Thursday 28/06/18 Hampshire bound.
Left my place in West Cornwall at 9am, called at the local Pasty Shop and collected 6 Pastys, 4 for my Sister and 2 for the Eldest Daughter.
Left the area about 9:20 and headed East up the main trunk road (A30), heading for the Family homes in Basingstoke some 223-225 Miles away.
It was a good drive up, very light traffic between Rush Hours, and stopped at Cartgate about 160 Miles in to grab some Lunch, arriving at My Sister’s House early to mid-afternoon. Stopped for a cup of tea and left with a Lemon Drizzle Cake! My Sister really knows the way to a man’s heart!
Drove across town diagonally to My eldest Daughter’s place, parked up outside and walked in the unlocked front door to be greeted my Wife Julie waiting for Jake our Grandson to come home from School as Sue is working longer today! A sight for sore eyes indeed, it’s been about 6 weeks since we’ve met.
Waited for Jake and Sue to both come home, left their pastys, then Julie and I walked over to Her place about 300 Yards along the road, had a meal and some Lemon Drizzle Cake then chilled out for the Evening.
Friday 29/06/18 Rest Day.
Slow start today, lazy morning as befits a rest day, and then we went over to a local shopping centre to get my Hair cut (Normally do it myself with my Wahl Clippers on No.3 but with Tennis Elbow I cannot get my Right Hand up there with control. The Amusement factor doesn’t count, I’m not doing it! Took me 3 goes to get my beard anywhere near right (Left Handed)). Why do I do it myself normally? Well, today was cheap, only £9.50. My Clippers with all the combs cost £28.00 and I’ve been using this set for at least 10 Years! I like having short hair for work, all that fluff & Dust sticks to my really thick hair like glue so a No.3 buzz cut is ideal.
Went into the local branch of a Major Supermarket chain (Tesco) and got a couple of bits and back to the flat again. Sue and Jake called in after he came home from School, and I took him round to open the family lock up to retrieve a couple of Pillows, as the Hotel beds often come with only one each.
Back to the Flat and loaded the Cases into the car, then upstairs for another meal then TV for a bit before an early night.
Saturday 30/06/18 Travelling to Cologne.
Up relatively early at 05:25 and loaded the overnight holdalls and this laptop into the Boot (Trunk) and bags with our Maps, nibbles etc. into the body of the car and set off about 06:00. Left the Cake behind, never mind, it’s Jake’s favourite too!
Cooked Breakfast at Maidstone Services on the M20 Motorway, not that’s gone downhill since we came 2 Years ago, I may stop recommending it.
Left earlier than we had planned, Traffic had been really quiet for a Saturday Morning and it stayed that way the rest of the Journey to the Eurotunnel Terminal at Folkestone.
Pulled up at the self-check-in Automat Machine, to find it is still only 08:30, and the machine would not let us transfer to an earlier Train as they were Really busy today. We are booked on the 10:50.
Oh Bum, still it isn’t a bad terminal, much better to be here than at Maidstone Services we thought, Wrong! Yes, it IS better to hang around at than Maidstone, and they don’t give you a parking ticket for staying over 2 Hours either, but it has gone down, they seem to have crammed a lot more concessions in, and as the machine had intimated it was really busy.
Still, we waited and waited and then got called for our train, left the Services building and passed through both Passport Controls and Customs ok without getting searched or shouting Bomb! Went and drove into the Queue lines for the Train Boarding, and after what seemed like a few minutes were released to drive round to the train.
We managed to get into the lower deck and only 2 carriages from the Front (so drove nearly half a mile through the train before parking up) and right at the front of a carriage so the roller shutter door was right in front of us. This slides down from the ‘Ceiling’ in slots in the fold out door frames at each side that are there for people to walk through in search of the toilet whilst the train is under the Sea.
I do like using the Eurotunnel Shuttle trains, they are quick, efficient, the staff always seem to be polite and courteous without being sycophantic and you drive out onto the correct side of the Motorway in France!
If you read my blog of 2 Years ago, I’d better tell you that I got onto the Correct Motorway (Autoroute) this time! (I don’t tend to use waypoints anymore.)
Stopped at one of the first set of service in Belgium for a cup of Tea and then again at the one just before the infamous Brussels Ring Road madhouse to get some lunch. This one was always good, we’ve always stopped here, no not again, drove on, round the Ring and stopped at the first one on the A4 instead. Got a filled baguette roll each which the young gentleman proceeded to Iron for us! Why do they do this?, we didn’t ask him, and I don’t do Ironing at home, let alone my food! Coffee was out of a vending machine that didn’t offer Tea so Julie had mineral water. The rolls were very good, even though Ironed!
Drove on Eastwards along the A4, stopping at the Services just into Germany after Aachen, which we Know are good, had a GOOD Mug of Tea each, a jug of Real Milk (Not Coffee Creamer) on the counter as well so set off for our final stretch down into the Rhine Valley refreshed and rested. Turned South on the A559 and off again at Porz-Whanheide, filled with Diesel and round the corner to our Hotel for the Night The Hotel-Garni Karsten.
This is a small family run Airport Hotel with a free shuttle bus to and from either the Airport or the local rail Station (Park and Ride into the centre of Cologne) where we were greeted as old friends, just walked into reception and was handed the room keys! Off again Tomorrow morning.