Thursday, 27 February 2014

Dear Diary...Friday, 28th October 1988. Sleepless on a motorway.

I'm nearly there - oh my goodness, I'm nearly there!
And in a few days, thawed out by a radiator, memories of the searing cold of that night at the Yugoslav border will be blurred.

Sitting here at the port in Zebrugger, 9.15pm and three and a half hours to kill till the ferry leaves for England.
I really did it - and Athens to Dover for just the price of a ferry ticket - £18.60 - is amazing!!!
Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany,Holland and Belgium - and all in less than three days.
I'm faster than the Magic Bus!!!

Looking back, that's crazy.
I don't think I've slept since the boat, and the cold...oh my goodness...the COLD!
If I've ever been so cold in my life I don't remember.
That night on the Greece/Yugoslavia border will haunt me for ages, sleeping rough outside the bank, in the wind - the icy wind - and the cold - numb, numb, numb!!!
I'm so glad I had Felix with me - he'd done this route before, whereas all my sense of direction was telling me was that we had to go ''up'' - like the map of Europe.
In my directive skills, there were no hills or villages or bends to navigate - England was just UP!
And I was crossing my fingers for a patient driver for when Felix would abandon me on the motorway to go to Munich.

Yugoslavia and Austria were done lightening quick in a day - in a Mercedes!!!
Great lift, and I could doze on and off the whole time because I was sandwiched in the back with all the blankets and packs to lean on.
By the time we reached the Austrian border it was dark and I was in such a hazy sleepy phase I don't remember much at all,except seeing snow on the mountains.
We were dropped off just outside Munich around 1am, and after waking Felix from under his tree about quarter to five to say goodbye I was on my way - alone. 

My introduction to Germany -  standing in the dark- no map, no idea of the geography, just the knowledge that I was to head for a Belgium ferry port.
Anyway, I was lost before I started, wandering up and down, trying to find the out way for the lorries, but someone took pity on me and gave me a lift to the dutch border, which was a surprise as I hadn't realised I'd be going to Belgium via Holland!

So now, nursing a large coffee and waiting for the call to board so that I can just curl up in a chair and go to sleep, my journey is nearly at an end.
 My family.

And next week???  Who knows!

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