Roadtrip From Madrid To Ipswich

Now some folks when they dream of holidays, adventures, and the like immediately picture themselves in a hammock on some remote Caribbean island or on a safari, or even perhaps coast-to-coasting in the USA.
All’s that nice and well but we tend to overlook our own countries – our home nations that often have more than one surprise around the corner.
Having said that, I’d like to go on a safari too. My friends at are doing one hell of a road trip. But with only a few days to spare, it wasn’t quite feasible.
The other thing is that one of my housemates (a dude from Madrid – poor fellow) has recently agreed to pile in another six months of Ipswich life and would therefore like to drive his little Fiesta all the way from Madrid to Ipswich. Now, to do that, there are roughly three ways:
1. take a ferry in Bilbao or Santander that goes straight to W&E Sussex / Kent
2. take a ferry or the Eurostar in France that goes to Kent
3. drive up all the way to Hoek van Holland and ferry your way across to the quiet Essex town of Harwich, only a stone’s throw away from Ipswich. You can even avoid Colchester, its rowdy military, and its Essex girls…

So, JL (that’s his name) and I were stroking our beards and pondering our options: obviously, we wanted to taste Spanish Rioja, sip French Bordeaux, and abuse Belgian beer! And hey presto, here we were pinning out on a map which cities we were off to.

A. Madrid – starting point – in the wee hours of the morning (so by Spanish standard that’s a few minutes shy of high noon)
B. Bilbao, spend the night there, hopefully, hook up with some Spanish Erasmus friends
————— the border ——————
C. My hometown(s) – with a bit of luck my family beach house
D. Paris, the capital bien sûr, to hang out with the BT ring there
E. Bruges because I must say the movie with Colin Farrel was a riot
F. the ferry (Hoek van Holland / Harwich)

This blurb on a map looks like this.