Day 02: Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
This morning was an early start, 06:30 to be exact. We needed to be packed away and at the port for 8AM to make it before last departures. Also giving us a bit of time to drive Doris through the small country lanes that took us to our overnight stop last night.
Up to a beautiful morning here in South East England, Harwich. Some morning dew, lots of bird song and a little chill in the air. We woke early, after surprisingly sleeping well on our first night in Doris. We needed to pack some day bags for the long 7 hour journey on the ferry so that was first on the agenda after we’d opened the curtains and put away our bed.
The only really worry at the moment is our bikes. We’re slightly paranoid that they’re going to get stolen so we’re caught in two minds what to do with them. Fortunately, we had to get them in before we got to the ferry port anyway because I’d say Doris was on the smaller side that she is, so with her bike rack down she’d draw no attention to her length.
Where we stayed was only about 15 minute drive to the port itself so we left with enough time for a quick pit stop at the shop to pick up some snacks, cos boy I loves me a snack. Low and behold the sat nav decided the entrance to Asda wasn’t a real thing and sent us in circles before I decided enough was enough and headed straight to the port.
Doris was lucky enough to get a pat down by the man at the border control, to his surprise he couldn’t actually get into the back of her because of our bikes, ooopsy! Patted down and embarrassed in front of other motorhomes she plodded past and we got into line.
WE’D MADE IT TO THE FERRY, WAHOO!
Obviously, me being like a proud father, I jumped out and took a snap of Doris looking all proud in front of the huge Stenaline ferry.
The ferry from Harwich to Holland is 7 hours and it was easily the easiest ‘travel’ I’ve done. We’d booked a cabin at the grand cost of £27 and I am so glad I booked one. As lovely as the lounges were and how much space there was for us to lounge around and pass time, having our own bed, toilet, shower and TV made the 7 hours absolutely fly.
I spent the time well. Editing this website (check about and Europe By Motorhome for new stuff!) and trying to make this look as smooth and as organised as I can. Mainly so our grandparents can navigate it easier. Hi Nanna!
By the time we’d watched some Tom and Jerry, I’d edited and finished up some website stuff, both had a shower and grabbed some lunch it was time for us to get back to Doris who’d been left all alone in the belly of the ferry.
I think Doris had missed us as when we went to start her whilst the man in high vis was waving us through she decided not to start. Not sure what bodily fluids came out but it could have been from my eyes, my mouth and my bum all at the same time. Fortunately, she was just teasing us and next turn of the key she started like the trusty old girl we are getting to know and love.
TOUCHDOWN IN MAINLAND EUROPE!
At last driving will be easier again. Driving left hand drive in a 5.6m motorhome that’s as wide as a bus in England isn’t as easy as you think. She’s been reunited to where she belongs, mainland Europe. What a relief it is to be here with no hiccups as of yet, very happy with how she’s performed thus far.
We didn’t (I) want to drive too far tonight so we picked a spot that was about 40 minutes away from the port itself and slowly made our way there. One thing to be more aware of in Holland is that cyclists have right of way AND their own lane, that’ll take some getting used too. I certainly hope no one visits the under side of Doris to tickle her belly.
Our luck was in tonight, as we pulled up to a full carpark of motorhomes and were just about to turn around and leave, someone left! I gave them a little nod to make sure they were leaving and hopped right in their grave. Lovely!
Doris safe and parked up right next to a lovely canal of course, we’re in Holland now! We decided to have a little walk to the closest supermarket to stretch the legs and get some steps in for the day. Passing through some lovely canal ways and little quaint streets of Maassluis, we were soon back with a box of goodies and ready to settle in for the night.
First night cooking and eating in Doris and what a lovely little evening meal it was. Washed down with a cuppa tea and some dutch pastries. More of them tomorrow, please!
A successful first day in Europe. Long may it continue. We most definitely look forward to exploring Holland, it’s windmills and beautiful tulips over the coming few days.
Tonights camping location: Veerstoep, Maassluis. (CamperContact: 49863)