Friday, 13 June 2014

A Journey to Holland

An unexpected trip to Holland at the end of last week, with the ferry booked only two days before we travelled, meant we just packed our bags into the car and set off.  We don't live that far from Dover so we left home with an excited Little Owl in the back of the car. She knew she was going on a 'bowt'.

We set the satnav to Calais ferry as we didn't seem to have Dover saved. We didn't really need it but it is nice to have as we don't do the journey often enough to know where we are going without reading the road signs.  The satnav got annoyed with us on route as she thought we should go through the tunnel...

On board the boat and its time for breakfast, or lunch. Either way, Little Owl tucks in as she hadn't had much breakfast. We then had a walk around the boat and were a bit disappointed to discover that the only concession for children in the family lounge was a large TV screen showing cartoons on mute. So instead we found a quiet coffee lounge where Little Owl could look out of the window.
Walking around the boat and a tummy full of food, Little Owl was beginning to look sleepy as we approached Calais. A quick trip to the loo and she was set for a nice long sleep in the car!

We set the satnav up with our destination - Papa Owl's Aunt's house, and we were off! Little Owl was asleep before we had left the ferry terminal! We are champion travelers!

And then we hit Belgium.

The satnav directed us off of the motorway, slightly confused we followed as we had a vague memory of doing this before. Besides, its always nice to see a bit of Belgium rather than hurtling through on the motorway. We did not expect to find ourselves in a town square though! Never mind, we got ourselves back to the motorway, ignoring the instructions of the satnav, hoping she would reset once there.

Over the next hour it became apparent that the attempted upgrade that Papa Owl had tried to do the night before had somehow managed to delete most of the maps for Europe, only leaving the main routes. This shouldn't have been too much of a problem if when we approached a junction, the satnav didn't suddenly place us in a field half a mile to the left, refusing to tell us what should be happening and just shouting at us to get back to the "highlighted route".

When was the last time you travelled without a satnav?  I'd forgotten how much hard work it is, or maybe we have just lost the nack!  This led us to taking many a wrong turn, leaving the junction early or when we got the right junction, heading off in the wrong direction! This was not helped by the satnav giving up on "left" and "right" but now telling us to head "north" or "west".

Little Owl didn't sleep for long, probably due to satnav and Papa Owl both shouting instructions!

"please drive to highlighted route"

"make a u-turn"

As we neared our final destination, the satnav uttered a last desperate "please" before going quiet on us!

I cannot tell you how many u-turns we made, not to mention nearly driving down a cycle path!

Tired and weary, we finally arrived, a mere hour and a half late to find no-one home.  Not to worry, we were expecting this and went to find a neighbour who had the key... only the neighbour wasn't in either!

We had a very tired Little Owl who was also hungry, so back in the car we went and drove to the nearest town. We had been here a few times before so we had a bit of an idea where we were going now.  We parked up and spotted several people heading into a Chinese restaurant - we followed and discovered it was an "all-you-can-eat"! Bonus! And they didn't charge for under 4s!

It may not have been what we planned but it was a rather fitting end to the day - perhaps we are champion travellers after all!


  1. Despite a few pitfalls, it sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  2. I'm really sorry, but I'm afraid I laughed at the sat nav troubles! It sounds like quite an ordeal, I'm glad you got the in the end! I didn't realise you were Kent based too :)
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky


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