Monday, 25 August 2008

Berlin or Bust!

This morning we set off on the long journey to our new home. We left at nine a.m., before the removal men arrived, and set off for the channel tunnel with four cats on board. We were averaging about 100 miaows per mile for the first hundred miles or so, until the cats settled down into a grumpy scowl at us through the bars of their pet carriers with only the odd plaintive meowl to stop this nonsense and let them go home.

Above are from left to right Simba, Tosca, Suki and Cassie in the back of the car at a service station on the M1. God, I hope the RSPCA aren't looking at this! There was the odd little 'accident' on the way down, necessitating a cage clean-out without letting a cat escape from the car and trying to find their way back up the motorway (of course cats are useless hitchhikers; no thumbs you see. So they wouldn't have got too far). Needless to say, it was getting a bit smelly with the 'odour of fear' in the car, Cassie in particular kept letting off some fruity exclamations.

On the whole the cats travelled fairly well (either that or it was the copious amounts of Felispray drugging them), and took an interest in the motorway traffic. Tosca got rather scared though when we went over the Dartford Queen Elizabeth II bridge; I think she thought we were going to take off as we drove up and over the Thames. Eventually at about 3pm we arrived at the entrance to the Eurotunnel. Surprisingly, no-one wanted to see our passports, or the cats passports and documents (which made us wonder why we'd forked out so much for them), and we were waved straight through and onto the train. Here is a photo of the car at the head of the queue waiting to board.

Once through the Chunnel we drove East through northern France into Brussels to finally arrive for the night at a cheap hotel outside Brugge (Bruges). When we booked the room, we asked if they allowed cats. Yes they said, as long as they are quiet pussies. Our little angels? But of course! So, we ended up in a small chalet-type hotel room with not enough room to swing a cat (!) and had to somehow fit in four cat carriers, two litter trays, and four feeding bowls. We also had to cover the bed-sheets with a plastic sheet in case Simba took his revenge and wee'd on it in revenge(something he'd done before when we'd moved house). This and try and get in and out of the room without allowing a cat to break for freedom.

Tosca, at least, settled herself in (below). The rest of the cats remained hiding under the bed.

I am sure Brugge is a beautiful town. Unfortunately we only saw industrial estates and the inside of our small room. The local television stations were interesting though, in a choice of either French or Dutch. French I am ok with, but Dutch sounds like German would after you've spent too much time in an Amesterdam coffee-shop. Which reminds me of a classic Dutch commercial with John Cleese.

We are not even half way yet, and only 850 km to drive tomorrow! Gute Nacht!

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