Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Return to Innisfree - Day 2

Morning Farewell of Scotland

Cong                                                                              Ireland

Saturday 7th June 2014

Dawn approached for us all after a terrible night sleep praising the fact it was time to leave for the journey across the Irish Sea. We immediately set off as soon as we were ready making our way to the terminal just up the road from where we were. It was surprisingly quiet too when we had arrived to book and check in which was great to be honest as we got through security in quick succession. We headed for the rows of cars where we were designated a line to park up in until it was time to board. We could see right in front of us our vessel and the anticipation built up knowing we would be on our way very shortly. We were ready to board the Stena Line superfast ferry at 7am and I couldn’t believe how monstrous the ferry looked. Boarding the ferry also brought back a lot of memories from the past times I had took this journey when I was younger. My mother and father were excited too especially my mother as I could see nothing but pure joy in her eyes knowing she was heading for her beloved Ireland again. As for my dog she was none the wiser as she was more concerned with sleeping. As 7:30am approached, we were setting sail to Northern Ireland’s city of Belfast. The journey across the Irish Sea would take 2 hours 15 minutes so we had a lot of time to explore the marvellous ferry. The first thing we did though was to sit right at the front where there were huge glass windows and it really felt as though we were in the bridge steering the ship through the slight mist of the Irish Sea. It was a calm crossing throughout which was perfectly fine for me as I didn’t want to be sick like I used to be. I waited a moment relaxing until I explored around the ship looking at all the shops, bars and arcades. As much as I wanted to play on video games, there were too many kids in the arcades area so I decided to head right to the top deck and to stand outside. There was no one to be seen just me alone as I watched Scotland’s landscape become smaller and smaller as the sun was beginning to rise above the hills which looked wonderful. There wasn’t really much more to do on the ship and the arcade was still full but as time passed, Belfast was getting ever closer and before I realised it, we had arrived. It was all systems go at this point to disembark and head straight out of the port of Belfast and onto the M1 motorway to Enniskillen. I was really nervous about trying to get out of Belfast thinking that I would end up lost but instead it was exceptionally easy with no problems. The drive to Cong was very long but my excitement kept me rolling making me enjoy the long trip through the Irish countryside. After a few stops along some memorable places such as Belcoo, Sligo, Castlebar and Balinrobe, we finally arrived on the outskirts of Cong; our home for just over a week. I felt such a relief as I finally turned the engine off. We were all happy we had made it as we got out and breathed in the Irish air feeling recharged. The place we were staying at was called Corrib view villa which was actually 2 mile away from the small village of Cong and once we received our keys from the owner we immediately unpacked everything out of the car and then took greater note of the beautiful view of the green Irish fields in front of us. The place we were staying at looked very homely too and I shared a great big smile with my parents as it was finally time to take the short trip to our memorable place.  After passing Ashford Castle’s main gate and turned the sharp left corner towards the centre of the village, a flood of memories came into our heads of the past times we had been there. My mother was like a child on Christmas morning at the sight of Pat Cohan’s bar and the stone cross in front of it. It was also a great feeling knowing that nothing major had changed of the area just a few new shops and cafes but nothing to make it unnoticeable. We didn’t spend much time in Cong though as it was getting quite late when we arrived plus the long journey had tired me out so we headed back to our new home with hopes that we will spend a longer time in this lovely place. Despite being tired from the long journey, my mother and I ended the day with a good walk with the dog through the farmlands. The journey was absolutely peaceful throughout with nothing but the sound of birds singing and cows mooing in the distance. We emerged through the walkways and trees ending up at the waters edge of Lough Corrib which looked a spectacle to see. We sat at an abandoned looking hut taking all the beautiful scenery in for a good hour until it was definitely time to head back. It was a nice feeling lying on my bed with the thought of being back in Cong after a very long journey thinking of all the wonderful things I was about to see and do in this beautiful place of Ireland.
Corrib View Villa (top left window was my room)

Irish Landscape

Lough Corrib

Pat Cohans Bar
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