Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Canada & Hawaii 2016


 - Hop, skip and jump across an ocean and a continent

The outbound journey consisted of four days' worth of intensive travelling, punctuated only by a wet afternoon in Dublin (where I pressed on with some sightseeing and got soaked for my trouble) and a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles (where I sought out the hotel swimming pool, decided that I didn't like it, returned to my room and promptly fell fast asleep!) Flying was a recurring and dominant component of this initial stage of the trip, and to that extent these four days are also covered on the 'Flights' page (see black menu bar above)

Wednesday 17 August

It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Scotland - or at least, it turned into one, after some rather autumnal early-morning mist had cleared. I flew Edinburgh-Dublin on Aer Lingus Regional, and in doing so was delivered into an entirely different weather zone, characterised by a dull, grey look and evidence of earlier heavy rain. I grabbed some lunch in the terminal building on arrival, then walked to the Radisson Blu hotel and checked in.

In the hope that the weather might be set to improve, I took an Aircoach to O'Connell Street and then rode a Luas Red Line tram to the Museum stop. I was then just steps away from the impressive Collins Barracks site of the Museum of Ireland, this location specialising in Decorative Arts and History.

RIGHT: Okay, that's it - I'm done!

On completion of my visit, the rain had returned with a vengeance. I retraced my route to the city centre, took a quick stroll up O'Connell Street and decided to give up. Despite using an umbrella, I felt uncomfortably wet on my return to the hotel. After drying out, I enjoyed dinner in the Radisson Blu's 'T3' restaurant. Vegetable soup and pork sausages with mashed potatoes may sound like unduly heavy fare for August, but they seemed entirely appropriate for the conditions outside, and went down all the more easily thanks to a tasty New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Thursday 18 August

My journey got underway in earnest, using the American Airlines ex-Dublin ticket that formed the key building block of the trip. I flew first to London Heathrow on British Airways (Club Europe) and then onwards to Charlotte, North Carolina in American Airlines' international business class.

Friday 19 August

My journey continued with a coast-to-coast leap across the United States, on a battle-weary ex-US Airways Airbus A321. It felt like a very long flight on such an aircraft, but at least I was travelling in domestic first class. I got myself settled into the Hilton LAX for the first of three visits, and unintentionally fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon (Pacific time). Oh well, so much for enriching my northern European skin tones with some SoCal sunshine!

Saturday 20 August

The end of the beginning came in two distinct parts. First was a cross-border flight northwards to Vancouver, British Columbia on American Airlines. I then picked up my Avis rental car, which turned out to be a black Jeep Patriot. I took an instant liking to the vehicle and on first catching sight of it, found myself cooing "Oh! ... Cheeky!" It turned out that I had just unwittingly named the Jeep, which would henceforth be known by that very adjective. The 'Patriot games' got underway in earnest with an enjoyable, non-stop, 400km run to Osoyoos, which I managed to complete without making a single false move - not bad going for somebody who still prefers to memorise a route rather than be a sat-nav slave.

I settled into the Holiday Inn, found the Sol Grill Room and enjoyed a well earned small-plates dinner of French onion soup, coconut jumbo prawns and chicken satay, all washed down with a local Okanagan Riesling.

Much as I enjoy flying and staying in hotels, these first four days of the trip were a fairly intense experience and not always genuinely relaxing. I realised that the outbound journey was over at this point, however, and the stage had now been set for me to cast off the mantle of intercontinental 'road warrior' and assume the somewhat more laid-back guise of a holidaymaker - albeit one with a plan.

17-20 August

Continue to Day 1