I would firstly like to thank the Committee for stepping up and looking after the club during Greg's and my absence.
We were very pleased to see that the rides and breakfasts were well and truly successful with some great attendances and looks like the weather held out for you also.
So a big thank you to Pete, David, Lisa and Leonie and anyone else who assisted, we really appreciated the support in keeping the club running smoothly for the benefit of all our members.
So while it has been chilly here in Melbourne, Ireland and all over Europe are experiencing the hottest weather since 1976, and I can tell you they weren't surviving, and nor were we almost. in the hot rooms without any air-conditioning nor even a fan. Sometimes not even able to open a window!!! Fortunately the Guiness was smooth and cold. :)
Unfortunately though, the only week it was cold,wet and extremely windy, was during the 4 days of the Vespa World Day event. This didn't however, stop the show from going on, it just held up the first day with all the registrations, and hence one ride out was also cancelled. The wind was so strong it blew several of the marquees across the spillway at the Vespa Village.
The first evening was the President's dinner held at the Titanic Hotel. Greg attended with me, and I was pleased to meet 3 other female Presidents, Cyprus, Chzec and Turkey all attending for the first time, and Josh from the Vespa Club of America and also here is Martin in the white shirt who is the President of the Vespa World Club.
The next day was the AGM, and I am so glad Greg was able to attend with me again. It was not what I was expecting to say the least, and it dragged on for over 3 hours. I did have a part to play in the way it was handled, I have to say and the testosterone in the room actually applauded me.!!! Hence another ride out was missed.
BUT the last ride being the Cavalcade. WOW 3, 200 vespas road together and the city of Belfast was closed to allow a police escorted swarm of vespas through the streets to reach the Carrickfergus Castle some 17 kms from the Titanic Quarter.
What a scene, what a noise and all that blue smoke and we got to participate in this ride. I rode a hotted up, shiny polished metal PX lent to me by our new friends from the Pale Scooter Riders Club based in Dublin who are also members of the Vespa Club of Ireland, and Greg pillioned with one of them.
We rode in the middle, someone forgot to tell me that all the President's were to ride at the front, but too bad as I got to see the snake of vespas ahead and behind, it was an incredible experience. The weather wasn't the best as it drizzled then bucketed down once we were there but that didn't seem to worry anyone at all....
The last event was the Gala Dinner held in a huge warehouse where the Game of Thrones company use as a base. It was a sit down 3 course dinner, and we wondered how would they ever cope with so many people. Over 2,000 attended the dinner. Out came the meals served by 100 waiters, pronto, hot and mouth watering delicious. The place went off, it was like being at a football match, there was loud singing, chanting, mexican waves and the most frantic of all was the patch and sticker swapping... it was quite overwhelming, having never experienced such an event before. It was only til much later during our holiday we realised that we didn't take many photos, we were just blown away in awe I think..
The finale was the let down, as there wasn't any really. The dinner seemed to be the end of the event for many and it was where we said our good byes to Clint and Rory who are VCoA members and also got to participate in the cavalcade ride.
Clare, John and Bren enjoyed their time relaxing and taking in all the sights and making new friends.
We met so many people from all over the world who either rode, shipped their vespas or just attended like us. We look forward to seeing some of these people again next year at the VWD to be held in Hungary. It was such an amazing and mind boggling experience, and next year we will be more relaxed.
The rest of our holiday was driving the Coastline of Ireland over 14 days before catching up with our friends once again in Dublin and going on a spin with them all.
Welcome back Julie and Greg. Thanks for your report and the photos. What an event! I guess you have a lot to process mentally. Did you bond well with your hotted-up metallic machine Julie?
Thankyou David, it was more than what we were expecting I have to say that...and yes the vespa I rode was a dream to ride.... it is now off on a wee journey around the Wicklow coastline with its rightful owner and a buddy at the moment and I am a tad jealous I have to say....