Michael F. Kenny
Post Number: 11
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 06:00 pm: |
Katie - We booked Ryan Air on 2 February for a departure from Frankfurt to Dublin on 22 March & a return to Frankfurt on 30 March. Total Round Trip fare for the 2 of us was $202.00, which included one checked bag each. We also had one carry-on bag.
Although we were warned about Ryan Air's propensity for catching you with extra charges, we were not assessed any. However, an American family behind us was "dinged" an excess baggage charge. We did not check flights from Seville to Dublin - that would certainly have been an option if we had landed in Rota. However, I checked flights from Cadiz to Dublin. Those flights were more expensive than the Frankfurt to Dublin route so I had assumed the Seville-Dublin route would also be more expensive. Also, Seville is about an hour-and-a-half from Rota while Cadiz is about 1/2 hour.
If you are looking into Space A to Ireland there are some options. Both North Island (San Diego) and Fort Worth have occasional (rare) flights into Shannon. Keep looking at the schedules.
Like you, we did Ireland from England a few years ago. We flew into Mildenhall, caught a bus to Luton Airport (north of London) and flew Easy Jet from Luton to Dublin. As you mentioned, the bus & the train / ferry are other options.
Good luck !
Post Number: 24
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 02:14 pm: |
How much did the Ryan Air tickets cost and when did you book them? Were you surprised by any "additional fees?" Did you check Ryan Air from Seville to Dublin?
I've considered a SpaceA trip to Ireland (the "no hurry" option): Occasionally, Ramstein AB has flights to Mildenhall AB (I was in the terminal last fall when a call was made) which has a shuttle to Gatwick Airport. A subway can get you into London where you can catch an overnight bus all the way into Dublin (bus rides a ferry). A train-ferry combo is also an option.
Mildenhall AB has more flights back to Ramstein; however, most seem to come with a 30 lb. baggage limit.
Post Number: 567
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 05:20 pm: |
Let me add my kudos for a very well-written, entertaining and informative trip report.
You gave so much information, links, costs involved, etc. that so many writers of trip reports fail to include. You have made it a lot easier now for other SPATS following in your footsteps. Thank you!
Post Number: 526
Posted From: 220.127.116.11
|Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010 - 03:56 pm: |
Great report! With twenty-eight days and so many exciting places under your belt, you ought to be commended on this trip. Surely, you had the luck of the Irish!
Welcome back home.
Post Number: 41
Posted From: 18.104.22.168
|Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010 - 12:21 pm: |
Really enjoyed reading about your adventure!
Martin V Smith
Post Number: 261
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
|Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010 - 09:54 am: |
Thanks for sharing. Very well written. We all should have the space=a gods smile like that upon us.
John R Garrison
Post Number: 2527
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 10:20 pm: |
Great three part report! Good detail. Thanks for taking the time to write it up and to share it with us.
Happy travels, John
Post Number: 6104
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 08:35 pm: |
Michael, great series of reports, with a lot of information. Thank you.
Michael F. Kenny
Post Number: 10
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 08:26 pm: |
We departed Dublin on 30 March in a snowstorm with a forecast there of 3 more days of snow. It was time for “feets don’t fail me now – we’re out of here”. We landed at Frankfurt-Hahn and returned to KMCC, where we had booked a room for the night. The following day, we caught the continuation of a Patriot Express contract flight from BWI. The plane was a World Airways L-1011 with the 2-5-2 cabin configuration, complete with real seats and real flight attendants. Our destination was Aviano Air Base – a short 1-hour flight across the Alps. We landed at the Aviano Passenger Terminal and we were now in “Italia” – an ancient Etruscan word that means, “Good Luck ever trying to find a place to park here.”
From the terminal we were able to grab a shuttle bus that drove to base lodging – the aptly named “Mountain View Inn”. It is a good thing a shuttle was available – the terminal is a l-o-n-g walk from lodging – approximately 2 miles. The Inn has 172 rooms with prices ranging from $39 to $49. I had not reserved rooms in advance but walked up to the desk and was fortunate to get an availability from the 31st of March with check out on 3 April.
Aviano Passenger Terminal – Web link: http://www.aviano.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=10633&page= 1
Hours of operation: 0730 to 1630. Phone Commercial from US: 011-039-0434-30-7680. DSN 632-7680. Fax from US: 011-039-0434-30-7782 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountain View Inn – Web site: http://dodlodging.net/vt_aviano.htm
Commercial Phone from US: 011-039-0434-30-4074 DSN: 632-4040 Ext. 4504
We dropped our bags in our room and walked across the street to the BX / Commissary / Food Court / Shopping mall. Unlike the German SOFA, the Italians allow retirees to shop both the Exchange and the Commissary. The mall contains many of the same features as KMCC, but on a more modest scale. The auto rental concessionaire on base (in the mall) is Europcar. We rented a car through Europcar but would not do so again. We found them to be expensive at a rate of 214 Euros ($292) for the week and not very accommodating. For our 214 Euros, we received a Fiat Panda – presumably named because this 4-door (ha!) car is about the same size as a panda – if you cut off the panda’s arms, legs and other appendages. Our two small suitcases only fit in the trunk (ha!) through the adept use of a crowbar. This roller skate, however, did allow us to drive to Aviano and the nearby town of Pordenone and sample the restaurants. We also drove to the train terminal at Pordenone where we caught the train to Venice (being advised by the locals to avoid driving to Venice). It was a 1-hour train ride from Pordenone to Venice. Once there, the exit from the Venice train terminal is a dramatic one. You walk out to find a majestic canal filled with gondolas, water taxis, boats, garbage scows and screaming Italians – Wow!
Never having visited Venice, we were not prepared for the size of the city nor the labyrinthine streets. Ultimately, we surrendered and bought a city map and were able to locate a sun-drenched St. Mark’s Square – packed with Good Friday visitors speaking a polyglot of languages from all over Europe.
On Saturday 3 April, we checked out of the Mountain View Inn for the 4-and-a-half hour drive to Camp Darby and its base lodging, Casa Toscana. The autostrada route over mountains made for some great scenery. We had called Camp Darby during our stay at Aviano and were able to confirm a room for 4 nights at a total rate of $326. Casa Toscana has 22 rooms, was remodeled in 2006 and has won an award for one of the best Army Lodging facilities. The manager, Barb, and two of her desk assistants, Jeff and Jim, were a fount of information, very patient and extremely accommodating in their assistance to us. The PX is directly across the street. The Sea Pines Cabins are also on the base and, while we viewed the cabins from the outside, we did not get to enter any of them. They appeared to be a decent alternate lodging to Casa Toscana.
Casa Toscana - Commercial Phone from US: 011+039-050-54-7580
DSN 633-7580. E-mail: email@example.com
Web Info: http://www.livornomwr.com/st.php?activity_id=54&template_id=3
Casa Toscana provided an excellent base and jumping off spot for touring Pisa - 20 minute drive, Florence – 1 hour by train from Pisa, Livorno – 30 minute drive, Cinque Terre – 1/2 hour train ride from La Spezia with a 1 hour drive, and Rome – 3 hour drive. We made all of these trips with the exception of Rome and had a great time, great sightseeing and terrific restaurants in each place. On Easter Sunday, we were in Pisa….attempting, with approximately 2,000 other demented people, to take a photograph in such a way that would show us “holding” or “pushing” the leaning tower. Our relatives are all very proud.
Our 4-day stay at Camp Darby ended too soon but we wanted to get back to Aviano and home before DOD schools emptied for spring break. We had been watching the Aviano schedules and checked out of Casa Toscana in the early morning of 7 April to make the drive back to Aviano and the return of the Patriot Express that day. We returned our Europcar and a sympathetic airman gave us a lift to the terminal where we jumped on another L-1011 heading for Ramstein and BWI. We could have stayed on board until Baltimore. However, we would need to get out of there for the west coast. I didn’t like the prospects. Once again, a 1-hour flight across the Alps to Ramstein where we disembarked. We were able to get another room for the night at Ramstein prior to a C-17 flight the following day to McChord AFB, outside Seattle. Despite my early sign-up dates, it really didn’t matter, because there were enough seats on the plane. This was an 11-hour (ouch), over the pole flight, which got us in to McChord at 1930 (local) but about 0430 our (European) time – qualifying for “the longest day of your life” award. Once at McChord, we were able to get a room for 2 nights at the Rainier Inn on Fort Lewis (next door to McChord) at a rate of $65 per night. INFO: http://www.lewis.army.mil/lodging/
We were aiming for a flight to North Island, which appeared on the flight schedule, choosing to bypass a flight to March AFB in Riverside, California – an hour-and-a-half drive from our home. In doing so, we realized we had broken one of the Space A commandments, “Take the first flight heading the direction you are going.”
However, we were reluctant to cease our wanderings and had no commitments we had to keep. So, in the interim, we rented a car from Hertz and toured Seattle for a couple of days…including the Pike Street Market to watch them throwing fish around. We then rented a room at the “Evergreen Inn” at McChord (rate $48.25) on the evening prior to the North Island flight. Web link: http://dodlodging.net/vt_mcchord.htm
We arose early the following morning, called a taxi to get us to the terminal, and made the 2-hour C-17 flight from McChord to North Island. There were 6 Cat VI on board for 45 seats. Upon arrival, a van took us from the C-17 to the terminal where we walked to our car in long-term parking, loaded our suitcases and….after 28 days of sitting there….the car started without protest and we drove home.
Thanks to all of the contributors to this board. Your postings and information helped us plan a terrific trip. So we wish you the same as we had...Happy Travels !!
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.