Travel Journal March 31, 1999
Passage to the Emerald Isle.


I had realized several days ago that I was anxious to be moving on towards Ireland. The primary reason for this was that I would be staying with friends in Dublin, and by this time I was longing for a familiar face. Also, I had hoped that the weather would be a little better in a slightly less extreme latitude. [A comment inserted a few days later: The weather has been fine...]

I was also looking forward to post-Easter, when stuff would actually be open.

I headed out from Glasgow that morning, however I was delayed for several hours by the fact that I had parked the car in an unfortunate spot: I had parked it late at night, when the street was deserted, but come morning my car was completely locked in by several layers of tightly-packed cars on three sides, and a concrete wall on the fourth.

However, eventually I made my way down to the ferry site at Stranraer. I noticed a few tourists attractions, but nothing so interesting that I wanted to stop and investigate. I probably would have stopped at the Robert Burns heritage center if I had ever read any of his work, but I haven't.

There's a very interesting little island, called Craig Allan, on the way.

Originally I was supposed to go to Larne, however it turns out that most of the Ferries go to Belfast, which is closer to Dublin anyway. (The ferry to Larne actually departs from a different village a few miles down the road.)

Most of the ferries are hydrofoils. These are impressively large hydrofoils that can carry a deck full of cars as well as passengers. The one that I chose was the "Seacat" ferry. The costs was very reasonable, only ten pounds for a pedestrian (I had disposed of my car a few hours earlier.)

Here's a picture of the Seacat docking.

Inside the Seacat, the decor is more luxurious than most airlines.

The Seacat's wake is truly impressive, and the scenery just whips right on by.


We passed another one of the hydrofoil ferries, which looks similar to the Seacat.


By the time I got to Belfast, it was too dark to take pictures, but the amount of heavy industry and shipping that goes on in the harbor is impressive. Upon leaving the terminal, I was immediately accosted by a friendly taxi driver who found me a B&B to stay in, and acted as tour guide along the way, pointing out and explaining the sights. The area in which I stayed was quite lively with an active an interesting night life. I'm going to have to explore this area in more depth when I get back to Belfast.