By Hotmandarins


We're on holiday in Ireland this week, and we were up bright and early this morning for our 8.25 flight.  It left on time, and we arrived in Dublin an hour later.  One of the extras shows us passing over the Irish coast.

We had booked a hire car and we arrived at the desk and checked in.  It all seemed to be going well at this point, and they checked both our driving licences, but they had a manchester phone number for us.  We didn't think anything of this at the time, but this was the first inkling of an issue.

We took a shuttle bus to the hire car compound, and were greeted by someone with an ipad who were matching names to the people getting off the bus.  He had our correct surname, but a booking for Kevin.  We corrected this and were shown to a massive car - we'd only booked a small compact.  We asked for something smaller, and the bloke serving us looked confused.

To cut a long story short they'd managed to book us in under someone else's booking, and we had to wait while the bloke sorted this out on the computer.  He then gave us a choice of cars and we went for an Astra, which turned out to have no parcel shelf.  His second choice was massive and we ended up with a nice small Toyota in the end.  All sorted!  He even waived the second driver fee for the trouble caused.

We are staying on the west coast of Ireland so had to drive across from Dublin airport, taking our time.  We first stopped at Drum Monastic Site which wasn't as exciting as we expected, being mostly a cemetery (see statue in extra).  We ate lunch here and then drove through to Coole Park where we had tea and cake and then had a short wander around the grounds.

From there we took the back roads and came across a magnificent stone tower near some ruins in the midde  of nowhere.  This turned out to be Kilmacduagh Abbey (main blip) but we didn't have much time to stop here as we needed to get through to the cottage.  We hope to return later in the week, if we get chance.

We were entertained by the radio in the car as we drove.  There's certainly a different feel to the local radio. We heard the DJ reading out a job advert, a long section of obituaries (complete with whose house they were in at the moment, when they were being taken to the church, and where the wake was) and lots of sport.  We were confused by the sport for a while, but we think it was a report about hurling.  We did see someone with what we presume was a hurling stick at the park.

The roads were nice and quiet, but we did see some interesting loads on car trailers, including a complete assembled greenhouse and a small shed.

We arrived at the cottage at 6pm, and were greeted by the owner and his dog.  After unpacking we drove out to buy supplies and had dinner in the cottage.

We hope Kevin managed to obtain his car ok, and we are hopeful that we aren't liable for any of his speeding fines. :-) 

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