Page 2 of Donel Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley March 9th 2018

Left LATE at night (10:30) on British Airways787 headed for Heathrow in London. Most uncomfortable flight I have ever taken! Seats were very cramped, no turbulence thank God! Once we did arrive we were supposed to have a 4 hour layover that turned into a 6 hour one. Boarding the Airbus A320 was soooo nice and roomy for a smaller plane. no turbulence on this flight until we started our approach. Have you ever noticed how some passengers start clapping when the plane lands? not sure if this is because they think the pilot pulled off some miracle or they just never thought they would touch terra firma again. Well on this flight there was wicked cross winds, the plane was bouncing sideways and dipping, Elke was into the deep breathing excercises and at the last ... read more
Glass of port after a long day
Poultry Leavers

North America » Canada » Ontario » Hamilton June 17th 2017

Canadian Warplane Museum FLY FEST - Father's Day weekend. Normally I don't post a blog other than when we are travelling but this is something special. Elke got us passes for both days of FLY FEST at the Warplane Museum in Mount Hope outside of Hamilton. We drove down to Hamilton on Friday night so we could get an early start on Saturday. The weather was perfect! I wanted mostly to go for a ride in the B-25 Mitchell fighter bomber but the opportunity came up to also go for a ride in a Harvard trainer. The Harvard was used to train Spitfire pilots in WW2. It has roughly the same handling characteristics but not the same power. When my name was called I had to go thru a short talk on safety and how to ... read more
Beside the Harvard
Getting strapped in.
Not too happy at all

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 29th 2017

Day 3 Edinburgh Tour Today our plan is to Find the Hop On Hop Off starting point and begin the race around the city. Made it down the Royal Mile to the one end at Holyrood Palace (The Queen’s residence when in Edinburgh). While having very stately rooms it also has very old artifacts dating back to Mary Queen of Scots. Part of the tour takes you thru the rooms where her son was murdered. Always a worthwhile tour. Back on the bus to another stop. Found Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant (Jamie’s Italian) for lunch! Wow! Highly recommend anyone to try it. One target is the Grassmarket area known for its open air flea market. On these streets are a lot of local curiosity stores. We also wanted to find the most haunted cemetery in Edinburgh, ... read more
Roxburgh Close
Edinburgh Castle
Holyrood Abbey ruins

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban May 7th 2017

Day 11 - Our last day in Scotland. Tomorrow is a travel day. We will leave Craignure and head for a tour of Duart castle. Family still living here. Beautiful location on a point just into the loch. Have to head for the ferry to Oban. Longest ferry ride yet and was as smooth as butter. Ferry ride into Oban Had lunch in Oban at a restaurant called Eeusk. Spectacular seafood. Mark this one on the list. Did some shopping and a tasting at Oban Distillery which is right in town. Snagged a bottle here! Back into the car and we head for the town of Ballochon Loch Lomond and the Tullie Inn. The service here at the Tullie Inn was not up to the high standards that we have experienced since we landed in ... read more
Canons guarding the approach to Duart Castle
Ferocious guard dog...
Shaggy Coo

Day 10 - Leaving this morning for some ferry rides, standing stones, a distillery and the Iona abbey. Weather was cool but sunny again!! The Inn packed us a lunch but when we landed in Tobermory we had some time before the distillery opened so we got some breakfast. Sam and Benny had yet another mocha coffee. I found the best sweet ever.. Its called TIFFEN. I am now on a quest for the recipet. Went into the Tobermory distillery. OK but was not worth the wait. Started driving again to find the Dervaig standing stones outside of Tobermory. They were surrounded by a clear cut forest. Certainly a little disappointing just because of the dead lumber lying around. Travels are now taking us to Iona Abbey the root of Christianity in Scotland. St. Columba landed ... read more
Kilchoan Harbour sunrise
Nice beach
Fishing boat heading out for the day's catch

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire May 5th 2017

Today's mission is to leave the Isle of Skye and head for the ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory. Left Carbost travelling down a single track road with furry obstacles. Another sunny day??? Booked my 90 minute boat trip in Elgol and then drove Elke, Sam and Benny back up the hill where they could explore the shop and the small creek. I drove back down to the pier and got ready for the tour across the loch. Water was calm and nice ride. The Bella Jane does this trip mainly to drop passengers off so they may hike across the islands. Right beside the dock was the beach that Danny MacAskil started his trek called "The Ridge" Watch this clip, you won't believe what this Scottish bike rider will do. Got to see lots of ... read more
Pier at Elgol
Loch Na Culcie Beach

Todays trip will take us on a short loop around the Isle of Skye. Another sunny day makes for enjoyable driving. We passed Glen Shiel for pictures at the waterfall (another battlefield for the Jacobites). First castle is Eilean Donan, one of the most well known castles. Original structure started in 580. It was rebuilt starting in 1912. At that time the average house cost was 200.00 GBP. The renovations cost 250,000.00 GBP. You can do the math to figure out what it would cost today. Great tour with a lot of history. Wierd Campbell Family crest is associated with the Macrae's. Crest has a seal on it instead of the wart hog. Left to head to Portree for some quick shopping, take away lunch a picture of the harbour and off to Dunvegan Castle. Another ... read more
Glengarry parlour
Glen Shiel burn
Eilean Donan Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Culloden May 3rd 2017

Todays trip takes us up the Great Glen. 2 lochs split Scotland diagonally from Fort William to Inverness. Another beautiful day. First stop is the Urquhart Castle ruin on the side of Loch Ness. Massive visitor center here now. Large museum and theatre display the long history. Site dates back to 12th century with the current building starting in the 13th. After being destroyed by retreating Government forces in the late 1700's the castle was left in ruins. We are off to the Culloden Battlefield maintained as a war cemetery. 4 or 5 hours to properly view all of the presentations and museum artifacts. It takes a lot of reading to understand the root causes of this confilct. It was a lot more than just a group trying to put a King (James) back on the ... read more
Breakfast #1
Breakfast #2
Urquart Castle

Leaving Pitlochry today to head into the Highlands. Can't swing a cat here without hitting a distillery, this one is Dalwhinnie. Once again have to take a tour in order to get a tasting. We are heading for a little church we found on our first visit totally by accident. Back then at first glance I thought I was looking at sheep on the mountain but they were actually monuments. After seeing the church from the highway you have to make a sharp turn and take the road that climbs up the mountain. Spectacular vistas and because of the weather it is even more pronounced. Found a note that said we could get the key to the chapel from a local lodge so this time we got to go inside. Down the mountain we go and ... read more
Pitlochry main street
Dalwhinnie Distillery
Entering the Highlands

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Perthshire » Pitlochry May 1st 2017

Day 5 Scone Palace & Pitlochry We leave Edinburgh and head north towards the highlands. Crossing the Forth Bridge we head for Perth. First stop is Scone Palace (pronounced “skoon”) Why skoon you ask??? I did ask. Not very good answers. It would appear that early in history the names were passed on phonetically and not written down. Most people could not read. This is why there are so many weird pronunciations. We actually did have a scone at Scone Palace. Scone Palace has a multitude of stories but 2 are most prominent. 1- The Crowning place of most of Scotland’s Kings. It started out as the home of an Abbey which covered a huge portion of the property. The palace today started out as the Abbot’s Palace and remained after the main portion was destroyed ... read more
How close can we get???
Scone Palace
Moot Hill

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