It was an early start this morning as I picked up my bags and headed over to Pax Lodge where I was set to meet my fellow travellers. As I arrived I was greeted with an air of excitement as 48 ladies did their final checks that I had done just a few hours earlier (for the third time) – Passport, money, luggage; CHECK!

I have been working with the rest of the Venture Abroad team planning this trip for months and I was beginning to wonder if this day would ever arrive. There I was at 7.30am boarding the coach and the excitement for the trip was beginning to kick in. We promptly chose our seats and began the first leg of our journey to Dover.

We arrived in Dover slightly ahead of schedule and we were pleased to hear that we could board an earlier than planned ferry across to Calais. A short and smooth journey across the Channel gave us time to stretch our legs, grab a drink and, for some, a snack before jumping back on the coach.

We waved “bonjour” and “au revoir” as we passed through France and, as I write this, we have just crossed the Belgian border. Only 175 miles to go and we are in Valkenburg, our home for the next few days!

The closer we get, the more the excitement builds. The plans for tonight? I think it will be an evening meal, maybe a quick scope of the local area, then early to bed to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s big day out at the Floriade!

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