The previous day in Berlin Maurice and I had both worn shorts for the first time since leaving Sardinia and we started off via Potsdam in 24degree warmth but within a short time on the Autobahn it had dropped to 18degrees and driving rain for over an hour! I think it was preparing us for England and Ireland. We reached Rinteln near Hannover. The campsite which we reached after about 6hours was called “Doktor See”

By the time we got to The Hague the sky was blue again and it was 26degrees. We parked near a canal and walked for two hours around the interesting city with a mixture of new buildings and old historical ones. The city had a very multicultural feel to it not surprising as it is a UN headquarters and home to many international companies. It was only another fifteen minutes to our campsite at Hoek van Holland where we were to catch the ferry the next day to Harwich.

We had the smoothest of crossings with a very calm sea and blue sky all the way to England and we had a nice quiet seven hour trip paying 16euros for the Stena lounge which gave us free wifi, refreshments, papers and no children. The next day also started well with a blue sky and we set out early for the next leg to Holyhead in Wales. We had stayed at a place called “Dovercourt” which was awful so we left early the next morning and opted to take the A roads not the motorway and there was
little traffic for most of the Sunday which made for a relaxing day.

The service areas in England are well set up with cafes and M & S food shops and some with bookstores. After a couple of breaks and lunch at Telford in a large mall complex we drove through to Wales and through some beautiful scenery to Betws-y-coed where we stayed the night in a lovely campsite. It was very windy and cold and rain fell towards evening. The hardy English and Welsh were out with their T-shirts and shorts pretending it was summer.

After an hour’s drive the next morning we arrived at Holyhead and boarded the Stena ferry to Dublin on the 25th July. It was again a smooth crossing but we didn’t opt for the lounge this time as it was 18pounds for a three hour trip and they allowed children in as well. We were looking forward to seeing all of Maurice’s cousins and their families and to picking up Maurice’s son Craig and wife Yuko on the 2nd of August. They were going to join us for two weeks to meet the family and see a bit of Ireland with us.

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