Ireland,  Travelog

Flying above Copper Coast Geopark in a helicopter

A helicopter flight over the Waterford coast was a gift from me and my mom’s friend for my mom’s birthday two years ago. The company operating these flights flies over several destinations in Ireland and we chose the Copper Coast Geopark because we know the place pretty well.

Copper Coast Geopark is a coast in southern Ireland stretching 25 km from Kilfarrasy Beach to Stradbally Beach. In addition to beautiful beaches and sea views, the geopark also has a lot of history. For lovers of geography and geology a little info from Wiki: the coast is of volcanic origin and there are Neolithic dolmens, fortresses from the Iron Age, pre-Christian inscriptions, the remains of medieval churches and castles. Since 2004, it has been part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

We have driven through Copper Coast from start to finish. Some of the beaches are among my favorites and we used to spend a lot of time there with Star. After she passed away I wasn’t really on any of the beaches – except perhaps Annestown in the summer of 2016.

The company organizing these sightseeing flights is located at a small airport near Waterford (yes, we have an airport, which most probably no longer operates even domestic flights). We were originally supposed to fly around the two in the afternoon on the first Saturday in September 2019 (my mother’s birthday was in October and because of my work we didn’t get a chance to avail of the gift until almost a year later), but two days before departure we were moved in time slots. The first one was supposed to be at half past ten in the morning, and I was a little nervous about it, because I was traveling home from Dublin for the whole thing and then I had to head back. Finally, our slot was moved to the four in the afternoon.

Somehow I knew I would be nervous, after all, it’s not Ryanair, but a small helicopter that could accommodate six or seven people. It would not be Ireland if someone wouldn’t be late. So while I was a little anxious and wanted to be in the air, the whole departure was delayed by about ten to fifteen minutes because we were waiting for another passenger who missed it in the end and thank God for that, so everyone had their place at the window and could see something (the last empty space was opposite me and my mother in the middle, and there was not much to see due to small cabin).

In the end, five flew plus the pilot. The husband of the latecomer was sitting with the pilot in the cockpit, me and my mother right behind them and two men opposite us. I was looking out the window the whole time, sometimes I communicated with my mom when she tapped me on the shoulder to borrow my phone (she left hers in the car, of course).

The flight lasted about 30 minutes, the weather was very good – it was beautiful over the water, cloudy over the mountains and the sun shone into it. There were no turbulences or movements with the helicopter when it turned, took off or landed, so I didn’t feel sick at all. In the end, as I was afraid that it would be like a scene from a catastrophic movie or a utopian video game, the flight was perhaps more pleasant than with Ryanair (I don’t kick into them on purpose … or do I?)

The pilot flew us from Tramore to Clonea beach near Dungarvan – covering the entire Copper Coast Geopark and a little more. At Clonea, he turned it around so we could see the other part (either the part by the sea or the part with the Comeragh Mountains in the background). Nobody missed anything and I have to say that it was a really great experience and my mom and I both enjoyed it. We will definitely fly with them again someday.

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