13 April 2023

To the Netherlands by boat

For the first time I would go by boat to the Netherlands! I had made sure I was ready for it. Firstly, I had printed out all sorts of things. I knew it was going to be a long trip, so I wanted to have stuff to do with me. And managing to do some work in the train and on the boat would mean I wouldn't be so pressed for time upon my return. So I had printed some student essays I needed to mark, and some scientific articles I wanted to read within the context of an upcoming day in the field with the students. and I had brought some Welsh homework.

The next thing I needed was food and drink. It is a long way! On the boat you have access to drinking water, of course, but in the train you don't. And I like my water. and given that I was travelling by boat, and nobody cared how big my luggage was, I had brought 6 liters. Three hot flasks and a water bladder. And I had only booked a cabin, no meals; I hoped I could make coffee in the morning with water I had brought. At best it would be just warm enough! But it was worth trying if that would do for me. 

With regard to food I had baked a quiche beforehand. And made sandwiches. And I had brought a piece of cake. The sandwiches would be lunch and breakfast. And the quiche was dinner.

It worked out fine! I set off at 10:15, drove to Bangor, and parked by the old university library. It was Easter; there was barely a car there. The train was on time, and I had space to do some work. The other trains (I needed to change in Chester and Manchester) were also on time, and not overly busy. 

On the way to Hull

I got to Hull by 15:35. I had plenty of time! Check-in closes at 7.  I first wandered into town to have a look. I had never been to Hull! I also had another sandwich. But then I decided to just take the bus to the port. That went smoothly as well. As did check-in. So I could either do some more work in my cabin, or on deck. it was all quite relaxed! 

Hull station

Hull city centre

Art by the ferry terminal 

My cabin

I ate my quiche in the late sun. And went to bed at a reasonable time. I could hear the on-board entertainment from the cabin, but that wasn’t an issue. And when I woke up the next day I had a shower, and found out the hot flask I had saved had just hot enough water for something that resembled coffee. Success! 

Leaving Hull

When we docked I caught the bus to Rotterdam Central Station. And from there I took a train to Amersfoort. And at around noon I greeted my mother. It had been a 26 hour trip, but it had been stress-free, and I had marked most of my essays, and done my homework. I think I could do this more often! The booking was a bit of a faff, but the practical execution was lovely. If the way back is as good, I have found an acceptable alternative to flying or taking the train…

No comments: