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 Post subject: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Never too early, the wife just booked us on a seven-night Norway fjords cruise in May 2020.

We're also going to add on a four-night London break after the cruise.

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:46 am 
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Nice! One of the films that I watched at the film fest last weekend was shot in Norway. It looks wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:22 am 
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I can't believe I am looking at travelling in 2020...I've been looking at going back "home" to Canada to visit my mother. She's been over here three or four times in the past fifteen years, while the last time I went over there was about 17 years ago. Other times when she went to visit family in Austria, I've flown over there for a few days too.

The trouble for me is that I really don't like travelling (clarification: I love visiting other places, it is the process of planning and getting there that I hate) plus because of our business seasons I can really only get away during the horrible months in Canada...But now she's finding it harder to travel, so I'm thinking I'd better go. So I realised it's her 90th birthday in July next year, and I've started making plans to go for that. Ugh. At least for the summer I can pack light.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:49 pm 
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I'm considering either taking cruise through Princess that covers UK and Paris, or just traveling in the UK specifically making it to parts of Ireland, Scotland, and England. Not sure which to do and what's more cost effective.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:06 am 
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^^^ My choice would be Ireland, Scotland, and England, and I'd go ahead and throw Wales in there as well, since you're there.

That's just my preference, though. It really depends on the kind of travel experience you're looking for. Paris is very nice, it's just not all that interesting to us, for whatever reason.

Would both itineraries be cruises?
Quote:
At least for the summer I can pack light.
I'm the opposite. I hate packing for warmer weather, probably because I just don't like warmer weather to begin with. We're leaving in a few weeks for England and I'm going through my clothes, and I feel like I don't have anything that's suitable for Spring.

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:18 am 
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^ Especially as our weather is so variable and contrary. Easter weekend we had temperatures of 25C and sunny, last weekend we were down to 9C with torrential unrelenting rain and winds of up to 50mph.

Long term forecast for May is settled, mid teens and sunny spells, which probably means we'll have snow and the hottest May ever recorded....on the same day! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:48 am 
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^^^ We're getting excited, though. We land on a Friday morning, and we just made Sunday lunch reservations at a local village pub.

We also had a last-minute change, and it's somewhat hard to follow:

We're spending the majority of our time in a village in Suffolk, but the last two nights, we'll be staying at a hotel near the airport, just to make dropping the car and leaving that much easier.

Saturday will be our last full day, staying near Hatton Cross station, and we originally planned to drive down to Richmond for the day. We've been to Hampton Court two or three times, but never to Richmond proper, and it's a short drive from the hotel.

Then the wife started reading about some things going on in London, and started thinking that she wanted to skip Richmond and go into London for the day. At one point, we were even thinking of dropping the car early, then taking a river taxi from London to Richmond, but if you look at a map and see where Hatton Cross, the pickup point for the taxi, and Richmond are in relation to one another, you'd see why that's crazy.

Then she looked more closely at the London thing she wanted (a Queen Victoria exhibit), decided she didn't want that after all, so it looked like we were back to Richmond for the day, but then I mentioned that we've been trying to do the Highgate Cemetery West Tour for a decade, and something has always come up to kill that, so let's stay with London and make a day of going to Highgate.

So that's the plan, and we do think we can drop the car Friday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. We also made reservations at DiMario's in So. Kensington for Friday night. We ate there last time and really liked it.

That'll leave Richmond for next year, when we're actually staying *in* London and the river taxi will be much more convenient.

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:24 pm 
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Quote:
^^^
Would both itineraries be cruises?
One is an actual cruise through Princess including Southhampton London to Guernsey to Cork (Dublin Overnight), Ireland to Belfast, Ireland to Glasgow, Scotland to Invergordon, Scotland to Edinburgh, Scotland to Paris, France back to London.

The other idea is we just fly (probably to London or whatever is most cost effective) and visit places on our own in some sort of transportation. I don't feel strongly about going to Dublin because it is an expensive place. I'd rather see other parts of Ireland. I haven't thought this through completely. The biggest thing is seeing Ireland and Scotland. I'm Irish in heritage (among other things) and my husband is Scottish in heritage. We both love Irish music and a Scottish sport of curling.


The upside to the cruise is that we visit all these different places without having arrange places to stay and transportation. Our meals would be covered. The downside is that we don't get to experience as much of the culture, food, and everything as in depth. It's harder to go off the beaten path. We are very limited in time. It's expensive. We'll be seen as the cruise tourists that annoy the locals.

The upside to arranging things on our own is that we can do whatever we want and whatever time frame. The downside is arranging transportation, lodging, and figuring out food. We'll be seen as regular tourists that annoy the locals even though I'd do my best not to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:56 pm 
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^^^ Some thoughts (I may misspeak - this is really my wife's ballywick :) ):

When looking at expense, just keep in mind you're comparing dollars to pounds in one instance and dollars to euros in the other. Right now, it's $1.24 for a pound and $1.11 for a euro. Britain (not just London) has always seemed more expensive than Ireland, but that's just anecdotal. Several times while in Ireland, I remarked, "Hey, that's not too expensive." I don't think I've ever said that in the UK. :)

If you're driving around Ireland, you can (or could as of 2018) take a rental car from the Republic into Northern Ireland with no issue. What I don't know is if you can then take that same rental over to Scotland. There are some pretty near crossings into Scotland from NI, but I don't know if they have any funky rules about the car.

I agree about the cruise versus drive trade-off. One is really convenient, and one is slightly more immersive. You're still going to be a tourist either way, but there's nothing wrong with that.

There are some great fly-and-drives available in Ireland. You can have all the lodgings picked out for you ahead of time, or you can choose to have a booklet of hundreds of properties around the country and just reserve as you go along. That's the most flexible, but it also means you don't really know where you're staying until you set it up yourself.

We've done one of those in Ireland, and we've done one in Ireland where my wife completely chose the route and the lodgings and we just paid as we went.

In England last time, we rented a car, but stayed in one place and just did day trips all around - we're doing the same thing this time. That's probably my preferred way, because I like to unpack and pack up as little as possible, and changing lodgings every two to three days really wears on me.

It's easy enough to rent a car - you can do all of that ahead of time, book flights and car and lodgings on one itinerary, or do the lodgings separately if you like. I don't know if the driving would bother you, but it does some people. Driving on the other side of the road isn't that bad, but there are fewer motorways and fewer direct routes, and it can feel like your whole vacation is spent with your ass slapped in a car, looking at road signs. Ireland even more so. I mean this in the best possible way, being a boy of Kentucky heritage - a lot of rural Ireland is like driving around eastern Kentucky. Small winding roads are great for atmosphere, but crap for making any distance.

Food...once you have your route planned, it's easy enough to use the internet to find places well ahead of time. I already have a list of about 30 places for our 12-day trip next month. Also, the folks who run the lodgings are always more than happy to recommend a local favorite.

I don't mean to sound like I'm favoring driving over cruising, they just provide different experiences. Cruising is really going just give you a bare overview of where you're going, so you better feel like you're getting some value out of the amenities on the ship, because that's what you're going to see for 70% of your trip.

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 Post subject: Re: 2020 Travels
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:25 am 
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@DirtDog

From the sound of it you could do a two centre approach.....rent/book a place in Ireland and use that as a base for exploring and then again in Scotland, rent a car and get the ferry from one to the other.

if I was doing it, that would be my preferred way, lots of flexibility and the opportunity to explore in your own time.

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