Day 1 – Friday 15th June.
So it has finally arrived. Our holiday. I picked my wife up from work at 15:30 and we made the quickest exit ever. We were home by 15:50 and on the road by 16:45 which included making a pot of tea and the final packing of everything into the car. A final check to ensure we had money, passports, car documents and we were away.
The traffic was kind to us. Even on the M25. We heard on the radio that there were significant delays on the Euro Shuttle, our hearts sank. But when we arrived at the Shuttle terminal it all went smoothly. Nobody checked our passports. We didn’t even have to show any ID to pass through to the waiting area. All done on vehicle registration number. Amazing what the technology can do these days. I have to say that it seems just a little too easy to leave good old Blighty. Suffice to say that we were on our scheduled train no problemo, no delays.
Loaded onto the top deck and a short while later we were on our way, gently rocking, zooming along under the channel. 35 minutes or so later we were in France.
We then encountered our first hitch. The bloody satnav didn’t recognise the road, in Sangatte, on which our hotel purported to exist. We managed to glean enough information from the hotel confirmation email along with a Michelin map to hazard a guess as to the likely location and forced the satnav to find a random point on our chosen road. As luck would have it we came across a roadside advert for the hotel and a few minutes driving had us at our destination.
We checked in, took a quick stroll round Sangatte. Determined that we were too late for a meal in the local restaurant so raided the cool bags in the car then retired to our room to feast on Ginsters Chicken and Bacon pasties followed by an apple for pudding.
I sat and read for a while occasionally looking out the window, watching the lights of the cross channel ferries heading in and out of Calais.
Eventually it was time to hit the hay, the end to a long day but the precursor to an even longer one.