Sunday, November 6, 2016

Post Brexit North Sea OCD

July 2016: Given the depressing news of 23rd June 2016, I can't keep away from escape routes to the continent.

A short tour of Suffolk took me to Harwich and a ferry trip to Hook of Holland enroute to Brake on the Wese.

I travelled initially with the pensioners motorcycle club. We stayed at the unimpressive Brome Grange Hotel IP23 8AP.
Somewhere east of Ipswich - a liitle excursion to the River Deben...

and the Ramsholt Arms for lunch

A day later after drying off my clothes following the torrential downpour on the journey back from the Ramsholt Arms to the hotel, I headed to the continent to try out Stena Lines super cruise booze ferry service Harwich to Hook of Holland

A short evening flit to Harwich and some Garmin mis direction later I arrive in time for the evening departure of the Stena Hollandica

Motorcycles accomodated on the main car deck.
Decent size inside cabin

Useful TV with charting of route on channel 23, and

meanwhile on channel K9p, a view of the kennels!
Looking back at blighty.  I check later what SCR means - Selective Catalytic Reduction - a technology ignored by Volkswagen

Looking forward to Hook of Holland 
 Egress from the Hollandica was straightforward and onward travel to Brake am Wese hindered only by a Garmin gps lock up and manual navigation around Amsterdam.  The Garmin whilst displaying a map and route started counting distance backwards showing my destination receding...
I went fresh and drank my capuciino al fresco in the drizzle

No sooner had I arrived in Wese upthe Brake or whatever, Mrs N. decided that we should spend some time on an island in the German Bight.  I had just read Erskine Childers classic The riddle of the sands and seen the corresponding movie Bei Nacht und Nebel with the lovely Jenny von Agutter so was keen too.   Due to the short notice and lack of pre planning we could not go to a nice island so went to Helgoland instead.

The route to Helgoland with a duck under the Wese

At Cuxhaven we just missed the slow boat so Mrs N secures the last 2 places on the jet service

We have waiting time to explore the Cuxhaven dockside accoutrements.

Invaluable wind information for vessels headed for Bremerhaven.
The jet arrives, and I wonder about Limassol

I am comforted that the Limassol registered vessel has a Greek (Cypriot) style boarding routine

The weather at Helgoland is sunny and we ascend the bomb crater to take in the views

This is the bomb crater resulting from the British trying to remove this former German Naval base and munitions dump from the map WW1

Interesting topography

This path forms a circular route around the island - about 1.5 hours walk

Guano generators prevail

We were quite glad to leave Helgoland especially as all the restaurants were closed for lunch.

I was told off for saying moin moin.
On arrival at Cuxhaven we decided to explore the dockland area where we had eaten some years ago.
Cuxhaven - Sea food restaurant revisited  - sadly in its last year as the owners are retiring

German ocean liners used to depart from here
Further to sea food (rather a lot) we explored the beach side area where Mrs N had stayed some years ago.
Iced coffee glee

clutching at clouds

Magic ocean going ships pass yards away from canoodling couples

sun set over the beach baskets

This is Mrs N's home from home at Brake.  Bicycles are complimentary.

I have lost the pictures of the return leg from Ijmuiden to Newcastle. To be concluded....



  1. This commuting must be a pain in the butt, Nick. Ever considered moving to Wiesbaden instead, Nick? You wouldn't need to worry about Brexit, and being married to a German gal would probably facilitate things, or not?

    I am not very fond of Helgoland. Always too crowded. And the Eastern Friesian Islands are so much nicer... You should go visit Juist. That's my favourite.

    By the way the spy thriller you mentioned takes place in the very region where my maternal ancestors live(d).

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Moving to Wiesbaden is always on the agenda Sonja, but I'm waiting for a payoff at work. Thanks for the recommendation, we will try and get our act together for next year as E has another long stint up North.

  3. Highly entertaining as usual Nick! Ferry looks nice - to they supply the tie-downs or do you carry your own? I always carry my own when going to the south island - don't trust what they supply. Are you on the cusp of retiring or waiting for your company to fire you? ;-) . Looking forward to the next instalment!

  4. Hi Geoff, tie downs supplied on all 3 ferry lines I've sampled have been ok which is just as well as I always forget to bring any! Yes on both counts, I've seen many colleagues receive handsome pay offs recently....

  5. What's wrong with saying "Moin moin" ? They say it at any daytime. And when going to Rome ...

    1. Absolutely but I was told that at Brake it's just the one moin, they obviously don't like too much moining...

    2. Ya Servus ... I'll stay with Grüß' Gott und Habe die Ehre !

  6. Great photos Nikos, but what the heck is a beach basket?


Site Meter