Published: August 1st 2012August 1st 2012
When arriving in Dublin and crossing over the glass enclosed walkway if you look to the left you will see the busses for Bus Eiraan in the distance. The X20 goes to Galway.
July 17 Tuesday
Good morning...I'm at my sisters and up at 0200 (10 AM in Ireland) taking another look at everything in my suitcase and seeing what I can leave behind. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow. I'll leave her house about 08:45 (Texas time) Wednesday and get to Ballinasloe around 2 PM Thursday (Ireland time) if all goes well.
The plan is to spend Thursday and Friday in Ballinasloe and then either stay the weekend there or go back to Dublin for the weekend and then in either case go to Cashel for Monday and Tuesday and to Cork on Wednesday.
I’ll explore Cork and the surrounding area again at my leisure and then rent a car and explore from Kinsale to Killarney hugging the coast on the “R” roads. According to the Weather Channel the weather looks to be good from the 50’s at night to the 60’s during the day. That’s great touring weather.
July 18 Wednesday
Up early drinking my tea and thinking things over. I’ll be heading over to the airport about 9AM to leave to Ireland. Looks like it will be an interesting2 months.
July 19 Thursday
Looks simple enough...
After a long layover in Washington DC I had a good trip across the puddle. Nice and cool in Ballinasloe and no rain.
Wednesday July 18
I flew out of Easterwood at 11:16. I had weighed my bag and my scale showed 46lbs but theirs showed 49 Lbs. So I barely squeaked by on the 50 Lb. limit. Before I paid $100 for excess weight I would have taken something out and put in in my carry-on bag. Perhaps because I was using a backpack as a carry-on bag and it was so full and heavy security unpacked and looked at every single item in them and ran them through the x-ray machine 3 or 4 times. The only time I have ever had my bag checked here in College Station was when it was a backpack. Security Smurfs have a thing about them.
The flight from Easterwood to Houston was a bit late and the walk and ride to the departing terminal was a long one and I just made it on the plane out of Houston at last call for passengers even though I only stopped for one quick potty break.
The plane from Houston to Washington DC was packed full and I had a middle seat which made for a long trip. Thank God I had a couple of not too big guys on each side of me. The info on the plane said there is 17.4 inches of width on the seats. I measured myself side to side and it was about 17 inches so if I had had a couple of “wide loads” on the sides of me it might have been a bit snug. Even so a 3 hour flight in that little seat was a long one.
When I got to DC it was a long, long, long walk carrying my two heavy bags all the way across the terminals. It seems you arrive at one end and where you depart is always all the way across to the other end. My backpack wasn’t so bad as I had it on my back but the other one that I was carrying wore me out and I was soaked with sweat and stopped several times to rest on the hike to my terminal of departure.
My bags were very heavy as I had to put so much into them (including several Lonely Planet guidebooks and French Language books) in order to keep my check in bag below 50 lbs. I would have perhaps been better off if I had downloaded the guidebooks offline into my computer from the Lonely Planet web site. But I really like doing my homework out of a book and long stretches of reading a computer screen make my eyes tired.
I was also annoyed with myself that I hadn’t just left most of the stuff in my suitcase at my cousin's in Ireland after my last trip since I knew I was coming back shortly anyway. I don’t wear any of the clothes I wear in Ireland in July in July in Texas. It just goes to show that smart people do some pretty stupid things sometimes.
The 5 hour layover in DC wasn’t a bad thing as it allowed me plenty of time to get across the terminal as well as eat something. However all the restaurants were packed full and all the tables being used except for Wendy’s so I just got a cheeseburger with fries. Still….. it will be my last real American Cheeseburger for 2 months at least so that made it special.
After eating I continued the hike to my terminal taking breaks to rest along the way and got there with still 2 hours to spare which was nice as it allowed me time to log on to the internet and let everyone know I had made it safely so far. Also there was a storm in the area which was delaying flights from taking off anyway.
There were plenty of places to plug in around the terminal as well as free WIFI which was nice as I could fully charge my laptop as well as make good use of my time at the airport.
When we boarded the plane there were plenty of seats open because the storm had delayed incoming flights so as I had 2 people next to me I moved up to an empty row and sat in the middle row to discourage any late arrivals from sitting next to me. They held the plane for a bit to allow some other late arrivals and luckily they sat in rows other than the one I was in. So I got a whole 3 seat row to myself and after take off I spread my stuff out and set up my “office”. They now have plugs under the seats for computers , I-pads, cell phones, etc. Unfortunately the space between seats is so limited my 15.6 laptop was too big to use comfortably. They also said they had wifi but I didn’t try it out. After we took off I did some homework in my notebooks copying info from the old one to a smaller one and then after we were out over the ocean took up the armrest and spread out on the seat as several others were doing on theirs and got a pretty good nap.
The flight was uneventful and we arrived in Dublin on time. I went through immigration where they stamped my passport and then to baggage pickup. When I got to the baggage pickup I waited until it was empty and didn’t see my suitcase. I waited a bit more and then got to thinking it was lost and how much trouble that was going to be to get it back. I decided to walk around to the other side of the rotating rack and sure enough it was sitting on the floor by the rotating bin. Evidently some Lout had taken it off to check if it was his/hers and hadn’t had the decency to put it back on…..grrrrrrrrr. Some people really deserve to be severely beaten from time to time.
So I collected my suitcase and went through “The green line” at customs where they didn’t even look at me. The green line is where you have nothing to declare.
I went to the airport lobby and found some unoccupied seats in a row and took all the heavy books out of my carry-on bags and put them in my suitcase which had wheels thank God.
The 20X bus from the airport to Galway didn’t leave till 12:30 so I had plenty of time to stop at one of the airport café’s and had a pot of tea and a piece of cake. I also went by the tourist info. office where I got a book free on southeast Ireland.
Afterwards I went through the glass walkway and down the elevator to the ground level. Then to the left and about ¼ miles to where the Bus Eireann buses leave from.
I caught the 12:20 X20 bus that goes to Galway but stops at Ballinasloe. It was about a 2 hour bus ride as it only stopped at Athlone (where I took a quick potty break) and then goes to Ballinasloe. They had a sign which said they had wifi on the bus but I can’t imagine trying to use my laptop in the limited space between the seats.
When I left Athlone I called my cousin and let him know and he met me at the bus stop to give me a ride to the cousin's house I was staying at , which was much appreciated since I had lugged that luggage and carried that bag far enough on this trip to suit me.
When I got to the cousins house I had some tea and ate a plate of food they had prepared for me while visiting a bit.
Two of my cousins went to get some chippings to put on the graves in the cemetery and after a bit the other went to walk his dog and I had him pick up an electrical adaptor for me as somewhere along the way either Me/Easterwood airport security/ or American Customs who inspected my bag again as usual had not put a quart sack full of adaptors back into my suitcase….grrrrrrr. I took every single thing out of my suitcase and bags and they were nowhere to be found.
While everyone was gone I used the battery on my computer to send out some emails and check a few things and then at 5PM Ireland time which was 11PM Texas time and pretty much wore out for the day I went to bed.