Episode 407 – Vancouver to Dublin & Day One

One of the nice things about using Senior Discovery Tours is their “door-to-door” service.

The Black Top Cab they prearranged was at our door at 7:30 a.m. to whisk us to Vancouver International Airport for the first leg of our trip: the 4-1/2 hour flight to Toronto. The time difference from Vancouver to Toronto means that our 10:30 a.m. flight should have arrived at 6 p.m. local time (in actual fact, we had a 40 minute delay due to an aircraft computer system being rebooted) – perfect for a quick light supper in the airport. Unfortunately, we hadn’t taken into account the insane crowds in Terminal 1, exacerbated by the fact that there we almost a dozen Air Canada international flights delayed, resulting in passengers for more than one flight vying for seats at the gates.

What a mess! On the up side, it gave us time to meet and commiserate with fellow members of our tour group. Wherever in Canada our cohort is from, Toronto is our nexus for getting to Dublin. We’ll all share the overnight trans-Atlantic leg of the journey.

Our flight was one of those delayed. As the planned 3 hour layover stretched to 6 hours, we eventually met our Tour Manager/cat herder Janette, who will be looking after 37 of us, which is a large group by Senior Discovery standards, although still comfy on a 54-seat motor coach.

The flight finally left Toronto shortly after midnight, so we landed in to Dublin just before noon local time. Even given the time change due to time zones, our travel day was more than 24 hours long. Bizarrely, travelling in this direction rarely results in jet-lag; going back in June will be the challenge.

We’re staying our first 2 nights at an “aparthotel” right in the city centre on the River Liffey. The up side of the dublincityquay is its amazing location and large rooms with mini-kitchens and eating areas. The down side is no full-size on-site restaurant (just a café), which meant that our first 2 breakfasts in Ireland were simply typical hotel breakfast buffets, similar to what we’d get at a good Holiday Inn Express. We’ll need to wait until Waterford for our first “full Irish”.

There’s nothing special about the hotel’s exterior, but Dublin has lots of graffiti/street art, including this across from the hotel.

Despite our late flight, our hotel rooms weren’t ready for us … but the hotel manager comped us drinks for the inconvenience. Ted got his first Guinness of the trip, and I got a typically wonderful gin with Fevertree Indian tonic. Our new travel friend Terry opted for white wine, and a picture to send to her son proving that she’s really here.

Our room. We’d never seen a coat hook wall with moveable pegs before – what a neat idea!
Our view. Nothing special, but it does include cranes, which are everywhere in this expanding city.

We had hoped to visit EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, but in the end only had time enough for the short stroll in the sunshine to the pub hosting our Welcome Dinner.

The harp-shaped Thomas Becket Bridge across the River Liffey.
Cream of vegetable soup with brown Irish soda bread; chicken breast in bacon & mushroom sauce,over mashed potatoes, with steamed carrot, turnip, and snap peas; chocolate cake with fudge drizzle and fresh berries.

Neither of us even had the energy for a post-dinner coffee. By the time we got back to the hotel we were so exhausted that we simply crashed.

Breakfast at 7 tomorrow, with our first tour scheduled to begin at 10.


  1. We will be in Dublin for just a day, but I am following along so I can get a clue how warmly we need to dress. Love your blue outfit and scarf. Then we will be in Scotland in early July and I have no idea how chilly those islands in the ocean will be. Fun reading, and looking forward to the rest.


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