Friday, 24 August 2012

Home again, home again.

I'm back at home now after having spent a week exploring and arranging my new home in Amsterdam.  I experienced as much of the great city as a person could reasonably hope to whilst simultaneously getting their room and studies sorted, so I'm going to break everything up into separate posts over time.

But the main thing is that I actually MADE it back in the first place. All melodrama aside, the drive, which I estimated to be roughly 300 miles altogether, wasn't as bad as I had worried it might be. It helped that the standard of driving in Holland is generally a lot slower and therefore, a lot better, so there were no near-misses or heart-stopping moments. All in all, it was a relatively comfortable drive. To anyone considering travelling across, particularly with large amounts of stuff, I would heartily endorse going by car.

Two things, however, I found may prove to be decisive factors.

Number one - the cost of the crossing itself. As I stated in a previous entry, for two adults with a car and a cabin on one of the legs, the cheapest option was £318. This is before you factor in the cost of food on the ferry (decent but honestly, extortionate) and the price of petrol (which has risen by 5p per litre in the week I've been gone). I mention this only as it is a cost you should prepare yourself for.

There are alternatives, of course, which include getting a cheap flight, train or ferry crossing as a foot passenger and having your possessions shipped (to ship five large boxes would have cost me £288.60 from Seven Seas Worldwide), or buying everything you need in situ.

Number two - the cost of parking when you get there. As a peoples, the Dutch are notoriously proud of their cycling culture and this is manifested strongly in both the huge promotion of public transport (something I want to go into further at another time) and the price of parking: to park outside of my apartment complex, it cost 3 euros an hour and 27 euros for a day ticket. So rather than pay this, I found great use of the Park and Ride scheme provided at various points around the city. It costs 8 euros per 24 hours up to a maximum of 96 hours and included in the cost is a return journey on public transport so you can drop the car off, free in the knowledge that your car is safe and return to it when you please.

Sloterdijk P+R - ten minutes from Amsterdam Centraal by train.

As I was staying for a week, I had to go back to the car and somewhat comically drive out of the car park, turn around and drive back into the same space in order to renew my ticket because otherwise, after 96 hours the rate returns to the normal rate - 22 euros per day.

If these are costs you feel you can take on though, the drive is fine and in fairness, P&O provide a pretty good service, even if it was more expensive than I had been hoping. Just, if you choose a day crossing, make sure to bring plenty of reading material.

No comments:

Post a Comment