Double dutch

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July 24th 2020
Published: July 24th 2020
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After well over 30 ferry trips and a cruise you would think /expect/hope that we were pretty ok with boats and how they work. Apparently not. First school boy error was not counting floors and having to walk up 16 flights of stairs, in masks, carrying a very heavy suitcase (technically error 1 was not packing a capsule teeny lightweight overnight bag for the ferry but hey ho) by the time we got to the top, all three of us were ever so slightly tired. As per usual our room was the furthest from the car but there was a free mini bar and water in a can! We all slept well until we were woken at dawn by the loudest burst of (randomly) I love your smile, bird noises and an announcement about breakfast. Yeah, thanks for that...... Somehow despite the early wake up call we were rushing around a bit but made it to the stair queue with everyone else, heading for orange 2 car deck. Sensibly (hurrah) we took the lift and were only a bit perturbed not to see floor 2 on the lift. We got out at 3 expecting stairs to our floor but no.... Cars by this time we're moving off and the decks were emptying. We climbed up to the next floor thinking we were on 4 maybe. We definitely were not on floor 4. They were all lorries. Panicking slightly we headed back down to for 3, searching the deck for our car but now, it wasnt there. We asked a guy how to get to floor 2. He laughed. There was no floor 2 but he pointed to a lone car in the middle of an empty deck and asked if it was ours. It was. Clearly visible to everyone (except us) even with a mask I could see him laugh at the poor sods who couldn't find their car in an empty room. (yes, there's always one and someone has to be last!) Sigh...... Eventually we found our way to the car and onwards to Heerlen zoo. Cake for breakfast in the car, 3 wee stops and a little nap and we got there dead on our ticket time! Another temporal miracle! It was easy to forget about pandemic things at the zoo, lovely animals, well spaced everything anyway and no masks here. That was until lunch time..... Ash has history here. We've been 3 times and each time he has been intimidated by the cafe and bought everything and come back to me shaking and apologetic. I have taken the piss, many times for this. Now, not so much. Because of covid there are less seats and a few odd one way systems so I ended up being funneled into the cafe and oh my, the people are terrifying, the menu is all in dutch, the lines move at crazy pace and the men serving are honestly like prison guards. No wonder Ash shakes when we mention it. We did eat though (for fear of jail or something) and spent a lovely afternoon exploring bits we'd not seen before as well as hauling Ash away from the capybaras again (even Seth was telling him you can't just take the animals with you, even if they are cute and look like they'd be at home in your garden). After the obligatory souvenier shop visit and a quick trip to the supermarket, we checked in at the hotel. I had inadvertently booked one step down from a penthouse suite (Ash got all excited that we might be in the actual penthouse not just next to them) who's bathroom is bigger than our entire room on the boat last night but again it's the furthest room from reception. A bed picnic, bubbly bath and a sleepy boy and it's time to try and catch neowise and a meteor showerfrom the balcony. Next stop Bruges.


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