s a n d y f e e t . e x p o . e u r o p a . 9 8

next feetyang back

The ferry from Ireland back to England

It gets light really early here this close to mid-summer. As one who generally wakes up with the sun this means I have been becoming fully alert at about 4:30 am.... which would make it about 10:30 pm Texas time. Doesn't make much sense in either time zone but it is kind of nice to know you can go back to sleep for a while without missing too much of the day.

After a hug and a farewell to the our gernerous hostess, we caught the morning ferry from Rosslare back to Fishguard, Wales. Discovered that I could plug into the boats outlets and get nice and charged.

Russell told me this would be the most hectic day of our journey - all the way from Ireland to Holland in one day. That meant driving the whole width of England in just a few hours.

feet on the ferry

diligently at work on the ferry

We stopped for lunch at the Harp Inn where I was introduced to the traditional English Ploughman's Lunch - featured in this photo. It involved bread, salad and the house cheese. There was supposed to be a pickle too but it never materialized.

Washed down with a glass of red wine it was just the perfect amount of food and I think spi restaurants should start offering it - though we don't get many ploughmen in those parts.

Even though it was Sunday, traffic in London and the surrounding areas was tremendous. We crawled along the motorway, with Russell shaking his head and saying we would never make the ferry we had booked. I mostly dozed.

It rained on and off all day. I noticed someof the cows seemed to be taking it easy and laying down on the job. Russell told me that meant it was going to rain as the cows would lay down and preserve themselves a warm dry spot. Still not sure if he was pulling my leg.


He was right about one thing - we didn't make our ferry. So we were stuck in Harwich looking for food and a campsite.

We found both - and a beer or two as well - almost too easily at a very friendly spot called the Castle Ramsey Pub. (How could we NOT stop there with a name like that?)

The pub had a lovely garden and camping space which we had all to ourselves. Our hostess at the pub was warm, motherly and helpful in every way - even slipping me a few souvenirs that have Kelly's name all over them.

Drove a bit up the road for Chinese take-out. I wanted an egg roll but the Chinese lady said there were no rolls with egg in them. Came away with a tasty if very greasy pancake wrap that would pass for an eggroll anywhere in the US.

castle sign

At the Castle Ramsey Pub I was introduced to "Sooty" - described to me as the English counterpart of Mickey Mouse. The English people present could not believe I had never heard of him.

It looked to me like he could use a total image makeover and a better agent... but I thought it best to keep my opinions to myself.


This was our first night of camping out and we were happy to discover that the tent did a good job of keeping the rain out. The ground was hard and it was not my best night of sleep but it was cheap and the relatively uncomfortable conditions got us up and about bright and early.

Had my first (and hopefully last) cold shower of the journey at this campsite. It was so complicated I was lucky to work out how to get any water at all from the thing. With some sort of token I might have gotten warm water but the pub was not yet open.

We were a bit concerned about getting a spot on the first ferry out so we made sure we were first in line to get an available tickets


If you ever find yourself in Harwich, England - be sure to stop by the Castle Ramsey Pub and tell this lovely lady that the sandcastle builder from Texas had nothing but nice things to say about her.

We secured our ferry ticket and chilled out for a very fast, very smooth ride across the English Channel. I plugged in and finally had the opportunity to answer the e-mail I had downloaded in Galway. Ireland. The responses are going to be very overdue when I finally find a place to connect. I really thought it would be easier to find cybercafes but we have not had much luck thus far.

Russell parked himself in front of a TV and watched this soccer thing that seems to have all of Europe abuzz - I think it's called the world mug or something.

russell in repose

The ferry ride was mostly uneventful but we did catch a glimpse of this colorful character - he did some magic, made some balloon sculptures and tried to keep the kids occupied and out of their parents' hair for the duration of the crossing. Sort of an Amazin' Walter type, you might say. But not as cute.


We didn't even have to show our passports to get into the Netherlands. Maybe they could tell I was just a long lost Dutchgirl returning to the homeland -- but probably not.

Most of the other ferry passengers waved them at the customs agent as they drove by. By the time I got mine out we had already been waved in. It is good to travel in times of peace and prosperity.

balloon guy

We spent most of our first 2-3 hours in Holland looking at a scene similar to this one >

It was a bad traffic day in the Hoek of Holland and we saw a couple of really bad accidents that brought traffic to a dead stop.

We tightened up our seatbelts, patted Hermit the Landrover on the dashboard and resolved to be ever more careful (so please don't worry, Mom!)

grid lock

We pulled into Arnhem in the early evening and folowing the lead of the famous Oakley nose, wasted no time finding a pleasant, waterfront campsite.

We made last call at the on-site bar & grill but had missed the food-service hours, so we pitched the tent and headed into the nearby village for Italian. (Like we're not going to get enough pasta opportunties in the next two weeks!)

Crawled into the tent at nearly 11:00 and it was only finally getting dark.

preparing the night's accommodations

We awoke to yet another gray, cool day. So when does summer arrive in Europe anyway is what I wanna know. And when will I get to wear all those cute little sundresses taking up space in my suitcase?

After a shower (cost: 1 guilder for about 10 minutes of hot water) I set up office in Hermit while Russell took down the tent.

mornign work

We drove into Arnhem in search of an internet cafe. Arnhem is a big city and we thought sure there would be one there. In fact, we stopped at a store and bought some fruit and the guy who sold us our strawberries even gave us a rough idea of where it could be found. Stopped in a nearby candy shop looking for the Dutch bobblers of my youth but no luck.

The Oakley nose took us to the right neighborhood, but the clerk at a nearby hardware store told us that it had recently been transformed into a gay bar. She suggested we try the local library for internet access but we decided everyone could wait yet another day to hear from us and pressed on towards Germany.

The border between Holland and Germany is so well camaflauged that we didn't even kinow we'd crossed it until the lady in the service station turned down our guilders when we tries to buy a coke. I'm sure she was thinking we must be stupider then the average tourist to not even know what country we were in...


Russell and Hermit in the general vicinity of where Arnhem's cybercafe used to be located.

As an unlitterit SoB, I was very impressed by The European commitment to recycling. Every rest stop on the autobahn features multiple bins and it really seems like people use them. Below are a couple more shots for the soon-to-be-created unlitter page. I am going to get to it right after I get home - as soon as I finish the other 158 or so things I have already promised to do as soon as I get home.

next... a visit to the walled medieval town of Rothenberg on the Romantic Road

next feetyang back

Europe Tour '98 feetyang sf virtual tourfeetyang E-mail Me!