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My dad’s Ireland trip is on we’re including in his memoirs. He couldn’t wait to tell me all about his trip when he got home.
What a wonderful time I had in Ireland.
I booked a flight to Belfast without knowing the details — not a good idea. I did save money but was it really worth it? I ended up in Amsterdam overnight on the return trip so lost any savings from the flight and, well, I just wouldn’t recommend spending time there. I found the people not very friendly but I may have been spoiled by the fact that the Irish folks were ultra-friendly.
Anyway, I get to Belfast, get my rental car and of course they put the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car, but that’s OK. I knew it would be like that and that was my one trepidation about the whole idea of a trip to Ireland. Those feelings were unfounded, I found out. I got behind the wheel and even having to shift through six gears, I realized right of way that I was going to enjoy this.
There were a few pitfalls. The roads were all quite narrow and there were often hedges right up against the side of the road and did I mention curbs? Right out in the country where no curbs ought to be. Getting used to where I was supposed to be, I did bounce off of or run over some of those curbs, but all in all, by the time I left Ireland I had learned to navigate those narrow roads quite well.
Round-a-bouts, well those were another story. Actually, these were really easy to navigate. I just had to remember that the folks coming from the RIGHT have the right-of-way. There was this one teensy-weeny little near mishap when I forgot what I was doing. I turned right instead of left in the round-a-bout. Near disaster! I stopped, the other fellow stopped. He was wonderfully courteous about it all. He backed up and allowed me to get where I belonged. I suppose he was thinking, “Stupid American.”
The gas was another thing. “Petrol” was running about a pound 26. That’s one sterling pound and 26 pence. That’s about $5-per-gallon. Sounds bad, but not so much. The car I rented was a mid-sized car and got tremendous gas millage. I was wondering if it would ever come off of the full mark or perhaps the petrol gauge was dysfunctional. It did finally come down, and I did put some petrol in the tank a few times to the tune of about $120.00 for about 950 miles worth of driving.
This is just the beginning of the stories from Ireland. My dad really did have a great time and can’t wait to go back. He said next time I have to let one of my boys go. He was so excited to be able to actually leave the airport this time.