GAELIC GETAWAY, CHAPTER 1: IN WHICH WE GET AWAY FROM CONFLICT (WE HOPE)
Day 1: Atlanta to Dublin. For some months, Ken has been talking about spending several weeks in Ireland. When I asked why Ireland, his reply was quick and succinct. It's an island. They speak English. The kind of weather we like. Great scenery. Lots of history. After a moment's hesitation he added one drawback—driving on the left side of the road.
Our initial plan called for visiting the Emerald Isle in the summer of 2016. With its mild maritime climate, Ireland appeared to be an ideal destination for escaping the oppressive Georgia summer heat. Until Friday, November 13, we anticipated returning to eastern Europe this month to pick up where we left off on our aborted circumnavigation last year.
After the brutal attacks in Paris, we reconsidered traveling to the epicenter of Europe's migration crisis at this time. Since we hadn't made any reservations yet, we had no difficulty shifting our thinking—and our planning—westward. We were looking for a six-week itinerary, and Scotland seemed the perfect partner for the second half of the trip, for much the same reasons Ken cited in favor of Ireland.
Like virtually every transatlantic departure from Atlanta, ours was a red eye flight to Paris—yes, Paris, for a brief layover—which left a few minutes past midnight. At the last minute as we checked in for the flight the night before, we were offered an upgrade to first class at a price we couldn't resist. Though we usually don't mind the economy cabin, on a long haul overnight flight, we were very thankful for flat-bed seats, fluffy pillows and snowy comforters. We actually got some decent sleep as the crew carried us across the Atlantic.
|Journaling across the Atlantic|
From the C gate where we disembarked, we had a bit of a hustle to gate K22 for our 3:30 flight to Dublin. The flight was operated by CityJet, a regional Irish carrier, piggyback codeshared through Air France to Delta. When we arrived at the gate, we discovered it was a mere portal to a bus stop. At the appointed boarding time, we were shuffled onto a minimum-seating bus for a twenty-minute ride to the Charles de Gaulle hinterland, where our turboprop Avro awaited.
|Gate K22 - no jetway here|
|Approach to Dublin|
After a brief stop at the Hertz counter to pick up keys for our Citroën Cactus hatchback, we made the mistake of allowing our Garmin GPS to guide us to the hotel without screening the route. An hour and a half later we reached our hotel—9 miles from the airport—after getting an up close and personal look at Dublin's rush hour traffic.
|Bumper to bumper in Dublin city|
Tomorrow we hope to awake in time to see some of the sights of Dublin.
- Started in Atlanta, ended in Dublin
- Mileage - 4,930 (Trip total: 4,930)
- Weather - 52° to 55°, windy
TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER, 2015