Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Road to Belgium

It's a bit daunting to tell you about our trip to Belgium last month.  You saw how much I had to say about the faeries and the Sunderland Museum.  Once I start telling you about Belgium, I might never get home again!  I'd have to change the name of this blog to Onze Twee Weken in België; but let's have a go anyhow. 

Of course, the first part of the journey is relatively short, just down to the ferry landing in North Shields, walking distance if we didn't have the motorhome.

We sat in a queue - one of four or five - with other cars, caravans, motorhomes, agricultural and industrial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (ie 18-wheelers).  There may even have been a few car transporters stacked with new Nissans from Sunderland, but I didn't spot any. 

I was reminded of my first airplane journey.  The trip out was in a small plane in slightly rough weather, but I wasn't very nervous.  The return journey was on a huge plane, so large I couldn't imagine how it could fly and I was stiff with fear.  Watching all the weight going into the admittedly enormous boat - the King of Scandinavia - it was beyond me to imagine how it could possibly float.  Scenes from Titanic flitted across my brain, until I remembered I've made this journey several times, we just weren't in a vehicle.  I didn't figure our relatively modest wooden box would actually be the one to sink the ship.  However, there was a good gale blowing and plenty of 'white horses' on the river, never mind the sea!

I've always thought the cabins were ingenious in their use of space, and very comfortable aside from the motion of the ship.  One does have to remember that there are ledges on every door way, including the loo. It's a long way to fall if you forget.

After dropping off our backpacks, we sat next to this window - I do wish they were cleaner - and watched our progress out to sea.  You've seen the Tyne ferry landing before from the ground.

We watched the pilot accompany the Croatian ship, the Miho Pracat, out to sea.

This shows what it looks like from their viewpoint!

This is North Shields Fish Quay, where the few remaining fishing boats dock.

You should recognise the Tynemouth Abbey by now.

And this is how we look from the quayside.  (Loads of other videos of the ships and entertainment acts as such.)

I'm so glad to know it's not just me that gets really excited about all the goings on at North Shields and Tynemouth.   I think both videos have music that matches the anticipation I always feel as we set off to Amsterdam.

The emptiness of the North Sea is frightening but also  beautiful.


Anna at the Doll House said...

I do miss the ferries to Scandinavia. I have travelled to and from Newcastle via Bergen, Oslo and Gothenburg over the years - but now we have to go by plane.


Shelley said...

Anna - Yes, I do regret having not taken advantage of those trips when they were available. EasyJet has also narrowed the options directly from Newcastle and that is also quite disappointing. Fortunately, the options from Manchester - for most airlines - are quite wide and this allows us to catch up with one or two of Bill's children on our way abroad. It also has the huge advantage of missing out the London nightmares they call airports.