Another week went by so it's already time for my 2nd report, this week I was off to Dublin for sales hunting.
Sat Jan 19: CRL-DUB FR43 B738 EI-DC? / 8A
Online check-in like the week before. I left home a bit later than I wanted and so I made it to the gate just on time for boarding. This time the bus from the long term parking to the airport was a lower one with room for luggage. Still with complimentary priority boarding I was one of the first ones to sit on the plane and elected to sit in 8A. We were instructed to sit between rows 7 and 29 this time, and they did mention it was for center of gravity reasons. I elected 8A over 7A because of the molding of the walls allow me better use of my left arm, I am left handed after all. The aircraft (I forgot the registration) was the standard B737-800 with winglets but there was no Ryanair "logo" on the inner part of the devices. We left on time and made it early in Dublin.
The airport has changed a lot and it is still a work in progress. The first time I use DUB was back in 1990 with Aer Lingus (the return legs DUB-BRS-BRU were my first and only propeller flights to date), and the last time was in Christmas of 1999 trying Ryanair's dirt cheap fares on a B737-200 on their then recently opened CRL-DUB route. I hadn't flown them again until last week, for no particular reason. We arrived to a terminal that looks like dedicated to Ryanair style operators. There were no air bridges but the walk to the terminal is rather short. The ensuing walk to find one's way out of the airport was a longer stretch though. I used the airport bus to make it to the city and then took the Luas tram to make it to my hotel which was on the outskirts.
It's a very nice and active city ideal for a weekend break, but you need good boots if it's going to rain like it was raining this Saturday. I have good shoes and still they got wet, I took a break from shopping at the movies to dry up a bit. I watched Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks, not a bad movie if you turn your brains on during and after. I got disappointed at the sales and general prices in practice in Ireland these days. I'll have to plan a shopping trip in Belgium!
I wasn't affected but I heard of pickpocket activity on the tram and in the crowd, I have to say that following the experience in Madrid last week, I had taken a jacket were all pockets zip up and have buttons, and with hidden pockets as well. You'll find I'm paranoid but I'm almost sure I spotted one of them when I came off the tram. I noticed a guy who was on the platform but didn't get in after hesitating. It didn't take long for that guy to notice my suspicion which caused him to start walking away faster and faster. At first I followed him, then I took a left when he took a right and just kept watching him. I sincerely apologize for my suspicion should this man be innocent.
Sun Jan 20: DUB-CRL FR46 B738 EI-DCV / 2F
I made it to the airport 50 minutes prior to take off. And in just under 20 minutes I made it from the bus stop to the most remote stand at that low cost terminal again. Security was closing one line after the other, despite these lines having people waiting already. At least in the supermarket they tell you that you're last when they're going to close a cashier position. I walked first to the aircraft and asked about where can I sit. She told me: "anywhere". I was so happy. At first I aimed for 2A (1A has loads of legroom since there is no wall but wind was blowing these seats away while the door was opened) but then I thought that 2F would allow me for more legroom, there are no 1DEF seats as there is a wall on this side of the aircraft. Only toward the end of boarding did a guy sit in 2D, oddly 2C and 2E were not taken although the plane was almost full. This aircraft still had the life jackets under the seats, but already no eye-browse windows and had window shades standard (I'm starting to wonder if this isn't a myth). We closed almost at departure time and were up in the air 15 minutes later. Winds were in our favor (ground speed of 950 kph as reported by our captain) and we landed 10 minutes early. Cleared customs and went to the long term parking shuttle. Had to wait like 10 minutes for it, then we all filled it (a coach again, hell for luggage and the guy with walking sticks), and then it waiting for 10 minutes full like an egg. All in all still a very fast experience at CRL. I wonder how it'll be when they switch to the new terminal at the end of the month.
A nice city but soaked, they don't call Ireland the Emerald island for nothing! And you still see people walking around with bare body parts showing and no hat or umbrella of any kind. Night life is wild. And another pair of nice flights with Ryanair. Next week will be the big challenge as I'm planning a connection on Ryanair services, and there are no guarantees provided by the airline for such stunts. Wish me luck!