Our next stop was Scotland. Getting there from Antwerp is not trivial. Shari’s initial searches showed a massive $3000+ cost for flying there. So Shari waved her wand and found a much cheaper option. Train from Antwerp to Rotterdam, shuttle to the port, ferry to Hull, taxi to car hire, pick up family from port, and drive to a tiny town in south west Scotland called Carsethorn. It even included a night of accommodation.
The ferry had a sun deck. The only problem was that it was bucketing.
The kids watched a movie in the ferry’s cinema, while Shari and I had a well earned beverage; looking out at Rotterdam as the ferry left port. Apparently, Rotterdam is the world’s biggest container port. It is huge and the most starkly utilitarian thing I’ve ever seen. It’s so ugly that it has a sort of beauty about it. No one cared at all about aesthetics when building the place.
On the 4 hour drive to Scotland, we stopped at a shop specialising in folk instruments in York. I’ve wanted to get a better tin whistle for ages, but the options in Australia are extremely limited. It was luxury, being able to try several before justifying to myself that I should get the most expensive one. I also got an Irish Flute for Zoe and Shari. An Irish Flute is essentially a tin whisky that you blow like a flute – sideways.
This is all so we could play it on the shores of Scotland.