Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dublin, Ireland WoooHooo!!

DAY 11
1434 Hours – Sun 8 Oct

Ok, Saturday I just chilled around the hotel. They have wireless internet in the whole building including right out front. So I met a girl and we sat around watching people and drinking some brew. I had to get to the airport and had to take yet another bus. I have almost sworn off busses, but not to beat a dead horse here, but taxis, along with everything else are just way too expensive. I know I sound cheap as hell, but I can’t emphasize this enough. I just can’t in good conscience spend 40$ for a 3 mile cab ride. I just can’t. And here is the worst part; Edinburgh is just as expensive as London. I was hoping it would be a bit cheaper, but nope. So anyway, I paid the 3 pounds and took a bus to the airport. I caught a flight on a small airline called RyanAir. RyanAir is the same as EasyJet and can best be compared to JetBlue or SouthWest in the States.

The difference with RyanAir is that they offer seats at various prices. Also it is all open seating. The way they work the prices are complex. They offer a certain number of seats at .02$, yes, 2 cents, and some at 9$, 30$, 50$ etc on up to around 400$ all for the same seat on the same flight. So depending on when you buy your ticket it may cost you 1$ or 100$. I ended up getting my seat for 19$. So this leads me to my next point.

You always hear Europeans moaning about how Americans never travel. That is just a ridiculous statement. Us stateside folks travel across the US all the time. We visit family and friends and attractions from one side of the country to other. After all you can fit Europe into the States like what, 5 times? Anyway, for Joe Schmuck in Dallas to fly to France he would have to allocate a minimum of 7 days including travel time. Not only that but he would have to allocate a ton of money for airfare. A discount rate might get him to CDG from DFW for about 800 – 1000$. Maybe a tad less but not much. If you fly a major you are looking at twice that. Well Joe Schmuck in London can hop a 30 minute flight on Friday afternoon, spend the weekend in Paris and be back late Sunday evening and only pa 30$ for a plane ticket. No missed work, nothing, just a quick weekend in France.

That also brings up the fact that Europeans get 3 times more paid leave than we do in the States. We might be lucky to get an average of about 2 weeks vacation a year. They get a minimum of 25 days but most companies give more than that. So they in Europe are free to travel all they want, cheaply and conveniently while for us it is very costly and huge pain in the ass basically. Besides who would want to go to France anyway?

So I flew RyanAir. Nice new 737-800s. Very cool Blue and Yellow bright interior. Short flight from EDI to DUB. Landed and found the first bus to town. I didn’t care which bus route it went on, I just needed to cover some distance to get closer to the city center without paying for a cab. So I took the Express. After I got off the bus I looked around a very vibrant street and decided that it was late and I would take a cab. SO I found one and asked him to take me to the Westin. He didn’t know where it was. I was like, are you serious? How can you not know where the most prominent hotels are? So then I asked another cabbie and he didn’t know either. I was scared that I had booked a Westin in another city but I didn’t, I just managed to find the 2 dumbest cab drivers in Ireland. So I finally ended up at the Westin and they didn’t have a porter. Granted it was late, but when you are paying 350$ a night for a stinking 5-Star hotel, you expect a porter right? Anyway, the jury is still out on this hotel, right now I am halfway impressed. I am fixing to check if they have a pool. If not, they are getting at least 1 thumb down. We shall see. Oh well, I am checking out of here tomorrow anyway to stay with my friend.

Also, Ireland may be more expensive than the UK. I had a single pint of Guinness at a small pub. It was 4.8 Euros or 6.04$!!! For a damn pint of beer. What a joke.

Some buildings downtown:



Here is a cool bar. I am always interested to se which flags people choose to fly when they do stuff like this. Notice all the American flags. I think it is because of the Ryder Cup.



Cheers,
Walt

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