leprechauns.) Our driver/guide was a proud Corkman who took us to Blarney Castle, through Cork, to Kinsale and back to Cobh. Arriving at Blarney Castle car park, one passes a former railway station, now a souvenir shop. I liked reading the informational markers about the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway. Opened to Blarney in 1887, it was the railway that touched off the descent of throngs of tourists upon "Old Castle Blarney". All visitors to Blarney in those days had to pay their entry fee to railway company, whether or not they arrived by train. The ... read more
Blarney Castle and Round Tower
Lookout Tower
North Wall

Europe » Channel Islands » Guernsey August 6th 2017

The first port of call for Caribbean Princess was Guernsey and its capital, St. Peter Port. The harbour is too shallow to accommodate large cruise ships, so Caribbean Princess anchored offshore. The ship launched its own boats to serve as tenders to convey passengers ashore. I was looking forward to making a visit to the Channel Islands. There are not many opportunities to visit here during a European trip. Upon arriving at the ferry terminal, greeters in local dress welcomed us. Guernsey's dependence upon the sea was evident as there are three large marinas at the harbour. Slips accommodate local and visiting craft. Ferries operate to England, France and to the other Channel Islands, including the mysterious Sark. St. Peter Port is very tidy with the focus of the entry point a statue of Prince Albert ... read more
Victoria Tower
Vale Castle and Bordeaux Bay
Traditional Guernsey attire

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Hampshire » Southampton August 5th 2017

Princess Cruises provided a transfer from our London hotel to the cruise terminal in Southampton. Once again, a private driver and car picked us up. It was quite interesting to converse with the driver, an immigrant from Afghanistan, about the current world situation. He had a brother located in New York state and a sister in Germany. His brother operates an Afghan restaurant while he is a professional driver using his own car. I must note that I found it interesting that highway distances are still indicated in miles in the UK while temperature and other measurements are given in Metric. I've known Southampton as the arrival and departure port for the great transatlantic ocean liners during much of the 20th century. The Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, S.S. United States and QEII as well as the ... read more
Holy Trinity Church, Millbrook
Port of Southampton
Automobiles the the Port of Sothampton

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Oranjestad March 29th 2017

Carnival Sunshine arrived at Oranjestad, Aruba, at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Susan and I had booked the "Best of Aruba Island Tour" through Carnival. We met the tour just outside the cruise terminal. The cruise terminal was decorated with "Aruba, One Happy Island" signs outside and a display of colorful Carnival costumes inside. The tour bus headed out on to L.G. Smith Boulevard, the main street of Oranjestad. An "I ♥︎ Aruba" sign is here as are the parliament and Wilhelmina Park. (Aruba is a Dutch dependency and a constituent part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Aruba became a Dutch possession in 1636 following the Thirty Years' War.) Leaving Oranjestad, the single sizable town on the island, it was evident that Aruba is a desert island, not the typical tropical Caribbean island. The landscape ... read more
Carnival Costume
Carnival Costume
I ♥︎ Aruba Sign

North America » United States » California » Ventura December 27th 1983

Alta California, the present-day state of California, was claimed for Spain by explorer Juan Cabrillo in 1534. (Hence Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro today.) Spain paid little attention to this distant possession for the next two hundred years. By the middle of the 18th century, Britain and Russia were expanding their claims to territory along the Pacific Coast of North America. Charles III decided it was time to enforce Spain's claim to Alta California. In 1769, Gaspar de Portolá was dispatched to lead an expedition northward from Loreto in Baja California and establish a permanent garrison at Monterrey Bay. A company of Soldados de Cuervo (Spanish colonial troops who wore a distinctive leather jacket), and Franciscan missionaries set out on an overland trek to a place as described two hundred years previously. The route they followed ... read more
Adobe Dwelling (1837)
Olivas Adobe
Olivas Adobe Courtyard




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