Enjoyed a last fantastically jammy/carby French breakfast in the lovely café of the Hotel de Paris. It really has an inexpressibly French character and atmosphere. You would show no surprise if Rene from Allo Allo suddenly popped out to deliver your croissants! And there were definitely some stylish automobile types staying. One couple of about our age, were seen heading off from the hotel garage in a vintage Jaguar in British racing green, dressed completely for the part with ….. goggles and scarves!!!!! It’s just that sort of place but not in a pretentious way.
Headed off north across country on quite a few D and E roads until we eventually joined up with the motorway heading to Calais. It was an easy trip and the traffic was light. We got off the road at about midday, just south of Rouen, and went to a small Logis hotel for lunch. Another really good table d’hote menu for 13 euro.
Kept heading north and made it to the Cite Europe shopping centre in Calais at about 315. Had a shop dash around Carrefour and picked up some pate, cheeses, a couple of bottles of wine, an apple tart…. things for supper. It’s a massive shop. You could spend hours in there. And we have in the past.
Smoothly onto the dock for the 1755 ferry. There was definitely more security in evidence. Armed French soldiers on each line up to the French exit stations. Everyone with a roof box or trailer or caravan had to open them for search. They just waved us through. We had seen some young Africans hanging about in the fields near the port so clearly there are still soi-disant refugees wanting to get to the UK. Nowhere near as many as there were last year though.
The ferry was bedlam and extremely crowded or should that be extremely crowded and bedlam…. Remembered why I prefer the Channel Tunnel, although all things being equal I ought to prefer the ferry… but it is not a pleasant experience when it is crowded like that.
had two bottles of our French rose, some delicious pates, French bread, a cheeseboard, salad. All really nice. Tomorrow will be time enough to become fully immersed in the UK again….. Have had a brilliant week in France and will look forward to another visit soon.