Saturday, 24 December 2016

Shocks all round - but we did it !

It was rather a frazzled foursome who set off to drive through the night last weekend ! Our flight had been cancelled due to fog and we only found this out at 5.30pm on Saturday evening. What a shock to the aging system - I speak only for myself, not the younger travellers amongst us ! So feeling like the Famous Five, minus the dog Timmy,  we left at 7.30pm and embarked on our mammoth drive to Tilbury. After playing musical drivers for about 15 hours we finally arrived, jaded but very happy to have made it through all adversity!

We boarded the ship and our short European break had begun ! Amsterdam was lovely, sunny, crisp and with blue skies which proved excellent for photographs. We went in a cab to the flower market which always delights, and then to a magnificent cheese shop which had us drooling, and tasting every possible flavour of excellent Dutch cheese. Sparkling wine cheese, pesto and garlic, chilli and green herb, and possibly chocolate, I can't remember ! A restorative coffee was needed after that then a walk ( yes, I said walk !) back to the ship which the tour director K confidently informed us was a wee hop and skip.........45 mins later yours truly and her dicky hip was muttering and grumbling under her breath, and very glad to arrive on the Magellan in need by this point of a strong gin and tonic !

Bruges was its beautiful and wondrous self, the architecture never fails to please however many times I visit, and we added in the excitement of a horse and carriage trip. This was such a fun way to see the city, if a little chilly, but our staunch and high stepping steed, Faber, took us around the city whilst some of my companions decided to make a few 'royal waves' ! It was clearly a case of delusions of grandeur, and J and I grinned and bore it ! 

Our return was uneventful and the sea behaved the whole time we were on board, a smooth and gentle sail, so nobody felt ill, even novice cruiser EL managed the trip with only a couple of tipsy topsy moments ! Well done that woman !

After disembarking the ship we collected the car and drove first to Gatwick so J could catch the flight home, and I could catch (ha ha) a Southern Rail train to Petworth. I did eventually manage to get one after about six cancellations, and all before 10.35am ! Poor poor commuters to be so held to ransom, but that is another post !

Brave K and EL set off on the mammoth drive home, about which as yet I know little, but they manfully cracked on and after a diversionary stop at IKEA in Glasgow, arrived home early in the morning. Thank you ladies for doing that looong drive, we could not have gone on the cruise had you not been willing to drive home.

After the night drive - tired but still standing, well almost !

I stayed at petworth and had a really wonderful birthday, full of magnificent presents, a giant sized Christmas dinner, as requested, the cinema and the new Star Wars movie and a traditional rack of ribs at the Chichester Harvester ! It was wonderful to be with family and in a totally music free atmosphere. Thus absolutely nothing musical to report at all.........

Now for the rest of the holiday, and my new sofas......sighs deeply.

Our trusty steed Faber

PS I am sitting writing this at Inverness Airport, waiting for a suitable time to taxi to the bus station for the last leg of my journey home ! Having worried that Storm Barbara would put paid to my flight, it did leave Gatwick, late as ever. The winds approaching Inverness were pretty strong so turbulence was about 20 times stronger than usual. The pilot brought us safely in so now I only need to make the final section of the mammoth journey of the week..........


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