Umm.. what did y' say?? France!
Calais Travel Blog› entry 9 of 37 › view all entries
Having lept on the train at Bristol and made our way to Dover with our backpacks Darryn and I missed Doris' home compforts. Struggling through throngs of other commuters with these things was no tramp in the New Zealand bush. We had to learn quickly how to manage on a crowded carriage or platform but it didn't take long and by the time we hit the deserted arrivals hall at Calais ferry terminal we were experts.
There were about 20 of us looking very lost as we entered this new country. There was no-one there to greet us at all and even the lights were oddly set to a "not home" glow. We all exchanged glances, wandered about a bit and thought, "Oh well, if they don't want to stamp our passports, so be it." Darryn and I were a little miffed by that, fancy not having any evidence to show of our arrival, at last, on a foreign shore.
The day, or week actually, had been hectic so we didn't dwell too long and sought out somewhere to crash for the night. We found an hotel and recognised again the harness of the loss of Doris. She was going to save us a great deal on accommodation as we travelled but both transport and shelter would have to be paid for now. We decided one room would suffice, well, we were going to share a bed in the van anyway right?! We'd been friends for too many years to worry about the ideas held by our hosts.
Neither of us knew any French and the odd thing about my 4 years of school boy German, 10 years ago, was that whenever I heard someone speaking to me in French I went through an odd mental thing where I recognised it as foreign, tried to translate it to German (being my only foreign tounge) and hit the wall. Very strange indeed but of course we had found an hotel, secured a room and the next morning satisfactorily procured breakfast. Strange? Yes, but life was still good!
We made a plan to head straight to Paris. This was very different than the track through France we had originally planned, when we were to drive, but time and money were going to be an issue. Fortunately we were both Youth Hostel members and we now sketched a new route on the Youth Hostel map.
Before we found our train to the capital we did some shopping for lunch at the local fruiterer. Hmm, there goes that funny German mind-twist again. I left Darryn to do the shopping whilst I took the photos.