Technically, our journey should really have a day minus one, as we left Lechlade on Wednesday 19th April. One of our friends had given a lift to my parent’s house just outside Oxford. Oxford has a regular bus service to Gatwick Airport, so we decided that it was easier to stay with them, and get a taxi to the bus station in central Oxford. We left at 01.30 to catch the bus at 2am, but a few hours kip at Mum’s before a very long day seemed well worth it, although in reality I’m sure that you don’t really get any quality sleep, for fear of missing the alarm, or falling back to sleep after having turned it off……and why is it that when you toss and turn endlessly for most of the night, you finally feel that you could nod off about half an hour before the alarm clock goes off?
An early start
I made the mistake of ordering the taxi using Mum’s phone. So when it finally arrived, the driver decided to ring us to tell us he was outside, which resulted in me making a mad dash to quell the noise of the phone before it woke my sleeping parents.
The bus ride to Gatwick and the flight to Amsterdam were straightforward and uneventful, as was the train afterwards to Sneek, it was quite amazing as we had at that point been through
The absence of public transport in Sneek
One thing that we discovered that is hard to find in Sneek is a taxi. We even asked where we might locate a taxi in the town in a shop, but the shop assistant didn’t know. After buying a Friesland flag from her shop, she said that she would pop to the next door shop and ask for us. She came back minutes later telling us that the shop next door knew where we could get one, so off we went next door, where we were greeted very warmly with the offer of coffee, and also the offer of ordering a taxi for us. We were very impressed, as we did not intend to buy anything in the shop, and yet they went out of their way to help us.
Arrival at the marina
We finally reached the marina at about 3 pm where Kees was there to meet us, and after not having seen the boat for three months we boarded her again and we
The next job was to pay the rest of the money we owed to the marina. Be warned if you don’t have a Dutch bank account, you can’t use your debit card. Neither will they accept a credit card. Everything has to done by bank transfer, we were too late to do that by this time, so we will save that job until the banks open again in the morning. We were also presented with some goodies given to us by Jachtbemiddeling before going to the boat, a pennant, two lovely soft cushions with cotton canvas covers, and a bottle of red wine with a picture of our boat on the label. Lovely touch by the marina we thought. We decided to do most of our supermarket shopping this evening and brought back two trolley loads of shopping from the local supermarket that was within walking distance. Grocery shopping is so much more difficult when none of the labels are written in your language. We almost bought clothes washing liquid instead of surface cleaner, I had trouble deciphering
Getting to grips with the workings of the boat
After having been shown the various controls
Finally, we flaked out at 10 pm, and went to bed…….yes I went to bed in my hat and snood, and wearing a fleece!