Our home away from home.
I took this photo from our room at ‘The Cuan Inn’ at Strangford at 5.00am – it gets light even earlier than this.
That’s our dark blue hire car out the front beside the green.
Another view from our room with the road turning right down to the lough and the ferry and one of the very old watch towers.
Written on the morning of 28th June – A’s Birthday.
I’m sitting on the bottom step of the stairs that lead up to our room at The Cuan Inn here in Strangford. It’s semi dark in the stair well but I’m here trying to get an internet connection. We do try!!!! It seems that the only place where we can get anything like a connection is in the bar – and that folks is locked at 7.30am – probably rightly so. Why try this early? It’s A’s birthday today and we are trying to get Skype up and running so that she can talk to those at home in Oz. But we are having no luck at all.
I’ll just write on while we wait for someone to stir and open a door or two to the main part of the Inn. The Cuan is a delightful old Inn run by a very warm and welcoming family and their staff in a small, picturesque village beside Strangford Lough. If it wasn’t raining, we’d go for a morning walk, but, as I got totally drenched in a matter of a couple of minutes yesterday just getting from the car to the front door, we’ll leave walking for awhile – at least until after breakfast.
In fact, after my drenching yesterday – and with my dry clothes still in the car – I just stripped off, dried off, and curled up in bed to warm up while my clothes dried a bit – and after a long day’s driving, went fast asleep. Meanwhile, the rain stopped – it would, wouldn’t it? So A., who was still dry, went for a walk in the village and down by Strangfordlough (lake).
The people of Strangford are proud of their beautiful wee village and keep it immaculate.
The lake enters the sea through a narrow channel here and the tidal currents are swift and turbulent – so much so that the tidal water power is used to make electricity. At ebb tide the mechanism is out of the water and visible.
Just at the bottom of our street is the car ferry that makes the crossing every half hour between Strangford and Portaferry. The ferry is well used. As well as the usual car traffic, children use the ferry to go to school – primary school children over to Portaferry, secondary school children from Portaferry to go by bus to Downpatrick for high school. Its a difficult crossing – one that has to take into account the speed of flow and the tides. It’s not straight! And neither is the Irish wit.
We are learning fast and enjoying the fun. Just a ‘wee’ instance: for ease of use, A. has a lanyon attached to her camera which she usually hangs around her neck. While wandering along yesterday down by the ferry, camera in hand, the lanyon was hanging loose, dangling in the breeze. A car came off the ferry and stopped beside her. The driver leant out to speak. Just as A. thought he was going to ask her for directions – which she wouldn’t know, of course – he quipped, “Have you lost your dog?” A quick wit indeed. And it’s that wit that we are really enjoying in Ireland.
And being here is not just about the beauty of Ireland – and it is without doubt beautiful; nor is it just about exploring Ireland’s gardens – of which there are so many; it’s about the Irish people – and more and more we are loving them.
Ah, ha – the doors are now open – we’ll go the bar – it’s all of 8.00 am !!!!! I’m quite sure I’ve never been in a pub bar at this hour before – in fact I’m not usually to be found in any pub bar! But, in a room so well known as a place where folks meet and converse over a pint of Guiness or a Whiskey or two, we’ll be able to chat with our loved ones via Internet/ Skype to the other side of the world! And I think that’s just a wee bit amazing, don’t you?
J and A