Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Holy Head Batman: Dr. J's Excellent European Beer Adventure Part Three

As you can tell by the jist of my European Beer Adventure, proximity is everything. The closeness of all of these great beer drinking countries is a traveler's dream. For instance, I went to bed one Saturday evening thinking about how nice it would be to have a cask conditioned, celler temperature, English Bitter. The craving was pretty strong, but the problem was that it was impractical for me to go to the airport on Sunday and book a flight, albiet short, to England and be back the same evening. Now, don't get me wrong, ala my New Castle trip, it can be done. But I don't like to stress myself out on Sundays with the next day being Monday and work and all. Then, out of nowhere, an idea hit me. Take the ferry to Wales. Wales is attached to England, there must be Bitter there.

On Sunday morning I headed out to sea via the Irish Ferries. I decided to take the leisurely 3 hour trip across the Irish Sea to Holyhead, Wales and then take the high speed (1.5 hours), catamaran ferry back to Dublin. If you have never been on a Ferry in Europe, you are in for a big treat. My only experiance with Ferries, would be the ones we have here in the States. The Ferries are usually small here and not extravagant at all. Think Cape May Ferry. The Irish Sea Ferry had 11 decks, multiple restaurants, bars, live entertainment, movie theater and various shops. It looked like a cruise ship and in fact was bigger than at least one cruise ship I have been on. The catamaran ferry was a lot smaller, but it did not sacrifice comfort for speed. I even managed to watch Adam Sandler as Mr. Deeds in the boat's theater on the way home. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

On my trip to Wales, I had a very nice breakfast, wandered out on the deck to see the sea, and then parked my self in the lounge and listened to two Irish gentleman perform Jimmie Buffet songs. I resisted the temptation to have a couple of pints of Guinness on the ride. Afterall, wouldn't have that defeated my purpose? I arrived in Holyhead right on schedule and wandered off of the ship without a map or guidebook. I was only looking for a pub, how hard could it be? It wasn't. A short walk up the hill found me in front a a pub called The Boston. A little sign beneath the sign said, "Always a Warm & Friendly Welcome." Sounded good to me. It was a real hangout. Like one of the old waterfront, dock workers bars you see in the old movies. There were a half a dozen Welsh man watching a car race on the TV and a few shooting pool. I sat down at the bar and perused the taps. Guinness, Bud, Stella, Carlsburg. It wasn't looking good. I said to the bartender, where are the real Ales? Thankfully, he pointed to another part of the bar and there they were, three or four hand drawn, beer engine taps filled with cask conditioned Ale. My day was made.

The bartender was a long, haired rock and roller type fellow. He asked me if I was a Yank. He was pretty impressed when I told him that I had taken the ferry to Wales just to have a few pints. He spread the word to the other "gentlemen" and before you know it I was made to feel very welcome and full. The bar kept buying me pints of Ale until I told them my ship was about to leave. I wobbled back down the hill, jumped on the ferry and settled back to watch an Adam Sandler movie, which incidently, was very funny. Or was it the Ale?


At 4:28 AM, Anonymous PAUL said...


At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Another Great Adventure, Bill and Ted have nothing over you. As for Duckie, I think he got it wrong, he is the only one foolish enough to make comments (until now)!!!


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