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Edinburgh: late afternoon arrival

I arrived in Edinburgh in the late afternoon on a twin-prop 80-seater regional aircraft from Dublin. The bummer: I had row 3, and the plane boarded from the rear hatch (finally get up front and I still had to walk the whole length of the plane. Oh well).
Once in town I gave a copy of my novel to Waterstones Edinburgh, then strolled along the gardens back toward my lodging. Check out these photos of Edinburgh Castle and the gardens.

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Check out this Scottish Thistle.

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Here is a doorman for the Barmoral Hotel.

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And here is Hamish, the Assistant Manager at the Balmoral Hotel, and I. Hamish explained about the Commonwealth Games that are taking place in Glasgow for the next 10 days, then we chatted about my Scottish ancestors and I told him about my novel and he bought a copy. The Balmoral Hotel is a beautiful place with some lovely choices for beer, oh and food.

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Finally, here is a photo of the mist overtaking one of the clock towers near Carlton Hill.

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I’m off to sleep as I need to be up early to start my four day Isle of Skye and Highland tour. Hope to post along the way.

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July 24, 2014 · 2:13 pm

One last pub before heading to Scotland-The Brazen Head

I went to one last pub before heading to Scotland tomorrow. I decided on The Brazen Head as it claimed to be the oldest in Ireland. The food was good pub grub and I finally had a Kilkenny (another stout) and ended the night with an Irish coffee and some music. At one point, the room was so crowded there was no space to move, but I took pictures when I could.

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And one more interesting sign I found in the pub.

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July 23, 2014 · 3:22 pm

National Museum of Ireland

I spent most of the late morning and afternoon at the National Museum of Ireland, specifically the archeological building. The two-storey building is well laid out and displays most of Ireland’s treasures, including the Tara Brooch

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Chalices, gold torcs, and many other items.

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A carved stone from Loughcrew (where my Tuatha Dragon Clan resides).

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The Neolithic mace head found at Knowth

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And a cool, line-carved floor or wall tile.

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I’m getting ready for my week-long trip to Scotland starting tomorrow. Two weeks has flown by. One more night at an Irish pub. Ireland has once again given me great pleasure and a sense of coming home. Slainte.

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July 23, 2014 · 9:10 am

Hill of Tara and back to Dublin for my birthday

What a spectacular day in Ireland. I spent the morning with the Lia Fail (the Stone of Destiny). The sun was shining and at the Hill of Tara I could see not quite all of Ireland.

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Here are some Celtic Crosses at the church that is part of the hill.

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Look who joined me at Lia Fail

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And I’ll leave you with one more-a worthy quote for all writers.

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July 22, 2014 · 11:49 am

Titanic Experience, saying goodbye to Northern Ireland, and Bru na Boinne

Wow, what can I say about the Titanic Experience! Very moving. Of course, I like my friend and fellow critique mate, Marlene Dotterer’s version of the story in her SF/F Shipbuilder: The Time Travel Journals better as Thomas Andrews, the principle architect manages to implement more safety features, and he lives!

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Had beautiful, sunny skies leaving Northern Ireland.

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Then i was on my way to Bru na Bionne (also known as Newgrange and Knowth)- in The Keepers of Eire , my killer places the bodies of his victims at the Entrance Stone

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I lodged in Trim, near Trim Castle. Here is an artist’s rendering of the castle.

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July 22, 2014 · 10:45 am

Beaghmore Stone Circles and Belfast

After a late dinner at Bushmills Hotel and Restaurant (due to a Saturday evening crowd and several festivals in the area), I made it back to the Causeway B&B to rest up for my venture into Belfast. First, though, I found the Beaghmore Stone Circles -this is the location for the northern dragon compound for the Tuatha Dragon Clan in The Keepers of Eire.
This is also where Grayson was hatched, and…

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And check out this sign as I was leaving my lodging in Bushmills

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Finally made it into Belfast and my hotel-got all turned around, but a fella at the petrol station sorted me out.
I’ll try to see the Titanic Experience tomorrow before I head back into the Republic of Ireland.
I’ll just leave you with one more photo of the stone circles.

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July 20, 2014 · 9:29 am

Yeats, Northern Ireland: Coleraine, Carrick-a-rede Bridge, & Giant’s Causeway

With the storms yesterday, I had a fabulous sunset from my lodging.

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In Sligo for a quick shot of W.B. Yeats, then I stopped at his gravesite. Grayson paid his respects as well.

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Here is Benbulben, one of the mountain ranges here in Sligo.

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Now into Northern Ireland. I stopped in Coleraine and gave a book to the Waterstones bookshop, then headed toward Bushmills. Here is the scenery around the Carrick-a-rede Bridge.

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And the Giant’s Causeway.

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July 19, 2014 · 12:27 pm