Saturday 30 August 2014
The Drive to Calais
The drive to Calais It was another excellent evening meal in the restaurant. We had booked demi pension and it is normally a set meal but this year we had a choice of starters and main courses. This caused a little confusion as we both ordered the duck for the main and a duck and salmon course arrived. In the ended it was easier to share and it gave us a taste of two courses rather than one. In the morning we were up early for our now traditional ride along the Marne canal. By 7:30am we were off. The sun was low in the sky and only provided some warmth on our way back. Lyn complained she should have brought her arm warmers. The canal was very quiet and apart from the occasional fishermen we did not see anyone else. The wildlife was in abundance with lots of rabbits and herons along the route. We returned to the aurburge and were in breakfast at 9:00. A lot of English cars had already started their dash to Calais as we tucked into pancakes filled with fresh fruit salad. We showered after breakfast and left at around 10:30am. Rather than joining the motorway we headed first on the minor roads towards Les Mesnil sur Oger looking for a Champagne house that was open to have a tasting. A lot of them are shut on a Saturday. We eventually selected one in the village of Avize and had a degustation at J. Lanaud's. We selected 4 bottles and ignored the pressure to add another 2 to fill the box. We then continued to Les Mesnil sur Oger to a get some provision for the trip. It has an excellent boulangerie that does excellent ficelles filled with a variety of filling. We selected one with lardons and one with goats cheese and we all set for the 3 hour 20 minute drive to Calais. We stopped at the larger E.Leclerc at Champfleury just before the D951 joins the peage. We had to park on the road outside as height barriers discourage customers with a vehicle over 2.1metres in height from shopping. We stocked up on fruit, cheese and some Madeline moulds. After refuelling we were on the peage. The first toll of 40 cents is after a couple a minutes and then it was all the way to the outskirts of Calais before the next one. It’s around 22 euros from Reims. We stopped on route for a late Brexton lunch. There we said goodbye to Basil who traveled with us for the past two weeks. We came off at junction 3 again to stock up with beer at the Pidou. We had to queue before we could get off as the queue to the port extended back past the junction. With the beer safely stored we ignored Kate and drove towards Calais centre. Kate eventually relented and guided on the minor roads through the outskirts of Calais to the front of a very long queue. We still had a 20 minute wait to clear UK border control and then found out our ferry had a 40 minute delay. Plenty of time for a Brexton coffee.