Ireland & England · Travel

Day 2 – A Flight to London and then to Dublin


Our new flight to London left JFK at 7:30 pm–our original flight was to leave at 7:00 pm, so our travel plans were not compromised at all! British Airways came through for us in a big way.

Lin and I hurried to the gate with our carry-on bags in tow–we had a short wait at the gate. After such a tumultuous day, I had to pinch myself. I could breath now;  relief flooded me as we walked through the door of the plane.

As we worked our way through the first class seating with pods for the travelers, I marveled at the comfort level there. I haven’t traveled on a Boeing 747 since 1999, so I had never seen them!

We arrived at our assigned seats near the rear of the plane–no pods! After Lin situated himself in the window seat, I fell into my middle seat, ready for a great trip.  Lucky us–our seats were located on the side of the plane and had only three seats. We had no one sitting with us, so I spread out.

I wanted to stand up and cheer when the plane took off–London and Heathrow, here we come! Truly my God had managed the whole day.

I enjoyed the chicken curry dinner and relaxed. Lin watched a movie and I played on my iPad and listened to music. Exhaustion hit us after we unwound, and sleep came easily for me. I wrapped myself up in the blanket provided, laid down on the seat with my head in Lin’s lap and drifted off to sleep quickly.

Waking up on the plane felt surreal. I followed our progress on the monitor and saw that we were flying over Dublin which made me chuckle. When we had booked our tickets in January, we didn’t have an itinerary yet, so I bought tickets to London. After much consideration, we decided to go to Ireland first and then to England because of the wedding we were attending on July 28, so here we were flying over Dublin now and in a few hours after landing in London, we would fly back to Dublin–kind of crazy, but it worked!

After deplaning we gathered our luggage, went through customs and checked our luggage for the flight to Dublin. We grabbed breakfast in a food court. The gate assignment wasn’t listed immediately, so we waited and waited. Finally they posted it, so we went to the gate and relaxed. Again we flew British Airways.

Our trip to Dublin was uneventful in a smaller airplane. We got a taxi to our hotel–one I had booked through British Airways. The taxi driver worried about the location of our hotel because it was in the middle of a business park with nothing around it.

We checked in, and the desk clerk, Jessie gave us instructions on how to ride the train into downtown Dublin so we could exchange money. We should have exchanged money at the airport but didn’t.

The room suited us fine. I immediately searched and found the blow dryer. Our travel agent told me that each place would have one, so I didn’t have to pack one. I worried about that needlessly–I needed a blow dryer and there it was! Thank God!

Jessie told us it was easy to catch the train and then it was a short walk from the Heuston station to downtown–yea, right! We learned during this trip that short is a relative term in Ireland and England.

The train station was up the hill from our hotel and a friendly commuter suggested how to deal with picking up our rental car in the morning.  She said, “Catch a taxi to pick up your rental car at Heuston station instead of at your hotel because it would be significantly less expensive.”

After getting off the train, we walked along the Liffey River, marveling at the stone work on the bridges and the people strolling by the river. When we passed the famous Guinness factory, it finally sunk in that we really were in Dublin.

We never did find the place to exchange money that Jessie had sent us to and by the time we arrived downtown, the banks had closed. A waiter at a corner pub/restaurant sent us down the street to an ATM, so we finally had Euros in our hands.

We ate dinner at that pub/restaurant, and I had my first bowl of Irish Stew–delicious lamb and potatoes! After dinner, we enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the crowded downtown streets. We slowly retraced our route back to Heuston station and found the taxi stand.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first night in Ireland, anticipating the drive to the countryside in the morning. I don’t think either of us slept much that night wondering how driving on “the left side” of the road would be.

Driving on the left side of the road–oh, my! Stay tuned for my next blog. Our  adventures begins on the wrong side of the road.

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