October 1, 2012 bright and early I caught a train to meet a bus that took me to a ferry. I had decided to make the crossing to Northern Ireland by boat, just for something different. One of the biggest ferry lines in the area is Stenna. They have all the transportation links set up and if you follow along in those set up ways, you reach your destination. The crossing itself took several hours, combined with the other transportation it ate up a big part of the day. It was cloudy and rained most of the way across. Below is a photo of the deck of the ferry in the rain.
There were several people I wanted to see in Northern Ireland and they had conspired together to provide me with a variety of activities an diversions. John was scheduled to meet me at the ferry port in Belfast and I was to go to his house for dinner. I was really happy to see wee Anna and Emily as well.
We had meat pie for dinner and John's mom introduced me to Wheaten Bread which I have written about previously here. I think Wheaten Bread is on of the best kept secrets in NI. Just thinking about it, I think I need to make some very soon.
After dinner I was picked up by Alison and we went to the airport to pick up Graham before heading to their little house on top of a hill overlooking farm country. I was intrigued by the hedge all along the little road going up the hill and thinking of what it looked like in winter when it snowed.
Into the house we went and I was engaged in the entryway, saying hello to the children and watching as dad gave them the onigiri he had brought them from the airport. In this short interval, Alison had disappeared into the kitchen and in a few minutes reappeared with a cake and candles in hand. She had seen on Facebook that it was my birthday and had made me a cake sometime in her busy day. I was really surprised because even I had almost forgotten my birthday with all the other excitement.