Recently I found myself in a situation where I was traveling from Dublin to the UK. Now, the traditional way would be to go by plane, but as you can probably guess, I’m not one for tradition. Therefore I did something different… very different. My friend Peter (see Hobo Heroes) told me of another possibility that could take you from Dublin to anywhere in the UK for just 47 euro. This, my friends is called the Sail & Rail ticket. Now here is the info, followed by my story.
WHAT: A single ticket that lets you take a ferry boat from the port of Dublin to Holyhead in Wales, then take a train from Holyhead station to anywhere in the UK (including Scotland).
WHEN: 3 times per day. 8:00am, 2:30pm, and 8:00pm. The duration takes about 3-4 hours. The bus to the port leaves about an hour before the ferry.
COST: 47 euro
HOW: Take a bus from Westmorland St to the port of Dublin, get on the ferry boat, chill for a while, exit the ferry boat, go through British customs, get on the train at Holyhead. The bus pick ups are 7:00am, 1:30pm, and 7:00pm.
Like the seafarers of old, I made my way to the port of Dublin, boarded a vessel and set sail. The boat itself was gigantic, holding thousands of people, cars, and probably a vast amount of cargo as well. The thing was equipped with restaurants, a kids area, a few gambling machines, and various lounges. However, Since I prefer story telling to describing things, I’ll let the next few pictures do that work for me.
The whole journey across the Irish Sea took about three and a half hours and I passed the time listening to Duncan Trussel’s podcast (highly recommended). I looked out the window from time to time to observe the different clouds of fog that surrounded the boat, but eventually got tired of the gray so I went back to meandering about. Finally, the boat reached the coast of Wales and stopped in the harbor. Slowly, everybody disembarked and went through customs (since technically we had just entered a different country). It was a town called Holyhead.
Sleep deprived and disoriented, as usual, I stumbled around and tried to figure out what to do and where to go. Then I remember I was in an English speaking country and I could just ask someone. Turning to an old man next to me, I explained my journey and asked where I was supposed to go. In a soft Irish accent, he explained everything in detail and concluded by saying, “But before you go, make sure you check out the town and see the bridge. It’s the main attraction here.” I heeded his advice and exited the station. Right there, facing me, was the bridge, which, to his credit, was quite shiny (see above). The town itself wasn’t too much though, really small with a couple shops. Naturally, I bought a banana and peanuts before returning to the station to board my train.