OK, first thing we did was get up and pack. We had to check out, after all. Cursing myself yet again for having brought running shoes which went unused but took up an unreasonable amount of space, we squeezed everything in.
I had a brief look out from our balcony, a place where we’d spent zero time. I mean it’s not really a balcony anyway, really, is it. Anyway, outside it was windy and raining. Yep, still in West Ireland then.
Down at reception we left our bags behind and went straight into the adjacent pub, for our third consecutive lovely-but-horrifically-unhealthy breakfast.
The station is near Eyre Square, now in pleasant enough weather for us to stop and stare at the history and art work present. There’s a big gate, not in its original location - where, presumably, it would’ve been easier to photograph with decent lighting - and some type of sails sculpture, dedicated to ... sailing?
Also more birds: several pied wagtails that wouldn’t stay still or quite get close enough to photograph reasonably, and numerous sconeless gulls.
The hail is settling to the point of appearing like snow, but it soon stops. The pavements are now really slippery and it’s all very bizarre. Despite not feeling particularly windy, certainly in comparison to previous days, the storm has passed over so fast that before we’re even at the top of town the sun is out.
It’s surprising to me when we reach security that the queue is so long. The solution to a long queue, for some of our co-passengers, is to brazenly jump it. We’re not the only ones shocked by this, but no-one actually takes them to task and three people get away with it. Huh, whatever. Once we’re through there’s the World’s First Duty Free Shop to contend with, in which there’s a brief glimmer of hope that a suitable sweater might be found... but, alas, no.
Airside is a pleasant enough affair, lots of space (easy given the paucity of people), a decent looking bar, and a model plane exhibit next to the lounge. There are two lounges here, one seasonal (and we’re not in season) and one not. The latter is the Boru lounge and in we go, checking in with the reception desk that’s squarely in the middle of the room rather than near the entrance.
Shannon Airport is on the coast, giving us predictable views immediately after take-off.
I notice that Helen doesn’t grip my hand with white knuckles. It feels to me like we climb and climb and climb for half an hour or so, though this surely can’t be true. Outside, the sun is setting.
We didn’t take our real camera with us, so are limited to blurry phone pics. But hey, you can make out the dome on the right and Canary Wharf right there. Helen is utterly transfixed by the views of London as we follow the Thames.
I’ve flown plenty of flights in this direction during descent, and I’m absolutely sure Helen has been with me on several of them – but she swears blind that this is the first time she’s seen London like this.