During our walking tour of Amsterdam, we learned a bit about Dutch provinces. Technically, this is final thoughts from Clophill but our trip had officially been based in South Holland with a brief visit to North Holland.
If Holland wasn’t so wet and windy, apparently it is wetter than the UK, we would want to live there. It is so geared up to life without cars, ours went in the car park on arrival and didn’t re-appear until we left for home.
Our journey home was interesting. DFDS asked us to allow 2 hours for check in rather than the usual 45 minutes. After our Dover ‘adventure’ we didn’t want to risk missing the ferry and were up at 6:30 for the 3.5 hour drive. Next time we will use Harwich to the Hook of Holland which has served us well in the past. The route to Dunkirk is fairly easy driving but its a long way. We arrived at Dunkirk to be greeted by clear empty lanes and a shiny new Duty Free building. Did they want us early just so we’d be lured into Duty Free.
Dunkirk was lovely and sunny but, before leaving port, our Captain warned us we ‘might notice some movement on board’ as we approached Dover. Experience says that professionals always tone down any bad news and we were in for a choppy sailing.
We were held outside the Port at Dover for over an hour, waiting for a little tug to assist us into port. It was very dramatic with harbour walls and berthed P&O ferries all within hitting distance. We admired the skill of the tug captain, a tiny little boat dwarfed by the ferry. It was all very dramatic in a calm, understated way. The only sign the crew were preparing for a potential accident was seeing them all calmly lined up watching what was happening outside, ready to take action if needed. It really brought home the impact of P&O’s decision to use agency staff.
We landed safely at Dover and it was a relief to see the miles of parked lorries had cleared, let’s hope those drivers wish to return to the UK in the future.
The less said about our journey home, the better. 3.5 hours through torrential rain with a detour through Sevenoaks and Dartford. At one point we thought Google was having a nervous breakdown!
Anyway, we safely home and counting down to our walking holiday later this month.