On to Ireland (May 22 – 23)

We drove back to Gatwick (with an overnight stay in Redditch, near Birmingham). This turned out to be one of the most beautiful drives we have made. The gorse and Hawthorne were everywhere. Spring is definitely gorgeous in Wales and England and the area west of London is breathtaking this time of year. Bob has done all of the driving and, unfortunately, Marilyn didn’t prepare to take any pictures.

The electric vehicle has been very comfortable and nice to travel in except for trying to find appropriate charging stations. While there are stations everywhere, they don’t all work with this car and they all have their own app. It has been really frustrating to find a fast charger. Bob got up one morning at 4 am and took the car to charge for two hours and we still had to stop for an hour to charge it before we could make it back to Gatwick.

At Gatwick, our flight was delayed and they were not posting the gate. So, we asked about how to get a “ride” to the gate so we would not miss our flight. We learned two things. At Gatwick (and maybe other airports), the boarding and departure are delayed equally so we didn’t need to worry about being late to the gate. Also, we were directed to the “Assistance” area where we checked in and were given a pager that would light up when it was time to return to the desk and meet our driver. This person took us to the “cart” and then drove us to the gate. Once there he assisted us, and another woman in his care, through the gate and onto the plane. He made sure, in the throng, that we were given “right-of-way”. We love Marilyn’s stick!

It was an uneventful flight and we picked up our rental car which included an unpleasant surprise. Apparently, in Ireland, they will not rent you a car without insurance and they do not accept most American credit cards for that insurance without a letter from the credit card company assuring their coverage. So, add another 500 (Euros or dollars – can’t remember which) to the cost of the car. Ugh!

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