On Monday, September 12th, I left Aberdeen and started making my way to Ireland. I traveled as far as Ayr, looking forward to staying at A’Turas-Mara Guest House, one of my favorite B&B’s. It was so nice to see Jackie’s smiling face and I felt like I was returning home.
In the morning after a very nice breakfast and meeting two lovely ladies who were from a small town near Glasgow, I started driving south along the coast.
I passed some very pretty pastoral scenes along the road….
I especially enjoyed the view of Ailsa Craig off the coastline near Girvan.
I even managed to find and visit an old churchyard and get a peek at some interesting headstones in Ballantrae along the way.
The plaque on the right above dates back to 1601; it is a very unique inscription with stone carvings above it with a dragon and maiden on the Kennedy Mausoleum.
After a few more miles and a scenic drive through the mountains and woods, I arrived at Cairnryan where I caught the “European Highlander” P & O ferry headed to Larne, Ireland.
I drove my rental car on board and headed upstairs to the lounge. It was very nice and very comfortable. (Their fleet is a whole lot nicer and upscale than the ferry I caught earlier this year when I crossed the Puget Sound from Port Angeles, Washington to Vancouver Island, British Columbia last May! They could take a few pointers from this line!)
Soon we were on our way, the sun started breaking through and I was excited to return to the Emerald Isle once again.
I met the nicest couple -Ed and Colleen, from California at the ferry terminal before boarding.
Visiting with them during the 2-hour ferry ride across the Irish Sea made it seem much shorter. I was sorry to see it come to an end because we were having such a great time together. They are fellow travellers and also write a blog about their adventures. What a fascinating and delightful couple they are. I feel so lucky to have met them!
Before we knew it, the ferry pulled into Larne where the sun was shining brightly and welcoming us to Ireland! We said a fond farewell but vowing to stay in touch which I am sure we will.
About 30 minutes of driving and 20 miles later, I was being greeted and welcomed by another smiling face, dear Deirdre Frew in Ahoghill! It was so great to see her once again. She had made arrangements for all the other Frew girls I met last year (plus a couple of new ones) to come over that evening for a ladies “Frew Genealogy night.”
They meet once a month to get updates, share new discoveries in their family trees and enjoy some good “craic” (an Irish word meaning good conversation.) I was so happy to be there with them. We had some really good laughs until the tears were rolling down our cheeks and great fun together. It was so fantastic to be there with them; like I have known them forever.
Although I had only initially met them one-time last year over a cup of coffee for about an hour, it was as if I’ve been friends with them for years and years. The Irish really are something special; so welcoming, so friendly… so loving and this special bunch are all “Frews” too!
Wow! What a wonderful way to start this part of my adventures….. that’s just the beginning! My next post will be about visiting Belfast for the next 2 days!
(Left to right: Florence, Deirdre, Ann, Karen, Maureen, Josephine and Heather)