All in all, we had a really good trip, probably 8.5/10. There were some frustrations, though:
1. Consistently half-assed directions (we also had this problem the first time we went to Ireland). I think they give directions like you already know where to go and you just need a gentle reminder.
The worst case was the B&B owner who gave us such generic instructions that it took us nearly 40 minutes to find a pub that was four minutes away, and on the same street. She said, "Oh, it's just four minutes' drive, just at the roundabout, you can't miss the big sign, and they have a lovely car park."
What she didn't say was the car park was two blocks before the pub (so even closer to us) and was unmarked, and that the pub faced away, so the only way to see the big sign was to drive completely around the roundabout and head back the way you came.
For people who've never been there, I think it would have been a little better to say, "Take a right onto the street, then look for a car park on the right side. It's not marked, but it's surrounded by a low yellow wall. Park there and walk two blocks down the street, and the pub is just there. You'll be approaching from the back, so it's the building that's painted to same yellow as the car park wall."
Would that have been so hard?
2. Same B&B owner, when we went to pay and leave, wouldn't take a credit card, even though her website said she did (and it was one of the reasons we picked her).
She advertises through a B&B finder, and that's where it said she took cards: "Well, I used to, but I already have to pay them €24 for you booking, and if I take a card, I have to pay the card people another €20 or so, and I'm not making any money, you see."
The wife, who relys on good info like that for her clients, asked her why the finder website still showed she takes cards: "Oh, I haven't quite got around to telling them yet." That sounded a lot like, "I don't want potential customers to go elsewhere," to us.
Anyway, we had to find an ATM (more shitty directions), get cash and pay her, and then she didn't have change, and it ended up costing us an hour on a long day, and that cascaded down, putting us in bad traffic both in the morning and afternoon in Belfast, and made us two hours late getting to our next B&B.
3. I still don't know what happened here, and it's hard to explain my thinking, but we went to Trim for dinner and parked at a Pay and Display city lot. It was 4:45PM, and I needed €1.20 for one hour, but I only had a €2 coin.
I walked across the street to buy something small to break a €5 note, walked back, looked at my change and noticed I had gotten another €2 coin and .80 cents.
So I said, "Screw it, I'm not walking back over there again," and I put in the .80 for just under an hour. It ran out at 5:52PM, and that's when I noticed that parking fees stopped at 6PM. Eight freaking minutes I was short!
At home, I would have ignored it, but on vacation aboard, the last thing I wanted was to get clamped after hours, and that's when I noticed the machine took ApplePay. Yes!
So I stepped through, picked the minimum time (at .50), confirmed, held up my phone, and...the damn thing charged me €10! Not only that, it didn't print out any kind of slip, so I didn't even get that.
I ended up just waiting until 6PM, just to see if a parking officer showed up to check tickets, in case I had to explain. No one did, so I would have been fine.
"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown