Okay, so this has nothing whatsoever to do with camping, but after my brief account on my other blog of my recent quick trip to Ireland and the reason for going, which can be found here and here, I thought I would take a more light-hearted look at the events of the two days and post the few photos I managed to get during that time.
My son Michael and I left home at 8.30am and took the 20-minute walk over to his dad's place; the friend who was taking us to the airport was already there and his dad was in the car and ready to go so we were able to set off straight away. It took a while to get through the morning rush hour traffic on the motorway but we were still at the airport before ten o'clock so we had loads of time before our noon flight. I'd already checked us in on line and printed out our boarding passes a few days before, so with only hand luggage we were able to go straight through security and get ourselves settled in the cafe/bar/lounge area.
It was while we were sitting having a coffee that I looked up and saw a large sign which amused me enough to take a photo of it. Although I've Googled it now and found the answer I wasn't sure then exactly what an 'escape lounge' was, but as we were on the 'wrong' side of the security barriers and couldn't go back it did make me wonder if that was a way for people to get out of the building without being seen if they wanted to chicken out of flying.
It was a while afterwards when I began to wish that I could escape; frequent checks on the nearby screen for the gate number for our flight told us nothing except 'gate opens in 5 minutes' and after half an hour of seeing the same message I was beginning to get fed up. The time was fast approaching when, according to my boarding pass, the gate would close but it hadn't even opened yet - this was turning into a flippin' long five minutes.
I'd just returned from checking the screen yet again when I realised Michael had gone missing; it would be just my luck that the gate number would come up while he was gone and we would be late boarding, but he came back eventually - he'd gone in search of the toilets, which were quite a distance from where we were. Then not long afterwards his dad went missing while my back was turned; I found him a few minutes later slumped in the corner of a seat having a quick snooze. Honestly, I felt like I should have put reins on the pair of them to stop them both from wandering off!
Eventually, after several announcements apologizing for the delay, and an hour after our flight should have taken off, we finally got the gate number which fortunately was just round the corner from the cafe area where we were. The plane finally took off at 1.30pm and I was able to sit back and relax for a while, though as I'd bagged the window seat I occupied myself by filming the take-off and the first few minutes of the flight. We soon left the English coast behind and in no time at all we were approaching Dublin close to the estuary of the River Liffey - the view looked lovely in the sunshine and was an opportunity not to be missed so I shot another few minutes of video then took a few stills as we approached the airport.
With no luggage to collect once we'd landed it didn't take us long to get out of the airport building but the delayed flight meant that we'd missed the Bus Eireann express coach which would have got us to Roscrea at a reasonable time. The next one was a Kavanagh's coach at 3.15pm so we had nearly an hour to wait, but the coach was already parked at the bus stop and the very nice driver let us get on straight away so at least we could wait in comfort.
When we did finally set off it took an absolute age to get through Dublin city itself and out through the other side but it was interesting seeing all the different buildings and monuments and all the bridges over the Liffey. At one point we were stuck in traffic for several minutes so I managed to get a shot through the coach window of the impressive-looking Custom House across the river.
Finally leaving the city behind the journey took us through some lovely countryside, though we did deviate from the main route a few times to drop off and pick up other passengers. One of the places we stopped at was Kildare Village which was actually a shopping outlet on the outskirts of Kildare town itself; with its modern low-rise buildings, pedestrian precincts and well-spaced trees and shrubs it looked really attractive, though we didn't stop long enough for me to get any photos.
Not far from the shopping village was a roundabout with four modern 'sculptures' of galloping horses and as we went back to the main M7 I managed to snatch a photo of them. It seemed strange having them there and I couldn't see the significance, but I found out later that The Curragh racecourse and the Irish National Stud weren't far away so that's where the connection lies. The horses are made from bog oak and represent the different stages of a horse's gallop, with the title of the theme being 'Ghost Horses from the Bog', and the roundabout itself has been 'landscaped' with a wildflower seed mixture to compliment the sculptures.
Eventually, after a journey of three hours, we finally arrived in Roscrea, and though I'd found it quite interesting going through countryside and small towns I'd never seen before the long day of travelling had taken its toll by then and I was feeling more than a little weary. Fortunately the family home was only a few minutes walk from the bus stop so it wouldn't be long before I could finally relax - well that's what I thought, but it wasn't long before I was beginning to feel like I'd landed in a strange world where different people popped in through doors, said 'hello' and disappeared again, however I'll save that part for the next post.
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it