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Deaf Bus Tour
Scotland - England - Wales - Ireland - Scotland
June 13 - 25, 2013








Glasgow
We started our tour with
a group welcome meeting
in our hotel, the Thistle Hotel
in Glasgow. We got to know
each other and were full of
excitement for the days to
come. Many exciting places
were listed on our program
and promised a nice tour.

Glasgow
Glasgow

The day started early, this became the rule for all the following days of the trip. After breakfast, the luggage was loaded on the bus and the group was ready to tour Glasgow and head to Inverness afterwards. While doing a sightseeing tour by bus in Glasgow, we saw the 12th-century cathedral, part of the university campus, and the elegant Georgian squares and buildings that embellish the city until today.
Highland Cattle
Highland Cattle
After leaving the city, we drove along the "Bonnie Banks" of Loch Lomond, passed wild Rannoch Moor, and learned about the moving story of the MacDonald Clan while traversing Glen Coe.
Inverness with view accross the River Ness
Inverness with view accross the River Ness

The scenery changed at lovely Loch Linnhe and in Fort William near Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles at 4,409 ft. We stopped in Fort Augustus located on the Caledonian Canal. An impressive series of locks creates a water way from Fort Williams, through Loch Ness to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Arriving at Loch Ness, we looked out for signs of the mysterious Loch Ness monster. We spent the night in Inverness.
Castle in Inverness
Castle in Inverness

During our visit of Culloden Moor we learned about one of the sad chapters of Scottish history. It was here on the battlefields, where the Jacobites of Charles Edward Stuart were defeated by English troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. We continued our journey and stopped at a whisky distillery in the Spay valley. Our guide explained the ancient art of distillation. After the termination of the tour, we had a 'wee dram' to sample the single malt.
At the whisky distillery
At the whisky distillery
Celebrating Tony and Mary's wedding anniversary
Celebrating Tony and Mary's wedding anniversary
Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle

Then it was on to Balmoral Castle, the Queen's private residence used during the summer vacation period. It was purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and has been one of the residences of the British Royal Family since 1852. On our way to Edinburgh, we drove through Braemar and passed Perth. We enjoyed the superb location of our hotel in Edinburgh's New Town where all of our rooms had a spectacular view to the Old Town and the Castle Hill. Some of us opted for the optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis and had a great time. Afterwards, we visited the deaf club in Edinburgh located within walking distance from our hotel. It was a lot of fun to converse with the local deaf people.
Henry and Barbara with a bagpiper
Henry and Barbara with a bagpiper
Our group at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Our group at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Edinburgh is a charming city with a lot of history. During a sightseeing tour by bus we learned a lot about the past of the Scottish capital. We were impressed by the elegance of the New Town. The Old Town has preserved its medieval character.
The main street in Edinburgh is the Royal Mile connecting the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Castle Hill. We visited the inside of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and later the different quarters of Edinburgh Castle. Our group at Edinburgh Castle
Our group at Edinburgh Castle
Visit aboard HMY Britannia
Visit abord HMY Britannia
Later in the afternoon, most of us went on board Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, the former Royal Yacht, now moored at Leith docks. A guided tour provided insight of when the yacht was used by the Royal family. The visit was followed by dinner in a restaurant in Leith.
We left the Scottish capital in the morning and traveled through the history-steeped Lowland Hills. Our first stop was Gretna Green, a village in the south of Scotland famous for runaway weddings. We then left the land of the Scots and journey into England through the tranquil Lake District. Grasmere, home of poet William Wordsworth was our stop for lunch.

We arrived in Liverpool in the afternoon. We visited the award winning Beatles Story, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the 'Fab Four'. Our overnight stay was outside of Gloucester with dinner in the hotel.

A perfect place for Ken and
			Joan to celebrate their wedding anniversary
Gretan Green - A perfect place for Ken and Joan to celebrate their wedding anniversary
Beautiful Gloucester
Beautiful Gloucester
Although not originally scheduled we were lucky with a visit of Gloucester, founded in AD 97 by the Romans. Today, the visitor will see a town that is dominated by many medieval and Tudor period half-timbered houses. We continued our travel to Wales with the lovely Betws-y-Coed, then through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park and over breathtaking Llanberis Pass. After a stop at Caernarvon, we crossed Britannia Bridge to the Isle of Anglesey for a photo stop at tongue-twisting Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.
At Holyhead, we boarded the ferry and crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin. Our home for the next two nights was the beautiful Royal Marine Hotel.
Caernarvon's mighty castleCaernarvon's mighty castle
Our Irish Girls
Our Irish Girls
Picture: Sara Harris
We spent the morning with a sightseeing tour of Dublin. The Irish capital impresses the visitor with its statue-lined O'Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Some of us visited Trinity College with the famous 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. The afternoon was at leisure. Later in the evening, some of us went to the Guinness Brewery.
Another unscheduled stop was of the Deaf Village in Dublin. After five years of planning and a huge amount of consultation with the Dublin Deaf community, the first and most important phase is now open for business. Located on the same campus as the deaf schools in Cabra, Dublin, it features a state of the art sports center and swimming pool, conference facilities, meeting rooms, several offices, classrooms, a chapel, a social lounge and a cafe. We would like to thank Amanda for the guided tour and her assistance to make this visit happen.
Deaf Village Ireland
Deaf Village Ireland

Guided Tour at the Deaf Village
Guided Tour at the Deaf Village

Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Jaunting Car Ride
Jaunting Car Ride

This morning, we paid tribute to the Horse racing country and visited Kildare. Driving across the Curragh we arrived at the Irish National Stud at Kildare, whose thoroughbreds command respect on racecourses around world. We stopped in Blarney for lunch and an optional visit of the castle. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of great eloquence or skill at flattery. Quite a few of us dared to climb up the narrow stairs to the stone for the magical kiss. A 'Jaunting Car Ride' awaited us upon our arrival in Killarney. We discovered the beauty of the National Park while riding in a horse drawn car with a stop at ancient Ross Castle.
Another day with beautiful weather made our travel along the Ring of Kerry special. A spectacular 100 mile panoramic drive around the island's southwestern tip offered great views. In the afternoon, we continued via quaint Adare to Limerick, where an orientation drive featured St. Mary's Cathedral, King John's Castle, and the stone where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691. A very special night out was at the medieval banquet at Knappogue Castle. Richard did a great job representing our group as King. Coffee stop along the Ring of Kerry
Coffee stop along the Ring of Kerry
Richard, our King at Knappogue Castle
Richard, our King at Knappogue Castle


The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, rising 668 feet above the Atlantic present the visitor with a spectacular view. We traveled via Galway and Knock and arrived at our hotel in Sligo. Before dinner, most of us joined a scenic drive to a traditional inn where we had a great time while enjoying a good chat over some traditional drinks like a Guinness or an Irish Coffee. Jim telling about his job as an actor <br>while we were at an Irish pub
Jim telling about his job as an actor
while we were at an Irish pub
Our group at the Giant's Causeway
Our group at the Giant's Causeway

The grave of native son and poet W. B. Yeats in Drumcliff was our first stop in the morning. At the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, we stopped at the place where Belleek Pottery is made, renowned for its exquisite cream-colored Parian china. After our arrival in Derry, we learned more about the city during a city tour by bus. After lunch, we drove to the awe-inspiring Giant's Causeway. We stayed in Belfast overnight, Northern Ireland's seat of government.

During a morning city tour we learned many interesting facts about Belfast where the Titanic was built. We crossed the North Channel via ferry and arrived in Cairnryan on the west coast of Scotland. Back in Glasgow, we enjoyed a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Louise and Eileen
Louise and Eileen


Lola and Janice
Lola and Janice


Trisha, Sara, Rick and Mack
Trisha, Sara, Rick and Mack


John & Mary Ann
John & Mary Ann


Ken and Joan
Ken and Joan


Elaine, Doug, Gayle, Frank
Elaine, Doug, Gayle, Frank


Jason, Charlene, Jim
Jason, Charlene, Jim


Mary, Tony, Margie, Harold
Mary, Tony, Margie, Harold


Hanni, Tim, Nancy, Roger
Hanni, Tim, Nancy, Roger


Daniel and Kerstin
Daniel and Kerstin
Howard and Rosalie
Harold and Rosalie
Joel and Lillian
Joel and Lillian
Ray and Rachel
Ray and Rachel


Group Picture
Group Picture


If you would like to watch the videos that Jim and Jason recorded during our trip,
click on the following link
Fookembug.wordpress.com

Jim and Jason did an amazing job!!! Thank you very much.

What our clients said after the tour:

Dear Kerstin,
June 12-25 GB Bus Tour was best medicine and recovery after recent surgeries. Thank you for your encouragement to make the trip. Louise

Kerstin,
We had the time to reflect our Scotland and Ireland trip and needless to say, you have done a great job making our travel experience into a very positive way. We have passed on our comments among our friends. You have the knowledge and skills to make the trips possible for the deaf and hard of hearing people. No questions asked. Again thank you and hope to be able to take another trip with you. Gayle and Doug

Just wanted to thank you for the lovely Ireland, Scotland and Wales trip. Lola

Hello Kerstin,
Both the Celtic Highlands and London package tours were so amazing and more than just a fun. Rick

We want to thank you very much for your patience in planning such wonderful tour in UK, especially setting up the optional plan in London for some of us. Diane/Tony

Hi Kerstin,
I wanted to say "Many Thanks" to you for a such wonderful trip we had last month touring Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. We indeed enjoyed it very much! The group was wonderful and 3 sign language interpreters were so excellent even though each had his/her own different style. After looking at all photos we took, we did not realize we had seen so many different and interesting places in only 2 weeks. Mack said you and Megan were the same kind; energetic and effective. And it was no wonder why you both worked so good together. Sara

Thank you note from Tim and Nancy
Thank you note from Tim and Nancy


Thank you note from Lillian
Thank you note from Lillian


Donation for Deaf Schools in Jamaica


Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:

Tim & Nancy Driscoll
Jim & Charlene Lomanto
Janice Lemanski
Harold & Margaret Coggins-Peckham
Ken & Joan Klein
Frank & Elaine D'Ettorre
John & Mary Ann McAuley
Joel Silberstein
Roger & Hanni Adams
Tony Bray

Contact Kerstin's Deaf Travel to book your next cruise by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com



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