Now we’re home and we’ve had a chance to surprise both our families, I can finally stop dropping hints about a fictitious ski season in Austria. The last day of our trip took us from Belgium, back to the UK.
We left the hotel in Bruges earlier than originally intended as we didn’t want to get caught up in any backlog resulting from the Belgian strike. As our hotel was next to the station, we were on the train and on our way to Brussels in no time. After a quick stop in the supermarket, we checked in to the Eurostar departure lounge for the last leg of our journey. Of course, our train was delayed but only by 30 minutes.
|Going home, onboard the Eurostar, Brussels.|
Onboard we settled in to our seats for the short 2.15hr trip to London. As soon as we left the platform we popped open a bottle of Veuve - for months we’d been saying we’d have champagne on the train to celebrate going home.
We pulled in to London, all smiles for being back in familiar territory and having made it from Hong Kong to the UK without stepping foot on a plane, before jumping on a train to Essex. We spent the next 4 days at my mum’s after surprising her at work, surprising my sister and her family and meeting our nephew who was born while we were away. Passing through Chelmsford on the way back to London we stopped at my grandparents to surprise them.
We then had two days in London, hiding out at Karen’s house where we had a chance to surprise Rhodri, before catching a bus out to Wales.
We arrived in Port Talbot on the 23rd December and had 2 nights to hide so we could turn up on Rhys’s parents doorstep on Christmas morning. Our friend Birdy was kind enough to put us up and keep our secret, waking us up on Christmas morning with presents and a cup of tea in bed.
Birdy drove us over to Rhian and Sean’s house early on Christmas Day to surprise them and to see our niece open her presents and to meet our other nephew who had been born while we were away.
Then we really were on the final leg of our journey to take us full circle, back to Rhys’s parents house. After surprising Ceri and Billy it was time for the traditional Christmas morning open house and the rest of the Kingdom clan popped around.
|Full circle, Rhys back in Baglan outside his parents house.|
After 116 weeks on the road it was good to be back, to see family and friends and to be in a house we knew and were comfortable in. It’s amazing how quickly you forget we’ve been away for so long, nothing has changed drastically, we’re just older and wiser. We’re ready to move back to London in the new year, we have jobs and a flat lined up and are looking forward to having our own place filled with our own possession and not having to pack our bags and sit on buses for hours on end. It’s been an incredible trip and the best start to married life we could ever dream of and our memories will be with us for the rest of our lives. We’ve met some amazing people along the way who made the trip what it was and who we will always remember - and who we have no doubt we will bump into again some where, some day.
Time to start planning our next adventure....!