Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore: some travel notes

Friday morning, 5.00 AM
Hopping into a taxi to Belgium’s low-cost airport “Brussels South”, which is nowhere near Brussels, but is in Charleroi.

Friday, 7.30 AM
My first experience on the best known low-cost air company. A guy in swimming trunks, goggles, snorkel, flippers and inflatable duck is standing in front of the plane, singing “row the boat, row”, and everybody’s singing along, waving arms from one side to the other. 5 minutes later, the cabin attendants are selling lottery tickets to the passengers. Welcome aboard!

Still Friday morning, Dublin
Arriving in Dublin, with...ok...5 minutes left to catch the next flight to Cork. Running across endless hallways. And with no time left, I still manage to stop at the Accessorize shop and buy a new rain hat. Of course, the price tag is lost, and the sales girl goes on a 10-minute search for it. I curse myself, but catch my flight to Cork :-)

Friday – on the flight to Cork
“Lme hlp ye wif tha” Um? What? But the nice steward is already carrying my little, but heavy suitcase up the stairs and into the plane.
“D”ye wn mi the git t fr ye?” Sorry? But the guy in the business suit is already lifting my suitcase in the overhead compartments.
Nice people, those Irish! (but I don’t understand a word they say)

Friday evening
Getting motion sickness from first experience with driving on the left side of the road.
And having an absolutely great dinner in Kinsale. Where the lovely staff finally kept moving all the tables in a desperate attempt to kick us, the final five guests, out.

Exploring Cork, visiting Blarney Castle (where we risk our backbones to kiss some stone, which will make us eloquent for the rest of our days), and finding out how whiskey is made at the Jameson Distillery in Midleton (and realizing that it’s really not my drink).

Road trip to the Killarney Lakes, the Beara peninsula, and the Healy mountain pass. *sigh*...nothing but beautiful landscapes, wild nature....and a lot of tuned racing cars for the yearly car rally held in these parts of the country.

Other road trip along the coast, more breath-taking sights. Bringing our rental car back in one piece to the airport.
Followed by the most relaxing facial treatment I ever had in the hotel’s spa.

Sad to be leaving already. The taxi driver bringing me to the airport senses my mood, and puts on some Irish folk song that goes : “farewell my dear Ireland, farewell Paddy’s green shamrock shore. Farewell my love, the one I adore”.

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