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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 11
England / Scotland / Ireland


On the coast of Ireland  
Day 19
Kinsale - Cork - London

Slept well through the cool Kinsale night. This sleepy, historic (Spanish Armada, English Luisitania) village is incredibly still at night.


We showered, dressed and finished packing for the one-hour flight from Cork to London. Met our gracious host, Michael, in the grand dining room of the Desmond House B&B, who regaled us with humor and prepared a delicious breakfast. We ate as we visited with Michael (make sure you check out the photo of him with President Bill Clinton,) and then said farewell.

President Bill Clinton with Michael, the proprietor of The Desmond House B&B in Kinsale
Carol and Michael in the dining room of The Desmond House B&B in Kinsale

At 9:15 am we were in our wonderful little red five-speed Nissan Micra for the last bit of fun driving. We are going to miss this spiffy, fast, efficient, roomy and fun little car.


En route to Cork airport, a half-hour drive from Kinsale, we came upon a horrific head-on collision with terrible injuries (or worse.) Quite a few other drivers stopped to offer assistance, so we turned around and found an alternate route.


Arrived at Cork International Airport at 10:15 am, kissed our trusty little red Nissan Micra goodbye, then checked in at the airport.

We had to return our wonderful little Nissan Micra at the Cork airport
Sat and watched several Aer Lingus flights arrive and depart as we reminisced about the wonderful adventures we have had in Ireland. We have never seen a more amicable, warm, accommodating, generous, courteous or fun nation of souls. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here, are sad to leave, and sincerely hope that we have an opportunity to return in the future. Many times during our explorations along the rugged, windblown coastal cliffs or the inland castles and abbeys, or the ancient stone forts and beehive swellings, we could sense ghosts speaking to us from the Celtic tradition, which is rooted far, far back in the very mists of time.
Sad to be leaving Ireland

The green Aer Lingus Airbus took off on time and all too soon the lush green cool land of Erin receded and faded, replaced by clouds. We were airborne over the Celtic sea and an hour later we touched down at Heathrow.

En route from Cork to Heathrow

We plan to see our friends Brett and Quezia tonight. We met this beautiful couple at a café in Trastevere, Rome, in 2008. Brett had just proposed to Quezia and she had just said “yes,” and we celebrated with them into the wee hours of the morning. They were married in Brazil in March. Unfortunately, we could not attend their wedding, so we intend to celebrate with them this evening.


I called Brett as soon as I could after collecting our bags at Heathrow and then Carol and I took the Tube to St. James Park and checked into our hotel, the grand old Jolly Hotel St. Ermin’s, which Carol won on Priceline at a great price for London! Our room is large, with a king-sized bed and overlooks New Scotland Yard.

Staircase at Jolly Hotel St. Ermin’s
Our room at Jolly Hotel St. Ermin’s

We left the hotel at 3:30 pm and wandered towards the river Thames. Passed Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, then walked along the river’s edge past the huge London Eye, to Embankment, where we met our friends Brett and Quezia at 4:30. It was very wonderfully exciting and emotional to see them again.

Westminster Abbey
Big Ben, Carol and David
The London Eye
Brett, Quezia, Carol and David

After hugs and warm emotional hellos, the four of us took a boat ride down the river to Canary Wharf, where we spent the next three or four hours getting reacquainted over truly delicious food and wine at Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant called Jamie’s Italian. The dinner was fabulous – by far the best dinner on this trip – but what made the evening so memorable was spending time once again with our dear friends.

Quezia, Brett and David at Jamie's Italian
Brett and David at Jamie's Italian
Quezia, Carol, David and Brett at Jamie's Italian
Brett and Quezia at Jamie's Italian

Our waitress, from Dublin (we lovingly referred to her as “The Leprechaun,”) made the experience even more enjoyable with her enthusiasm and humor.

Brett and Quezia are entertained by our waitress (from Dublin) who we nicknamed "The Leprechaun"
Quezia, "The Leprechaun," Carol, David and Brett at Jamie's Italian

The hour became late so after dinner the four of us jumped on the Tube from Canary Wharf back into the City. All too soon, it was time to say emotional farewells to our dear friends, and by 11:30 pm Carol and I were fast asleep at the Jolly Hotel St. Ermin’s.

Brett and Quezia having fun on the Tube back to London

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