Days 2 & 3:
I intended to book the bus from Belfast to Dublin Airport early, but I wasn’t entirely sure what time we would arrive back at the city center. Apparently this route is so popular that you must book it by the previous afternoon. We dropped off the rental car at Belfast International and just made the next bus to the Belfast city center. From here, we took the train- unfortunately, it cost 3 times as much, but we had wifi and the views were lovely. I seriously contemplated having beer for breakfast, but decided to edit photos instead. It was a dreadfully poor choice that I still regret. What better place is there to have beer for breakfast than Ireland? A foolish mistake I won’t make next time around.
The car rental was a dreadful process and this was honestly the most pathetic excuse of a car I have ever been in. Phil is more of an expert on the matter and says it is in the top 50 worst cars imaginable. I think he’s being overly generous. A horse drawn carriage would have been smoother (and more adventurous). I’ll let Phil give you his take on the performance of this carriage from hell later on. For now, I’ll just say that I learned there are cars without a “Park” setting by nearly rolling us into another car before ever leaving the rental car lot. In retrospect, I should have let it crash then and there. I had full coverage insurance and perhaps they would have traded us out for a better car.
August 6: Glendalough
After lunch, we opted to skip the cliffs and crowds. I think after much not-so-subtle commentary on my part, Phillip decided it would be best to wiser to keep my already grumpy self away from the general populous. Fortunately for them, my scowls were saved for the rolling hills of the countryside. Another hour and a half and several terrifyingly narrow and winding roads later, we arrived at several stunning and wonderfully isolated destinations.
Galway to Leenaun, via N59
We drove cross-country back to Dublin (2.5 hours) and slept a few hours. For those who have never flown with RyanAir, we learned that the gates close 30 minutes prior to departure and boarding begins almost an hour prior to departure. I don’t recall ever boarding this early in the states. We arrived at our gate 15 minutes after the gates closed (and I had thought we were early!). Fortunately, they let us on after a quick scolding.
Coming up next, Amsterdam and the longest road trip of my life.
Phil’s blurb on the death trap vehicle from hell:
Let’s call the rental car experience in Dublin a comedy of errors as a whole. Granted, the first car rented was a spirited Ford Focus ST Diesel in Belfast (a great experience all-in-all). Now picking up a car in the capitol city of Ireland was another matter entirely. After a few hours of scrambling from train station to airport rental, we finally had our transportation. [Dramatic Pause] Unvailing the SEAT Mii: (insert stock picture)
Not exactly a looker. But, looks can be deceiving. They can also be spot on. Back in the US, I drove a Scion FR-S which I thought was the worst driving car of all time. How wrong I was! The SEAT Mii has what could only be described as a transmission made of walnuts and silly putty. No need to guess when the car shifts gears. Just be sure to keep count on the times your head smashes into the dashboard as the car thrust your whole body forward with furious vigor. No need to mind the speed limits in this vehicle. No chance of eclipsing them. For anyone over 6′ in height, you would have more room in the overhead compartment in the airline that brought you to the UK in the first place. If you ever have the misfortune of being exiled from the airport in the Billy Baldwin of rental cars, pray someone (however unlikely) steals this vehicle before you are forced to endure the trials and tribulations of what can only be described as guided traffic collision inevitably.