Sunday, April 05, 2009

Taking the chunnel

We did our final packing and then took our leave of john and julie after a very necessary period while we sorted ourselves out. Once again a very big thankyou for the hospitality.

We weren't very sure what to expect from the chunnel and as it turn's out it was quite a painless if long winded process. We left at about 10:00 even though our booking was for 17:00 because we weren't sure just how long it would take and thought that once we were there we could maybe explore dover or something. This was not to be, once you go down the offramp to the tunnel there is no turning back so we ended up waiting for about 5 hours in queues of various sorts. Firstly to actually check-in and then once checked in, in the parking lot waiting for our letter to be called. Each departure is assigned a letter and then when they are loading your departure they call your letter over the intercom which was difficult to hear firstly because it is plain just difficult and then secondy because my ears have been blocked for the last couple of days. Caron says that I don't hear so well in any case. Once out letter was call it was really simple, just follow the signs and drive into a double decker railway carriage which looks like the picture below.

I was busy taking the picture below when the french train people walked past and saw what we were doing - 'Ah! le artiste?' was the first french which we were to hear on this trip.

The trip is almost completely inside a tunnel so there is no scenery to speak of and the trip takes about 45 minutes before we finally made it into france. At last, our trip is really beginning! The GPS is absolutely fantastic and we found the formula 1 hotel with no problems at all.

Once we had finished checking in we went for a long walk into the calais and stopped at a restaurant for some soup and coffee on the way back which was great. It looks like the french have some significant security issues because almost all of the houses have roller security shutters over their doors and windows. It made me feel a bit better about our open air prison back in south africa. We walked past the 'pale of calais' which doesn't even feature in either of the guide books but thankfully I have my resident history boffin to enlighten me!

1 comment:

Laurel said...

How did you manage to get Caron into so many photographs?

Glad to see things happening smoothly.