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    Enjoying a mini break in Ireland

    While many of you may not know this, I am actually a stranger living in a foreign country. I know... the internet still doesn't translate accents that well, but only those who have been paying much attention would ever find out that I am living in London, but my heart still lies in the Emerald Isle.

    It should come as no surprise then, that whenever I get the chance, I use Auto Europe's own services and book myself a car hire in Dublin to start my weekend journeys in Ireland. This weekend, I had a fantastic time - as always. I managed to get a flight out of the Square Mile just a few hours after leaving work and when I landed I had my shiny little compact waiting for me.

    For those who are not acquainted with Dublin's Airport (Aerfort Bhaile �tha Cliath for the Gaelic speakers), it's located just a few kilometers away from the city centre, in Swords. Which is also where I met a few old friends, waiting for a tour of three of my favourite pubs in the vicinity - the Estuary Pub, the Pound Pub and the Slaughtered Lamb. Well, that last one is actually where the fellas wanted to end the night at, so I went along with it, never having been there.Next morning, went to visit Mama and Dada - the folks were waiting with a traditional Irish breakfast for their estranged son: sausages, bacon, mushrooms, couple of eggs, black pudding, white pudding, tomatoes, potatoes (deliciously fried after boiled) and beans. And the ever ready old man had a surprise for me, to wash it all down: a pint, just a pint that he had brought over from the nearest pub.

    The plans for the afternoon were set: I was driving the car hire to Knock, where Ma was born. Now, my father isn't the most religious man on Earth, but my mother is a whole different story. And I wanted her to have a good time, so we had her visit the Knock Shrine, where in the late 1800s fifteen people of varying ages supposedly witnessed apparitions from the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph, on the Gable of the Church. Having lived there her entire childhood, it had been many years since she had been back.

    My father and I left my mother around to get in touch with old acquaintances and headed out to County Mayo for the Céide Fields in Ballycastle. I had never been there before, and it was incredible to imagine our Stone Age ancestors going about their business in that very place, all those millennia ago!

    Waking up in Dublin, the following day, felt comfortably like being back home. A morning walk around the old neighbourhood and then driving to St. Stephen's Green, where I once spent many an hour with my friends. After that, it was time to go back to my parents for a lighter brunch - at least in comparison with Saturday's - and then to get ready to fly back to London. A quick getaway, with so much to see... Ireland never ceases to fascinate me.

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