Ennis, Co. Clare

Manchester Airport – all set for a weekend away, completely on my own (scary!!). First night in Ennis, then the rest of the weekend in the Cliffs of Moher yoga retreat on the Wild Atlantic coast.

Dropped off at 7am (beyond the call of duty! Thank you sleepy husband), I managed to negotiate the fast track security and priority boarding queue (Ryan Air Business class no less- no, neither did I but it turns out it does exist).  At this point we reached an impasse. Standing (there were no seats at the gate) for half an hour after being urgently called as ‘any remaining passengers’ to gate 51,  we were then told that the plane had not yet arrived. To cut a very long story short, we took off three hours late, possibly because of fog.

Arriving at Shannon airport I picked up my Hire Car from Dooley’s and, I have to say, they lived up to their slogan; ‘every customer a VIP’.   They pick you up from the coach park in Arrivals, give you plenty of information and, very importantly, don’t do the hard sell on the insurance.  The whole process was very smooth. The one fly in the ointment was the actual car.  It is easy to drive, economical on fuel and very good value for money.  However, it is a lime green Skoda.imageDoes nothing for my image.

After an hour of wandering around Ennis in this fluorescent Russian tank I find my destination, the Temple Gate Hotel.  It is in the middle of some road works, as everywhere in Ennis seems to be,  but the room is lovely, the staff are friendly and efficient and the view is a treat.

Of particular interest is the fact that this hotel building was originally the convent of the Sisters of Mercy. These are the sisters who wielded such power over me in school that I am a little worried about going to the hotel restaurant. Will Sister Mary Bernard be there, habit sleeves rolled up, dishing out the jam roly-poly?

I heartily recommend the tourist information in Ennis town centre.  The woman in there was brilliant; she’s recommended what looks like a lovely walk for me in the Burren tomorrow on the way to the Yoga retreat.

Just one toilet related comment today; does anyone know how to work those toilet roll dispensers they have in airport loos? All you can hear is the rattling of cardboard tubes against plastic as everyone in the cubicles tries (in vain?) to find the end of the roll.  Otherwise, a very stress free day, toilet wise.