The best part of travel is the people you meet while doing it. Sarah and I met three people on our way from London to Dublin that I think deserve to have a spot in this blog.
Sarah and I woke up early Friday morning to take a train to the port, then take a ferry into Dublin. On the train we met two incredible people. The first was Kathy. She sat next to me in our small booth on the train, across from Sarah. She was a tiny woman, at least 60 years old, with white hair and hungry eyes. Kathy was quite chatty, asking us lots of questions about where we were going and giving advice on Dublin once we told her that was our destination.
She said last time she was in Dublin, she and her girlfriends went out clubbing until 6 in the morning. They went from pub to pub, flirting with men and getting them to buy them drinks. At one point in the night, they met a group of firemen from France and flirted their way into getting the men to take their shirts off and show their muscles. Kathy’s girlfriend even had one follow her out into the street, get on his knees and crawl towards her amidst a flock of onlookers. As he crawled near her, she took his cigarette from his mouth, put it in hers, and kicked him over. Everyone around, including the French man, burst into laughter.
Fulfilled, the ladies moved on to the next pub, where they met a group of American rugby players. In their usual style, Kathy and her friends flirted with the men to get them to do crazy things. This time, Kathy wanted the men to show off how strong they were, so of course she asked them to hold pennies in their butts. So the men all pulled down their trousers and stuck coins between their cheeks. Again, everyone was in hysterics. I asked Kathy how long ago this trip to Dublin was, expecting it to be long ago in her younger days. I was wrong; it was two years ago. I already loved the place.
After Kathy got off the train, another person filled in her seat. This time, it was a young, quiet, muscular guy. In hopes that he would be just as interesting as his predecessor, I struck up a conversation. He was Billy, a first-year University student from Wales. Billy didn’t have crazy stories for us, but cool facts. First, that we were in Wales. We had no clue that our train ride to the coast went through Wales. Then he told us about all the cool castles in Wales, after I said that it was my destiny to live a castle (it is!). We also learned about a town in Wales that has the longest name in the World. I’ll have to look it up later and add it to this post. Billy was sweet. I think Sarah and I startled him a bit with our wild American behavior, but at least now there’s no way he’ll forget us!
We got off at Holyhead, Wales. The coastline was stunning, the houses on hillside were magical, and the water was a beautiful crystal blue. When Sarah and I got on the ferry, we naturally passed by several people on the way to our seats. One of whom was a shaggy, rugged man who looked like a rockstar. I made eye contact with him and he immediately said, “Hello!” Friendly, I thought.
We continued on to our seats and made ourselves comfortable. On our way back up to the main deck of the ferry, we passed by him again, and he looked up and said “Hello, Lovey.” I smiled and kept walking. At this point he was either really friendly or really creepy. But I was intrigued by this man, and had three hours to kill on the ferry ride, so I thought, why not talk to him?
So a little bit later, I went back to where he was sitting and struck up conversation. I started with my pressing question, “So, are you a musician or something?” He didn’t respond to that question right away, but asked me about myself. After several minutes of introductions, we started to talk about other things. We talked about Once, and music and musicians, and poetry. We talked about travel. He was from Dublin but was living in London. He does yoga and runs a flower shop. He loves music. His heart’s been broken. He was just as interesting as I thought and I could have stayed and talked for hours, but I had to get back to Sarah. So I bid him adieu, and went back to my seat.
About an hour later, a little before our ferry docked in Dublin part, he found where I was sitting and handed me a note. He told me not to read it until I returned to London. And I followed. Now, I won’t share what it said, but it was a poem. A beautiful poem.
Like I said, one of the best things about travel it the people you meet while doing it. I’ll never forget Kathy, Billy and the guy on the ferry 🙂