We left Harrogate in the mid-afternoon and drove south on the A1. It was a warm and sunny autumn’s day and we were on our way to Alsace.
The big coach from Abbotts stopped at Ferrybridge to pickup Peter and Carol. They had a freshly baked cake with them. Peter sliced it and Carol served the thick slices on little paper plates. Chilled Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain was poured as the coach raced towards Hull.
At the ferry port, one of the drives checked us in and brought back our boarding passes. At the customs post two women came on board and politely checked passports. Six bags chosen at random were opened examined. We walked in to an empty terminal building, went up the escalator and boarded the Pride of Brugge.
Cabins were upgraded to Club Class and dinner reservations at Langan’s Brasserie made. The cabin had two single beds, a large couch, a dressing table, wardrobe area, a flat-screen TV, a trouser-press and two chairs. The bathroom was adequate. The small box of complimentary Belgian chocolates was opened and Cranberry & Raspberry tea was brewed. Outside, sea gulls circled over moored tugs.
The ship sailed just after six. We drank Pierre Gimonnet Special Club 2005 with Peter and Carol before dinner. It was Peter’s birthday.
In the Brasserie, waiters greeted us like old friends. They had served us on many trips in the years past and remembered. There was nothing wrong with the sirloin but the 2012 Rioja from Alvaro Domecq was undrinkable. The you waiter was upset but there was nothing he could do. “Can we bring our own wine next time?” I asked him.” Sure” he said but his boss said no. It upset the poor man even more. I watched a young couple at one end of the restaurant drinking the same wine and obviously enjoying it. They finished the first bottle and ordered another.
We went to bed early.