Well, a gruelling journey home is finally over! It was ‘interesting’! Left Romania 4 am Saturday, the first 90 minutes was great as there’s a motorway that – one day??! – should go to the border…the bit of the road that isn’t motorway yet is almost exactly as it was when we first drove in with trucks 25 years ago: 2 lanes, narrow steep, deep ditches either side, there a frequently huge lorries – artics here in UK, 18 wheel semis in USA (don’t know about Australia!!) over on their sides in the ditches, no cats eyes (anywhere in Europe, for that matter – why not?? Greatest invention ever for drivers!), and the same distance as was motorway took 4 hours or more… driving rain, so lovely!!
Then of course, I stopped at the delightfully short-named place in Hungary – Monsonmagyaróvár – think if I’m honest, I feel asleep for a while, as I’d been driving for 9 hours by then, and left my car lights on, result: obvious!… hence the blessing of the AA and Club Toyota, albeit 90 minute wait – to get me started again… the lovely man who spoke no English, in his ‘MagyarMotorsClubMonsonmagyaróvár’ van (wouldn’t want to be the sign-writer for that company!!). Hungary is fascinating because only there will you see road signs that have the letters ‘c,b,m, x, and z’ together in a word, and they manage to pronounce it! I do love their word for Sunday, though – Zombat (I often feel like one when I’ve been in some churches, whatever a zombat feels like, but it IS very onomatopoeic, isn’t it??!) If I remember, too – a vital one this, if it’s correct – that ‘eper fagylalt’ is ‘strawberry milkshake’ in McDonald’s! Apparently, Hungarian has the same language root as Finnish: hmm, not surprised there, then!! I seem to remember one word on the video wall for worship song words, in Finland, had about 37 letters in it – including around 14 ‘u’s and ‘k’ s….. I admire you immensely, Finnish friends, especially dear friend Teija, who’s been in Colombia for many years. Don’t really know any Hungarians, but I’m sure I’d admire you, too!
Truth is, many Europeans put us to shame: many – very many! – speak at least 4 languages…
Then, of course, I didn’t want to stop anywhere in case it had damaged the battery, and I’d have call AA/Club Toyota, for every toilet stop!! I found some creative ways to get round that, by stopping in between huge lorries parked up for the night, and using more ‘natural’ facilities…
On and on, into Austria – lovely weather in Hungary & Austria, 13C temperature, so I didn’t see any snow, but lots of nice castles and chalets! On into Germany – including more night driving, again – somewhere around Munich, a phenomenal snow and sleet blizzard arrived, total white-out in moments (no cats eyes!!), couldn’t see more than probably 10 metres in front, or the road markings, the wipers didn’t cope, but my foot seemed to stay on the accelerator (well, it was still autobahn, with no speed limit! It lasted until way past Nuremberg: such a blessing… tried to sleep at a few service areas, but couldn’t, so I ploughed on…iinto a bit of Holland, and then Belgium….where, 90 minutes from Dunkerque, I finally fell asleep for 30 minutes outside a lovely patisserie – that was closed 🙁
On the ferry to England, a ‘lovely’ child (not!) thought, in a gangway of about 4 metres width, that it would be better to jump my outstretched legs, crossed at the ankles, (which were hurting severely having been cramped in the car for so long….), except that he failed, and kicked my right ankle sideways (so against the knee joint), and I screamed….his dad laughed, so ‘well chosen’ words come out of my mouth – getting back to, then in, the car, was excruciating: by the time I got to my friends’ Keith & Margaret’s last night, I couldn’t walk… slight problem, in that at 7.30 am this morning, I was back in the car for a near-500 mile drive to Scotland and yet another ferry!
If I told you how quickly I did the journey, you would think badly of me (!! 🙂 ) – my excuse was that once I got my right leg wedged on the accelerator, I couldn’t bend it or move it…suffice to say, I got on a ferry 4 hours ahead of the one I was booked on! I made sure I sat NOWHERE anyone could hurt me!!
Then I coiled my poor legs back into the car again, for the last 30 minutes to home, from Belfast…. and now, MY BED!!