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Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

January 12, 2013

The First Mate and I have booked the subject trip and included the pre-trip extension to Northern Ireland beginning on 20 June 2013. We did not book the post-trip extension in Dublin. Rather we will "break away" and spend a few days on our own in the Irish Midlands, County Laois to be precise.

We purchased our airline tickets directly from United Airlines but we did purchase the airport to hotel transfers from GCT. My research showed that privately arranged transfers cost nearly the same as the $100 charged by GCT.

We will see others taking this specific tour either at the hotel in Belfast on 20 June (or maybe on the airport transfer vehicle if we happen to arrive at Belfast Airport together) or at the hotel in Galway on 25 June.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 12, 2013

I didn't go to Belfast so don't know the distance from the airport to the hotel, but for anyone taking breakaway in Dublin, the hotel, Camden Court, arranged  a taxi  for me which cost 30 euors. Of course, it could have been higher if the traffic was heavier. I left the hotel at 9:00 AM.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

January 19, 2013

Bump!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 19, 2013

I left the hotel in Dublin late morning for my flight to Boston, and by then the traffic had lightened up some.  But whether you're returning home from Dublin or Shannon, you go through US Immigration there rather than at your first stop in the US.  So just allow enough time for that extra stop.  Unless you're part of Global Entry.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

January 19, 2013

Thanks for that tip, Pauline. Washington Dulles is really not a bad airport for reentry into the USA, and we've done it dozens of times. But doing the processing before boarding the plane is a benefit. I'm trying to remember where I have done that and I seem to recall pre-boarding checks being done in Vancouver.

As the old story goes, I find as I grow older that I have more patience for standing in line. I also find that there are fewer things worth standing in line for. I am, however, a firm believer that anything being done with the expressed purpose of securing the safety of my home country is worth a little inconvenience.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 19, 2013

It probably was Vancouver, since I also remember doing it in Canada (Toronto?)

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

January 29, 2013

Another bump. Just want to keep the thread current.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

February 10, 2013

Just bumping it again to insure that people see it.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

March 13, 2013

It's been over a month since I last bumped this thread up so I thought I'd do it again. Budd's plea for someone to respond to his request to hear from anyone going with him to the Galapagos gave me the nudge.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

April 04, 2013

It's just over two months until the beginning of our tour and I'm still looking for a contact from someone else who will be with us.

We are not taking the Dublin post-tour extension, Instead we have booked a couple of nights at the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise and rented a car for those two days. Incidentally, Portlaoise is phonetically pronounced as port-LEE-shay, as nearly as I can determine. Portlaoise is but about 10 miles from Mountmellick which I claim as an ancestral home. I have no Irish heritage, however. My ancesters were Welsh Quakers who lived in Mountmellick from about 1653 to 1683. They then immigrated to North America as part of Penn's Colony. There is a museum in Mountmellick dedicated to the Quaker industries of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. So that  is my draw to County Laoise (leesh); that and the opportunity to observe the midlands of the island that have not been developed for tourism to the extent that have the coastlands.

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

April 15, 2013

 Hello, Captain Larry,

My sister and I are flying from BWI to Belfast, arriving June 20, and then completing the main tour.  We're flying British Air.  Looks like we're in the same group.  We did not take the extension in Dublin, so we leave on July 6.  Itinerary looks great and have to check out the optionals.  Perhaps we'll see you on the bus.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

May 01, 2013

Hi, rosewards. Sorry it's taken so long to respond. I didn't know that upgrading to Internet Explorer 10 would disable my ability to post a reply on this forum. I'm now running in compatibility mode.

Yes, it looks like we will be together for a few weeks in Ireland. We're flying from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Belfast via Newark Liberty. We should arrive in Belfast about 9:00 AM on the 20th. We booked our own air but purchased the airport to hotel transfer from GCT.

We will not be taking the Dublin post tour extension but we will do a couple of days of independent travel into the interior of the island before flying from Dublin to IAD on 8th July. I've booked a rental car and two night's lodging in the town of Portlaoise, about 50 miles southwest of Dublin. Going to visit an ancestral home, or at least the village. The ancestors lived there about 350 years ago so I don't expect to find any relatives. But that was the last "old world" location before they made the trip to North America in 1683. It will be the first time I have made any kind of European family connection.

Have a safe trip and we'll see you in Belfast.

Captain Larry and First Mate Mary

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 382
Traveler Since: 2002

June 12, 2013

Well, I guess it's really going to happen! We'll be leaving home in two days for a brief visit with our daugher and her family and then flying to Belfast in one week. We got a lengthy and informative email from Barbara Long, our Program (or as she wrote it, Programme) Director. Interesting that there will be 15 of us on the last leg of the flight, Newark Liberty to Belfast, on United Airlines. I'm getting exccited!

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