Day 4: New Year’s Day and onward to Deutschland

Today started off with a bit of waiting. While waiting for the bus, we killed some time around noon in the little diner-style restaurant adjacent to the hotel. The bus schedule was the same as the Sunday schedule since it was New Year’s Day. This meant that they came only once every thirty (pronounced “tirty,” as in rhyming with “dirty”) minutes instead of every ten. Anyway, due to the inclement weather in the area, the buses didn’t run at all. We ended up taking a taxi to the airport instead.

The bad weather in Dublin caused all the flights to be delayed throughout the day, but by the time we arrived, the weather had cleared up (and it was beautiful outside). Our flight was only delayed by an hour, and that is because the plane (or airbus) was delayed in Scotland on its way to us. Anyway, Dublin International Airport operates really smoothly and efficiently. They also have a mall inside, but alas, I did no shopping.

We arrived in Düsseldorf at around 21:30 local time. I then had to locate a phone to call for the shuttle to the car rental place. All the phones in the airport are pink and sport that big, beautiful “T” on them for T-Mobile (which is owned by Deutsche Telekom). Everything went smoothly with the car. It is an awesome Fiat Panda, and it’s bright orange. The nice things are that it is a manual, it runs diesel fuel (which costs less per litre), and it gets excellent fuel economy. It also has a GPS unit with the maps for Europe preloaded.

The hotel (Hotel Artus) is absolutely incredible! It is in what seems to be a home, and it has a cultural feel and cosiness that chain hotels don’t. It is truthfully more like a bed and breakfast. We were greeted by the owner right when we walked into the building, and he was dressed quite formally. The room is very nice, and the light switches are too cool. They are big squares that tilt up and down to turn the lights on or off, respectively. Oh yeah, and there is free wifi. 😀

The only unfortunate part of the day today was that we arrived in Germany so late that the only place open was McDonalds. 🙁 One interesting thing about the McDonalds though, is that it is on the bottom floor of the biggest, most luxurious BMW dealer I have ever seen.

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