September 2005


05.09.2005: Superferry!

I took my first overnight ferry (the MV Superferry) last night (Sunday night) from Swansea, Wales, to Cork, Ireland. Let me be the first to announce that the Swansea-Cork Ferry’s terminal in Swansea is horribly located-I had to take a taxi out to the passenger terminal, including tip it ran £7, tip inclusive. At the Cork end, it is further from the city, but there is, at least, a bus that runs from the terminal to the city. For the record, anybody trying to figure out the Bus Stop name, it’s Ringaskiddy.

The ferry was substantially smaller than the one that I took from Tallinn to Helsinki and back+and there were few foot passengers onboard+the majority of the crowd was there with their cars. Nevertheless, the ferry wasn’t crowded, and I started the ride with a quick inexpensive dinner from the snack bar, and then grabbed a pint of something at one of the onboard pubs.

The majority of the crew is Polish and I don’t envy their jobs since they go back and forth from Swansea and Cork every day, without ever getting off the boat.

Anyhow, I got tired pretty quickly, and realizing that I had an early alarm (5:30, local time, I had to be out of the cabin by 6:15), I crashed at 9:30. The rocking of the boat lulled me to sleep. Unfortunately the rocking of the boat didn’t make me feel so good at 6 in the morning. I nearly puked in my cabin while taking a shower.

Landing in Ireland was quick and painless+I now have a vivid green Irish stamp in the passport, along with permission to stay until 4 October. I think I will make sure I get an exit stamp in the passport on Wednesday.

Accommodation Review: The room onboard the ferry had clearly seen better days-the mattress was slightly lumpy, and when taking a shower, you got the floor of the bathroom wet, so I made sure I did everything I needed to in the bathroom before showering. Funny enough, the boat had nicer accommodations than the hotel I stayed at in Swansea. Clearly the Dolphin Hotel was once a swanky hotel located in the heart of the city. Now it’s a run down and vaguely decrepit hotel whose information booklet over promises-the pastry show next door looks like it was closed years ago.

Random Note: The Swansea terminal for the ferry had tourist information for both Wales and Ireland. Unfortunately 95% of the material was for Wales.

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