Tuesday 3 January 2017 - Tuesday 3 January 2017
After a good night of sleep, we leave the hotel in time to reach the ferry in Dover on time. We want to stop at a supermarket before leaving London just to get some food and drinks for during the ride, but because we're not allowed to turn right at the place where I saw a supermarket the night before, we leave London and won't stop for food before Dover. The traffic in London is not too busy and although we think that we're navigating another route through the city, we both recognise the Blackwall Tunnel as we cross the river Thames at this point. In my mind, I say goodbye to the O2 which I'll see again in May when the Premier League finals will be held in this venue, though I won't attend the match like I did yesterday in Ally Pally. At least, I don't think I will.
As we finally enter the motorway, my companion tells me to drive at the second lane from the left, because in England, the most left lane can suddenly change to an exit lane and we don't want to leave the motorway until we reach Dover. It's a little bit strange since the Englishmen now overtake us on both sides, but at least we prevent a sudden departure from the motorway. After a while, we see a place where we can get some food, but the traffic sign shows too much information and we missed the exit number we should take. A mile ahead, we miss the exit and have to simply drive on.
We reach Dartford again and I see a glimpse of the sign that stands for 'congestion charge' in the inner city of London. I also see the text 'please pay by midnight tomorrow' and start worrying a little. Where did we pass a toll road and why didn't we notice? It'll take another day for me to find out that the toll was for the Dartford crossing of the Thames, but since we crossed through the Blackwall Tunnel, we don't have to pay any toll.
Towards Dover, we take another motorway than we did yesterday. We now drive on the M20 towards the channel tunnel and as we approach Folkestone, the fuel warning light is lit. My companion who owns the car can tell that we might reach Calais, but since we don't expect fuel stations before we reach Belgium, we decide to add some fuel in Dover before entering the ferry. In the fuel station, I look for the sports page in an English newspaper to see what they write about Michael van Gerwen's win over Gary Anderson last night, but all I find is an article about weather or not darts should be seen as a sport. We buy some food and drinks and go back to the car. It's now a very short drive to the ferry station since the fuel station is situated at the gate of the port of Dover.
We're well on time and make quick progress to the parking lane since there are no queues at the customs check points. At the parking lane, we leave our car and walk to the restaurant to get a burger. At 12:10 PM we leave England and after some ten minutes, we can see both the English and the French coast quite clearly. The crossing takes some 90 minutes, but we'll also lose an hour due to the change in time zones. At 3:30PM CET we leave the ferry and enter the continent. It doesn't take very long before we reach the Belgian border, but after we pass Ghent, I feel some fatigue and ask my companion to take over. I lookup the traffic near Antwerp, but we're lucky to find no queues at all. It's still the holiday season and although we're approaching home during the rush hours, we arrive home with no delay at all. We've had a very good time during this short visit to the World Darts Championship Final in London and I really liked this short and unexpected holiday.