Tuesday, November 23, 2021

PST Day trip to Dublin

On a dull, autumn Saturday morning the merry group of travellers assembled at our base at Hydebank Wood and shortly after 9.00 a.m. we departed down the A1 towards Dublin and our comfort stop at Apple-Green, Castle Bellingham where we had a frustrating stop caused by the non-availability of some of the services, thank goodness for good old Costa coffee!! Onwards then, through the intermittent rain, to our hotel just off O’Connell Street where, around noon, we were able to leave off our overnight bags and head straight to the shops!!! I’ve never seen women disappear so quickly; it was like a trolly dash at ASDA!! like snow falling off an April ditch!!  Thankfully the rain stayed away for most of the afternoon and so it was back to the Academy Plaza Hotel shortly before 5.00pm to give the weary shoppers time to relax and prepare for dinner.  This was a lovely meal, not too many options but well-presented and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. I must remember, in future, to go for the vegan diet as you seem to get special and one for one service!! isn’t that right Margie!! As it was a ‘rugby weekend’ the bar was bunged and those who stayed in the hotel were spread out all over the lounges. Still the atmosphere was great (Ireland had walloped Japan) and eventually we all drifted off to our rooms around 11.00.

Next morning, after a very relaxed and fulsome breakfast, it was all aboard for the journey back north, unfortunately it wasn’t long, all of 10 mins., before we had to make an emergency stop, as one of our party suffered travel sickness but thanks to the speedy thinking and kindness of some of the group we had not only anti-nausea tablets but water, a perfume spray and loads of plastic bags!! what would we do without you, ever so practical, women!! Still, we pushed on and had further stops at Apple-Green at Lush and Sprucefield.  We finally made it back to where it all had started around 2.30.pm giving everyone plenty of time to reach home in daylight!! Before I finish, I must complement our driver Roy for his patience, especially during the disrupted return journey, and for imparting his knowledge about the ‘famine’ and the connection between that and the ship ‘Jeanie Johnson’ a replica of which is docked at the quayside in Dublin. Another great, if short, but most enjoyable trip concluded with everyone looking forward to meeting up again in December for the Christmas lunch.

Thank you, once more, to the Board of the PST for the opportunity to renewing friendships.                                                                                 Joe, Margaret & Pamela

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