Europe 2016

On May 06, Cynthia and I set off on our adventure to Europe. We had planned a river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France, exploration of N. Ireland by car and a visit to friends and relatives in England and Wales. We ended the trip with two days spent on our own on the Isle of Wight, the island at the south of England. I’ve included some links along the way if you wish to delve deeper. (By the way, once you click a link, a new window should open. Use the back button on your computer to return to this post.)

We boarded the vessel Viking Forseti in Bordeaux and spent the next week or so sailing the rivers Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne, mostly in the red circle on the map.bordeaux-tours2

Welcomed Aboard

Welcomed Aboard

We tasted wines from all the regions. We were given hints on how to taste wines. However, the piece of information I liked best came from one of the guides at a chateau…”in the end, it really comes down to what you like and enjoy”. We saw many lovely towns and villages in the region and loved them all. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and well worth visiting. If you’d like to take a peek at some info on a wine tour click here. This is not what we did by the way, but similar. Viking Cruises did a wonderful job of  the tour. As always, the ship and staff were great.

With good friends

With good friends

Next we boarded a flight from Bordeaux to Dublin for stage two, the drive around Northern Island. We picked up a car at Dublin airport and headed north-west. We stayed mostly at small bed and breakfast homes and they were all excellent. We visited many tourist sites including the cliffs at Slieve League, a reconstructed folk village at Glencolmcillie, the Giant’s Causeway and of course the city of Belfast. As always the scenery was spectacular and the people so kind and helpful.

Cliffs at Slieve League

Cliffs at Slieve League

At Glencolmcillie Village

At Glencolmcillie Village

From Dublin we flew to Gatwick airport and picked up a car again. We visited friends in the village of Cuddesdon, Oxford. This tiny village is the home of Ripon College of Oxford University and produces the Archbishops of Canterbury. We saw family in Kingham in the Cotswolds of England, a very beautiful area of England should you be visiting.

With family, Kingham, the Cotswolds.

With family, Kingham, the Cotswolds.

Then it was on to see friends in the village of Gilwern near Abergavenny in Wales, where we visited and toured a primary school.

With Dil and Sandra in Wales

With Dil and Sandra in Wales

Cousins came next, in Abertillery (our home town) and Risca in Wales, and then on to cousins in Portsmouth on the south coast of England. If you are interested in anything naval, Portsmouth should be a must see for you.

More family, Porthcawl, Wales

More family, Porthcawl, Wales

Pub night with family in Portsmouth

Pub night with family in Portsmouth

We ended the trip with a two day visit to the Isle of Wight. We went for two reasons: 1. we hadn’t been there before 2. a friend who was born and lived there ’til teens recommended we go. We toured around the island seeing sights. It’s very easy to do this quickly in a car for the  island is diamond shaped, being 13 miles north to south and about 27 miles east to west. we had a good time in spite of the weather turning sour on us.

Glassblower, Isle of Wight

Glassblower, Isle of Wight

The connections home on June 03 were great. We were very tired and so glad to see Ben who met us at the airport. It had been a good trip. Thanks for tagging along.

If you wish to see more pics of our trip click here.

If you’d like to see a short video of our trip click below

‘Bye for now and God bless.

 

 

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