To Reading after a first day

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July 13th 2012
Published: January 23rd 2013
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England: 1 day map

Sint Anthonis - Nijmegen - Calais - Dover - Reading


Harbor of Calais
Today it was the day. This was my first trip, ever. It was a long day, started at 5 am (Dutch time) when my alarm waked me up. We had to leave at 6 am. However, I was so excited, that I didn't sleep that well.

Together, with a friend, Hans we booked a trip by Effeweg (Dutch organization) to the South (East) of England, called "Highlights of South-England". This was an 8 day trip were we should visit London, Oxford, Winchester and Stonehenge, and many more! Also, breakfast and diner was included.

After my parents picked up Hans, we went to Nijmegen, where the bus should pick us up. Here, there was a check-in point, where a bus of Effeweg should came. Here, we could check in, and the bus brought us to the central point where all check-in buses came together. At each check-in point different people were waiting which all booked a trip by Effeweg, but other desitinations. For example, people who went to Paris or Berlin. The check-in bus should leave at 7.30 am. However, the check-in bus arrived a little bit late. Then we left. The bus stoped at by the central point, in

A sailboat sailing by the chalk cliffs in Dover
Didam (Netherlands) by the restaurant Juffrouw Tok. Here, all the busses of Effeweg came together from different check-in- buss points. Here, the travelers could get a cup of coffee, and hereafter you could find the bus which drove you to your destination. In the mean time we took a cup of coffee, the luggage was put out of the bus. During the cup of coffee we met some other travellers, which booked a trip to Germany. After the cup coffee we picked our luggage and searched our "new" bus with the destination "South-England". The driver put our luggage into the bus and we could find a spot in the bus. In the bus there were different kinds of people. Some elderly people, a grandfather with grandson, single travelers. And then the bus left, my first adventure started!

During our trip to Beglium, we passed three other check-in-points where people were also waiting. A family with two teenage kids and a couple (Rick and Mary) joined us. Rick & Mary sat between us in the bus and were friendly. We had talked during the trip. Also, our travel guide/driver, called Michiel entered the buss at one check-in-point. Here,

Disembarkation of the ferry
he told us the rules in the bus, for example take care of your trash and to wear your safety belt. Then, we could leave off to Belgium and from there to Calais (France) for the passage to Dover (UK).

We were twice stuck in a traffic jam. One after Breda (Netherlands) and one by Antwerpen (Belgium). Hereby, we missed our ferry at 4 pm. However, during strong controls of the UK Duane (two weeks before the Olympic Games), we also missed the ferry at 5 pm! The next ferry would leave at 6,50 pm. After we passed the Duane we went for a small walk in the harbor of Calais. The wind was strong, and you really could smell the sea. Then, we saw that our ferry was to moor. It was called "Pride of Kent". The Pride of Kent is a ferry of P&O. It has 9 decks, and place for maximum 2000 visitors.

At the ferry, we went up deck, to see how we sail away of France. The wind was very hard, at least for us. I think the wind was "moderate" in ship terms. When didn’t saw land anymore, we went to discover

Our diner
the ferry. There was a sort gift store with chemistry in it. Here, I bought my Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette. Also, you could visit a coffee bar and there were some restaurants. The passage took one and a half hour. At the boat we bought a small meal.
When we almost arrived, we went back up deck to see our arrival at the Harbor of Dover. First, we saw the chalk cliffs in Dover. This was very beautiful. The weather was nice, but still the wind was hard. The highest point of the chalk cliffs is around 100 meters.

At 7.30 (UK time) we moor at Dover. Then, the drive to our hotel would be one and a half hour. Because we didn't have our promised diner, the driver called the hotel to say we would arrive later. First, the hotel didn't agree, because the kitchen would close. But, because the Dutch drive time law, the hotel also didn't have another choice. We couldn't stop somewhere else to eat and to drive further, because of that law. So, our hotel agreed to let the kitchen open a little bit longer. We arrived at 10 pm at the

Me in the harbor of Calais
Gladly, the food was still ready hot and fine. Because it was late, I didn't have much hunger. So, I took some meat, pasta (with sauce) and vegetables and for accidentally some fish burgers. I do not like fish, so that really was a mistake. The vegetables were fresh and nice. The pasta and the sauce was fresh and with a good basis of tomatoes. Also, the meat was very tender, rosé with good sauce.

Then we could check in. Our hotel was the Novotel in Reading. We got room 715. Our room was very nice. It was large and clean. Also, a lot space for our bags. We had a double bed, with a good mattress.
Then, we went to sleep. We were very tired after this day.

Additional photos below
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Sail away from France

chalk cliffs of Dover

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