Day 1 - Fri 02 Mar 07
Up at 07:00 and out the door of my sisters house at 07:30, drove over to Birmingham airport and got there by 09:30. Checked in at the flybe desk, and managed to get the emergency exit seats with the extra leg room. Joined the queue for security and had a look around the shops. Then I heard a public address asking me to return to check in! I left my stuff with my sister and headed the wrong way through security. Got back to the check in desk to find that they had issued the wrong boarding pass to my sister. Not to worry, they would re-issue the pass at the gate. Asked the airport employee who was looking after the security queue (which had grown a lot longer) to get escort me to the front, and passed through the metal detector for the second time.
We checked the boarding pass and yup, my sister held a pass for a bloke called Graham. Top Tip - always check your boarding pass before you leave the check in desk! When we got to the gate, the gate staff knew nothing about the mix up and some one had to go out to check-in to collect the new pass!
The flight over was uneventful, the plane was a Dash turboprop. On landing in Ronaldsway the car hire desk was right next to the arrivals gate, and once I'd handed over my driving license and credit card I was in charge of a shiny new back Sporting Ka, with leather interior!
Headed out of the airport to Castletown, an interesting place, and popped into "The Garrison" a tapas bar right opposite the castle, where we had a pot of tea and some carrot cake. Castletown is based around an inlet from the sea, and the most impressive building is the castle. After that we headed south to the Calf of Man, a small island just off the coast that's a bird sanctuary. By this time the weather had closed in and the wind and the rain kept us from seeing any birds! After that we decided to find our hotel in Douglas.
And that was easily achieved as it was on the promenade, so all we had to do is drive up it until we spotted the place. Even managed to get parked right outside. I chilled out and had a kip while sis went for a swim in the hotel pool. We then decided to brave the weather and walked into Douglas town centre to find somewhere to eat. There are plenty of bars that do food, but surprisingly few restaurants, in the end we found a very nice Italian, but by the time we got there we had got very wet!
It was still raining hard on the walk back to the hotel.