Europe 2011 – Blog #3 from the Explorers
Our final night drive from Zagreb to Paderborn was 16hours long and a very hard drive for our drivers especially when security at the Austria/Slovenia border gave us a cheeky €150 fine per van because we couldn’t read the languages on the sign to get a piece of paper in the van. There was a discussion within our vans about how we should call in our british armed forces contacts and get Sid to call in his ninja seagulls to sort the mess out, but decided against this as could cause world war 3.
We arrived at Paderborn army base at 12 the next day and found our rooms that had actual beds!! After getting our kits into our rooms, and having showers (that were free, warm, and limitless) we relaxed for a bit before going to the base cafeteria for our tea which was really nice, we all went back to our rooms to chill for a bit before a very comfortable nights sleep. The following day we got a cooked breakfast and cereal from the base cafeteria and then set out to spend the morning wandering around Paderborn town finishing (surprise surprise) with some ice cream. We returned to the base for lunch and a game of football then some of us washed some clothes, and cleaned out the vans, before having another delicious tea at the base cafeteria. After tea we made some camp awards for the leaders and presented them. The next morning we packed up the vans and the leaders presented us with camp awards, everyone said goodbye to Deborah as she was staying in Germany with her parents.
The journey from Paderborn to our final stop in Belgium was relatively short at 4 and a half hours, everybody was in a good mood especially when we drove an extra 30k past the campsite to a much-needed McDonalds. To get to the campsite we had to do a little bit of off-roading, (the land rover would have been helpful).
The campsite in Belgium was very similar to Youlbury in Oxfordshire. When we arrived we put up all the tents and checked for damage to them so we could sort it out when we got home. Then a convenient campsite ice cream van appeared and we all sat down for an ice cream. By this point the rugby ball had gracefully placed it’s self in a tree, so some of us tried many interesting methods to get it down which included a giant slingshot, which was very entertaining for the rest of us to watch as much of the surrounding tree was coming down instead of the ball. After the ball came down we played some frisbee whilst Alison, Sid, and George went to the supermarket to get some stuff for tea which was, as requested one of Alison’s legendary cup a soup risottos. Most of us had an early night as we had to get up at 5 the next day to pack up in record time to leave the campsite by 6, so we wouldn’t be late catching our ferry.
The journey from Belgium to Dunkirk was short and relaxing, as was the ferry ride. We are all very excited to be back driving on the correct side of the road in beautiful rainy England! (and you too!)