All aboard – Ireland to Wales

Who would have thought that traveling throughout Europe with surfboards would be nearly impossible?  When we started on our journey, we assumed that we could be able to bring the boards onto any airplane.  We were wrong.  Our next destination would be San Sebastian, Spain – with no easy way of getting there.  Through our research, we discovered that traveling from Ireland to Spain would be quite easy on a ferry boat via the United Kingdom.

We departed Herdsman’s House, drove 3 hours to Dublin, boarded the Irish Ferries Swift vessel and headed to Holyhead, Wales all before 9am.  It was a long morning!  The 2 hour ferry ride offered nice, comfortable seating, which is exactly what we needed.  Upon disembarkation in Holyhead, our focus turned to finding a local pub to have lunch and a nice pint.  We found the Prince of Wales bar where we enjoyed some Indian curry accompanied by a couple of jolly Welsh gentlemen who educated us a bit on Welsh beer.

BThanksgiving in October - Wales to England

After lunch, we hopped in our car and drove a couple of hours east to Manchester, England.  Our friends, Ed and Jennifer Salter, currently live there and we planned a visit.  Coincidently that evening, they were hosting a pot luck dinner with several friends to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, and they invited us to join them.  Their apartment was filled with Americans, Canadians, English and even Dutch friends.  The food spread was incredible!  From turkey, to mashed potatoes, to sweet potatoes, to stuffing and gravy…it was all there.  It was nice to spend our favorite holiday with friends, even though it was a month early in October.  We ended the evening by playing lively games in their living room and laughing our heads off.  It was a great, but long, day.

Beatles Mania! – Liverpool

Since we’re both huge Beatles fans, we planned a quick day trip to Liverpool to visit The Beatles Story museum. Although a bit touristy, we learned a lot about the history and success of the greatest band of all time.  The museum featured a recreation of The Cavern Club stage where their careers began and the NEMS record store owned by the Beatles manager Brian Epstein.  We hope to return to Liverpool one day to explore more Beatles sites.

Y1London

With 2 nights in London, we were able to touch on a few of the city’s beautiful sites.  We stayed at Blenheim Lodge, a lovely B&B in East Finchley, a northern suburb of London.  It once was a Victorian Villa that accommodated wealthy merchants in the 1860′s who traveled through northern London. In one day, we were able to visit  Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Parliament Buildings & Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, the London Eye, Tower of London and Tower Bridge.  With advise from close friends and family, we took a tour of the Tower of London.  Our favorite parts of the Tower of London were the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armouries exhibit.  The entire museum was full of rich history and we’re glad we took the time to see it.  After a day of sites, we were in the mood for some delicious Indian food and headed to Brick Lane, one of London’s popular restaurant areas.  We landed at Cinnamon, an authentic Indian restaurant that served amazing curry and vegetable dishes that satisfied our craving.

Magnificent Stonehenge

Our UK road trip continued south and called for a stop at the famous Stonehenge.  It was truly incredible and exceeded our expectations.  The architecture and simplicity of this prehistoric monument blew us away.

Cruise from England to Spain

Our time in England was coming to an end and it was now time to board yet another ferry to reach our next destination – Spain.  From Portsmouth, England, we boarded the Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven cruise ship and headed to Santander, Spain, which would take nearly 24 hours.  On this rather large cruise ship, we reserved sleeping quarters that came well equipped with a comfortable bed and bathroom and had wi-fi throughout so Mike could catch up on his work.  The first half of the cruise was fantastic, but then the motion sickness set in and Marisa didn’t have a fun time. Nonetheless, we all survived the ride and docked in Spain safe and sound.