Ireland At Last

Finally on our way to Ireland on the Irish Ferry, The Oscar Wilde, a large ferry that had about 1350 people on board, some of which slept in the corridors outside the restaurants or in the bar area.  Everyone was trying to get home to Ireland.  After watching the Normandy coast line disappear we decided to go for a walk around the ferry.  We got to the main bar area and ran into Con and Angela who had set themselves up in a large corner for the night.   They had not been able to get a cabin or a reserved seat.  Luckily for them a couple that they met at the Hotel Ibis in Cherbourg had a cabin with four bunks and offered them a room for the night.  The Irish are a very caring and considerate people.  We had a drink with them and then set off to see the rest of the ferry.  We walked all the outside deck areas and covered most of the interior.  Then it was time to catch some sleep.  We returned to our cabin on Level 6 cabin 108.  A nice size cabin with two single beds, a desk area and a small ensuite.  We watched CNN News and called it a night.

Woke up in the morning to a beautiful sunrise and wandered down for some breakfast.  We ran into Con and Angela again in the cafe line.  We got some breakfast and sat chatting to them for a bit before Wandering around the outside decks taking some photos for a while.  It was lovely outside but the breeze was bone-chilling. We sought shelter from it and chatted with a guy who offered to take us to Dublin to get our car when we docked in Rosslare.  But we had already made some plans.  Before long it was lunch time so we went into the bistro.  Chris ordered the beef stroganoff and I ordered the tikka chicken.  The meals weren’t that good, they were too dry and chewy but hey it was nice and hot.  We went back up to our room to pack up our things before we had to depart the ferry.

It took us almost 40 minutes to get off the ferry.  When we got to Customs, they stopped us and took our passports, not sure why, then bought them back again after about 5 minutes.  The train that we were supposed to catch to Rathdrum had left at 2.20pm.  As we came down the ramp into the arrivals area we noticed that there was a Budget Car Rental place so we wandered over and asked if we could pick up our car that we were supposed to get in Dublin from here.  They said we could and to cut a long story short it cost us extra [40 euro per week and a 70 euro fee for changing dropoff city]. To top everything off, the car [a Volkswagon Golf] wouldn’t start.  Back to the counter again and, after checking themselves that the car wouldn’t start, they gave us a free upgrade to a Ford Focus diesel.  Gutsy little car and even fitted both our suitcases into the boot.

We headed off to Avoca to finally start our holiday in the first cottage we had booked.  Heather had told us that a good place to pick up some groceries was at Tesco in Arklow.  We did the grocery shop thing, which is the last thing we wanted to do but had to be done.  Took us a little bit of time to find the cottage but finally pulled up outside with Heather Lawson there to meet us with a tray of small cakes. We unpacked all our things and then cooked some dinner.  Very long day so off to bed early.

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