Adventures in Ireland

Our ports of calls also included Ireland – Dublin was our first Irish city.

I don’t know what I was picturing, but it wasn’t true.  Dublin is a huge city with skyscrapers, horrible traffic and all that.

It seemed that every road the bus driver took, you could see this colorful building.  I have no idea what the building holds, but I would like to think it is a toy store. You can’t tell by this photo, but each colored block is shaped like a puzzle piece.  I will probably do some research about it in my spare time.

Our next stop was Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park in Europe.
The building was not a big deal, except they had a large sign with our granddaughter’s name on it. The Queen’s garden had unique and downright weird plants. I knew my girls would like to see the Dragon’s Tongue!

Hubby bored with church’s              Hey, a maze that even I could get through!

We went back into Dublin for an afternoon tour to see “Traditional Irish Entertainment” The adventure took place in a pub, no less, and everyone got to drink a Guinness, I had Sprite Zero, and we watched a lass do some Riverdance moves.

Then, the talented lass, one Jean Kennedy•, decided we could be taught a few ‘mild’ dance moves.  Your welcome for sparing you any photo or video evidence of this complete mess.  A lot of giggles and fun was had by all.

  • Watch for Jean Kennedy if you see a performance of Riverdance next summer in the USA.  Our tour group is pretty darn sure that she will pass the try-outs taking place in Ireland this week.  Break a Leg, Jean!!

♥  TTFN  ♥

P.S.  It was not until I zoomed in did I realize the Irish “phonebooth” was supposed to be a cell phone. Ha!

Adventures in Norway

We did two tours in Bergen, Norway.  An “overview” of the town by bus for 2 hours. It was pouring rain and windy, so very few took advantage of the photo op stops. I would have, but she stopped in random places where there was not anything interesting to photograph.  In my humble opinion.

I usually got out at photo stops to stretch my legs and breath fresh air. But I just wanted to stay seated so I did not have to get out and back on the bus. My legs were recovered from Paris, BTW.  The buses were a whole new form of torture,  that I will gripe about later…

The afternoon adventure we took a bus over to Grieg’s House & Recital. Edvard Grieg, Norway’s famous composer.  He wrote music, inspired by Norwegian folk music, and sought to raise it’s profile in his composing and performing.

Grieg’s house was unique because his roof(s) were covered with sod and blended into the landscape.  I sure would have hated to mow them!

Hubby in front of a sodded rooftop
Side View of Recital Hall




We were delighted to be invited to a piano recital by a student of the composer’s music. Martha Berit Belt played for us a sampling of Grieg’s compositions. I sat in the upper back row so I could watch her hands and listen. Hubby and the others took seats down closer to the front, but the stairs looked steeper than my balance could handle.

More photos and back to the bus! Now we headed down the road to a medieval stave church. Built out of wood in 1150, then moved to a new site in 1883 to preserve and protect it from local demolition.

Very Medieval looking, heh?

It had a spooky aura about it, which may have been the gravesite in front of the building…


The bus ride back to the ship was happy. No more buses the rest of the trip! Or so I thought…

♥  TTFN  ♥

Adventures in the Shetland Islands


Lerwick, Scotland is part of the Shetland island chain. At first sight, the word “quaint” came to my mind.  When in the city, it is bustling, but still, it has the quaintness factor.

The Scottish brogue is heavier up here, and the Scots are wonderful hosts, and very friendly – happy even.  Happy has got to be challenging this far North. It rains 250 days of the year. Temperatures in August are 59F, foggy, soggy and grey.  Being a California girl, this situation would crush my spirit after a month – maybe less.

We crossed a bridge over to a different island to see the Shetland Ponies.  Our group had an appointment at “Carol’s Ponies.”  All us senior citizens of various countries were excited like little kids.

The long uncomfortable bus ride was worth seeing those precious ponies! I think everyone was touched seeing those sweet almost mythical creatures.  Carol was a small energetic woman.  I could tell she loved her ponies and was proud of them by the way she introduced them to us.

She began at one end of the corral and called each one by name.  All female common names for the most part, like Lilly, Lucy, Marie, and so on. Then she pointed at the baby pony and introduced him as “Bob.”  I was concerned about baby Bob because he kept lying down.  Carol explained that Bob was only 11 weeks old and would run around and play, then tucker out – just like puppies do.

Poor Bob – each time he lied down, his mama nosed him to get up again. I wondered if she was doing that to show him off to the crowd.  I don’t blame her at all, he is a beauty!  Most of the group wanted to smuggle Bob home.

None of us did, though.

Baby Bob

♥  TTFN  ♥