A few words on the mechanics of our trip. AIR
We chose Icelandair to fly to and from the UK for several reasons: non-stop service from Seattle to Reykjavik, which allowed us to spend a couple of nights in Iceland and Economy Comfort class, which is seating with the middle seat blocked (but turned out to be actual First Class seats except for one segment and allowed for penalty-free reservation changes). Our flights pushed-back on time. My only tongue-in-cheek concern was that the in flight announcements were given in Icelandic first. Given the apparent extra syllables in Icelandic, any emergency would have already happened by the time the English message happened. CAR
We planned our recent trip around being able to travel, visit and rest on our own schedule, spending at least two nights in each village or city. We figured we’d drive from place to place and then walk or take local tours. We booked a Hertz rental in each country. This worked well mechanically as driving on the left side with a manual transmission just takes a bit of initial terror followed by a low level of “awareness stress” much like driving our motorhome. The problem was the roads, especially those in Ireland. The Irish apparently enjoy the game of varying widths of pavement with no shoulders and little warning for narrow bridges and one and a half lane roads. This was especially hard on my passenger. The first day out we erred in visiting Gendalough and Avoca (Ballykissangel) with our mid-sized Hyundai and tried without success to get a smaller car without driving back to Dublin. By the time we arrived in Galway a week later we decided to not continue further north by car and headed back to Dublin on the M6 for extra nights before resuming our travel to Belfast by train.
Driving in Scotland was better and England better still, with far more direction and warning signs. God bless the blue and white arrow “drive here” signs! Conclusion: An experience we can do, but there are definitely more relaxing modes!
More on trains, subways, tour buses and walking to come!