Dublin – April 2014

Day 4 in Dublin

So here I am back at home after a long Irish weekend. As usual I was being lazy, didn’t actually wake up until half 9 by which time we rushing to get down to breakfast before it closed. But all fun! After we had checked out and left our bags, we headed out for a walk in the sunshine by the river down to the ferry terminal. Earlier that day, my PA went out for some fresh air and saw a dog lying in the road after it had been knocked down. So, me being a dog lover, I was a bit nervous incase it was still there.

We decided to do a circular route crossing the river and winding our way back to the hotel upon which we discovered yet another stadium which was more to my taste as it was a glass structure (my Irish PA should of pointed this out!) and then we had some time to spare before we went to the airport for which we went in the cafe having a chat. Thoughout this blog I haven’t really said anything about the accessibility side to Dublin, as with any big city nowadays the centre is completely accessible but it is when you start to enter the suburbs you start to have issues because the drop curbs are not really drop curbs and are more like a lowered down bit of concrete!

Anyway, we had our lunch and returned to the hotel to picked up by the prearranged taxi driver (this was not Mr Perfect). We arrived at Terminal 2 at about half 3 and checked in and all that without any issues and, as on the way there, they were really helpful getting me on the plane. After waiting about an hour in the queue to take off we had a lovely flight back where it was clear skies all the way, so went spotting over Wales. We arrived back into Bristol with the ground crew not having a clue what they were doing yet again so they kind of made it up as they went along and made one of my PA’s go on the shuttle bus whilst one stayed with me. One of my PA’s that was with me was waiting for the staff to try and transfer me from the isle chair to my wheelchair (which they didn’t have a clue how to do either). She was made out to be my mother by an old lady, she’s 20! As we were being driven back to the terminal we heard on the radio that apparently I had gone missing, so god knows what happened, but anyway.

Whilst all this was happening, my other PA who was meant to be picking us up was going through an ordeal of her own as she’d never been to Bristol airport and her SATNAV took her the opposite way. One of the other PA’s voted to drive back, bless!

So it’s back to revision for my final uni exams and then it’s time for America and Canada starting in the 26th May! So be sure to check out my Wheelchair Traveller blog to see what I get myself into with two young female PA’s and of course Twitter!

See you then, Nath 🙂

Day 3 in Dublin

So here I am sitting with super bunny, elephant and now his new friend a leprechaun! Anyway, we woke up to clear sky’s and headed out after breakfast on a quest to find a bank to try to settle the argument with Jury’s Inn Hotel. My PA wrote down strict instructions on how to get there which we followed and ended up coming across the docklands with its amazing architecture which provided some great photo opportunities. After about 20 mins of searching for a bank in the place where it said on Google Maps, we resulted to asking random people. This was perhaps a bad idea as it turned out that the majority were foreigners or Irish people not from Dublin. My PA realised that there was a phone number of the location which ended up being the head office of which said that there was no HSBC banks in Dublin or the entirety of Ireland, so who knows why there is a head office here?

We then followed some more strict instructions to get to Croke Park Statium which my Irish PA (who is reading this) said was amazing……I beg to differ. We walked through some lovely and rough Irish housing estates and saw a weird thin house. After being barker at by several dogs we found a magnificent stadium that we walked about half hour to see, it took 2 mins to see the whole stadium, but then I don’t like football, so! We then walked through some more weird and wonderful housing estates and managed to find out way back to the city centre where we stopped off for some lunch. As always, it was a kind of weird restaurant plus they couldn’t get the orders for a simple sandwich right, so I don’t really recommend a place called The Living Rooms. We then spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around Dublin shopping district where there was. It much to see, but I guess that’s what you get going to a country with only 3 million people. Since my PA’s legs were getting tired, we found the tram again and relaxed until we went out for dinner.

It seems that everything in Ireland is so expensive so you would expect it to be of good quality although we went into an American style restaurant where I ordered a calzone which seemed to be heated up from a ready meal, I had a cheesecake simply to find out if it was a so called New York Cheese Cake, it was far from it. As it was the last night in Dublin we went for a pint, or a half pint if your me, of Guinness, and that was about it.

Tomorrow, we don’t really have a plan apart from flying home at 5.30pm, which will be interesting once again. So follow us on Twitter to see what we decide to do!

See you tomorrow, Nath 😉

Day 2 in Dublin

We woke up to another sunny day with me being lazy as usual! After breakfast we headed out onto the LUAS which is the Dublin tram system and is conveniently located next to our hotel. The tram itself reminded me of my European road trip last year as it is completely accessible as there is no gap between the platform and the tram. As we were heading off on the tram this guy approached everyone and started singing Bob Dylan ‘blowing in the wind’ and I think everyone shared the same thought as me in terms of thinking what the hell is going on? After my PA had worked out how to get tickets we went to my favourite place in every city, the train station!! For those of you that actually care it was quite nice and then we were approached by a guy from Manchester working for the railway who asked us if we would like to go on the platform and get close to the trains for a close up, I know I am sad about trains to an extent but not that much so we declined his generous offer!

However, the guy was useful heading us in the direction of the zoo to see some lovely animals. we finally arrived at the entrance after nearly killing ourselves as there was no crossings outside and got our tickets. Again, there are benefits to being disabled as I got in for a concession and one PA got in free so in total it came to about €25 for three of us. We then realised the scale of the zoo and worked out that it was a really good deal for what we had paid. It must of taken us about 3 hours to walk around the zoo discovering animals like giraffes and elephants. We then stopped for lunch after trying several places which only had outside seating which is a no go for me as there were pigeons or as I like to call them the DEVIL! We resorted to the restaurant and discovered that the zoo doesn’t stock straws because they pose a risk to animals, apparently it was a result of a monkey choking on one, seriously?

We headed back to the hotel and, again ate in the room, I’m getting too lazy!

Tomorrow we don’t really have a clue what we are doing which will be fun, we may go to a football stadium which my Irish PA will love if we can find a way to get there! See you tomorrow, Nath 🙂

Ps my wheelchair which is called super bunny met its best friend, the tortoise at the zoo and found an elephant to take with it as well!

Day 1 in Dublin

So here I am, back again on my travels, this time in Dublin! One of my PA’s drove us to the airport where we checked in without that much of a problem, Bristol is actually really good to fly from by the way. We got told to go over to the special assistance point, where there was nothing but a phone on the table, so we had to ring a random number to get assistance around the airport even though half of it we didn’t need anyway, but they were very helpful, but also a little patronising which made me want to kill them by the end of it!

We got onto a random mini bus which took us out to the airfield, I have never stood on a airfield before, it’s quite windy! Anyway, there was a large group of ground crew deciding the best way to get my electric wheelchair onto the plane and then, like normal, they decided to lift it, I’m sure health and safety went out the window, but oh well.

After a short flight, we arrived in Dublin where we were greeted by yet another mini bus. as opposed to Bristol where they lifted my wheelchair, it seemed that Dublin had the sense to use equipment, it was like a luggage conveyer belt which they used to get my luggage off the plane and onto the mini bus. As usual I skipped right through security, there are benefits of being disabled sometimes! And we were then escorted out of the terminal and all the way to our taxi with our lovely Polish driver.

You may have thought the flight would have been the most difficult part of the journey, but infact our troubles hadn’t even began yet! We entered the hotel to be told that they forgot to read the comments section on the booking form which clearly stated that the room needed to be wheelchair accessible, obviously they didn’t have a wheelchair accessable room. We were then told that we would be transferred to another hotel, which we waited an hour for just for the taxi to take us there. This taxi driver, who was foreign, seemed to have an obsession with the word ‘perfect’ as it was used in nearly every sentence. We finally arrived at another hotel where we were informed that apparently we had not paid for any of our accommodation when it stated on the paperwork that it was prepaid, so my PA’s got a little stressed and stroppy with the staff in the hotels. By this time it was around 5pm, and we hadn’t even eaten, so we decided to get a pizza takeaway to eat in the room. After all this palava we decided to go for a little walk into the centre where they have the pointless Dublin Spire which was completed 3 years late (for those of you that actually care). We then walked back to the hotel down some back streets taking some evening photos along the way. As we are in Ireland, we finished our day with a pint of Guinness 😉 and attempted to go for a shower, but the shower screen was screwed to the ceiling, so that was eventful.

Tomorrow we aim to explore the train station, my weird obsession, and then go to Dublin Zoo, so keep following on here and Twitter where we have more photos than today! See you tomorrow 🙂

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