Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Black Forest 2012: Day 8 - Durnal, Belgium - Essex, UK

Day 8: Durnal, Belgium - Essex, UK 02/09/2012
Miles: 268 appx. 

This is the last post of the Black Forest 2012 trip! I know it has taken me almost a year to finish it... but I have been swamped with Uni work :). Next up I will start writing about the Pyrenees trip that I am planning, but for now lets finish this final post :).

We got up fairly early on the Sunday, aiming to get to Calais for the 16:35 ferry. En route we wanted to stop in Belgium to take home some chocolates (as you do when in Belgium!). We stopped first in Gent
as there was a shop there that I had visited on another trip but unfortunately it was shut. We walked around the town just taking in some of the sights and just to show Emma around the place before we jumped back on the bikes. We also spotted a very odd looking bike, scooter, whatever it was with a side car :/.

Failing to get any chocolates here, we went back to familiar territory - Bruges. Here we bought chocolates from the shop with the chocolate king of the sea in the window. I asked for a mixed variety of white chocolates (as I am not really allowed cocoa due to my headaches) and Emma got whatever she wanted!

Now the ferry was a nightmare. We arrived pretty early, perhaps a couple of hours early and the port was absolutely rammed. It took an age to get through to the booking desk where we were told there was no chance we could get on the ferry. Our booking got migrated to a different ferry company (My Ferry Line) and we had to visit their offices to get booked in. Whilst waiting in the queue I heard that there was no space on any of their ferries until about 8 or 9 pm. Hearing this (and with her new job starting the next day) Emma marched over to P&O and demanded that we were put on their 5:30 ferry (I think, I can't remember the exact time now). We managed to get back to Essex within good time for her to start her new job the next day - despite perhaps being a little stressed out as a result of this !

Routes wise, we used motorways all the way back to Calais, including to Gent and Bruges to allow enough time to be back for the ferry. If you still wish to see the original map of this route then see below:

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