Ready to begin my journey?
It started on a very stormy Sunday. Our ferry sailing time was changed more than once, to try to get ahead of the storm, then again to leave after the storm!
The sea was still very rough and we were tossed about a bit. The worst part is always leaving Douglas harbour and getting round the head, after that it settles a little. We did have one almighty bump which terrified some little people, one poor little girl was to afraid to leave her seat and go to daddy, he had to move to her holding her big brother. They all three of them managed to fall asleep! They didn't wake until we were well into the Mersey estuary.
We had an overnight stop in Liverpool and a very early pick up. The coach arrived to collect us at 5 am.
It took a scenic route south through England and Wales before arriving in Dover at lunchtime.
I started my crochet on this leg, but couldn't accurately gauge how long the starting chain was, (Using a method new to me, with no foundation chain) which explains how I managed to make it wider than intended.
At the Dover ferry port we met up with 14 other coaches who had journeyed down the country from as far away as Scotland, some people having to be up even earlier than us.
We all got off our coaches while the drivers and porters ensured that the correct luggage was moved to the correct coaches, then we were asked to get on board the coach marked with our tour number and title. No77. Highlights of Eastern Europe for us. Other coaches were going to Italy, Spain, and many other European tours, one was even off to Russia!.
Once we settled onto our coach we boarded the ferry for Calais.
We said goodbye to the white cliffs and had a much smoother crossing than the day before. I even had a snooze but didn't do any crochet, instead I sat and chatted with a lady who was cross stitching..
After disembarking the ferry we had a long drive into Antwerp, where we stayed overnight. We didn't get much of a look at the place and left very early the next morning. We had another long run ahead of us. We did have some interesting breaks along the way.
Firstly the Mohne Dam.
It is set in some very beautiful countryside. We had quite a long stop here so that we could look about, stretch our legs and get something to eat.
The next stop was at Checkpoint Alpha, at the start of one of the cold war Berlin corridors.
We arrived in Berlin pretty tired people. Most of us ate dinner and went off to bed.
The next day the coach picked up a local guide for a tour of the city. As Tony and I had done this last year, we decided to do our own thing. Problem! It was lashing down. What to do? We had planned to spend our time in the zoo. Well attached to the zoo is an aquarium. We spent 3 hours in there instead.
Not only were there lots of fishes. Can you see the one hiding below?
There was also an insect and reptile house.
Where do you think this guy lives?
There was more than one!
Ugh! I did not sit on these seats to watch the butterflies!
They even had some Tuatara! Tony took great delight in telling some other English speaking tourists about how important they are.
Tony took dozens and dozens of pictures of nasty looking critters! Spiders and snakes and......shudder!
We were back on the coach early the next morning and off to Poland.
I had a few rows of my crochet done by this time, the coach crew put DVDs on for us and of course there was often things to see out of the windows, but it was still nice to keep my fingers busy.