Monday, 23 May 2011

BFoE goes to Holland – day 1

Last month I got a very exciting invitation; to go to a Friends of the Earth Holland (Mileudefensie) conference for the weekend and meet activists from all over the Europe. I asked a few of our other more experienced campaigners to see if they wanted to go, but when nobody else was available Hil (my partner) and I were delighted to accept the offer.

So, on Friday, four of us set off from Birmingham New Street (the others being our 6-month old baby, Fred and Tim Atkinson, the network developer for FoE in the Midlands). Being Friends of the Earth, there was no question of us flying, so it was train down the Euston, Eurostar to Brussels, train to Amsterdam, another local train to Beverwijk and then a short bus ride to Wijk aan Zee where the conference is being held.

The journey was pretty easy, if rather long with all the connections working (although 2 of the lifts didn't – at New Street to get onto the platform and at Beverwijk to get off the platform, making it a little difficult with Fred's buggy). Luckily for us, little Fred likes train travel, as he's already had experience of going on a 5-hour trip to Wales by train, so his first trip abroad was taken in his stride and even though we arrived long after his bed time (it was nearly 10.30pm) he remained good natured throughout.

Tim went off to set up his tent with Job from Mileudefensie (who joined us on the train in Haarlem), but we opted for comfort staying in a lovely B&B where they even offered us a beer when we arrived - most welcome.

We had a comfortable night's sleep and now feel fresh and ready for the first day of this gathering of European activists. The only disturbance being that we seem to be under the flight path to Schiphol. I wonder if that is just unavoidable around this area, as in many parts of Europe which are blighted by aviation noise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done for travelling with a baby. My sister's family holidays used to do this.