VBOA International Irish Tour 2010 Alan & Jeanette Jackson, VOC Members
SUNDAY The cars started to arrive at the Carlton Abbey hotel in Athy. Around 30 vehicles from Eire, the U.K. Holland, Sweden and Denmark were driven to Athy while others attended from Switzerland and Australia in hired cars from Dublin airport. Hosted by the Vauxhall Bedford Opel Owners Club Ireland, with Bill Ryan at the helm and a good weather forecast the scene was set for a great week long tour of Ireland.
MONDAY We started the tour with visits to the Japanese Gardens and Irish National Stud. In Kildare and on to Newbridge to the famous Newbridge Silver Centre and came away with some very nice freebies. Then it was a very nice drive to Naas for a visit to 80 years young Jim Bolandís fantastic car collection, certainly by far the star visit of the tour for me with over 75 veteran, vintage & classicís from 1902-1960 all of which are the most desirable of their type, Rolls, Bentleys, Astons, Lagondas, Jaguars Mercedes, Lanchester & Daimlers the list is endless but not forgetting the 30-98 and Old Blighty 1920ís Vauxhalls all housed undercover and in full working order. Two cars a week get an outing a credit to Jim Boland a humble man who still tinkers daily and made all of us so welcome to his home. Finally the drive back to Athy took us via Russborough House for the last visit of the day.
TUESDAY We set off for Tullamore and stopped to visit the Tullamore Dew heritageIrish whiskey Centre. "GIVE EVERY MAN HIS DEW" was the slogan here. So after a tasting we moved on to the ancient religious site of Clonmacnoise which was interesting although mainly ruins and now the long drive to our next hotel near Galway. As we move nearer rugged coastal areas the roads also became rugged and poorly maintained, so back at the hotel a chance to tighten those parts which had vibrated loose over the previous days motoring.
WEDNESDAY So far we have been blessed with good weather, so down with the hood for some serious posing.Oranmore hotel our base for 2 nights proved to be a good choice for the next series of visits, at this stage we were joined by the main sponsors Auto Glym and Irish Vintage Scene, for photo shoots etc. Our First visit today took us to Cong and Lough Corrib where we enjoyed a boat trip around the Lough and on to Ashford Castle & Gardens returning earlier to the hotel for party night held earlier than usual as the sponsors were in attendance, with a fine feast and Irish folk music & dancers a great evening was had by all to well past midnight.
THURSDAY A short drive to our first stop Aillwee Caves and bird of pray centre with a flying Falcon display which took up most of the morning. After lunch we took a very long and very rough mountain road to visit the cliffs of Moher but the views were quite stunning. Oh! Forgot to mention today was our only wet day on the tour.
FRIDAY. The last day's driving took us back to Athy and the Carrlton Abbey hotel where we had started the tour, visiting Birr Castle en-route with its impressive lake and gardens. At the hotel another chance to tighten those loose fittings and parts that were given a serious shake rattle & roll on some of the most uneven roads Iíve ever driven on. Despite this break- downs were minimal and could be fixed on the spot so everyone made it round safely.
SATURDAY After enjoying our last big Irish breakfast it was farewell to our many overseas friends, our hosts Bill and kate Ryan and their team of club members and helpers who did a first class job in organising a stress free event that will be remembered for years to come. A big thank you to them for this International VBOA event 2010.