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Deaf Bus Tour
England - Wales - Ireland - Scotland
May 22 - June 2, 2012

Our coach for our trip in Britain and Ireland

Most of us flew into London on May 22nd. We gathered for a group welcome meeting in our hotel, the Hilton Metropole. Here we had a chance to meet with our tour director Megan. Afterwards, we walked to the nearby Chapel pub and had an enjoyable time with excellent food.

At the Chapel Pub
At the Chapel Pub

The day started early what also 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 for an exciting trip. We left London for Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument dating back to 2400-2200 BC.
Just a few miles South of Stonehenge we reached Salisbury. The city is famous for its beautiful cathedral that has the tallest church spire in the Britain and the largest cloister. The cathedral's clock is the world's oldest working clock built in 1386.
After a leisurely drive, we arrived in Bath. The city was first established by the Romans. Later, Bath became the site of an abbey. During the Georgian era the town become famous as a spa for the noble society from London. We visited the excavations of the Roman Baths and had some free time to stroll through the shopping district of the city. We finished the day in Newport, Wales.

Cathedral in 
Cathedral in Salisbury


We departed Newport for the Welsh capital Cardiff. On the way, our tour director explained the history of Wales and we learned that the symbol of Wales is the red dragon. We stopped at the castle in the middle of town and had a guided tour of this major attraction. Many of the rooms are in remarkable condition. The tour guide told us many stories about the past castle owners and their guests. The castle's history is a story of invasions, abductions and conflicts. Today, the castle is in public ownership.
We continued our journey along the South Wales coast to Pembroke, where we and the bus embarked a ferry. The crossing of the St. George's Channel took a few hours before we arrived in Rosslare on the Emerald Isle. We stayed overnight in Waterford.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
On the ferry
On the ferry from Wales
to Ireland
A deaf employee at the Waterford Crystal
Visitor Center is guiding part of the tour

Stud at Kildare
Irish National Stud at Kildare
Waterford is famous for its crystal. Crystal was manufactured here from 1783 - 2009. The Waterford Crystal Visitor Center is once again producing crystal on a small scale. We had a guided tour of the center and part of the guided tour was conducted by a deaf employee. What a pleasant surprise!
Entertainment of a very different kind was waiting for us at the Irish National Stud at Kildare. We learned a lot about horse breeding during a guided tour , walked over the property and saw beautiful horses.
We arrived in Dublin - Dun Laoghaire in the afternoon at the historic landmark hotel Royal Marine overlooking Dublin Bay.
Many of us participated in an Irish Cabaret evening at night.

celebrating an anniversary
Celebrating an anniversary

The entire day today was reserved for a visit of the capital of the Irish Republic, Dublin. We saw most of the city's landmarks during an orientation drive . At Trinity College we had the chance to see the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. The afternoon was free to explore the city on our own.
At night, most of us went to the Guinness Storehouse. A guided tour provided information what it takes to brew a good Guinness. After the tour, our group gathered at the Gravity Bar on top of the brewery building. We were invited to tast a Guinness. To our surprise, Mr. and Mrs. Guinness came to the bar and met with our group. We had a great time and finished the eventful evening with a dinner at the brewery.

At the Gravaty Bar
Mr. Guinness with Frank and Andrea
At the Gravaty Bar
Enjoying a Guinness at the Gravity Bar
On the ferry
On the ferry from
from Northern Ireland to Scotland

Our morning drive was heading towards Belfast in Northern Ireland. We crossed the river Boyne and saw the Mourne Mountains in the distance. Soon, we crossed the border from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland. Here we were back on British soil. We stopped briefly in Belfast. Then back on the bus since we had to catch our ferry that took us across the North Channel. The first place that we touched on Scottish soil after getting off the ferry was Cairnryan at the southwest coast.
A drive with beautiful weather through the scenic Scottish border country brought us finally to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
Most of us enjoyed a Scottish evening with Highland dancers, singers and bagpipers.
Scottish Evening
Scottish Evening
Our hotel in Edinburgh was conveniently located in the middle of town. We discovered the capital via coach in the morning. Our Scottish city guide showed us the New Town and the Old Town, pointed out the residences of famous scientists, inventors, and other well known citizens of the city. The tour was concluded with a walking tour in the Edinburgh Castle with a visit of the display of Scotland's Crown Jewels. Free time was scheduled for the afternoon.
Later in the afternoon, some of us visited the former Royal Yacht Britannia. The evening concluded with a dinner in a trendy pub with delicious food.

At Edinburgh Castle
Our group with our Scottish city guide at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Greyfriars Bobby
Greyfriars Bobby
You are curious about his story?
Join our Scotland & Ireland
tour in 2013

At the Royal Yacht Britannia
On the Royal Yacht Britannia

Border Scotland - England
With the sound of the
bagpipe we said Good bye to Scotland
and Hello to England
Tea Room Shop
The famous Betty's Tea Room Shop in York

We crossed the Northhumberland National Park in the morning. We stopped at the border between Scotland and England where a bagpiper entertained our group for a while.
In the early afternoon, we arrived in York with blue sky and sunshine. York was founded by the Romans and was a major wool trading center in the Middle Ages. It is a quaint city with a world famous cathedral and known as England's most complete medieval city. Our tour director introduced us to the city with a guided tour that ended at the cathedral. The city offers an enjoyable walk through the old city center since most of the small streets are pedestrian areas lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms.

After an early departure from York and a nice bus ride, we arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is a market town with more than 800 years of history. The streets are dominated by timber frame buildings, small shops, pubs and tea rooms. We visited the house in Henley Street where Shakespeare was born. We learned how his father earned his living as a glove maker and we saw where William spent the first five years with his wife.
We returned to London in the afternoon.
At night, we dined together in a London restaurant and went on a river cruise on the Thames. It was a boat ride through the British capital while the city was illuminated.
Henley Street
Henley Street
In the backyard of Shakespeare's birthplace
In the backyard of Shakespeare's birthplace
London, Tower
Our group with the only female Beefeater at London's Tower

We stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel for the remaining days in London. The hotel is conveniently located across the river from the Parliament building and Big Ben. Thus, it was easy for us to walk over the bridge and get to Westminster Abbey for a guided tour. The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066. It is one of the most important Gothic buildings in Britain where seventeen monarchs found their final resting place.
In the afternoon we went to Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, Tower of London. During a guided tour we learned a lot about the Tower that served as an armory, treasury, mint, prison and today as the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. After the guided tour, we visited the impressive Crown Jewels. After our return to the hotel we went to the London Eye, a giant ferris wheel on the river bank. We took a ride to have a chance to see the city from a bird's eye view.
London, Parliament building and Westminster Abbey
London, Parliament building and
Westminster Abbey
photographed from the London Eye
Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guard
Windsor Castle
Guided Tour at Windsor Castle

Still enjoying great weather, we walked from our hotel through St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. We saw all the preparations under way for the Queen's Jubilee celebration. We watched the Changing of the Guard and headed back to the hotel for our bus tour to Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle that was built to protect Norman dominance in the area and to oversee the strategically important River Thames. Today, the castle is mainly an example of Georgian and Victorian design. During the reign of Queen Victoria the castle became the center for royal entertainment. Today, the largest inhabited castle in the world is the Queen's preferred weekend home.

Group Picture
Group Picture

What our clients said after the tour:

We wanted to thank you for the awesome well-planned England, Wales, Ireland & Scotland tour. We enjoyed ourselves very much. You were really great. Susie & Dan

Dear Kerstin
Our many warm thanks for making our trip to the United Kingdom such an enjoyable one. We truely enjoyed seeing many wonderful places as well as being with such a great group of Deaf tourists and also three awesome interpreters. And more importantly, you have been a fantastic and hardworking travel coordinator. Without you, our trip would not have been a success! Again, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts. Love, Carrie & Roy

We want to thank you so much for the trip London, Ireland and Scotland. We had a wonderful time and there are so many beautiful old buildings wow. Learned lots about the history. We are happy with the trip. Hope to join a trip again with you in the future. Thank you Judy & Larry

We really enjoyed our trip with you as you did a very very fanfastic job to do the tour .... We really had a wonderful time plus gorgerous weathers. wowow! Sheila & David

Thank u for everything. I really enjoyed the trip. Leeann

Great Pleasures Touring with the Deaf people... Everything is so great.. We re looking forward to have a river cruise within two or three years... Many thanks for being a wonderful travel agent Gail

Hi, this trip was very planned and we really enjoyed every moments. We will return with you
someday for sure. Looking forward for next trip you may plan. Thank you so much for making this trip memorable. Kathy & Louis

Hi Kerstin,
THANK YOU for all you've done to make the recent England-Wales-Ireland-Scotland bus tour memorable! The historical places we visited, the beautiful countrysides and interesting cities we'd gone thru, the amazing architectures, castles and churches, and medieval stories of the royal families and authors-writers-playwrights-actors were fascinating. And the cultural food-tasting was interesting. The whole experience was wonderful, and Bob and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment on the tours. And three great interpreters (Tony, Cari, David) certainly made the trip worthwhile, three-dimensional and entertaining. Bob & Marlene

Donation for Deaf Schools in Jamaica

Fundraising Poster

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

Edward & Betty Van Tighem
Sherwood & Mary Sue Boxer
Charles & Shirley Fisher
Judy Baker
Larry Sullivan
David & Sheila Glenn
Janice Lemanski
Chris & Cheryl Noschese
Roberts & Marlene Brooke
Clifford & Marilyn Sharkey

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

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