Mike Stoehr

Cincinnati, OH

Mike & his son Nathan!

Mike & his son Nathan!

Where did you travel to Mike?:
“Scotland and Ireland”

What made you want to travel to Scotland and Ireland?:

“We picked Ireland and Scotland because of their ancient history, castles and beautiful country. It also helped that they also spoke our language and culture except for driving on the opposite side of the road!”

Who did you travel with on this adventure?:
“For this trip I traveled with my 26 year old son. He is very much interested in history as am I. His mother knew that the two of us would be reading every historical sign and visiting many historical sites so she said to go on our own and make it a bonding experience. =)”

Where were the top 3 places to visit on your wish list? What did you think when you made it there?:

“The top three places we agreed on were:

1. Ireland’s Boyne Valley with visits to Newgrange, Knowth and Hill of Tara in their World Heritage Site. The ancient passage tombs and mounds were spectacular. Standing within the Newgrange mound in a chamber that was over 5,000 years old brought home neolithic man’s resourcefulness and linkage to the land.

2. Scotland’s Isle of Skye – What can I say except that this island is like entering another time and place. The landscape is like none other I have encountered with mountains and crags carved into fantastic shapes while the mists roll through. There is ancient history here and a remoteness that is both beautiful and solemn.

3. Scotland’s City of Stirling – This is a wonderful medieval city with the Stirling Castle sitting prominently at it’s center. You can see why this city played such an important role in controlling access to the Scottish Highlands. Besides the castle we strongly recommend visiting William Wallace’s (Braveheart) memorial as you have a bird’s eye 360 degree of the countryside for miles (or kilometers).”

Mike making friends!

Mike making friends!

Tough question alert!! What was the best part about your vacation?:
“I can say that the best part was spending time with my son and enjoying shared interests. This was a wonderful trip with so many sights and memories that we had only experienced in books.”

What made you want to book with Tenon Tours?:
“We chose Tenon Tours because of their flexibility and experience. We wanted a fly self drive vacation that provided us with touring options we would not have gotten in an escorted arrangement. Tenon provided us what we required at a competitive price.”

How was your experience with your personal sales representatives?:
“Cara and Karen were very helpful with planning and helping customize the trip to our interests. They make a good team and were proactive but not pushy when deadlines needed to be met. We would love to work with them again.”

Nathan making friends!

Nathan making friends!

Do you wish you prepared better for any specific part of the trip?:

“We read a lot of information on what to bring for the kind of trip we were heading into. I would suggest that anyone traveling bring at least two electrical plug adapters as we could have used a second one.”

That is great advice Mike. Learn more by checking out our blog about electrical adapters/converters!

Do you have any advice to offer up about the weather?:
“Be prepared for the weather changing quickly and frequently in the British Isles. What they provide in the daily forecast helps but is very variable. Have a breathable rain coat in the car for the entire trip and forget about using an umbrella with the usually windy conditions.”

Did travel insurance come in handy for you?:
“We purchased travel insurance but did not have to use it. It was a comfort to know that we were covered just in case.”

Loch Ness!

Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness!

Were you able to make any friends along the way?:

“Most of the bed and breakfast inn keepers were very friendly and helpful. On one night in a crowded Irish pub in Kilkenny a couple invited us to share their table. Over dinner and drinks we got to know one another sharing pictures and travel advice. They were from New Zealand.”

What was your favorite souvenir that you brought home?:

“The only real souvenir I brought home was a pint coffee cup from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Besides a lot of coffee, it handles a pint of beer nicely as well.”

Were there any unplanned parts of your trip that wound up turning into one of your favorite travel stories?:
“The side roads were probably our most surprising feature of both Scotland and Ireland. Once leaving the main two lane highway many roads turned into single lanes but supporting two-way traffic. You really had to be on the lookout for what in Scotland were called a “Passing Place” which was just a little pull off so the other vehicle could pass. Occasionally you would have a stand off and one vehicle would need to retreat back to a nearby “Passing Place”.”

What destination is next on your list?:

“That is up in the air right now but if I do another trip with my son we both agreed that visiting Germany around the time of Oktoberfest would be a good one. Prost!”

Stirling Castle!

Stirling Castle!

Did you learn any new Gaelic or Irish phrases?:
“We picked up a little but most was just understanding the differences in the English language (trucks = lorries and carry out = take away).”

How did you feel about driving on the “wrong” side of the road?:
“At first it was very intimidating but after a day it was not so bad. It helped to have another set of eyes in the passenger seat. I got pretty good at navigating those round-abouts! Note: Do not be afraid or too hesitant and remember to turn left.”

What tips do you have for others planning a self-drive tour?:

“Make sure you have a GPS as it proved invaluable. Either rent one or bring one with you but make sure you have the right and updated maps for where you will be traveling.”

How did you go about planning your itinerary, picking sights, arranging them and figuring out how long to stay?:
“We listed our interests and sites with the Tenon Tours team and they did the rest. It was easy and convenient. We would do it this way again.”

Any last words Mike?:
“I think I covered it all. Thank you all for a great trip and sound advice. We will use you again.”

Thank you, Mike! That sounds like such a fantastic father son trip. We look forward to assisting you in the future šŸ™‚

See what Cara and Karen’s other clients have to say about them!

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" I was very impressed with Barbara's firsthand knowledge of Ireland."

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"Stephanie and Michael were so patient with me and answered all of my questions. They always had good advice and were full of knowledge!! Loved working with them both!!"

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"I love how your team puts together such great itineraries."

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"Barbara, Gracie and Shawnee were incredible! They were so very responsive, helpful, and so kind."

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