Okay, it's been a while, and hell knows if I'll actually get this finished tonight, but here goes nothing.
we found ourselves in Leigh at two in the morning, waiting for the connecting minibus to take us to Knutsford so we could get on the coach. It took us eight hours to get to Dover because of bad weather and having to go off the motorway, and diversions we had to make to pick people up. The drive to Dover is, if you go straight, about five hours. I wasn't impressed, and I spent a lot of it somewhat bored since my phone battery doesn't handle ebuddy to well and it only lasted about four hours. I think I slept, a bit, and after a bit of a blip at Dover thanks to us being late for our ferry we were on our way to Calais. The sea had this strange mist over it, and I ventured up onto the outside deck (even though it was freezing
and took a few photos, which if you haven't seen them will be in the album linked to at the bottom of this entry.
From Calais (France) we drove an hour and a half to Ostend, in Belgium. I can't say I was overwhelmed with the place though there was a very pretty ship in the harbour, which was all lit up as we left.
After we meandered around the town for a few hours we went to our hotel, and I was dealing with a steadily mounting urge to kill the people sat behind me on the coach. I'm sure you know the sort - the people who never shut up and complain about everything, while most of the things they complain about could be solved by them if they'd just stop complaining and deal with it.
Needless to say they were the bane of my existence for the entire weekend but I did my best to ignore them.
I crashed as soon as we got to the hotel. In my clothes. And slept for about twelve hours. On Saturday
the day began bright and early and we set out for Valkenburg, Netherlands at 9am. People behind us were still complaining. I wanted to kill them all. They would not shut up about how the tour guide person on the bus wasn't telling them anything, but if they'd just shut up for five minutes they might have been able to hear him.
Anyway, we paid a little extra to be taken to some other markets in a placed called Maastricht. 'T was very pretty, and we had some mulled wine, which was nice. Also my idea, I swear mum and John had never had it before or something. It was so rich though, I couldn't even manage to drink one glass. After a couple of hours there we went to Valkenburg, which has its Christmas markets inside caves. It was very pretty, the only downside being that once you left, you couldn't go back in. It was also really freakin' cold, but I didn't mind that so much. Oddly, I wasn't really cold for the entire trip. I did buy some very cute gloves in Valkenburg - sort of suedeish and a light tan colour, with no fingers and fur around the edges. I also bought a candle shaped like a teapot and one of those glass things with bubbles inside that make a picture. People kept talking to me in Dutch! That's the problem about holidaying in northern Europe - if you're white-British, you don't look foreign enough XP
That night we had a meal in the hotel, which didn't go as well as we would have liked since the kitchen actually forgot about us and we were waiting two hours for our food. I wasn't that bothered, really - I'd had wine, I was just giggling - but mum was livid. It was a good thing the food was so good once we finally got it. I had steak.Sunday
saw us going home, but first we had a final stop to make, and one I'd been looking forward to. Bruges. The Venice of the North. It really was gorgeous, and I want to go again. I love places like that - where everything looks different and you just know you're in another country. Over the markets the bells in the Belfort en Hallen were ringing constantly and the snow had cleared but it still had a very Christmassy feel to it. It took us 20 minutes to walk to the markets from where the coach dropped us off, and when we found the edge of the main town centre there were lines of horse and carriages, with very enthusiastic drivers who would shout ahead in Dutch, French and English that we had to get out of the way because they weren't going to stop!
Bruges is full of chocolate shops. Some of them have very strange things in them. The last thing I expected to see in what looked like a high-end chocolate shop was a row of chocolate penises. I admit I tittered a bit, though it made me wonder how that sort of thing would go over in England. Probably not very well.
We walked around Bruges for a few hours. I bought a snowglobe with the Belfort en Hallen in it, and a little dragon statuette, because I collect them. I also found a very nice mug with blue windmills painted on it and 'I love Holland' on the handle. The irony of buying it in Belgium did not escape me. I also had the most amazing waffle I have ever tasted - hot, with cream and strawberries on it. I was completely determined to eat the entire thing, even when it started falling apart.
It was so good ;~; I would very much like to go back to Bruges. I love places where I can walk around all day taking photos.
We crossed the channel at night this time, and then it took us a further eight hours to get home, by which time, my god, I was just glad to be home. I'd forgotten just how much stuff I'd bought.
After we got back, on the Tuesday, I was very ill. I did in fact lose ten pounds in ten days, which is the most weight I've lost in the past five or six years. Mother blames my eating habits, which would be fine if I hadn't had the same eating habits for the past three years (which she denies). If I ate like a normal person, I'd start putting on loads of weight, because I never do anything to burn it off.
*turns randomness switch on*
My dog has a weird lump on him. It's about the size of a pea and looks like a cyst. He's going to the vet tomorrow and my god I hope it isn't the 'C' word because if it is I might just be completely useless for all my assignments, which are due in four weeks. God that does seem like a long time doesn't it but it really isn't.
Holiday pics here