To be sure, I paid for the tickets to Ireland

30 August 1986 Aer Lingus 265 Birmingham to Dublin
6 September 1986 Aer Lingus 272 Dublin to Birmingham

This proved, indirectly, to be one of the most expensive weeks of my life, because it established a couple of dangerous precedents. Firstly, that it is affordable to buy air tickets for oneself and not feel completely as if one has just been hit over the head with a large plank. A friend of mine described paying British Rail full fare as being like that. Secondly, it introduced my fiancee to the experience of travelling by air. Indeed, it reinforced my own thoughts on the matter. As a result, I would be spending a considerable amount of my wealth on flights in future, and a love of travel would result in a complete change in my life. More of this in a later chapter.

The flights themselves were not very memorable. Aer Lingus ran Boeing 737 aircraft on the route. These were clean, efficient and spacious after the BAC 1-11 on the Edinburgh route. Everything has a distinct greenness, and this was to be continued on our arrival in Ireland. I recommend the following hotels in Ireland. In Dublin, the Gresham in Upper O'Connell Street; In Killarney, the Torc Great Southern on Park Road. If you are travelling in Ireland, you should investigate the rail passes offered by CIE (Irish Railways) unless you really want to fly internally. One caution I would give to anybody staying in a hotel in Ireland is to be wary of the locks on the doors of your room. To say more would bring the reputation of at least one of these excellent establishments into disrepute, and as they apologised in the form of a complimentary weekend stay there, I will say no more on the matter. All in all, the stay was excellent, with not only clean aeroplanes which fly on time, but clean trains which run on time too.

Irish trains and aeroplanes are full. They are never overfull, in my experience, but they are filled to capacity. You cannot complain about this, for it combines comfort with profitability.

Anyway, we took lots of photographs, and many happy memories remain from that holiday. We were also most cautious on our return journey to make sure there was no film in our cameras. After all, we didn't know that it was possible for cameras to be checked manually, or that in most so-called civilised parts of the world, the level of X-ray in the machine isn't enough to fog films anyway. We came back to England with more lovely pictures of Dublin airport than might otherwise be expected. This was, of course, in our younger days, when we didn't know that most countries don't like people photographing their airports. Even if we did know, we tended not to visit that sort of country anyway.

Come on, Ian, you must be able to say more about your trip to Ireland than that.
OK, I'll add to it when I get time and a memory...

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