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First Day in Ireland

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be blogging about my research trip.  Although much of it will be about my personal research, I’ll be adding information that will help you in planning your own trip, whether it be alone or with a group.  I hope you find it helpful.

   I left Florida at 1:30 pm yesterday, flew to JFK and took at 6:30 pm flight on Aer Lingus to Shannon.  With a 6:30 flight, I knew sleep might be a problem, so I began working my schedule back on Sunday, going to bed at 7 pm and getting up at 3 am.  Not quite Ireland time, but it helped.  It’s also amazing how much work I got done between 3 am and 7 am!   I got about 3 hours sleep on the flight, but we had quite a tail wind…we arrived in Shannon an hour ahead of schedule at 5 am.   By 5:20 I had cleared immigration and had my luggage and was through customs, and the only thing open in the airport was a coffee shop.  I had a car rental scheduled, but did not want to set off in the dark.  I have enough trouble negotiating the left side of the road when I first arrive, I don’t need to do it in the dark!  So after multiple cups of tea, and  a stop at the ATM for some additional Euros I caught the shuttle to the car rental agency about 7:30.  

   It’s not the cost of the rental that’s so high over here, it’s the insurance which can more than double the cost of the rental.  And you must take the insurance or they put a huge hold on your credit card!  I had prepaid for the car (plus insurance and GPS) when I made the reservation but needed to pay for the fuel so I didn’t have to worry about finding a petrol station before dropping the car at the Dublin Airport a week from Saturday.  There is absolutely no reason to have a car in Dublin, so I’ll drop it off and take the bus from the airport to my hotel in Dublin.  This is when sticker shock set in.  A tank of fuel (this car is diesel) was over €100.  Think about that next time you complain about the cost of gas in the US.  Now that gas is back under  $2 a gallon in Florida, I can fill my tank for less than $30.  I’m told that the fuel economy is so good on this diesel car that  chances are I won’t have to fill up before I return the car.  I hope not!

   So here’s an exercise.  I took this picture of the price of fuel at a petrol station across from my hotel.  €1.209 doesn’t seem bad, until you realize it’s per litre, not gallon.  According to Siri there are 3.79 litres to a gallon, so the cost is almost €4.60 per gallon (or about $5.18).  Notice that is for diesel.  Over here, diesel is less expensive than gas.  

   Once the sun was up, I had no issues driving north to Tuam on the Galway/Mayo border.   The sun was out (surprise) and although I hit some patches of fog, it took me less than two hours.  

   If you have a choice of flights (which I didn’t into Shannon), I’d recommend the latest flight out of the US.  First, you’ll have a better chance of sleeping and the later you get to Ireland the better chance your hotel room will be available when you arrive…not the case for me.  I had breakfast at the hotel, and sat in the lobby trying to work and to keep my eyes open for two hours.  I got into my room about noon and set my alarm for a two hour nap after which I went out for an hour walk into town.   An early dinner and a good night’s sleep and I should be on Irish time.  

   Tomorrow I’m visiting the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Castlebar in the morning, and meeting the cousins in the afternoon.

    Happy Hunting!

If you have comments or questions, you can post them on my Donna Moughty Genealogy Facebook page.

Think you might like to come to Ireland next year?  Check out the October 2016 Research Trip

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018