|Posted by Gary & Lynette Landy on February 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM|
Thankfully we decided not to book an early flight for Dublin today, so we were able to have a relatively unrushed start to our 5 day visit to Ireland, which we had both been looking forward to since arriving in the UK back in November.
We decided to try Ryanair for our flights to & from Dublin and what an interesting choice this has been. The cost of the flights is amazingly low, as long as you can source them on the internet; secure internet check-in and only have carry-on bags. There is condition that your ONE carry-on piece, per person, includes your handbag; camera et al, in other words – everything and it must all weigh no more than 10kgs. To take a suitcase, as we needed to do as we were travelling for 5 days around Ireland was an additional €25 each way (approx. A$45) for 20kgs. The conditions that apply to the Ryanair tickets are quite amazing when you read them & I suppose they apply to all discount airlines but the difference we did notice when comparing Ryanair to Jet Star in Australia is they actually depart and arrive as scheduled in excess of 90% of the time. However the attitude of the ground staff and flight attendants left so very much to be desired - but that is a story for another time. Thankfully though it wasn’t Gary nor I who were the recipients of what could only be described as ‘not my issue’, ‘I don’t care’ type attitude that we witnessed.
Our arrival in the beautiful city of Dublin was met with steady rain from the time we collected our hire car from Thrifty until we arrived at our B & B for the night in Kilkenny – 1½ hours south from Dublin. The Country House where we had pre-booked to in Kilkenny was absolutely delightful; however we did feel very sorry for the young couple (with a 4y.o. son) who owned and ran it as they purchased the property at the height of the property boom in Ireland for around €850,000 and now due to the global financial crisis and the issues facing the banks in Ireland, property prices have plummeted to such a degree that their property is now only worth in the vicinity of €150,000. What a substantial loss to have suffered in only 4 years! If such a thing, caused by the banks, should ever occur in Australia there would be such an outcry, but I suppose it doesn’t help people who, like Australians believe that putting your money into bricks & mortar is safe and secure. It really brings home how very lucky we are in Australia to not have these types of things happen in our Country.
Kilkenny looked to be such a pretty place but as we had some very special people to visit in Waterford we only had a very brief glimpse of what it had to offer early the next morning. Thankfully, we weren’t far from Waterford at all now that the new Motorway has opened and we were there quite quickly. Once in Waterford, a laundry was the first item to be crossed off our agenda….we were fast running out of clean clothes. After that chore was taken care of, we visited the tourist information centre to see what else Waterford had to offer, apart from the Crystal showroom. We had previously arranged to contact our gorgeous Laura Condon’s parent’s mid-afternoon and head out to their home for coffee. We were privileged to have already met her Dad (Reg) when he visited Australia last May and we were really looking forward to meeting Laura’s Mum (Rae) and seeing Reg again. Last May when we met Reg we caught a glimpse of Laura’s upbringing but upon spending a short amount of time with both Rae and Reg we now can see where she gets her delightful caring and giving nature from. We had so many laughs while sipping tea & eating the best apple pie (home-made of course) we have ever eaten during the course of the afternoon – all whilst the four of us avoided the conversation topics we had been told to avoid!
A quick trip back to our B & B to change for dinner then back to the Condon’s where we were given a gift of a beautiful Waterford crystal vase. Very, very naughty of them, however we are very appreciative of their generosity. It was then off to a wonderful Irish pub, The Munster where we also re-acquainted ourselves with another member Laura’s family, who we had met last May when he travelled to Australia with Reg, John – Laura’s uncle (Reg’s brother in-law). The 5 of us had such a fun night even to the point that Rae didn’t realise Laura had sent 5 text messages to her mobile phone; I missed a message sent to me which read – “hi are you both having nice time. I keep texting mum to see if you guys at the house so I can call but no reply. She obviously havin too much of a good time to even check her phone!”. I happened to see this message 2 hours after Laura had sent it, read it out to everyone at the table after which we all burst out laughing. Whilst Rae checked her phone, I rang Laura so we could all say a big “HI”, unfortunately all she could hear I think was laughing and fun times being had by all. Hopefully she has forgiven us by now. It is really difficult to think of people back home when we are enjoying ourselves, especially when in the company of wonderful people like the Condon’s. You have to love the Irish if they are all like the Condon's.....:D
Categories: 2010 - 2011 UK; Europe & USA