We got back from a brief trip to Ireland the other week, another country dealing with austerity but seemingly managing. I was shocked to see houses boarded up on estates where they obviously couldn’t afford to finish them or sell them but people we spoke to were generally optimistic and were tightening their belts and carrying on.
We set off on our trip on my birthday and I had the dubious pleasure of spending the day in 3 different countries. We started in Greece, had a stopover in Bergamo, Italy and eventually got to Ireland in the evening. Flying Ryanair does usually leave you with quite a hefty waiting time in between flights but we didn’t mind as Bergamo looked like a pleasant place to visit.
Unfortunately it was raining and Junior was complaining of an empty stomach. She was momentarily distracted by a ride on the funicular up to the old town but soon began moaning again about the need for food. Italians seem to eat earlier than Greeks so every place we entered was full – not good. We eventually managed to get in to a place and I had a very enjoyable pizza which I was supposed to be sharing with Junior but which she said felt ‘like leaves’. After eating one slice she consumed the entire bread basket instead!
After sauntering through the rain (we’re the brightly coloured pair to the right!) we decided to get the bus back to the aiport and as luck would have it we chose a bus stop outside a Gelateria – what’s the chance of that? Being Italy they of course had soya choices and I had a plain cone whilst Junior had strawberry. Once she became overwhelmed with the ’strawberryness’ of her choice she set her sights on mine which, being a good mother, I handed over, albeit grudgingly.
We arrived in Dublin late evening and had booked to stay in the Holiday Inn Express near the aiport as it had been a long day and we all needed a rest. Next morning Sean took the complimentary coach from the hotel to pick up the hire car at the airport. Good old Hertz wouldn’t accept a debit card and as we don’t have credit cards (don’t believe in buying things we don’t have the money for), they refused to hire us a car. Unfortunately for Sean they’d driven him to their compound to collect a vehicle but refused to drive him back to the airport as he wasn’t ‘a customer’, leaving him to traipse down busy roads back to the hotel which took him over 40 minutes. Nice one Hertz.
We went back to the airport en masse and hired a car from Budget who had no problem with a debit card. Before long we were in County Wexford where Junior was born. What were we doing there? Well, that’s for the next post