(Kilbritain Castle)

Preconceived Ideas About Auto Transport And Irish Castles

Auto transport and Irish castles have something in common

Our first night in Ireland was almost magical. So many thoughts drifted through my head I thought it was going to explode. Our new granddaughter had stolen our hearts; we were half way around the world in a foreign country…the land of my husband’s family. Our new auto transport business was waiting at home. Upon our return we would launch the business. Who could forget about that adventure?

Looking back in retrospect, my preconceived ideas about both were very immature. It is hard to believe that I am admitting it, but the truth is the truth after all. I would later discover that owning your own business, even an auto transport business, is hard work. Yes, the rewards are incredible, like being able to travel to see our family anytime we wanted to. It does not mean that I could sleep in dragging into the office whenever I felt like it. Customers and owner-operators alike depended on me to serve their needs.

The Irish castles were nothing like the preconceived idea I had in my head. The Travel and History channels cannot even come close to providing the feeling of actually being near or in one of those ancient monumental castles.

All I know is the lessons I have learned from traveling to foreign destinations to building our auto transport business have been the most rewarding lessons I have ever had. What lessons have you experienced to share with others?

Let the tour begin…

Our first day touring the local area was incredible. The private Kilbritain Castle above set back off the lane surrounded by trees and wide-open, green fields. I could envision a young girl, in a warm woolen dress sitting on a stool, painting a picture of the castle and surrounding area just like in the movies. It was the most breathtaking site we had ever seen and at that moment, all preconceived ideas of castles flew right out the window.

The small minivan barely held all of us with Maebh’s car seat. Our son, Daniel crawled in the very back, which was uncomfortable and cramped. Being together was the only reason we all put up with being like sardines in a can. Who wants to travel around the world only to take separate cars to tour the area? To top off the small van, the roads were very narrow, windy and bumpy. We concluded though, that this all added to the adventure of the backcountry of Ireland.

Next came the Timoleague Abby set right on the bay. The ruins were quite spectacular and allowed our imaginations to run wild. The inside of the abbey, ruined long ago by attacking marauders had burned. The second floor was missing but you could get the sense of it from the protruding leftover beams above the main floor.

(Timoleague Abbey)

The residents of the abbey must have been small in stature as the doorways were short. All of us had to duck to enter the interior rooms. We could only imagine what it must have been like back in the day of the active community.

Weather gets in the way of touring

Taking our time touring the various castles, manors and communities of southern Ireland was very relaxing. Due to the narrow roadways and rural nature of the landscape, the average speed limits were 50 KM (approximately 31 MPH) although it seemed like we were flying.

Would you know that a once in a lifetime trip would include a once in a century snowstorm. That is right, it rarely snows in Ireland yet we woke to a beautiful blanket of white snow on our third day in the country.

We enjoyed the morning with our family relaxing and sipping hot Barry’s black tea with milk and biscuits. At first, I thought my daughter was crazy for putting milk in her tea, and then she told me to try it. She was right it was quite good. The milk took the bite off the rich tea and it seemed smoother. The biscuits were cookies called “Digestives” which fit nicely with our vitamin caplet.  When we returned home, we missed them so we shopped and found them at the local “World Market”.

The weather cleared and the snow melted so we all piled in the van and headed for our next destination ~ Cahir Castle. This castle had been renovated somewhat. Huge chains on a manual wheel raised the gates. No wonder men in those days were strong; it appeared it would have taken a team of horses to raise that solid steel-bar gate!


(Cahir Castle)

The solid rock walls towered over the inner courtyard. The recently groomed gardens were a stark contrast to the gray stones lining the walls. From the deep, dark dungeon to the guard towers, the reality of darker times for the inhabitants of Ireland came to life. From the crests adorning the great hall walls to the six-foot swords it did not appear that “those good old days” were so great.

As for the spiral stairwells in the fairy tales, well let us just say you will not find any princess with a sweeping gown running up or down one. Each step was no more than maybe five inches deep, barely wide enough to allow the balls of our feet to lift us to the next step.

Thankfully, none of us was prone to being claustrophobic. The walls rose straight up and inside were no more than three feet wide. This stairwell had no handrails (made me wonder if there were such things back then) and was no place to be if you had vertigo or had a fear of heights.

As our tour of the castles ended that day, we talked about the differences on the way home. Each castle represented the uniqueness of its owner and its resident people. Inside those stonewalls was a community of people living their lives the best they knew how at that time. They protected the castle and each other to the death.
In business, we have communities, too. Within those communities, we have a hierarchy just like inside the castle communities. We protect each other because we all depend on each other to do our jobs.
In auto transport, we depend on the customer who ships their car, the owner-operator who transports the car and on other brokers to do their job, too. When each sector of the community or business does their part the right way, the whole community prospers.
Today is no different from some six hundred years ago in Ireland. We all need each other to live healthy, happy prosperous lives. Together we can make a change that will allow all of us to build profitable auto transport businesses that serve the customer, truck driver and broker alike.
We need your help! Join us won’t you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!

Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
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