Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hi hunnies, I'm home!

Back in the UK and on my way to recovering from a fun but gruelling weekend. Rock Festivals are flipping hard work *phew*

The festival itself was great. I saw several new bands that I liked and Iron Maiden put on a fantastic show as always. There were three stages spread out across the ring and the bands started around 1pm and went on until around 2am. The centre stage finished around midnight each day. There were thousands of people there from all over. Mostly Europe but we did meet a couple of South Africans and Australians who had timed their holiday so they could be there. Wookie took lots of photos but we haven't had chance to look at them yet. If there's any half decent ones I’ll try to post them.

The real downside to the whole thing was the coach trip there and back again. We seemed to have the Chuckle Brothers driving the coach. One of the pickups was in London and neither of them seemed to have a clue where they were going. On top of that, the coach had been having clutch trouble since Birmingham and it finally conked out in London (about 150 miles later), just around the corner from the pickup point. So, there we were, stuck in the middle of London from midnight to 3am waiting for a replacement coach. The replacement driver was brilliant and managed to get us to Dover for 4:30am in time to roll straight on to the next ferry to Calais and then we pushed straight on to Nurburg without stopping and made it there for about 2pm on Friday, after being picked up in Nottingham at 6pm the previous day.

Unfortunately, he had to return to the UK and the original drivers came out the next day with another replacement coach, so we were subject to their uselessness again for the return journey. We left Nurburg at 9am on Monday. The trip to Calais was mostly uneventful but then we were very nearly refused entry onto the ferry because they didn’t have the boarding pass. It seemed that when they'd handed in the ticket at check-in, the girl hadn't handed back a boarding pass and neither of them (the drivers) had realised this. They did discover it once we were in the holding area and asked someone to sort it out, but then didn't actively pursue them to make sure it was done, so an hour later when they started boarding the ferry, we still didn't have a boarding pass. In the end they let us on, but only after one of the drivers had started shouting and swearing at the French boarding controllers. I'm actually amazed that they let us on at that point.

Then when we got off the ferry at the other side we were made to wait another half hour for another coach to come in which was being driven by a friend of our driver, who was going to lead the way to the drop-off point in London, because our driver still didn't have a clue where he was going! We did make it there in one piece and then after several of the passengers made sure that they gave directions to get out of London in the right direction the rest of the journey was made in relative calm. We finally made it to our drop-off in Nottingham at 1am on Tuesday and after a short taxi ride, we were home.

Note to self: Next time - fly.