Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Monday, 11th September - Limerick to York

Our last day in Ireland! It has gone so quickly. We were very loathe to leave, we really felt we had barely scratched the surface of experiencing Ireland. At the same time we were pretty tired from moving from place to place, and spending a lot of time in the car, so we were looking forward to a slightly more sedate pace in England.

Given our experience with traffic in Ireland, we took no chances and headed to the airport early. We got there (naturally) with no hold-ups so were the first in the queue for our flight and still had an hour to fill in. But we were pleasantly surprised to find free internet access at the airport, so filled in our time happily. We flew Ryanair – the flight cost €1.99 so we didn’t complain, but it was very cramped on the plane. However the flight was only an hour so it was over soon enough. We touched down in Liverpool and collected our new rental car. A Vauxhall Astra - nothing like as snazzy as our Megane, but adequate.

We drove into Liverpool city so that Keith could pay homage at the Beatles shrines there – the Cavern club where they first performed (actually this one is a replica, the original was bulldozed some years ago, but the new one is still a music venue and has the right feel to it), pubs where the Fab Four used to hang out, numerous Beatles sculptures – some better than others, Beatles memorabilia shops. Keith was dismayed to discover that Brian Epstein’s music store (NEMS) had been demolished in the name of progress! With more time we could have visited John & Paul’s childhood homes, but you can only go there with a tour and we arrived too late (What a pity!).

We drove from Liverpool to York. It was 4-lane motorway all the way, which was a striking contrast to the roads in Ireland, which were virtually all very narrow, winding and congested. It took us a little while to get used to the distances in miles, and we never did see a single speed limit sign on the freeway. We stuck to about 70mph (close to 110km) but were being constantly overtaken. We were glad to have our GPS, which helped us to negotiate some of the trickier large intersections, and brought us all the way to our guest house in good time.