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April 17th 2017
Published: April 20th 2017
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I am writing on April 19 in Paris with a glass of red next to me...but before we get to the European leg of the trip, lets take a trip up a mountain and quick sojourn into Dublin. On Saturday 15th we drove through the picturesque Loch Lomond district, and into the highlands, watching the temparature display in the car drop every 15 minutes or so. By the time we got to Glencoe, it was 3 degrees - BRRR! Glad we brought leggings to wear under our jeans.. Glencoe is one of the highest mountains in Scotland, and has a chairlift which takes you about half way up. Ahead of us were some insane people who went up he chairlifts with their bikes, so they could ride their way down..ummm, not for me thanks...half way up the chairlift its started raining ice which quickly became snow as we climbed - so this was a real first for both of us - my only experience of snow beofre was very light - this was enought to cover our clothing in white! At the top the chairlft attended stand with snowball in hand, ready to throw at us as we get off. We spent 10 minutes looking, feeling, and having a snowball fight before we took the trip down - where the weather had broken a little, giving us an amazing view of the highlands. We had intended on going on to Glen Nevis and Loch Ness, but we were both wet and utterly freezing so we settled for a hot chocolate in the chalet type cafe before heading back towards our B & B. We stopped at a lovely pub by Loch Lomond for some hot chips. Back at our little home, we had a bath and relaxed for a few hours, before having dinner at the local Indian restaurant (how cool is it that a tiny village has an authentic Indian? Here we had honestly the biggest Naan bread in the whole world. Note to intending visitors to the UK: butter chicken does not appear to be the staple it is in Aus...and curries are a lot hotter in the normal menu than we would normally see... Sunday 16th - Easter Sunday. With a flight to catch there wasnt much we could do chocolate wise, but I did get up at 3am and stash some little eggs around the room for Evie to find when she woke up, and our host Fiona gave us each a Lindt bunny with our brekky 😊 We left pretty early, good thing too, as the car return place was closed with alternative return instructions that I am clearly not clever enough to understand. This caused some stress with trying to figure out where to leave the car, how to get to the terminal and where to return the keys all in time to board our flight. But we made it there eventually and we found our tiny little plane which only seats about 50 people and has propellors, which will take us to Dublin, in windy rainy conditions...Oh Joy. Wasn't as bad as it could be though. We arrived at Dublin, and was met by my great mate miriam, who sang with me in a band in 1996/1997 when she was visiting Sydney, and we haven't seen each other since - so we are now 20 years older with kids and marriages and more wrinkles thatn we had then, but nothing's changed really! She took us to our hotel the Celbridge Manor hotel, which was truly gorgeous and swanky to the max. We chilled in our room, until we headed down to the bar/restaurant, met miriam, and had dinner and drinks, catching up on missed history. So much fun! Monday 16th Evie and I had the best hotel breakfast so far, before getting a bus into Dublin, where it was still very cold (10 - 11 degrees) but at least not raining. Grabbed a coffee/hot choclate before getting a "tour of dublin" type bus where we were drive around the city, with a great tour guide called Michael, who aside from being incredibly knowledgeable, was also strongly support the uprisings and rights of the workers. We saw Oscar Wilde's birthplace and statue as well as lots of other sights, before hopping off at Temple Bar - a cobbled street bar/restaurant/cool shop type area, where we hand lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe - an essential stop in every city we visit for Evie. Despite choosing from the entre menu, the portion sizes were HUGE so full as a goog, we had time to get some souveniers before heading back to our hotel for a couple of hours, then met Miriam for dinner at The Village Inn (where we shared one entree and one main!!). Mim and I got to finish the conversation we started the night before (though hardly scratching the surface of 20 years!!) - and said our farewells, heading to bed early knowing we had a plane to Paris the next morning...so thats the end of our English speaking leg of this journey!

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