Sunday, 5 July 2009

Saturday 4 July

Got up at 6 am to leave for Darlington at 7 am. Took one look round the cottage, took in the view at the back. We drove down the Stelling Road, trying not to run over any of the young rabbits that were scurrying about. Arrived into Darlington at 7.45, and I was lucky to have a train to Newcastle at 8.05. Single ticket a bit steep, £9.80 for 55 miles. I reached Newcastle after 40 minutes, left my case in the Left Luggage department and went for an amble around the city. I last visited here 5 years ago, on an abortive mission to meet an on-line acquaintance, with whom I long since lost touch. Dropped in on the Cathedral, which was rather dark due to a fault in the electrics. Went to the riverfront, where it was very warm, even at 9 in the morning. Crossed the Blinking Eye bridge (the Millennium Bridge) to the Gateshead side of the Tyne. Nothing doing there, so walked to the main bridge to return to Newcastle proper. Forgot to mention that a colony of kittiwakes nest on the bridge and adjacent buildings. When you cross the main bridge, you can actually see these small gulls on their nests, feeding their young.

Took the Metro train to the airport, where it was complete mayhem, with all the families with kids going off on their hols. Had to endure about two hours of it (I was way too early), as well as an hour of it on the plane to London. At Heathrow, the Amsterdam-bound flight was more than an hour late and when I sat down on it, the tray-table that you sit cups on had been soiled. Looked like someone had been sick on it. Very nice. The stewardess said I had to clean it, she could not reach over (I was in a window seat). The views from the plane were alright, could see Ipswich, Harwich and Felixstowe as well as ferries plying to and from Harwich's Parkeston Quay. Arrived at Schiphol at around half past seven, but had to wait for luggage until about 8pm. The train left at 8.30, which was the direct service to Arnhem. A couple with a small child, aged about 2, were trying to impress the mite (who appeared to be an East Asian adoptee) to stay in bed in the morning until the light went on. Now, even down in Holland it gets light at half past four in the morning... Reached Arnhem at 9.45, and took a taxi to my dad's house, who very kindly fed me.


Lisa said...

I love your photo, how cute! Please tell me you are kidding that you were supposed to clean your own tray???? Wow....that's all I can say.

ADB said...

Lisa, she came with a wad of tissues, put a bottle of water against them and wiped my table. Then she said she could not do it and handed me the wipes. Yippee.