Finally! The kids & I were able to leave the UK on a small getaway! Up until my resident card arrived just three weeks ago, I was not able to leave the UK. Nils on the other hand has gone back to the US twice [totally jealous of that], Dublin, Berlin, and the Netherlands numerous times.
We took the Stena Britannica, the super ferry from Harwich, UK to Hook of Holland on Thursday morning. As we live a little over 2 hours from Harwich, we were up super early to get there in time.
The embarking process in quite simple, just like when you travel into Canada, you have to go through a check point area. You then drive straight onto the boat and park your car, take the stuff you want, as you won’t be able to return until you arrive in the Netherlands.
As we took the day boat over, we didn’t have a cabin for the 8-hour journey. So we chose the seats right near the small children’s area where we could sit with our laptops (FREE WiFi or so they say – note: if too many login you cannot connect) and/or read a book, while the kids played supervised.
|Learning the steps to build a bike. Definitely a Dutch thing…|
When they were done playing and wanted to color, we had several tables in our section so we could spread out as it was really quiet.
Both the kids & I were excited about our first trip onboard, so we naturally had to explore the ship. We first headed outside to see what they had. In the warm weather, they have seating and a bar outside and a caged-in basketball/football area. As we didn’t have a ball, Nils used the kids jokingly. We did promise Soren a good football from the Netherlands to use on the ship during our return trip & at home.
Our kids really liked to be able to sit in the windows and watch the passing ships. They thought it was neat to see the large container, cargo & super vessels as we passed. Rotterdam Harbor itself was pretty awesome and it just goes on and on. Hard to believe that each “box” on a containership is what sits on the back of an 18 wheeler truck! And when we go to the Netherlands, Soren thought it was cool to see a car on the deck of many boats!
Here Soren was looking up at the Bridge. I didn’t think about it until now, but I think it would have been cool to see if the kids (or at least Soren) could have had a peek in the bridge and meet the Captain. While they’ll probably say no, I will still ask next trip.
We didn’t go into the gift shop and buy loads of junk, in fact, nothing.. but I did let the kids flatten a 5 cent coin with an insignia of the ships. The potato gun might make a sighting here in Gresham though.
The kids and Nils took some downtime and played Xbox! Soren knew how to play much better than Maebh, but she just thought it was great to be able to play it. You’ll see their little zombie Xbox faces. Bad enough the iPhones have games and Youtube videos on them capture their little brains. At least, Soren likes to play “Cool Maths games”, so there is some learning too.
With less than 2 hours left in our sailing, Maebh finally agreed to rest! If I had a cabin, I’m sure I could have had her sleeping for several hours.