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Tuesday, May 21

We detoured from the standard route to the ferry terminal at Holyhead by riding west to PortMeirion village, which was the shooting location for much of the outdoor scenes in the 1966 TV show, The Prisoner. We got there before official opening at 9:30, but they let us in anyway (after a lecture on their non-responsibility should we get hurt, which seems standard when Americans show up anywhere) and we wandered about for a half hour or so snapping pictures. PortMeirion was designed and built during the middle 20th century by an architect who wanted to design and build a sort of "ideal" village. It is quite whimsical, sort of like an amusement park in some ways. It is a functioning vacation hotel. On the way out we visited the gift shop (housed in the building that was "the prisoner's" living quarters) and I bought a nice book that summarized the lore surrounding the shooting of the TV show at PortMeirion.

From PortMeirion, we took a scenic route to Holyhead and arrived on time for the ferry. The crossing was uneventful, if a little rough. Rolling seas made walking difficult, but we did not experience sea sickness.

Got off the ferry, gassed up, and then had a hideous ride in Dublin traffic, in the rain, to our hotel in Tullamore. Dave was leading but the road signs were inadequate and after many U-turns, finally Bruce bailed us out. However, Bruce likes to ride fast, even if he's being followed by 20 wet, cold, tired Americans on rented motorcycles and riding on the wrong side of the road, so it was a harrowing journey to Tullamore. Adding to the peril was the gusty cross winds, which scared me silly, trying to keep up with Bruce's 70MPH on the motorway whilst being violently blown sideways.

Kate lost one of the rain covers to her saddlebags during our wild ride to Tullamore. Fortunately, we've lots of plastic bags for packing the contents in.

After dinner at the Bridge House restaurant, Kate and I managed to walk a block to an ATM and get some Euros so we could buy gas and lunch for the next few days. Our first Euros! Every country's has a special national symbol on the obverse, and here it's the harp.

PortMerion central square
PortMerion central square
Bill at Portmerion
PortMerion beach and inlet
PortMerion cement boat with beach and inlet
fountain pool at PortMerion
another view towards the square
Kate with sculpture at PortMerion
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Bill outside Caernarfon Castle
Bill at Cistern Tower in Caernarfon Castle
Bob and Brad waiting for the Ferry to Ireland
Brad and Mo waiting for the Ferry to Ireland
Nor and Ron waiting for the Ferry to Ireland
John S. and Dave waiting for the Ferry to Ireland