Airport coffee

It’s well known that airports have transformed in recent years from a transport hub with some shopping opportunities into shopping hubs with some associated transport options.  It’s also generally acknowledged that, despite having a very large footfall compared to most other shops they often charge more than other shops for the same goods.  They get a combination of high volume and high margin, which is a good combination for a retailer.

I passed through Collinstown Shopping Centre (a.k.a. Dublin Airport) recently and took note of the coffee prices in a number of the shops in Terminal 1.  I don’t claim that this is scientific or exhaustive, although walking around the airport looking at the prices was pretty exhausting.

I tried taking note of multiple coffee types, but since they all had different combinations I ended up just noting the prices for a latte.

  • Butlers chocolate shop – €3
  • Marquette – €2.75
  • Wrights – €3
  • Burger King – €2.30
  • The bar upstairs beside Burger King – €3.25

Can anyone beat €2.30 in Burger King in Dublin Airport for a latte?

Europe in 500 pages

I was looking back through some of my old books recently and came across my copy of “Europe by Train 1986” by Katie Wood and George McDonald.  I took this with me on my first inter-rail in (not surprisingly) 1986.

It’s amazing how brief the entries are for each country.  The entire book is just over 500 pages long, with 7 pages being enough to cover all of Poland.  Indeed the section on Eating & Nightlife in Warsaw is only 2 paragraphs long.


These days some travel books could take 500 pages to cover “things to do in London on a Sunday morning in February – East London edition”

Things were much different back then.  Apart from the fact that several countries covered in the book no longer exist (Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia & East and West Germany), there was no internet and there were no mobile phones.  If faxes were around then, they certainly weren’t in widespread use.  In order to book a hostel you had to post off a letter or booking form to each hostel individually and include a pre-paid return envelope.  Since all countries in Europe use different stamps this wasn’t as easy as it sounds.