Another note or two before we leave Switzerland:
Our hotel, the Radisson Blu, was right inside the airport terminal. It was so quiet in there you would never know that a very busy airport was operating day and night around you. Our room faced into an inner courtyard that was dominated by a wine cellar ‘tower’ which we watched from our room in fascination. As diners ordered their wine, a young lady high wire artist emerged from the floor of the tower and, as she twirled up and down the tower doing her acrobatics, she would select the bottle of wine and bring it, via her trapdoor, to the waiters. The lighting in the tower also changed colour. Quite a work of installation art.
Another observation: the train line underneath this enormous airport services many parts of Switzerland. It’s a through line. We took a train into the city but could have gone to any of a number of parts of the country. It’s a real rail hub… and great idea. It’s all part of the service – not a private, expensive extra like our Sydney airport line.
En route to Ireland from Zurich, we had two more flights – the first to London.
The view over south eastern England was great – cliffs by the sea, green farm lands and towns and cities. We flew along the Thames River, over Kew gardens and down to that huge hub of airplane travel, Heathrow, pulling into BA’s hub at Terminal 5.
‘Follow the purple signs,’ we were told. After what seemed to be miles of walking, we eventually came to a door where we were to wait for a bus to Terminal 1. With only three passengers, our lady driver took us on an interesting but circuitous route under tunnels and through site works to what must have been the original airport. We thought T1 might not be as big as the other terminals. BUT that was a real mistake. The irish Airlines, Aer Lingus, has its own hub right at the end of a long series of tunnels in T1 and our gate was number 83. We sure did our daily walk through airports at Heathrow.
Lots of standing around and waiting when we got to Dublin … sim phone card, heritage cards and car pick up being the end results of the waits. After several attempts at getting a sim card, we finally found a delightful young man who couldn’t have been more helpful. But the wait for the car was interminable. People dithering at the hire desks. We had ours pre booked but it appears that something happened to our assigned car from Thrifty and they had to do a deal with Europecar for us to get a car.. a chevrolet – a much larger car than we had requested. And by that time it was rush hour and we had to hit the roads and find our B&B and that meant following a tangle of narrow roads and lanes – welcome to Ireland.
And that, Sandy Hills B&B is in a small village of Rush, by the water. Mary, our hostess gave us a warm welcome – and a pair of socks to wear when in the house. Mine were fluffy brightly coloured striped ones and A’s were spots – at least we wouldn’t be tempted to take them with us! (Mary also wore what appeared to be a throw away cotton shower cap when she served food!
She gave us directions to the Harbour Bar for dinner. To get there we had to drive right through the village with its many hanging baskets full of flowers. It was a relief to find that the pub was smoke free with smokers either out in the beer garden – or on the street. And finally, it was so good to sit in a local and have a fresh cooked fish meal served by a delightful young Irish lass.
Because it’s summer and the sun doesn’t set until late, after dinner we were even able to have a wander by the tiny harbour where the fishing boats were high and dry on the mud at low tide.
It was lovely to smell and see the sea before we finally crashed into bed to sleep… to the sound of RAIN!
It is Ireland – the Emerald Isle – and green requires rain.
More anon J and A