After the full day in London it was time to head to the continent via ferry from Dover. The ride from London to Dover was about two hours and included pasting through the lush countryside. Once at Dover we boarded the Spirit of France for a 90 minute ferry ride to France.
Dover itself was quite a site. The White Cliffs in particular caught my eye. Not to mention the clear clear blue/green like color of the water in the English Channel.
I must admit that I do not enjoy being in the middle of the ocean with no visible traces of land but the journey was calming and picturesque so that alleviated my anxiety. Also, the ferry allowed for a very comfortable ride. There were multiple shops, Starbucks, and a food court on board. Land was actually visible for a good part of the journey and the approach to Calais, France was stunning.
As if the two hour drive to Dover in addition to the 90 minute ferry ride were not enough for one day, we still had to make our way from Calais, France all the way through Belgium and some parts of the Netherlands until we reached Amsterdam where we would overnight. We briefly stopped in Belgium for dinner before continuing to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the rest stop did not have Belgium waffles which was a big disappointment but that gives me a reason to visit Belgium again.
Even though the journey was long and exhausting it was very beautiful and relaxing. The countrysides of France, Belgium and the Netherlands are all equally as gorgeous even though they each differ. The change of landscape was evident as you cross each border. The one common theme were wind farms which were fields of wind turbines that are used to produce energy.
While there were no border patrol and no big ado about leaving Belgium and entering the Netherlands. The emergence of windmills clearly indicated that we were now in the Netherlands. Windmills are a trademark of the Netherlands and were actually used to pump water being that the country is very flat and below sea levels. Due to modern technology and lack of need many have been torn down but a few still remain. I was elated to see as it was highly anticipated. Growing up I always saw windmills on milk powder cans and other products made in the Netherlands but didn’t know that they actually existed so it was nice to see them.
In the end, we ended up traveling through four countries in day. Started in London, landed in France, had dinner in Belgium and ended in the Netherlands. This was just a foretaste of what is yet to come. Stay tuned for the next city or country!