With a travel bag full of clothes (but trying to remain under the Ryanair limit of 15 kg...) to fit any type of weather, especially the rainy kind, I arrive in Dublin aiport. Ten days of travel adventure are waiting for me and then my dear friend Ale comes walking down the terminal. She flew in from Italy, and we’re ready to start our Irish roadtrip together. We try to arrange a trip together every year, mostly a citytrip, but this time we managed to arrange a longer Irish roadtrip together, exploring the southern part of the island.
First job is picking up our rental car. We ignore the multinational Hertz and Avis desks and go for Dooley, a proper Irish family business. At least, we hope it’s a proper business, because car rental is expensive and tricky in Ireland. But we did our research well and have no unpleasant surprises with extra fees. A shuttle bus takes us to the parking lot where a white Skoda Fabia is ready for us. All I have to do now is get behind the wheel on the right side of the car and drive left. Left left left.
Our gps guides us away from the airport and soon we’re on the motorway to Enniskerry, a small town just outside the Wicklow Mountains, where our first B&B is. Driving on the highway I notice a message on the dashboard saying there’s loss of pressure in one of the tires. Nice ... And we manage to take the wrong motor way exit and drive around in circles for a while – lots of roundabouts – before we make it to Enniskerry. Basically, it’s a main street and we also discover that the B&B’s don’t have an address with a street name. We just have to look out for the signs in the village and luckily we spot directions to Coolakey House. About 4 kms outside the village, amidst the fields and winding roads we find our first B&B. It’s a working farm and we receive a warm welcome from host Yvonne and - we’re guessing - one of her daughters. They bring us tea and biscuits and it’s good to sit down and unwind.
Sunday dinner at the pub
We get a very girly pink room, overlooking the glowing fields with the sheep and the Wicklow Mountains in the backdrop. To add to the Irish clichés: reading the B&B information map we learn that the local taxi service is povided by either Paddy, Paul, Jeff or Kevin ☺ The sun comes out and we have a look around the farmhouse, meeting 3 ponies in the paddock. For dinner we head back into town and take our chances in the Old Forge Inn. Live music meets our ears and the place is packed with mainly locals coming here for Sunday dinner. A waitress points us to a place in the back, she’s really rushed but then sits down with us to tell her in her juicy Irish accent what’s on offer. We order fish n chips, a Guiness (Ale) and a coke (me), sit back and relax, taking the Irish atmosphere in. Dinner is really good and afterwards we enjoy our little stroll through the village with some small shops that seem to have been here for decades. Yes, we’ve arrived and are ready to start the road trip!!
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