Ireland: my car experience



We just returned from a nice long visit to Ireland. This was not part of a tour or group. We went to visit family and explore the country for ourselves with no preconceived ideas except that family lived in Donegal town and we wanted to spend most of our time on the western side of Ireland. So, we rented a car. At first I had scheduled a VW Golf. Plenty big enough for the 2 of us, but realized that it was a manual. Manuals are not a problem for me, even though I haven’t owned one in 20 years, but concentrating on driving on the left hand side of the road, sitting in the right-hand side of the car and practicing a stick, well, that thought was a bit overwhelming and I decided to opt for an automatic. No problem, it was supposed to be a Mazda 6.. When we got there, it was a Citroen.

I have nothing against the French and have always been intrigued with the Citroen cars and it appeared well made and well appointed. First, it was a diesel, that’s ok, I have and have had diesel cars in the past. No one instructed me that the car had to be in Neutral to start (there is no Park). So a short time of learning and consulting the manual (Rebecca’s idea). Then on to our explorations. To make a long story short, the car would stall when trying to accelerate, especially from really low speeds. Try pulling out into a busy round a bout with a car that won’t get past 10KHPH for about 5 seconds.. Very disconcerting. We took it back to Hertz and they said, “oh, it’s just the economy setting”, which turns off the engine when the car comes to a stop. It wasn’t. That part of the car I understood.. If it is a part of the economy setting where you push on the accelerator and the car creeps up to speed at a snails pace (literally), then there are some engineers at Citroen that need to  be made to drive their invention in heavy traffic.. I don’t think any self respecting engineer (French, American, esp Italian) would design such a flawed system, so I still think there was something amiss with the car and I told Hertz that when I returned it ( I still got the answer, “oh, that is just the economy setting of this car”). I hope the next customer that drives that car is as experienced with cars and mechanical systems and vocal enough to also register their complaint until Hertz fixes that car..

Here are a few images of car emblems from Ireland.. The strangest car I saw in Ireland was not an exotic car or truck and if I had seen it here in the USA, it would not have gotten a second glance. It was a large, white Cadillac Fleetwood. How they drove down some of the “little yellow roads”, I will never know.





More stories and experiences from Ireland coming soon!


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