Glimmers of Life

Posts Tagged ‘driving

When I was younger we used to cross the Channel all the time. Back then there was no tunnel, no trains just good old fashioned boats. What I do remember is the boat being cool (i think we still said that back then!) and that standing on the deck with the extremely chilly wind trying to penetrate my afro felt fantastic. But travelling by boat is not something I’ve done in a while. But earlier this month I had the chance to venture to Dublin on the ferry – mainly because my husband didn’t want to brave public transport even if it was in another country and likely to be a much better experience than he’s had here, in England.

Getting to Holyhead was straightforward, although the signs once you got to the port weren’t that clear. Getting onto the Irish Ferry seemed way too easy. The security check pretty much consisted of one question. The serious looking man peered into the car, saw me, my husband, my daughter and two of my in-laws, sitting clutching passports, booking forms, proof of address documents and much more, and he simply asked, “Is this a car?” and waved us through.

Once on the ferry we left the car, went upstairs and sat in our ready positions and waited for Ireland to come to us.

I took the chance to explore – to reconnect with my youth and rush round the boat in an excited flurry – except this time I did use the opportunity to find where the loos and the baby change areas were – something that never seemed important when I was 12.  To my  delight they still have a shop on board, and there was clothing on sale – what joy! They also had a two screen cinema, games area (like the ones you find in bowling alleys) and a play area with big bits of coloured plastic to entertain the younger kids.

We had taken the 2pm ferry on the way there and that seemed to be quite busy, with school groups, families and a few random collections of people who I couldn’t pigeon hole with a glance. There did seem to be plenty of space though – the toilets were never full, and despite the numbers of people stretched out for an afternoon snooze there were lots of empty seats. On the way back on the 8.55pm ferry it seemed, as they say in the trade, dead. Maybe it was because most people were snoozing, maybe it was because I was no longer excited about ferry travel and just wanted to get home but it seemed very quiet. We sat in the bar and over in the corner one of the  staff efficiently unpacked the blackjack table and patiently stood there ‘tempting’ passengers to part with their money. Despite impressively making the effort to not look bored the whole time – there were no takers… I almost wish I had even the slighted desire to play.

Irish Ferries got us to Dublin and back without event – it was a smooth ride, no travel sickness and while the 6 hour ride (3 hours each way) didn’t fly by it had everything we needed. It was just a little lacklustre. It had none of the wow of a plane ride, and none of the coziness of a car journey – it did the job. That’s that.