once i came back inside on the Irish Ferry, there was a four-hour ride ahead of us,  so i decided to run all around looking at things.  it’s funny, because it was a large ship, but nothing like the grand Queen Mary 2.w546

This is an historic moment, because kevin is reading a map!  that’s strictly my purview, 99.9% of the time.  we were sitting in one of the eating areas – we moved around at least a couple times, because even though the ship wasn’t very crowded, there were plenty of loud children occupying many different sections.

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not crowded…but besides the loud kids, there were also people sprawled across any couches, sleeping.

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here’s the lobby area, eerily empty.

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Maybe these people were change their currency?  I think they also had tour offers at the counter.

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they even had some staterooms, and here’s a very plain corridor.  i can’t imagine why you’d get a stateroom for such a short trip.  maybe they have longer journeys, but i don’t think so.  maybe they’re for people who drove their car onto the ferry after a long long car ride, and just want some sleep in a real bed.

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in trying to be fancy, here’s the “club class.” i think there might have been a couple people in there, but i can’t imagine spending extra money to go inside, because it didn’t look much different from the rest of the ship.

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there were all different stairs all over the ship, where we walked up from our parking level.  there were several levels of parking, and most people drove onto the ship.  there were also plenty of tour buses aboard.

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it’s funny that it looks so empty, but i know there were kids running around somewhere.  there was a special “kids’ zone” on one of the decks, but i only peeked in there briefly.

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we did venture outside again near the end of the trip.  the crossing was from 2:45-7:00, and we finally had lunch of a mediocre cheese sandwich at about five.  kind of a late lunch.  we decided we’d get some good food to bring back with us on our return journey. we were only going to spend three nights in ireland.

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land ho!  can you see it, way off in the distance?

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here’s the view of Rosslare Harbour, as we docked.

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we disembarked pretty rapidly, and got our rental car right there in the terminal.  remember the nightmare we had getting our car in Southampton?  Well, the nightmare of getting the mile from the rental place to the storage place, which took an hour of going crazy getting lost and driving around and around and around.

it was funny to be in the possession of two rental cars at once, but it was way cheaper this way; i had thoroughly researched the cost of renting a car in England just one way, and it was way better to just keep that english car parked in the harbor lot while we were in Ireland.

a very friendly irish lady handed us our car keys, we climbed in and drove straight up the road to our b&b for the night, the Archways, which i’d found online and sounded fantastic.  here’s part of what they say on their site:

We offer dinner exclusively for our guests, specializing in providing the finest food available, especially our own free range rare breed pork, perfectly cooked for a memorable eating experience.

Yeah.  nice.  they have their own gardens and livestock and it’s very eco-friendly and was awarded Ireland’s Best b&b in 2013.  the only problem with all this wonderfulness is that they offer a dinner, but you have to book it in advance, and the dinner was one big dinner for all the guests, and it started at a specific time, i can’t remember the time now, but it was before we’d actually arrive.  so we got to the b&b and the guests were eating at one big table and it smelled fantastic…but not for us, sorry, we hadn’t booked.

luckily, the very nice owner recommended a pub five minutes down the road, and we drove down there.  it was called Ye Olde Cooper’s Inn, in Killinick, County Wexford.  I’d post a link to their website, but they don’t have one.

And let me say, the dinner was so fantastic!  i had a delicious fish chowder and a very healthy salad, with some good homemade bread and a nice wine that was served in a little bottle with a screw top.  Kevin had seafood soup, also delicious.

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we split two Irish desserts – i had a tart and kevin had bread & butter pudding.  The very friendly proprietor came over and recommended these desserts, because of course i’d planned to get sticky toffee pudding.  He said his mom had made the desserts, so of course we had to get them, and they were outstanding.

he reminded us of Chris O’Dowd, and told us that his brother had moved to Denver because he got hired by a professional soccer team.

a lovely evening, and it was just fine that we hadn’t had the fancy but i’m sure gigantic gourmet meal at the b&b.

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i took this photo of the restaurant menu, but of course it’s almost impossible to read.

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tomorrow would be yet another day of driving, and hopefully that would go well…

ok then,

mrs. g. hughes already trying to figure out another place to go hiking for our next trip…