Our Eurotunnel booking from Calais to Folkestone was for 8pm. So, we had all day to travel from Paris to Calais and it is only a three hour trip. And…we woke up to a beautiful morning in Paris. A little sleep in was in order, a nice leisurely breakfast, and we eventually check out if the Hotel at 11am. It was kind of a sad feeling to be leaving Paris. There is still so much more to see and explore and there is also the thought that I may never get to visit Paris ever again. But I am much luckier than some people, I have now been to Paris twice. I need to be more thankful! So we get out on the highway after doing a couple of circles around the Arc De Triomphe. Daniel says that you can’t drive through Paris without experiencing this amazing piece of roadway. Ahhhhh it’s just crazy. People just changing lanes and pulling out in front of you. Fun! We laughed all the way around…twice. What a memory! The decision was to get off the big motorways and drive through some local villages. Our lunch stop was Amiens, a town that has a cathedral that looks just like the Notre Dame. Same design and artwork! But this place was worn out and crumbling. Such a sad sight as in its glory days it would have looked marvelous. I guess if it was in Paris, it would have been fully restored.
We walked the length of the Main Street admiring the town and found a nice restaurant for lunch…outside seating to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. An hour later and we were still waiting for our food. I guess the chef had packed up all the lunch menu ingredients as it was nearly three o’clock. And when the food finally came it really looked like it had been thrown together in a hurry. I think they had forgotten out order! Our first bad dining experience, not bad for a month away!
We headed for the coast and although we couldn’t see the sea it was great to know that England was just across the shore and that was where we were heading. Arriving at Calais was a great feeling and getting in the queue to board the Eurotrain was exciting. We had crossed to England like this last year but Teresa hadn’t ever, and it was great to share this new experience with her. It only takes 35 minutes, but to think you are in a tunnel under the sea…and still sitting in you car…on a train carriage…makes it quite an adventure. Another great memory!
So after driving on Europe’s roads for nearly a month, we drive off the train and onto England’s soil. It’s a funny feeling but somehow you feel like you are home. My ancestors do come from England but that was a very long time ago. Robin was born here and he didn’t go to New Zealand until he was three years old. He still has lots of aunts, uncles and cousins in the Bournemouth, Poole area. We visited them the last two trips over. Sadly I won’t have time this trip. I must look up Dad’s side of the family sometime. The roads here are really wavy and as Daniel speeds along you almost feel like you are in a boat…although its bumpy as well. Daniel thinks its because when the roads were built, they never planned for the amount of traffic that actually uses the roads now, and to repair them would cause major traffic delays. And lots of complaints…so everyone just puts up with the roads like they are. We arrive at Daniel and Marysia’s place at eleven pm and Marysia cooks tea…bless her! It’s so nice to be ‘home’.