Round Ireland with a SAAB (1 / 2)

"At home on long journeys" SAAB said in the 1980 years. Then GM came and nothing was the way it was. Double wishbones became MacPherson front axles, turbo four-cylinder got six-cylinder siblings and the bogies became soft.

Dingle picture: Benjamin

Plushy, cayenne red and without turbo started my own SAAB experience.

What the red Knut can still do, he was able to prove in 2012, when it went to Scotland on its own. 17 days and 4.700 km stood in the balance of the impressive vacation trip.
A SAAB would not be a SAAB if that should have been his only adventure. And so we headed north-west again with the same SAAB, five years and 100.000 km older: Ireland.

Ballycastle. Picture: Benjamin
Round Ireland with a SAAB. Part 1

It started in Berlin on 28. April: After closing time, the car was loaded and it was initially for a long weekend to Bremen. There played the following day the local football club against those from Berlin. A successful termination for someone who had not seen the Weserstadion for years from the inside. The evening sounded comfortable after a city tour at the Schlachte.

The following day the SAAB was sufficient to drive to Cuxhaven and from there take a boat trip to the only German offshore island: Heligoland. After an island tour followed by a walk, there was just time to go shopping free of duty and the boat went back to the mainland. In the fishing port then a proper dinner was taken.

On Monday, May 1st, we started our actual vacation from Bremen: parallel to the coast, first through Friesland, then over the Afsluitsdijk - the artificial border between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer to Holland and to the destination for the day just before Rotterdam.

Our ferry to England left there at noon the next day. Arrived in Harwich in the evening, some practice time in left-hand traffic was planned. We wanted to go to Bishop's Stortford.

We stopped in this small town in 2012 and I really wanted to go back to the beautiful pub there, which is built and furnished in the style of Art Deco: The Nag's Head.
We were almost a little early for the last order: A construction site with an insane diversion had led us over side streets and side streets that even had pheasants sitting in the middle of the road. We needed almost an hour longer instead of the 90 minutes we had planned.

Wednesday 3 May: Newport (Wales) was the daily goal. It went via Oxford with an obligatory city tour in the midst of tourist crowds (because of the many Harry Potter locations ...), an outlet center (because of the female travel companion) and Bristol there.

At the roadside lay Bibury. This English village caused a stir at #yellowcarconvoy earlier this year after a resident's yellow car was demolished by suspected tourist-driven vandals for disrupting photographic consistency. Idyll is only by contrast.

Bibury Picture: Benjamin

The evening atmosphere in Bristol we use for a walk through the old town and had dinner there. Newport was reached after strains and confusions over various bridges just before 22 clock.
The hotel was right at the foot of the Transporter Bridge, one of six remaining floating ferries. This was briefly checked the next morning, because it is still going to the neighboring island.

The ferry was old, drove four hours, put down in Fishguard and in Rosslare. For the night Tramore was provided. A place on the south coast, the booked room had sea views and was on a hill, so the view of the bay was terrific. It should not be the last room with a great view.

On Friday we traveled to the Dingle peninsula in the same place. This provisional highlight had the right attributes of classic Ireland romance on Friday evening: rural idyll, pubs and beer and live music.

Dingle picture: Benjamin

The stopover in Cork culminated in the church of St. Anne, in which we let the hand-played "Ode to Joy" ring over the neighborhood with the bells ringing. You do not want to live there ...

The further approach to Dingle was on a single narrow winding road between rising mountain with meadows and sheep on one side, as well as walls or hedges, behind cliffs, below some beach and then the Atlantic on the other side. In a word, grandios.

Also, the locals do not move their vehicles just slowly. Infectious ... In general, be noted for driving: Who knows his car, dominates him on the other side of the road. Furthermore, Ireland conveniently has metric labels with km and km / h.

Landscape dwellers Image: Benjamin

On the other hand, irritatingly they have bilingual place information whose arbitrary order makes it necessary to read it completely.

Nonetheless, the driving fun was not neglected in the following days either: A circuit over the Dingle Peninsula as part of the Wild Atlantic Way, then the Conor Pass, whose width limit for vehicles is 1,8 m and is not passable in bad weather. The crossing of the Shannon River by ferry, then the plateau of the almost uninhabited Burren National Park. You encounter bushes and sheep in the middle of a rocky plain, which is surrounded by mountain peaks in the distance. The streets meander and you drive alone until you reach a secluded right-angled bend at dusk ... luckily, experience shapes instinct.

Conor Pass Picture: Benjamin
Burren Image: Benjamin

On Saturday night, the student crucible Galway headed for the inner-city runway: dinner, pub and entertainment were not hard to find. Thanks to the best weather everything was on its feet and out in the open air: music good music on every corner and all sorts of happy people from all over the world. Highly recommended.

Connemara awakened the following morning again the romantic driver: Lough an Lough between barren round mountains, meadows with sheep and rocks. In between asphalted and you can share with the rest of the scenery. Words are not enough to describe it all: you have to experience it yourself!

Connemara Picture: Benjamin

We spend the night near Sligo with a view of Lough Gill and Parke's Castle.


Part 2 of the Ireland Tour starts tomorrow. Thanks to Benjamin for the Saab story! That's what one of our exclusive is for Saab boarding files on the journey. Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration or any other event in life with the cult brand from Trollhättan?
Whatever it is, write us. We are looking forward to it!

2 thoughts on "Round Ireland with a SAAB (1 / 2)"

  • A very nice report with great pictures! That is fun and desire for SAAB, vacation and more….

    Thank you!

  • You get wanderlust ...

    Also I used to go with a SAAB hatchback (9000) on the left side. That was a lot of fun.

    Too bad that the ferry connection Hamburg-Harwich was set. On the other hand, many German Saabfahrer get such a good excuse to drive a few miles more if they want to go to the island.

    Looking forward to part 2. Nice report.

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