In my attempt to explore every means of transportation possible (car, bus, plane, train, horseback, cruise ship, and now ferry), I headed to Cherbourg for the ferry to Ireland. Not having any information about this ferry, other than the vague rumor that it exists, I wander about town late that night asking when it leaves. Eventually I run into an Irish biker in an Italian restaurant and he informs me that as luck would have it, a ferry leaves the next morning - the only one leaving for several days. Happy to hear this, I think him for the news and am on my way. It's not until I'm about to set my alarm clock that I realize I have no idea when exactly it leaves in the morning. Eek! So, I get up as early as the front desk is open, on the assumption that I'm not the first person to catch this ferry so they must open early enough. I check out and start walking to the ferry terminal. Little did I know that the walk is really, really long, and incredibly boring. Not to mention, a huge stretch of this walk is in full view of the ferries, which I see are loading cars and trucks as fast as possible. I quicken my pace. The cars finish loading. The doors close. At this point, due to the strange layout of the port, I'm actually walking directly away from the ferries in order to get to the terminal. I watch nervously over my shoulder as the first ferry revs its engines, pouring black smoke into the air, and steams off into the distance. I'm still not to the terminal. The second ferry follows the first, and heads out to sea. Distraught, but nearly at the terminal, I figure I can at least get a good idea when the next ferry leaves, days later.
I walk up to the "Irish Ferries" counter (it seemed appropriate), only to find it closed. Dang, they packed up quick. I ask around the other ferries, but find that they don't take passengers. Really bummed at this point, I'm about to leave when one of the attendants suggests "Irish Ferries does a passenger service today, so you could check with them." "Didn't it just leave?" "Oh, no, it doesn't leave for a few hours. The Irish Ferries counter should open in a few minutes."
Sure enough, as if on cue, the counter's blast doors rumble open and a friendly Irish girl takes my order. To celebrate my good fortune, I even upgrade to the reclining seat.