Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
Prev / Northern Europe / Scottland / Loch Ryan at Night Next

Did you know that you can see all the way across the English channel? I don't know why I was surprised by this - I mean, people swim across it every once and a while, so it can't be over the horizon or anything. But for some reason I just figured that (Northern) Ireland and the UK, or Britain, or the Commonwealth, or whatever crazy name they call the big island, were farther apart.

Speaking of naming ambiguity, I think it goes like this, but don't quote me on it: Ireland is it's own country. Northern Ireland is sorta like its own country, though its modicum of self rule was recently taken back due to the big Sinn Fein spying scandal (though why this is a scandal when all countries spy on all others is anybody's guess). Scottland and Wales are supposedly their own countries, but they pay allegiance to the Queen of England, use the English pound, have no independent government (ok, I think Wales does). England, Scotland, and Wales are the UK. The UK and Ireland are the British Isles, or maybe Britain. The Commonwealth, I think, is everywhere that was at one point owned by England (which is just about everywhere), though I don't think it includes the US. Oh, and the Queen's English is that strange dialect by James Bond, primarily spoken to sound sexy.

Anyway. The StenaLine is this huge hydrofoil ferry that crosses the English Channel (wait, why is it the English Channel - why not the English / Irish Channel? And did you know that despite everyone in the world calling the language Gaelic, in Ireland it's just called "Irish". Nobody I asked knew why others call it Gaelic.) between Belfast and Stranraer in about two hours. Aboard the ferry is a nice selection of restaurants, bars, casinos, duty-free shops, and more than you can do in two hours time.

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