Our last day in Scotland and the start of a two-day trip home. We are curious how we like it to drive all the way through England to Dover and thence home. The journey coming here was a little too long because we had bad luck with the weather, traffic jams and getting lost. An English couple living near London advised us to try the west side of the London ring, which would go much faster. We leave Motherwell around a quarter to 10 in a radiant sun and the temperature quickly rises above 25 degrees.
It is a long ride (almost 800 kilometers), but we regularly see funny things along the way such as a small car behind a camper (very handy, you do not have to pack the whole camper when you want to leave the campsite! ) or an airplane flying low over the highway. And we'll come across all the areas we've been to last year, nice to see them again.But the car starts to get new problems and make noises we are not really happy with: the brakes (repaired in France 2 months ago and again in the Netherlands just before this holiday) are no longer working properly, the car is pulling in all directions, the exhaust makes strange noises, a mudflap loosens and continiously hits ominously against a tire and the engine sometimnes just turns off when driving on LPG, also on the highway, which is not really useful if you suddenly do not have braking and power steering anymore. The only thing we can do is to drive on gasoline and not drive too fast.
It is not so late when we get to Ashford where we have reserved a Holiday Inn, even before we left the Netherlands. We only arrive in a short queue at Birmingham, but we pass London quickly. So we go for a picnic at a gas station first. Finding the hotel is more difficult than we thought, because it turns out to be almost 8 kilometers outside the city.But we have plenty of time and it is nice to be outside a bit, it seems to be getting warmer. We have a wonderfully relaxed evening and we still have enough books to read. Leaving Scotland in this way was nice, a more pleasant farewell than when you suddenly arrive at Schiphol by plane.
11 September, via Dover going back homeAt 11:30 we have to be at the port in Dover, because the boat leaves at 12 o'clock. So we have all the time in the world and do not have to hurry at all, it is only half an hour away.
This time we enter Dover from a very different side than we are used to, last year we came from Canterbury. As a result, Dover looks very different than we expect. Soon we are checked in and we have to wait until we can board, for at least another hour. The sign on the quay indicates it is already: 28 degrees Celsius! It is the hottest day of our holiday; why not a few weeks earlier?
A little over twelve the boat leaves and within 2 hours we are be back on the continent. Hence another 5 hours drive through the sweltering heat, we have to turn the air conditioning on! At 8 o'clock we are back home and so the journey back took 2 days instead of a tight 1.5 day on the outward journey.As far as we are concerned this was a great way to travel to Scotland, if you don't mind the extra driving. When we go to Newcastle via IJmuiden, it takes the same amount of time to reach Scotland. For us this was at least the cheapest option and we liked to do it.
It is nice to be home again, but despite the disappointments (bad weather in the beginning, the cold, the car trouble and the bladder infection) we enjoyed Scotland again very much. We are already looking forward to next year!