So, the first cheap flight with Ryan Air, the day had finally come!
What can I say, Eindhoven airport was small but modern. The Ryan Aeroplane... well, could do with a taste upgrade. They are cheap flights for us, so one can't complain, but for example, the seats do NOT recline, and have no seat pocket. I'm also sure the crambed in as many seats as they possibly could, so not much leg room for me. And the (very bright) yellow plastic on the back of all head rests..... dunno, but I can't recommend taking flights for more than 2 hours with them without needing aspirines for headaches....
The flight was pretty smooth though, not much of a delay. Dublin airport was as I remembered it, so a wee bit chaotic, and the queue at Budget car rental was painful. Of course, bad organisation, so we had a minor car upgrade (automatic instead of manual) and got of into evening traffic in a new Nissan Micra, Peter was happy with that.
Our hosts for the first few days were Avril and Collum with their 2 sporty kids, in country town Naas. Nice spot in the country side. Got
in a bit late, as we missed an exit, but that happens, and had a lovely home meal with a few drinks.
On Saturday we did manage to get out and go for a drive, my turn this time, through some small times and even smaller and narrower roads, across the Wicklow Gap to the coast (and lovely beaches), and back across via the Sally Gap. Great driving country, whish I had a motorcycle here, but I think Peter was happy enough for me to have 4 wheels and to slow down a bit as well !
Another lovely evening meal, and then of to the local pub in Naas and let me just confirm that the Guiness does taste a lot better in the country it is brewed in !! Think I had 4,5 pints, and finished it all of with a Jamesons whisky, of course. No headache the morning after !
Sunday was dreary, raining again, so lucky for us to have done the driving that day before. Avril gave us a small tour through southern Dublin, around Dun Loaghaire (pronounced as Dun Leary). Also we were pointed out where
Bono's (U2) mansion was, no too shabby, and another few rather large houses.
Had a nice BBQ at Avril's parents place, with an additional treat being the All Ireland hurling finals on the tele! Nice sport, quite like it when men run around and hit small balls with shorts sticks at each other, rather hard too. But either way, Kilkenny won, again, and it was quite an action packed game !
Monday we took the new and very fast tram into Dublin, had a bit of a walk around the town, Trinity college, had soem irish stew for lunch, took plenty of digital pics, and headed of in the tram again after 5, this time packed with evening commuters.
Evening was spent at Dervilla's for dinner, roast lamb ! Her good friend Fionualla (I probably misspelled this again for the umpteent time) was also present in the new rental house, as was her excited dog !
Tuesday, after some late washing, we hit the "freeway" or whatever a 1 lane road is called in Ireland. South, heading towards the castles in Cashel and Caher, also doing an extra scenic bit south to get the vantage point
of the "vee" south of clogheen. Then zipping back up northish towards Nenagh, spending the night there with Peter in a pub/hotel, which had very business like rooms. The town for some reason was nearly booked out, so we settled for the first pick, of course. Also catching up with Dervilla again who'd be doing an inspection of a milk powder plant in nenagh the day after. the joys of work !
We had no work, so we took the scenic route towards the coast line, and then upwards towards the cliffs of Moher. And yes, this time we had luck, sunshine !!
We had a stop a bit north for a pub lunch (only half, sorry, mini pint of guiness for me), and passed through Galway going East for some more scenic photo ops, also JUST making it into the Conamara region.
We spend the night in a B&B in Spiddal, due west of Galway on the waterfront. Nice pubfood again, some more Guiness for me and house red for Peter to end another luvely day on the emerald isle.
Last day then, zipping back through Ireland towards Dublin, and managing, just, to catch up
Have given this some thought, and as much work as it has been to keep the first blog up to date, the feedback from friends all over has made it worth it all (even after the site crashed). So here goes, as I'm not expecting to stop travelling soon !
Rene... full info
Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than se...more info