Looking back, the whole trip felt almost surreal for how quickly we traveled from place to place, a blurry routine of glance and go. You have to try to soak in as much as possible and take advantage of each moment, reminding yourself that you may see these places only once in life. The moments that were spent away from stop and go were the ones remembered most, like climbing an enormous hill in Wales before sunrise to see a different view of the same old world, feeling like this is something entirely new, a world separate from the predictable one you know so well back home. As I have learned from a fast-paced trip to Greece, only when time passes and I look back on everything seen and done will it sink in that "it was real!".
The trip originally consisted of 2 nights in London, 1 night in Wales, 2 nights in Dublin, and 2 nights in County Kerry. That was true for the group traveling Continental Airlines. The Delta group (my group) was delayed an entire day on account of severe tornadoes and thunder storms in Atlanta, where we eventually arrived 5 hour later and had to stay our first night. The highly anticipated trip began less than expected, however it wouldn't matter once we arrived in London that next day.
We traveled to Oxford that next morning and Stratford later that afternoon
After having the best Fish & Chips of my life, we traveled to our next night's stay at "The Hand Hotel" in Wales. The hotel was supposedly "haunted" because it was built next to a graveyard (which provided some excellent shots). That next morning a group of us climbed a hill before sunrise (my battery ran out right before reaching the top, which was the most beautiful sight I've ever seen...o well.) We stopped off at Blarney castle on our way to North Wales, famous for the country with the longest name.
Our stay in the UK would end after hopping on a freight to Ireland, where we would stay 2 nights in Dublin. I saw Irish folk dancers and musicians, caught a glimpse of the local shopping scene (with street performers), and relaxed with some of Ireland's most famous ale. :)
The highlight of the trip was our last 2 nights in County Kerry, where we saw the most beautiful countryside and parks Ireland has to offer. The first night, a group of us took a walk around one of the parks. I had a great idea to run ahead of the group and scare the wits out of everyone (by sitting in the middle of the road like a mad man). Mr Harris approached me saying, "mam, are you okay...mam?" he told everyone to stay back and then noticed it was me. Priceless. That next morning, we took a day long bus tour around the countryside and saw everything from castles to waterfalls, the Atlantic shore and one of Ireland's most famous parks.
I have to say it was an amazing trip, one that will never be forgotten. There will be more traveling next year, just where and when I'm not sure.