A Week in Ireland with No Luggages

Our first trip in 2022 wasn’t until March, since omicron was raging during the first two months of the year. I was so relieved when the virus simmered down a bit and borders began relaxing once again. Back then, we still picked destination based on COVID numbers, and Ireland had felt like one of the safer countries at the time. Neither Bridgette or I had a strong interest in visiting Ireland, but we were still happy to explore a new place.

We had an overnight transit in Prague, and when we landed, we realized our luggages did not make it with us. The airline (Lufthansa) promised it would send the luggages onwards to Dublin to meet us there, but ofcourse, airlines are not to be trusted these days. We landed in Dublin without our luggages anywhere to be found, with very little help from the airline in providing more information. Without any chance of locating our luggages that day, we proceeded in picking up our rental car and driving 2 hours to the beautiful 18th century castle that we would be staying at the first few days.

Side story: my traveling skills had gotten a bit rusty after being home for a few months. When we arrived at the Prague airport in the morning to head to Dublin, we were in a bit of a hurry, so I rushed through the airport to find our gate, only to accidentally go through customs to exit the terminal! Bridge was trying to keep up behind me, and questioned why we were going through customs again, but what threw me off was a sign for the “fast track” lane, and I had seen a fast track stamp on our boarding pass. The minute we exited, I panicked and asked the security there if they could let us back into the terminal. Ofcourse, for safety reasons they could not, so we had to go through the normal security line again. Luckily for us, the line was short and we were able to get back in rather quickly. By the time we sprinted to our gate, the screen was flashing the “Last Call” sign and we were one of the very last passengers to board. Whew!

The drive in Ireland was not without its own set of challenges. It was my very first time driving on the left side of the road, and the roads were NARROW! The car rental company happened to upgrade my rental to be a large SUV, which would’ve normally been awesome, but not in Ireland. I literally had to pull off to the side every time I saw a large truck in the oncoming traffic. It was so scary!

We finally arrived safely to Cabra Castle hotel, and realized that the silver lining to having lost luggages is that we had no luggage to unpack. We went around exploring the beautiful hotel right away!

The next day, we drove to Roche Castle but were disappointed to find it temporarily closed. We then drove to the town of Carlingford, known for their oyster farms and medieval buildings. It was a cold, windy day though, and most of the places around town were closed. We walked along the water for a bit, and then found a cozy little bar restaurant for lunch.

We arrived back to the castle in the late afternoon for our reserved high tea (in our very un-royal clothing, lol), which was absolutely delightful. By the time we finished, the rain had stopped, so we ventured around the castle grounds for a hike to see the sunset, and then retreated to our room to watch The Tinder Swindler on Netflix for the evening.

We checked out the following day and drove straight to Dublin airport to try to locate our missing luggages once again. We were bounced from one place to another, with no help from the airline whatsoever, and after a frustrating couple of hours, we left empty-handed. We checked into our hotel in the city center of Dublin, and decided we better buy a few more pieces of clothing and other necessities to sustain us for the remainder of the trip. For some reason, the “need” to shop did not bring me any joy, as I was just sooooo frustrated with Lufthansa and their unwillingness to help locate our luggages.

Our few days in Dublin were very low-key. We didn’t hit any pubs since Bridge was not interested in having a Guinness with me, but we had a good time exploring the city by foot and discovering some wonderful museums and restaurants. One of our favorite discoveries was The Church Cafe, a restored 17th century former church that is now a unique and beautiful restaurant. The coolest part was when our server informed us that the little alcove we were seated at was where the remains of the Reverend’s son laid!

We spent a lot of time in the National Museum of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the magnificent Trinity College Library. Many of the museums in Dublin have free admissions, which is such a great thing to take advantage of!

Since Bridge loves creating things with her hands, I signed us up for a silver making workshop one evening, and it was so much fun! We each got to make our own unique silver ring to take home with us, which made for the best souvenir.

I really wanted to see the majestic cliffs that Ireland is known for, so on our last day, we joined a small group to do a 10 mile hike of the coast of Ireland. Unfortunately for us, it was very rainy and windy that morning when we began the hike, and within the first few minutes, I already slipped and fell into the muddy grounds. 😩

Luckily, the skies cleared up in the middle of our hike, and we got to enjoy some sunshine when we ate our picnic lunch by the water and when hiked along the beautiful coast afterwards.

On the day that we left Dublin, we arrived to the airport 2 hours earlier so that we could attempt to locate our luggages as a last ditch effort. Lufthansa was absolutely horrible in their customer service as usual, with nobody willing to help me at all. The airport’s baggage handling department was somewhat helpful, but extremely short staff, so there was a lot of waiting, waiting, and more waiting. Finally, this man name Peter, who worked with the baggage handling department, had sympathy for me and stepped in to give me his full attention. He took me all around the terminal where lost luggages lived in small rooms and random corners, but we did not find our luggages. Finally, I told him I needed to leave to make our flight to Prague, but he suggested we do one final sprint to another terminal where he thought our luggages may be hiding. And sprint we did! I was completely and utterly out of breath when Peter took me to a room where I FINALLY, FINALLY found our luggages!!!!!

I can’t even describe how grateful I felt that Peter went to such lengths to help us out. Losing your luggages can feel so helpless, hopeless, and vulnerable, and airline staff often add salt to the wound by dismissing your pleas over and over again. Peter not only empathized with our situation, but he decided to go all in to help us try to find our luggages. His kindness is exactly what our world needs more of. He was truly my hero that day, and I wish I had more time to express my gratitude to him, but I had to sprint back to the other terminal to catch our flight to Prague!

Wherever you are Peter, please know how much I appreciated your help that day in Dublin!!!!

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