Search Results for 'Newcastle to Amsterdam'

A Ferry to Amsterdam

Big ferry

Ferry to Amsterdam

After the stress and drama of getting to the ferry it was all smooth sailing once we were on the boat. The ferry cost about GBP 90 for all of us in a cabin with a window. We left Newcastle at 5pm and arrived in The Netherlands at 9:30 the next morning.

Ed in our cabin on the ferry to The Netherlands

Excited Edward in the cabin

The kids were very excited to be on a boat and after checking out our cabin and dumping the bags we went exploring. Dave and I were in good need of a drink and so we found the kids’ play area which was conveniently located right next to a cafe/bar. The kids were soon immersed in a ball pit and having fun with the only other child on the boat, while Dave and I drank our beers. We ate dinner from the cafe while the kids ate in front of a movie in the kids’ zone.

We slept pretty well on the boat that night and were woken at 8am by the ship’s wake-up call over the PA system. We had breakfast in the cabin with food we’d brought with us and then I took the kids back to the ball pit while Dave packed up the bags. We watched from deck as the boat entered the port and then…we were in The Netherlands!

Arriving in The Netherlands this morning. We're cosy in our apartment now after getting lost and very wet on the way here. Junior Eurovision is on TV. It's going to be an effort to go out again but we do need food.

Arriving in The Netherlands

We had pre-booked a bus transfer into Amsterdam through the ferry company and it took us right to Central Station. From there we walked to our apartment but got a little lost on the way when I followed the wrong canal. Easily done! It was raining and we all were a little cold and wet by the time we found the apartment which was thankfully lovely and cosy.

Our Amsterdam apartment

Our Amsterdam apartment

The apartment cost 250 euros for two nights and was in a great location in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam. An easy walk from Central once you follow the right canal. It was a studio on the first floor of a traditional tall and skinny Dutch house. The stairs were so steep they were almost a ladder!

We only had two nights in Amsterdam and were unlucky with bad weather most of the time but we did manage to see some things. Lillian and I visited the Anne Frank House museum on our first afternoon. She asked a lot of questions and I tried to explain things as simply as possible, but it’s a lot for a six year old to take in. She enjoyed the house tour and imagining people living there and I like the thought that when she does read the book she might remember being in those rooms.

Anne Frank's House

Anne Frank’s House

On our only full day in Amsterdam there was a storm brewing so we decided the best way to view the city was from the protection of a canal cruise boat. The boat left from in front of the Anne Frank House and did an hour long loop through the city with commentary. An hour was about the perfect length of time for our kids who got a bit antsy towards the end.

here's the boat

Canal boat

boat view

A view from the boat tour

That afternoon Dave ventured out to visit the Rijksmuesum and had a glorious hour or so browsing alone. The kids and I stayed in the apartment and huddled in bed together when the thunder got too loud.

Two nights in Amsterdam was barely enough time to scratch the surface and I would love to return to this city and explore more one day.

Glasgow to Dundee to Newcastle

Our second week in Scotland was spent in Dundee, specifically Broughty Ferry, the little seaside village where we lived when Lillian was born.

Lil in front of the flat (top windows) we lived in when she was born

Lil in front of the flat (top windows) we lived in when she was born.

We decided to hire a car for the week and drive up from Glasgow. Rhino Car Hire were by far the cheapest and we paid 110 pounds for the whole week with a one way car hire picked up in Glasgow and dropped off in Newcastle. When I made the booking I also requested two car seats for the kids. They were going to charge GBP 77 for Edward’s and GBP 42 for Lil’s seat for the week but we worked out we could buy two new car seats from Argos for GBP 45 total so I cancelled the seat request. When we dropped the car off (a story to come below) we just left the seats in the car.

view from the top

View from the top of the Wallace Monument

It was strange but fun to be in a car again and under our own steam after almost five months of taxis, tuk tuks, trains and buses. On the way to Dundee we stopped off at the Wallace Monument just outside Stirling. It was a windy day but the views were amazing from up the top.

going back down

Spiral staircase in the Wallace Monument

In Broughty Ferry we stayed at The Ferry Flat which was in a great location and very cosy. It actually reminded us a lot of our old flat in Broughty Ferry which was of the same era and even had the same colour carpet. It was also a bit of a bargain at GBP 250 for the whole six nights.

Cosy Broughty Ferry Flat

Cosy Broughty Ferry Flat

fiery sunset

Sunset view from our bedroom

We didn’t do many touristy things here at all, aside from a drive up to the Law lookout and a visit to the (free) Broughty Castle. The castle is actually a great place to warm up and has a room set up for kids with activities, colouring pages and soft animal toys.


View from the Law over Dundee and the River Tay

The rest of our days were spent catching up with old friends, playing in the great (but freezing) park by the castle, and revisiting old favourite eateries such as The Ship Inn and Visocchi’s for lunch.

Castle Green Park

Broughty Castle and Castle Green Park

On the day we were leaving our alarm went off at 7:30am and…we stayed in bed for another hour. Then we got ready and packed and finally got away at 11:20. We got in the car and I fired up google maps which told me it would take 3.5 hours to drive to Newcastle. For some reason I had had it in my head that it only took 2.5 hours so suddenly we lost another hour in the schedule and would now be arriving right on car drop-off time. There was no time to get lunch on the way besides a quick toilet stop at McDonalds and eating in the car. The kids got their first ever happy meals.

Finally we arrived in Newcastle, only a little after car drop-off time. We just had to fill up with petrol and find the car place which I thought was right near central train station where we would get the bus to our ferry to The Netherlands. All good in theory except we could not find a petrol station. Or the car place. We ended up on the wrong side of the river. Then back again. Then google told us it was back over the bridge. Argh! Time was ticking, my phone died. Back over the bridge we went and finally found the car hire place who told us they do have an office by the train station after all.

We ended up having to pay the crazy car hire prices for a tank of petrol AND get a taxi to the ferry port. Check-in for the ferry closed at 4:15pm and our taxi pulled in at 4:25. We raced in to the totally empty terminal and up to the counters where they thankfully let us through. I think we were last on the boat but we made it! That was the most stressful travel day of the whole trip and I’m quite happy to be back to modes of transport where any delays are not my fault.

More on the ferry trip and Amsterdam next post.

Six Months of Travel: Final Trip Stats and Costs

Here we go! The final trip stats post along with information on costs. All costs are in Australian dollars.

– Number of countries visited: 10 (counting the hour in Myanmar and half an hour in Luxembourg!)
– Days traveling: 184
– Days in Asia: 130
– Days in UK/Europe: 54

Accommodation Stats and Costs
– Places stayed overnight: 35
– Average number of nights in each place: 5.2
– Longest in one place: 32 nights (Homestay and volunteering in Sisaket)
– Nights in UK/Europe with free accommodation (thanks to friends and family): 27

– Total cost of accommodation for the whole trip: $10,331
– Total cost of accommodation in Asia: $6,833
– Total cost of accommodation in UK/Europe: $3,498
– Average cost of accommodation per night overall: $56
– Average cost of accommodation in Asia per night: $53
– Average cost of accommodation in UK/Europe per night (minus free nights): $125

Our Amsterdam apartment

Our most expensive accommodation

– Most expensive accommodation: Amsterdam apartment at $191/night
– Least expensive accommodation: Little Home Guesthouse in Mae Salong at $20/night

Little Home Bungalow

Our least expensive accommodation

Transport Stats and Costs
– Total hours actually travelling between places: 142
– Hours on planes: 45.5
– Number of plane trips: 8
– Total cost of flights: $9,621

looking out on Afghanistan

Flying over Afghanistan

– Hours on trains: 33.5
– Number of (intercity) train trips: 10
– Hours on buses: 27
– Number of (intercity) bus trips: 11
– Hours on minibuses: 11.5
– Number of minibus trips: 3
– Hours on boats: 21
– Number of ferry trips: 4
– Hours on sangthaew: 3.5
– Number of (inter-town) sangthaew trips: 3

coming into Bangkok

Train to Bangkok

– Longest single journey: Koh Samui to Bangkok.
– Longest on one mode of transport: Overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam at 14 hours.

Miscellaneous Stats and Costs
– Visits from the tooth fairy: 3
– Mail received at home (thanks Dad!): 2.3kg
– Photos taken: 4,771 or 32.9GB
– Total cost of trip: $36,000. Minus accommodation and flights as above leaves about $16,000 spent on pre-trip costs (passports, vaccinations, luggage, computer etc.), food, all other transport, activities, entry fees and spending.

List 26/52 – The Places Lil’s Been

Today is Lillian’s 6th birthday! So in honour of that, this week’s list is all about the places (major cities, anyway) she has been to during those 6 years. We’re looking forward to adding many new places to this list soon. Only eight days to go!

1. Dundee, Scotland – where she was born!

Anstruther in the hotsling

Visiting Anstruther

2. Glasgow, Scotland

near Perth

Near Perth, driving from Glasgow to Dundee

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

4. The Hague, The Netherlands (transiting through Amsterdam) – her first Christmas.


The Hague

5. Berlin, Germany


The Essentials – Guidebook and Passport(s)

6. Dubai, UAE – a stopover on the way back to Australia.

7. Sydney, Australia

zoo nap

A snooze at the zoo

8. Newcastle, Australia


Nobbies Beach

9. Melbourne (and the Mornington Peninsula), Australia

"I'm a man"

St Kilda

10. Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Australia

Not a bad effort! (If you count places visited in utero you could add Bangkok, London, Tasmania, and Canberra.)

Itinerary 2013

This is where we went!

July: Depart Australia and arrive in Singapore for five nights then into Malaysia. Johor Bahru – Melaka – Kuala Lumpur – Ipoh – Penang.

August: Southern Thailand and Dave’s brother’s wedding on Koh Phangan. Bangkok – Sisaket.

September: A one month homestay and volunteer English teaching placement at a school in Sisaket province, near the Cambodian and Laos borders.

October: Thailand – Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Ayutthaya – Sukhothai – Chiang Mai – Chiang Dao – Tha Thon – Mae Salong – Mae Sai – Chiang Rai – Bangkok

November: Depart from Bangkok to London 8th Nov. One week in London then the last two weeks of November in Scotland – Glasgow and Dundee.

December: Overnight ferry from Newcastle Upon Tyne to The Netherlands – Amsterdam and The Hague, then Brussels, France –  Nancy and Paris and back to London via the Eurostar for Christmas with Dave’s family.

January: Depart London 4th January and head for home with a few nights stopover back in Bangkok to break the journey and get some Asian shopping in! Arrive back in Australia.