The return voyage through the Bay of Biscay was as calm as the voyage out had been rough. Thank goodness.
It was quite obvious that we were nearing home as the outlook became very grey. Grey sea, grey skies , grey everything. However, there is a lot to be said FOR the British climate, we do not experience the extremes such as the recent fatal earthquake in New Zealand and horrendous floods in Australia.
The ship docked gently at Southampton before it was light; how do they do that in the dark? She is 1,112 feet (339m) long, Amazing!
We were due to leave at 8.15 so we had ample time to get our final breakfast which was in stark contrast to the first. After 18 days of being confronted by so much food, Mike had toast and marmalade and I had a banana and roll. No more egg & bacon for us although many around us were still tucking into plates piled dangerously high.
We returned to our room to pick up the overnight case etc. and said goodbye to our attendant. We slipped him an extra $20 on top of the”suggested” gratuities paid out the night before as he was such a nice guy, from St. Vincent, and our room was immaculate. He is due to go home in two weeks time after 6 months on board and he was desperate to see his kids. It certainly puts a strain on families if you are working on a cruise liner. They also work 7 days a week and it can be very long hours each day. No picnic that’s for sure.
We had to await disembarkation in one of the dining rooms which was pretty crowded when we got there. Needless to say, it was nearer nine by the time we were called and we made our way to the gangway . My God, it was absolutely freezing – such a shock but we knew we were home.
Into the baggage claim to find our cases – this was a nightmare as it had been last time. We had put purple tags on our cases so made our way to the purple sign. There were cases everywhere, not in rows as they had been moved by people checking for theirs, just an untidy mess. I decided to leave it to Mike as I had all the hand luggage and stepped out of the way. Thank goodness he is tall as I could watch him going up and down looking every which way and occasionally stopping to check labels. After about 10 minutes he found one case and the other about 5 minutes later and we left the confusion behind and made our way to the car.
Our holiday was over, just the car journey left – no hurry, we should be home in less than 3 hours.
The mobile rang, it was Emma, obviously very upset. Mum, I was on the way to dentist as I’ve had an abscess for several days and in agony. This girl pulled out of a side turning and drove straight into me and the car is trashed! Poor kid, I felt so sorry for her but thank goodness we would soon be home and able to help.
We pulled up on her drive just as her friend had driven her back from the dentists. Good timing an we were able to give her a cuddle and support.
Well, that is the end of another holiday. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings but sorry that there are no photos to illustrate things. Seems too late now to insert them here. Maybe I will just upload them separately after I finish the washing and the ironing!