Monday, 26 June 2017

Ashlea Cottages

David and I have arrived at Ashlea Cottages in the coastal town of Portrush, Northern Ireland. It's about a 90 minute drive from Belfast, and about a 30 minute drive from Londonderry. It's also about 10 minutes from The Giant's Causeway, a major geological attraction here. We've arrived at about 10:00 PM, pizza, wine and beer in hand, to a three bedroom, fully equipped, wheelchair accessible cottage. Unfortunately two of the bedrooms are upstairs, but other than that, it's once again a terrific find on David's part.

Our late arrival was not planned, nor was it due to bad planning. It was one of those days where things got interesting, in both a good way and in a bad way. For example, one of the things on this trip which David most wanted to see was the Titanic Museum in Belfast. The museum is in the harbour where the ferry arrives. Our ferry arrived at 1:45 PM. At 2:00 PM, we were in the Titanic Experience. I suspect neither David nor I realized how completely fascinating this place would be. We spent more three hours exploring the history and disaster of the Titanic.

Then came the next interesting experience. The car rental agency in Glasgow would not allow the rental car to be taken to the Irish Republic, southern Ireland. So we had to leave the car at the Belfast City Airport, and rent one from another agency here in Northern Ireland, one which allows rental cars to be taken one way to Dublin. While we returned the car at the drop off lot, the rental of the new car had to take place inside the airport terminal. After a tremendous amount of time, we managed to get the new car, swap all the luggage, and get underway. 

Unfortunately the new car does not have a GPS. Fortunately I had downloaded maps of Northern Ireland while still at home. So I used my phone to find where we were going. The mapping application doesn't work offline, so instead of having roaming data charges, I became the human GPS. It was like the good old days, with a map, road signs, and a bit of luck.

We actually made it here by 9:00 PM, but this place is a family run affair. It appears our host was looking after her grandson, and had to wait for Grandpa to get home before she could show us our cottage and hand over the keys. By the time that was done, any thought of dinner out was gone. We drove down the way, grabbed a pizza, a bottle of wine, and some beer. That ought to do us for the night. Tomorrow, The Giant's Causeway.

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