As I promised in my last post I’ll tell you everything about my first experience of travelling with Airbnb.
Well, I hope I’ll travel more often now so I hope it’ll become a regular-ish kind of post.
First trip Bélo style was in Sligo.
We decided to stay only one night as we had to work, but it was a nice change anyway.
We left Dublin in the afternoon after my partner finished working but it was OK, it’s summer time and at least the light last longer during the day.
I’ll save you the details and the feeling in seeing the Irish countryside again. I know I’ll be repetitive, but still I love it, I can’t help.
I just want to highlight a couple of things seen during the travel though.
First of all my partner and I were happy, although surprised, to find a service area on the M4, a tolled main road. Last time we used it I had to beg him to stop the car to the side of the road because I was bursting (if you know what I mean). In Italy there are lots of them everywhere but we’re happy to see that Ireland is catching up with the fashion.
Second thing is a bit creepier. A bit before our arrival we travelled on a street we named ‘via crucis’ because that was that literally. Have you ever seen a cross on the side of the road? Yes, you have, everybody has. It usually stand there as token for someone who accidentally lost his or her life there. It’s very sad.
However, in this street you had many crosses, all looking alike, single or even in groups of four and five. After a while it was disturbing to watch.
Double disturbing as we have to pass through the same road on the way back too.
Then I’d skip almost at the end of the travel.
Around dinner time we had to pick among the cute fairytale-like villages where
we wanted to stop and we picked Carrick on Shannon.
It was basically a little harbor on the river, loads of boats and, if you know me a bit by now, this spot was perfect. We picked the Oarsman pub as place to eat but it was full so we were directed to other options among which there was Victorian Hall.
The restaurant had an original venue because was built in a chapel now refurbished into a restaurant offering a fusion cuisine.
Also there was something on the table I’ve never seen before, a button you could press to call the waitress; that alone, we decided, was worth the pick.
The only weak point, oddly enough, was the food! There was a nasty smell coming from the kitchen, like burned cheese. The fires were completely drawn into water, greenish colored water.
We were hungry though, so we cleaned our plates, even if the meal didn’t taste good or didn’t taste at all!
After that we were ready to reach our host’s house.
We actually got lost because Jl thought to follow the phones directions while the host’s ones were much better. In fact, after getting lost we went back to the roundabout and followed the printed piece of paper and we reached smoothly our destination. P and S’s house is a quiet cottage at the top of the hill. I really needed some peace, my life is always noisy.
It was awkward at the beginning. We weren’t even sure that was the house but we decided to go in and ring the bell.
P opened the door and showed us the house around and our room. Then we chatted for a while over a cup of tea.
It’s weird being in someone else’s house, someone you don’t know, but there was something I felt I already liked of the whole experience. It’s the first time since I work for a big company, that I feel willing to follow the core standards. One of the Bélo land core standards is embrace the adventure and I kept repeating it to myself, in order to push my shyness away.
Night was quiet as I wished and bed was so comfortable.
When we woke up we had breakfast and it was then that the magic happened. P and S joined us as we were eating and in less than two minutes it was like having a meal with old friends, I felt at ease and very sorry that I would have to leave them in a while.
P took his computer and helped us to find the places we wanted to visit.
It was a rainy day but we were ready to go.
And I think this is the magic our founders talk about. Get in someone’s house as stranger and get out as friend.
After we left our hosts we went to visit the Gillighan’s world. It’s a big garden where the fairies “live” along 9 rescued chickens that behave like dogs really!
Molly, the lady who explained us how the scavenging hunt worked, had such a deep knowledge about fairies and supernatural of the area I was shocked…in a positive way!
It was nice, at least for me, being treated like a child after a long time. You can go back in touch to your inner self. I didn’t win the scavenging hunt but I got a mushroom shaped candy as reward all the same!
After leaving the garden we headed to the field to see the eagle show, but unfortunately the park was closed and would be open again for the next show two hours later. Unfortunately it was raining so we decided to go on with our program and we missed it.
The third attraction I picked for the day was The folk village. Unfortunately for my partner we have a very different taste and interests so we ended up in eating in the coffee shop of the experience and went away, after he realized what he was going to see. It was lashing by that time and we were cold and, again, we were unlucky with food!
We decided to start heading south towards home and stop to visit something random.
It was then we passed through Boyle and we saw there was the King’s House open for visits.
We parked and visited the place. It was too much a modern place as a castle for me to be appreciated as such. Despite that it was interesting as military barrack and we spent in there a nice hour while outside the weather was still giving its best or worse…it depends on what you like!!!
After the King’s house we went back home and we ordered take away because we were still on holiday after all. Also we were knackered.
I have to admit I was a bit skeptic about the whole experience but I’m so looking forward to do it again!