Aircraft delays and left-sided driving...
Kilkenny Travel Blog› entry 1 of 9 › view all entries
May 8th, 2010 – by: kkrater
As luck would have it, on the day of my departure, the evil Icelandic volcano started acting up again. This created quite a stressful situation at the airport. My flight was delayed by two hours and nobody could tell me if we were going to be able to fly or not. I was able to eventually board the plane almost three hours after the originally scheduled departure. Once on the plane Aer Lingus informed everyone that we would have to fly over Greenland to avoid the ash. This increased the flight time by about two and a half hours. Luckily it was an over-night flight so I hoped that two more hours in the air meant two more hours of sleep. Sadly it wasn't meant to be and I spent most the night tossing and turning.
Immediately, Ireland wasn't quite what I expected. Apparently a proper gate couldn't be located for our plane so we walked down a set of stairs on to the tarmac. It was sunny but absolutely freezing outside. I think the pilot said it was about 40 degrees when we landed. After that I made my way through the airport, which is a total disaster by the way (think rats in a maze). Luckily everyone is super friendly, including the customs agent who checked my passport and emphatically welcomed me to Ireland. In Dublin's defense they are building a brand new terminal that should be open later this year, so a lot of the confusion is created by construction and trying to accommodate too many travelers in far too small an airport.
I met up with Nikki at baggage claim and we proceeded to check in with Avis. When we got to the car I thought, "I've watched Top Gear, how hard can this be". Nothing in Top Gear prepared me for the tiny Irish roads, shifting left handed and ridiculously fast speed limits. No wonder there is no tolerance for drinking and driving! I managed to stay on the correct side of the road, but I told Nikki to watch the left side of my car because it was impossible to gauge the distance between it and any obstacle I might run in to. We left the avis parking lot, made it out of the airport and found ourselves on the M50.
Our destination for the day was Kilkenny and the drive wasn't terribly difficult. Mostly motorway and some N class roads, which in the Kilkenny area were in good condition.
Kyle "Where are we?!"
Nikki "Turn left, go up that hill, go around the roundabout, second exit, turn right, see a church keep going straight"
Kyle "Ahh why don't I stop at this gas station and ask directions..."
Nikki "Keep driving! Oh look there is the bed and breakfast!"
Kyle "WTF just happened?!"
One thing of note, Ireland doesn't really have road signs. If you're on a major road, N or M you'll know by the number, but once you reach a town street names are almost never labeled.
We checked in to our B&B and walked toward downtown. We were starving and needed to find some lunch immediately. Kilkenny was a nice town, tiny streets and sidewalks, nice little boutique shops and restaurants.
The rest of our afternoon included a nap and a brief tour of the Kilkenny Castle.
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