Visiting The Emerald Isle
to be back in Ireland. Two days ago I arrived home from Ukraine at 1130pm. I enjoyed an early breakfast with my family yesterday morning so we could get caught up and then I packed and got ready for last nights flight to Dublin.
All of my passengers arrived at Toronto Pearson ahead of schedule so they had plenty of time to enjoy the lounge pass we provide prior to the flight. After chatting with an Air Canada supervisor he allowed my group to have priority check in – a nice bonus.
The Air Canada flight was packed. The service and food was ok but did not quite compare to the flight my group enjoyed the day before with Lufthansa. The pilot of the Lufthansa flight was incredible. Our landing at Toronto Pearson was unlike anything I have ever experienced. All you know there is usually some kind of a bump (big or small) at landing but the Lufthansa pilots landing was so smooth – almost like a feather falling out of sky – I wondered if something was wrong when I heard the airline brakes as I didn’t know we had landed as we didn’t feel it at all – how did he do that?
Air Canadas dinner tasted processed – Lufthansa’s tasted homemade. Air Canada’s pre-landing snack was ice cold – Lufthansa’s was served hot. Lufthansa brought around around hot napkins before our meal in economy class – Air Canada does not …. etc etc…. There was nothing wrong with the Air Canada flight but in comparison with Lufthansa I’d have to award Lufthansa with a gold medal and Air Canada a bronze.
Before we landed in Dublinwe were delighted with amazing views over rural Ireland. its obvious why Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle with 40 shades of green.
Our Ireland host is a true professional. He called me in Canada a few hours before I left for the Toronto airport to wish us a good flight.
The Dublin airport is older – there was a lengthy wait to clear customs. By the time we showed up at the luggage belt all of our luggage was there – a nice plus. Our guide was waiting for us – holding a “Travel With Bradley” sign. The deluxe motor coach that we are traveling on is brand new – yesterday was its second day on the road. Its a Dutch manufactured product – absolutely beautiful.
Sun and blue skies greeted us – its cool but our guide said this is suntan weather for the locals so they were out on mass. Sundays are family days. Ireland has experienced a very wet spring so it will be a while before the farmers can start working the land.
Ireland has a population of 6.2 Million and 4.5 Million Canadians have Irish ancestry.
It has a reputation as being very safe destination – the police are unarmed.
We are pleased to see many spring flowers in bloom. Ireland experienced a severe winter so Spring arrived very late – usually the spring flowers would be done blooming by now but there are at their peak. At home we often plant one flower variety like tulips in a single flower bed, but here they mix all the spring flowers in their beds and its quite beautiful.
Lunch was served in a picturesque country town in a upscale “posh” pub – at home we would call it was a very, very nice restaurant. We started with a delicious salad but the highlight of the meal was fish n chips – many of my passengers commented they were the best they’ve ever eaten. The fish was fresh (purchased at the stand up the road) and the batter very light. The apple crumble was also exceptional – served hot and the apples were cooked through so juicy and tender.
After our welcome luncheon we enjoyed a panoramic tour of Dublin. Our guide is excellent.
Our deluxe 5 star accommodation for 3 nights is located at a historic manor house in the country. Two famous golf courses are its big draw. The views over its massive rural property are stunning. The gardens are beautiful. This resort has been designed using a eclectic mix of historic and modern ideas. This isn’t a typical tour resort – we are fortunate to be staying here. The Irish Open Golf Tournament has been held here – quite an honor considering there are 450 golf courses to choose from in Ireland.
Tonight’s delicious private dinner banquet was held in the elegant drawing room. Barb, one of my passengers commented that the meal was a nice as you would find at a wedding at home. It took a while for the resort staff to get our luggage to our rooms so they provided champagne at dinner and I provided the wine.
Everyone was in bed early – the beds are so comfy it didn’t take long to fall asleep.
In Ireland they often follow “ish” time – meet at 9 ish or 10 ish – but our guide reminded my passengers that we are not following “ish” time so 9am means 9am – smile!