February 2006 Vacation in Douglas, Isle of Man

Travelog / Travelogue / Travellog / Travellogue, or however you spell it!

I flew Euromanx airlines in February, 2006 from Dublin to the Isle of Man (IOM). This was a one-day side trip from a vacation in Ireland. The IOM is an independent nation located between England and Ireland, and is about 33 miles (55 km) long by 13 miles (20 km) wide. The terrain is gently rolling, mostly agricultural with a British-farm look. Tail-less manx cats originally came from the Isle of Man.

Being in the winter month of February, there were only 4 passengers on the flight from Dublin to IOM, and only 10 on the flight back. Euromanx had a dual engine prop airplane on the route, but I learned that this may change. Other jet aircraft do land at IOM airport.

I stayed at the Arrandale Hotel in Douglas, the capital city. The Arrandale, located on Hutchinson Square at Marathon Road about 3 blocks up the hill from a traffic signal on the oceanside street, is one of seemingly dozens or hundreds of small hotels in Douglas. The Arrandale offers free wireless internet, and has an available computer in the dining room. It is quiet, and the bed was comfortable. Breakfast was tasty and free.

Because February is low season, there were few other guests in the hotel. The proprietors, Rose and Theo, were very friendly and accommodating. She is British and comes from an innkeeping family, he is Dutch. The Arrandale has its own website, at http://arrandale.com

In the winter most stores and shops in Douglas close at 5:30 PM. There is a pedestrian-only shopping street several blocks long, within walking distance of the Arrandale. 

You need a car on the Isle of Man, but not in Douglas itself. Like England, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road. Streets and roads on IOM are narrow, so expect to frequently share a lane and a half with oncoming traffic. 

The IOM airport is located maybe 10 miles from Douglas, at the town of Castletown. It rates with the Jackson, Wyoming, airport as being located in a very scenic location. There are no drinking fountains. Toilets are free, and immigration desk was unmanned when I came through..

I was told that IOM gets about 6% of its income from tourism and 6% from agriculture, the remainder being from offshore banking. I never saw any large bank buildings, but evidently the business is there somewhere.


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