Hello, and welcome back to the story of our experience in Ireland, the irresistibly interesting island of intrigue! So as not to waste time, I’ll jump right in. God had humbled me in Cork city centre, and endeared me to it and Himself, as only God can do. And all of this by 6:30am on our first full day. (Click here to read about that.)
We had pre-registered for a day-long Paddywagon bus tour. We didn’t know what to expect, but we’d seen some good reviews. Since our stay, and my work, was in Cork, we thought we’d take this opportunity to get out of the city and see some other things.
Our departure time was 7am, and we arrived at the Paddywagon storefront at 6:45am. It was completely desolate. The sun was beginning to rise, but we were still alone in the city centre.
By 6:55, other tourists began to gather. At 7am sharp, our bus arrived. We had been exploring up and down the block, so we quickly got in line. I left my husband to hold the spot, while I took this photo of the Paddywagon bus. We would not be traveling incognito!
I would have taken a better photo, but the driver didn’t put us on in order of the line. He was calling role. Our names were near the top, so I had to scurry back and be “here” when I said I was.
My husband is in imminent need of a hip replacement, and a knee replacement after that, which is another post for another time. But it is important to this story, today, because he can’t walk fast. I entered the Paddywagon in front of him and climbed the stairs to the coach. The long, narrow bus aisle looked, to me, like it might be problematic for him.
I ducked into the first row of seats to let him catch up. He slid in beside me and told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to sit in front. I assured him it wasn’t my intention either, but I figured we could let other people pass and, when there was a break in the boarding, he could lead the way to wherever he felt comfortable.
But as we sat, we looked around. We’d entered from the left side of the bus (from our seat, facing the front). The driver sat on the right (still so strange). We’d taken steps up, and the floor below our bench seat was even with the dashboard. So, from where we sat in that front row, we looked floor to ceiling out a huge front windshield. It was a completely unobstructed view!
We decided to stay, at least until the first stop. It wasn’t a bus where we had assigned seats, or left our belongings on board, so we accepted that someone else would probably grab the spot when we vacated it. But NO! We couldn’t believe the front seat was bypassed by everyone else after every stop. We got to sit there all day!
Our driver, Aidan, told us about Cork and the sights of interest as we passed them. But as we left the city behind, he announced an unplanned stop. He told us we were going to pause at a gas station because “he needed a cup of coffee”. Well, if you read my previous post, you can imagine what that did to our spirits. The words hit as if notes sung by an angel from Heaven!
Aidan said that this gas station had “quite a nice deli as well”, and we’d stop there for 15 minutes. I think my husband and I both cheered out loud. We told Aidan he was our hero of the hour. God had used him to take care of us and we were so, SO thankful!
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”Philippians 4:19, 20
Ireland was an irresistibly interesting island of intrigue, even on fairly empty stomachs, but with large coffees and breakfast burritos digesting, it was even better. We passed miles of green, lush, cattle-laden paradise. Suddenly, Aidan interrupted our thoughts to announce another stop, which was not in the brochure.
And I can’t believe how long this has gotten already! I will pause here. I’m so thankful that you’re taking this journey with me. Please join me next time – I haven’t gotten to my favorite memory of my vacation yet, but it took place on this Paddywagon tour! Until then, my precious friend…
Curious how this Ireland trip came about?
Click here for the introduction post.