Some of the best village ramparts in France
We woke in Canterbury to find we had been joined by several other motorhomes! It was a fine morning with some colour in the sky from the dawn.
Before setting off we went through everything we needed to change. We put our pounds away and got out our euros, got out the headlight deflectors which I will fit in Dover, and made sure the passports were to hand.
We used the facilities to do a full Bertie service and then headed for Dover. Back out on to the busy roads of Kent. Got slightly stressed near Dover when we ground to a halt in a queue of traffic, in fact just roadworks by a roundabout and we cleared that in about 10 minutes. We arrived on the docks with loads of time and sailed straight through passport control without stopping and on to check-in where there were a number of signs telling us to have our paperwork ready. I apologized to the lass at the desk but she said they do not need anything but our passports! The booking was paperless as it was based on the vehicle registration. Very easy. She gave me a ticket to hang from the mirror and told me to line up in lane 88. Slight panic as no idea where lane 88 was but we found it. We actually waited there for over an hour as our ferry was a bit late. They put us down the bottom with all the trucks and coaches but we were near the front ready for a swift exit! We climbed up lots of stairs to get to the main decks and found two chairs and little table right beside the big windows. What we did not notice was the proximity to the kiddies play area which soon became very obvious and very noisy.
The crossing was remarkably smooth despite the strong wind up the channel and the choppy waves we could see out of the window. I buried myself in my audiobook using both earphones to try and mask the wee kiddies! Eileen and I gave up trying to talk.
Arrival at Dunkerque was so easy. We drove off the boat and straight out of the docks and on to the French roads. I was a bit anxious to begin with but soon got back in the swing of driving on the right. We did not have far to go as I had chosen a stopover in a small town just 20 miles from the port.
The Aire had 8 spaces for “camping cars” as motorhomes are called here. It has also has a service point but you need to buy a token (called a jetons) at various places in the town. After a while to get used to the idea of being in France again it was time to go and explore the little town. We had driven through the square to get to the parking but I did not see much being preoccupied with missing the cars and pedestrians whilst working out where to go!
The car park was very close to the main square reached by a short footpath past the old Chateau (very grand brick building standing in a moat). One of the most striking buildings in the square is the huge brick church. Although founded in 855 the current building is mainly C17 although restored after a serious fire in 1976. It is a magnificent building with a superb decorated brick facade from 1610.
It is a bit breezy and there are occasional showers on the wind so we did not spend too long in the town. Long enough to find a bakery and patisserie though.
It is good to be back in France and we are really looking forward to what the rest of this trip will bring.