Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Arriving in Ireland. My first time.

So, what did we think of Ireland? Fred had been there twice before to stay with my Dad and Breda, but this was my first time.

First of all we had trouble getting there because our flight was delayed in Amsterdam due to a big thunderstorm which had me soaking wet by the time I arrived at the station, despite the fact that I was carrying an umbrella. It really poured down. In order to save about € 240, I had booked flights from Amsterdam to Birmingham and from Birmingham to Cork. We had two hours to transfer flights in theory, but we were delayed for an hour-and-a-half, which gave us just 30 minutes to transfer. And, of course, instead of just wandering from one gate to another like one does in Amsterdam and many other airports, one had to go through passport control, find one's way over to departures, going through one shopping center after another, have our bags and our bodies checked, wander along many passageways and corridors to find that our plane had just pushed off from the gate and we had missed our flight. This despite the fact that we were told many times that they knew we were coming and that we would catch the flight. Very frustrating. BMI Baby was the company who proved to be very unhelpful all along bthe way, right from the start in Amsterdam where no-one communicated the fact that we were going to have any delay.

Anyway, we ended up spending the night in the Birmingham Etap hotel (only 35 pounds for a double room and highly recommended) and going to a pub to watch transvestite karaoke. Priceless!

About 500 euros later, we continued our trip by flying to Waterford, which was much nearer to Wexford than Cork anyway, with Aer Arran and had the whole afternoon ot get to Wexford before meeting up with Dad for dinner at Forde's on the quayside. We landed to a mixture of sun and showers, which was exactly what one would have expected, going to Ireland.

The bag came through quickly and we were soon trying to hire a car and were immediately shown the legendary friendliness of the Irish, as the two men behind teh desk started chatting to us and taking the mickey out of me being English on my first trip to Ireland. It was a good start even though they were stealing from our wallets with their rip-off Ireland prices!

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