Andy & Bev Fraser's Travel World

34 years of our "UnTour" Adventures
 
Smallest House in Britain at Conwy, Wales
Portmeirion, Wales
Page from the Book of Kells, Ireland
Titanic Exhibition, Belfast
Our journeys are as close as we can come to a good old fashioned no rushing, relaxed time with good companions. This is our 34th year of doing it our way. Hope you can join us. Andy & Bev
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Our 2019 Ireland & Wales journey




September 25 & 26 Our Irish group of travelers gathered at the Holiday Inn


Express airport hotel, Dublin, had dinner (remember they didn’t charge for booze)


and next morning set off with Gordon as the driver to get us up to Belfast. On the


way we stopped at Newgrange to visit Bru na Boinne chambered tomb and


Monasterboice a Catholic site dating to the fifth century. Lunched at the Green


Apple before arriving in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, Gordon gave us a


brief tour before dropping us at the Hilton Hotel. Great hotel, huge dinners!



September 27 A Discovery tour of Belfast on the Hop On Hop Off bus before


being dropped off at the Titanic Centre where the ill fated ship was built. Everyone


was then on their own until me met for Dinner.



September 28 A free day which worked out well since the Hop On tickets were

still valid allowing everyone to visit and shop wherever they wished.


September 29 Met Sean O’Sullivan our driver for the duration of Ireland. What

a delight! After leaving Belfast it was up to the castle at Carrickfergus for a photo

stop. Then up the Antrim Coast where we could see Scotland as we passed the

small villages with a ‘wee’ stop at Cairnlough. Then on to Giant’s Causeway. This

was also our lunch stop followed by a drive through the countryside to the

amazing Brown Trout Inn at Aghadowey and the first of our two

nights here.


September 30 Good weather so we followed Sean’s advice and visited the

remote Hill Fort at the Gerainan of Aileacht dating back to the fourth century with

wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Into Derry (or Londonderry) for

lunch and a walk on the walls where we met David Lambert, a Presbyterian

Minister who was active in the peace process between the IRA and the Protestant

Loyalists. A marvelous man and one of the highlights of our Ireland visit.

Back to the Brown Trout for another lovely dinner and evening.


October 1 Donegal in the Republic, was our lunch visit following a ‘wee’ stop at

Sainsburys grocery store. A great drive down the coast with a stop at the ruined

Court Tomof Creevykeel dating from 4,000 B.C. On through Mullaghmore where

Lord Louis Mountbatten, his grandson

and two others were blown up in a fishing boat by the IRA in 1979. A special stop

was made at the poet and Irish activist W.B. Yeats grave in Drumcliff under the

shadow of Benbulben. This corner of ireland is known at Yeats’ Country. We

continued down to Sligo and The Glasshouse

Hotel on the Garavogue River.


October 2 This morning we drove around Lough Gill and the Isle of Innisfree

made famous by Yeats’ poem the Lake isle of Innisfree...”I will arise and go now,

and go to Innisfree...”. Our destination was Parkes Castle, a ‘plantation’ settlement

by English settlers who were given land

at the expense of the Irish. A good visit to the walled ‘castle’ which was more of a

fortified home.


October 3 Leaving Sligo it was down to Galway where they were setting up for flooding

possibility because of extremely high winds and rain. Sean gave us an introductory drive around

the city, out to Salthill , a walk on the beach, then the Spanish Arches before free time to explore,

to lunch – and to shop. Then on to Ennis and the charming Old Ground Hotel.


October 4 A wild and windy visit to the famous Cliffs of Moher which had been closed the day

before because of High Winds and rain. The Cliffs range from a low of 400 feet to a high of more

than 700 feet above the sea. Great Visitor Centre. Later drove to the lovely little town of Doolin

and lunch at the Ivy Cottage before carrying on to the desolate Burren. Remember the council

worker all alone in the great expanse of rocks trying to find grass to cut? A brief stop at the large

Portal Tomb before returning to The Old Ground.


October 5 We drove cross country this morning to the fascinating Irish National Stud at

Kildare with some the most expensive horses, and stud fees all stabled here. A brilliant tour (in

the drizzle) with visits to the stables, the fields, the sbarn and the Japanese Gardens. Following

lunch we left for Dublin,and our conveniently located Maldron Hotel on Parnell Square. Sadly

we said farewell to Sean, a truly wonderful driver and ‘one of us’.


October 6 To best see Dublin we opted for two day Hop On Hop Off passes. This day we did

the whole route and after some confusion, visited Trinity College and the remarkable Book Of

Kells, containing four illustrated books of the Bible dating back to 800 a.d. created by celtic monks. Most of us headed upstairs to the library of the University. Built in the 18th century, the

library houses 200,000 of the oldest books of Trinity College. We were free to dine at will

tonight.


October 7 A totally free day and with the Hop On tickets still valid to do your own thing before

our last dinner together in Ireland. We were joined by Pam and Devon who would be carrying

on with most of us the next day to the Ferry and on to Wales while Darla, Debra, Wendi & Jan

headed for home. Thanks to you it was a fun and enjoyable journey through a magic land.


On to Wales…




October 8 Most of today was spent sailing from Dublin to Holyhead, Wales. On


docking we met our driver Brian Jones and headed across the Isle of Anglesey to


the mainland and on to Caernarfon where we met up with Sue & Jeff as well as


our friends Sue and John Burton who were joining us for three daOctober 9 Off through the


lovely countryside to the charming town of Betws y Coed for a bit of a wander before heading to


Swallow Falls (Rhaeadr Ewynnol in Welsh which means foaming waterfall) to see this raging


water on the river Llugwy which provides power for Betws y Coed. Then back over to Anglesey


(Ynys Mon in Welsh) and a visit to:


lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, that little town with


the rather longish name. (Don’t think any of us mastered it.) On the way we crossed the Menai


Straits which the Roman Army forded to defeat the Welsh and Druids back in 60 or 61 a.d. Then


visit to the charming Oriel Yns Mon, a gallery of arts and artifacts of this historic and formerly


sacred island. Our day ended with a visit to Caernarfon Castle.




October 10 A short visit to the Roman ruins of Segontium in Caernarfon, a base for Roman

Legions from 77 a.d. to 410 a.d. then down to one of Wales most visited sites at Portmeirion.

This whimsical Italianate creation of architect Clough Williams-Ellis was built between the years

1925 and 1978, ‘just because’. A fascinating creation, described by the Rough Guide as “a

gorgeous visual poem’, it was the site of the strange TV series “The Prisoner” staring Patrick

McGoohan. Sadly the drizzle didn’t help our cause. Our day finished with an added bonus visit

to the Inigo Jones Slate Museum where we were fascinated to find most of you whacking away  

at pieces of slate with hammer and chisels.


October 11 Leaving Caernarfon after saying goodbye to our English friends, we drove through

the heart of Snowdonia, past the massive hills of slate to Llangollen for lunch. This is where the

annual Eisteddfod is held each year, a competition of Welsh song, poetry, story telling and

where Luciano Pavarotti, in 1955, as a choir member from Modena, Italy, won his first major

competition in a special event for non Welsh speakers. After lunch it was up Horseshoe Pass for

a photo shop amongst the sheep . A short visit to the town of Ruthin, before heading to

Llandudno on the north coast. An extremely disappointing hotel (quite horrible in fact) on the

lovely waterfront of this Victorian seaside town. It was here that Sue and Jeff decided to leave

the tour. A huge disappointment for us since it had never, in 34 years, happened before.


October 12 An improvement in the weather helped us to greatly enjoy our visit to the walled

town of Conwy, the Castle and the pier with the smallest house in Britain. Following lunch we

headed back to Llandudno where most went up the Funicular to the top of the Great Orme as

well as enjoying the wonderful old fashioned Victorian pier jutting into the sea.


October 13 Leaving Wales we were off to the walled City of Chester and a Hop On bus. Great

collection of black and white half timbered buildings and ‘rows’ ofshops. We even had a bit of

commentary from Barb on the p.a. system en route. Then it was on to the Hilton, Manchester

Airport, for our final evening together.


October 14 Homeward bound.




It was difficult to say ‘au revoir’ to you, a very special band of pilgrims’ on our

journey. Your ability to cope with ‘that hotel’ and your constant upbeat nature

made this a very special time.


A heartfelt “Thank You”.


Andy & Bev




















Caernarfon Castle
Rev. David Lambert on the Walls of Derry
The Pier, PortMeirion, Wales
Brown Trout Inn
Portal Tomb, the Burren, Ireland