Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Ireland & Scotland

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

This week we returned from a couple of weeks away visiting the families in Ireland and Scotland. Fantastic weather for the first week in Northern Ireland, and then snow and wind in Scotland! Still, we also visited Belfast Zoo, the Island of Arran, the Island of Cumbrae and Edinburgh Zoo. Eight ferry crossings in total, the most expensive, (per minute) being Largs-Cumbrae at £36 for a car and 4 people for a return trip of 6 mins each way!

Some photos at the end of this post.

Almost all the photos were taken on my iPhone 4, and I still maintain it’s an excellent compact camera replacement. Improved noise reduction would help – some of the modified photos with added borders have a particularly noisy effect added using SnapSeed, but straight iPhone images are still relatively grainy. However, the colours it captures from the sky are excellent under most conditions, and I’ve got more than enough Apps on board to tweak the photos as required, especially relevant given we spent ages on various ferries this time.

And finally, what holiday would be complete without our Freelander feeling the need for some attention too? The drivers window mechanism failed less than 18 hours after leaving home. Fortunately I was able to close the window with the application of some force and then found an independent specialist in Ballynahinch where they were able to replace the mechanism there and then.

Next holiday should be early September with a trip to Disneyland Paris (and F-WTSS, F-WTSA, F-BTSD and F-BVFF – ooops, er, “look over here Catherine – oooh, Chanel… Excusez-moi mademoiselle, je suis à la recherche des indications pour le Musée de l’aviation” 🙂

  • Leaving Cairnryan
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Loch Ryan
  • Loch Ryan
  • Stena Superfast VII in Loch Ryan
  • Loch Ryan and Ailsa Craig
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Belfast Lough passing "Nordic Nora"
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Catherine And Eva, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Catherine, Eva and Granny Bernie, Silent Valley, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • The Overflow, Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Spelga Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Spelga Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Eva at Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Leaving Belfast in more usual weather
  • Enroute to Arran on MV Caledonian Isles
  • Holy Isle and Ailsa Craig beyond
  • Freelander on Arran
  • MV Caledonian Isles docked at Brodick, Arran
  • Lochranza Castle, Arran
  • Mull of Kintyre from Arran
  • Holy Isle from The Ross, Arran
  • Sunset over Arran
  • Another day, Another CalMac ferry, MV Loch Shira to Cumbrae this time
  • Arran, Bute and Cumbrae from Fintry Bay
  • Millport, Cumbrae
  • Millport, Cumbrae
  • The island hopping Freelander on top of Cumbrae, Looking North to the Firth of Clyde
  • Largs from the highest part of Cumbrae
  • Looking South to Hunterston from MV Loch Shira
  • Jaguar at Edinburgh Zoo
  • Tiger at Edinburgh Zoo
  • Rhinos at Edinburgh Zoo

Tenerife Holiday Photos

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Orca Ocean at Loro Parque
  • Orca Ocean at Loro Parque
  • Seal and Sea Lion show at Loro Parque
  • Loro Parque
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Tiede
  • Tiede
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Above the clouds
  • Tiede Observatory
  • Masca Valley
  • Masca Valley Road
  • Masca Valley
  • Masca Valley Road
  • The "Flipper Uno" tour boat
  • Coastline north of Les Gigantes
  • Pilot Whale off Los Gigantes
  • Los Gigantes and the road from Santiago del Tiede
  • Masca Valley from the Sea
  • Self Portrait on the tourist boat "Flipper Uno"
  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Catherine at Puerto de la Cruz
  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Piramides de Guimar
  • Tiede
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Graeme, Catherine, Tiede and the mountaineering Polo, 2200m / 7200ft above sea level.
  • Tiede with cloud in the Orotava valley.
  • Tiede Observatory
  • Pica Viejo Volcano, last eruption 1798.
  • The rental Polo on the TF-38, having covered over 800km in 5 days.
  • Decending from Tiede on the TF-38, just entering the cloud again

Tenerife Day 4

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

For our last full day we headed down to Guimar, to look at the “Piramides”, thought by some to indicate that pre-European civilisation sea-farers crossed the Atlantic. We had a walk round the terraced structure and watched the AV presentation.

Then we headed back up to the Tiede volcano to take some more pictures of the awesome landscape, and we figured the Polo had a day off from mountaineering yesterday so must be ready for some more today.

Every corner revealed yet another stunning vista, and once above the cloud and the treeline, it really is like another world. Hardly surpising that bits of Star Wars were filmed here.

Tomorrow morning it’s an early start to head back the the airport, then back to Prestwick by late afternoon.

All Photos

Tenerife Day 3

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

A relaxing day today, we headed in to the town of Puerto de la Cruz this morning, before spending most of the afternoon at the pool, where, predictably, I got sunburned…

Later we went to Santa Cruz to have a look at the shopping centres and, most importantly, to get some Chips Ahoy.

Tenerife is really an island of contrasts. The volcanic scenery is really amazing, and that’s just the bits we’ve seen from the road. Some of the hiking tours into the back country must be really great. Then there’s the seaside resorts – All the restaurants have the same food, and the shops all have the same junk, I don’t think I’d be happy to spend more than a day or so “in town”.

Tomorrow we’re going to head back to the south coast and have a look around there.

All Photos

Tenerife Day 2

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Today we woke up to a cloudy and rainy day, so we decided to head over to the west coast in the hope of finding better weather and going on a whale and dolphin spotting trip out of Los Gigantes.

First we had to negotiate the mountain road TF-82. With lots of standing water, and steep twisty corners it proved an enjoyable drive, though again our poor Polo 1.4 found the hills hard going.

The TF-82 was nothing compared to the road between Santiago del Tiede and Masca, the TF-436. A narrow road with harpin after hairpin after hairpin and what seemed to be 1 in 5 gradients. It was well worth it though as the views of the valley were stunning, and our photos don’t do it justice.

Amazingly, even on the out-of-the-way roads the surface quality is excellent, we’ve not encountered any potholes at all.

When we got to Los Gigantes we booked out on the “Flipper Uno”, a three hour trip out to look for dolphins and whales. The trip didn’t disappoint with Pilot Whales coming right up to the boat. We then headed back into a cove where there was an opportunity to go swimming from the boat – we didn’t, but load of people enjoyed jumping into the water by swinging off the trapeze.

We headed down to Las Americas for dinner, just to see how it compared with our resort. I think we made the right choice! Finally back to the hotel via the Autopista and we completed a circumnavigation of the main roads on the island.

As an interesing side note, when ordering vodka and coke at the bar, they wait for you to say stop when pouring the vodka, then top up with coke. I didn’t know that, so am now drinking virtually neat vodka through a straw.

All Photos