Posted by: travelrat | August 3, 2012

Another Crossing

Dublin: September 21st 2011

Dawn found us at the gates of the Dublin Ferry Terminal, outside a firmly closed gate. Shortly after our arrival, though, a man wearing an Official Dayglo Jacket and carrying an Official Clipboard checked our registration number against his list, and let us in.

Do you have a driving licence, or anything like that?’ he asked, as if it didn’t matter a great deal if I hadn’t. And, that has to be the easiest check-in I’ve ever done anywhere.

So, we drove to the waiting area, where there’s a stark, cheerless waiting room, about as warm and welcoming as the average Employment Exchange. And, the food counter was closed. It was much more comfortable to sit in the car, listed to the radio, and watch a spectacular sunrise. Fortunately, the old saw: Red in the morning/ Sailor, take warning … ‘ didn’t seem to apply today.

‘Norbank’ is one of P&O’s smaller ferries, mainly carrying trucks across the Irish Sea to Liverpool, but with room for a few cars also. There’s no free wifi on board, like there was with Stena, on the way out … but free meals. Not much comfort on the ship, either, but that wasn’t the company’s fault. All the comfortable chairs in the lounge had been taken over by people sleeping on them … sometimes reserving them with bags and blankets while they had breakfast. Just like, in warmer climes, Germans are reputed to do with sunbeds and beach towels!

It was on the ‘Norbank’ that I found a leaflet explaining about the eToll system. I had assumed that the toll-keepers had collected enough tolls for the day and gone home … but no! Everything that passed through that toll gate was recorded on CCTV. There was a number you had to ring, and give your credit card number. Fortunately, I just managed to pass these details just before we passed out of mobile phone cover … which, I suppose, was when we finally left Ireland behind.



  1. The dawn is stunning. Look at those colours. I am blown away!

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