I'm happy to say that after an incredibly long flight I have arrived in Ireland. I used my Visa air miles for the flight, and the fees attached to my "free" flight varied greatly amongst the different airlines. Air Canada and British Airways both charged over $400, while West Jet came in under $200, so there was no contest. There were a couple of things about the West Jet flight that made it not quite as appealing though.
One of them I knew about before I got on the plane, and that was the fact I had two stopovers instead of flying directly to Dublin. The other one turned out to be a nasty surprise. I had assumed that because it was a long haul flight that I would be served a meal. Wrong. The last stop was in St. John's, Newfoundland, and I guess that made the leg across the Atlantic short enough they weren't required to feed us. All that was on offer were some overpriced sandwiches and skimpy cheese trays. I was starved by the time we landed.
My English friends John and Gill picked me up, and after a much appreciated breakfast we started out on our Great Irish Adventure. The first stop was at Powerscourt, where we toured some beautiful gardens.
My favourite part wasn't the actual garden though. It was the pet cemetery. I thought it was so sweet that this Shetland pony couple were buried together.
Then we drove over the Wicklow mountain pass, which was a huge surprise. When I think of Ireland I picture green fields. But the scenery as we wound our way over the narrow road turned out to be very much like what Kath and encountered several years ago when we were walking in Scotland. I can never get enough of looking at the high hills filled with heather and gorse!
Of course there were sheep sprinkled everywhere over the hills, and even a few on the road.
By the time we arrived at the B&B I was exhausted. I was every bit as happy to crawl into bed as I had been earlier in the day to eat breakfast. More of the adventure to follow!
Travel Tip #1: When in Ireland it's probably a very good idea not to ask for the Full English Breakfast. Just saying...