24 hours till Hamburg

Since leaving home yesterday evening, we’ve been in a taxi to Liverpool Street StationOoh look – other doggies.Wonder if they’re going on the ferry as well.

The train took us to Harwich International, for a ferry crossing We walked the long ramp to the ferryfor an overnight stay…

George and I walking and walking and then he stops – he always does that when he sees a different surface.

Anyway, I knew the drill. This time Mummy asked to have us both in the same space so we could have each other for company. I went into our “crate” but George wanted to play with the Shih-Tzus.  But he eventually went in with me. I wasn’t happy about it but I know Mummy will be back.  George barked when Mummy left us and I stayed vigilant till her retrun.

And she did come back to give us our bedtime biscuits and then before you know it she came to give us our breakfast and we were waiting to get off!When we were getting off, we didn’t do very well this time. The ramp was really long and I had to give in and did a poo – easy to pick up but George did a wee and it went rolling down the ramp! Oops!

It was past 8am but it was just dawn as we went out the port to catch a bus from Hoek van Holland to Schiedam, The usual train line has been getting a total refurbishment so we had to take the bus. Along came bus 711 and we jumped on – a bit crowded.

Oh look, those furries are following us! Or maybe we’re following them.I was so tired from lack off sleep last night as I stayed vigilant for Mummy’s return that I desperately needed to kip as much as I could.I climbed onto Mummy’s lap along with George and fell fast asleep.

We arrived in Schiedam Central and had to get on one of those really busy Dutch commuter trains. There was nowhere to sit even though we had a First Class ticket. We sat on the steps and we both fell fast asleep amidst the crowds.

Arriving at Amsterdam early, we had three hours to kill. The first hour was spent walking all over the station looking for a place to sit until we approached the International Business Lounge (which does not allow dogs in Rotterdam) – and they ushered us in – as long as we don’t pee or poo! Absolutely not!

We were dehydrated and drank up a whole bottle of water. courtesy of the Business Lounge.Finally at 13.00 we boarded the train to Hamburg We like these coaches and we had one all to ourselves. But we had to then change trans at Osnabruck for another train to Hamburg.  There was only 15 minutes to run from one platform to another and thanks to a lovely gentleman he helped Mummy with the bag and we all ran to the platform – and got on.

So that was our journey today. Now we will have supper and then Mummy will take us out for her supper and we will tell you more about Hamburg later!

May’s comment: We began our journey last night leaving home in a taxi to Liverpool Street Station.  Due to uncertain weather conditions, I thought it’s safer to take an earlier train at 19.00 to Harwich International. It was only an hour 17 minutes and we arrived in plenty of time to board the ferry.  It’s better to arrive early and wait to board – as the rest of the journey doesn’t allow for mistakes!!! That for me is the worrying bit.

But we had the nicest taxi driver who gave way to everyone coming into our lane, drove at most 20mph, and kept talking to us about how much she loves dogs and said she would keep mine! So we missed the 19.00 train. But that wasn’t so bad as we got onto the next train at 19.32 and it was a direct train – a bit longer but it actually made more sense on reflection – no need to lug luggage on and off.

We boarded the Stenaline ferry for the 23.00 overnight crossing at about 21.00.  Then the usual routine of getting the pass for the kennels from Guest Services.  Staff was helpful in letting me look after my rather large suitcase at the desk while I went to settle the dogs in the kennels. This time I decided to put the both of them in one kennel – so they have each other.

I kept the CCTV channel on in the cabin and watched them.George wasn’t happy at first but Darcy just kept really still and watched the door. Eventually George laid down but it took Darcy a long time to relax. She wasn’t stressed, she was just hoping I would return to get them. Even though she eventually laid down, every few minutes, her head would pop back up.  I know because I wasn’t sleeping either! LOL!

You can always visit them any time during the crossing. The kennels are clean and they provide clean duvets and blankets for them and water bowls if you don’t have any.  And there’s CCTV – so you can watch them from the cabin. The first time I travelled with Darcy, I stayed up all night glued to the TV!  More than a dozen crossings later, I am more chilled. LOL!

An early wake up announcement alerted passengers that it was time to get ready for disembarking.  I went to give them their breakfast.  The Honey’s raw food survived and with a sprinkle of Nineteen 87 baked food, that was breakfast done.

We disembarked at 08.00 in Hoek van Holland, straight off the ramp, went through Passport control for humans, not required for dogs, straight out of the station for doggy relief before getting on the bus to Schiedamm.  The usual train that connected Hoek van Holland to the Dutch stations was not running (for a while now) as the rails were being worked on.  There’s a bus connection every 15 minutes direct to Schiedam train station.

We’ve been really lucky with the weather.  Shortly after we got on the bus, the heavens opened and it was sleeting hard! By the time we got to Schiedam, it had stopped. We arrived at the station with plenty of time to take the earlier train at 09.17 and arrived in Amsterdam three hours before the train to Hamburg – that way we had more time to change platforms for the connecting train.

Not a great station for lounging around but we managed to get ourselves into the Regus Business Centre to kill two hours.

We boarded the train from Amsterdam to Osnabruck at 13.00  – a three-hour train ride.  At Osnabruck, we had 15 minutes to get to the next platform for our next train to Hamburg. It’s plenty of time, but with two dogs getting them off the rather precarious steps, afraid that George would fall in between the gap, and lugging that huge suitcase, thankfully this kind gentleman helped and we all ran together to the next platform. He was also going to Hamburg.

So after twelve hours after arriving on the continent, we arrived in Hamburg at 18.20 – almost 24 hours since we left home yesterday.  It was already dark as we made our way out of the Hauptbahnhof (train station) towards our hotel – the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski by the lake. I purposefully chose a hotel within walking distance so needn’t bother with taxis – whether they take them or not, but the bag was too heavy to lug, two tired dogs, tired ol’ me – I jumped into a cab for a 5 minute ride – well worth it! And of course we found a cab driver that liked dogs!

Now for some much needed rest, a nice supper and bedtime – till tomorrow!

9 Comments

  1. Linda Strallen

    Amazing! You are all so intrepid! I Love it xxx
    Linda

  2. Margaret Danks

    I’m exhausted just reading of your travels!

  3. Rita Betteridge and Gracie

    Wow you three do gad about…have fun, look forward to the next instalment.

  4. Julie James

    Well done you! I hope you all have a well deserved restful and peaceful night x

  5. Maree

    Well done what a start to your holiday hope you all got some well.deserved sleep in comfortable bed

  6. Jackie Lalwani

    Dear May you astound me . Your quest to include your beautiful dogs in all you do is amazing. I am learning from your experiences. Travel safely & have fun u guys 🐕🐕⛴⛴Jackie x

  7. Frank Gee

    Wow what a journey you guys are so brave. Enjoy your trip. X

  8. Elizabeth Burman

    May you’re a legend!!😄

  9. Cheryl Adams

    Wow! That was a lot of traveling, and you still have more. You are so organized, I’m sure that’s what makes it all possible. Again-safe travels.

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