Folkestone-Calais-Lille and back again
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If you ever have a spare weekend twiddling your thumbs trying to decide what to do, why not try travelling to France using the Eurotunnel. If you book early you can actually get a return ticket for Â£49. Don't forget that this is for a car full of people, you could easily travel on a budget with four other people. The journey from the house was smooth enough only 1 hr and 1/2 on the motorway. The tunnel is clearly sign posted on exit 11a on the M20. We hadn't pre booked so we ended up paying Â£98 on the door. They allow you to travel 2 hrs either side of your reservation free of charge, which gives you a little flexibility on time.
We made our way to the tunnel, we queued, we boarded and we arrived in France 30 mins later. Quick and painless. The message from the tanoy was "Welcome to France. We hope you have enjoyed your journey with us. We hope to see you soon. Please remember to drive on the right. Everyone raced off the train in a blind hurry and joins the motorway without even blinking. It does feel weird at first as it seems like we are on the wrong side. You quickly get used to over taking from the left and drivers give each other a fairly good distance from each other.
The driving part wasn't too stressful apart from not knowing what speed I was travelling at. In the Toyota Yaris the speedometer is a digi box so you can only see miles or km but not both at the same time. Instead I just had to rely on my senses and the feel and sound of the engine.
Before you know it, an hour or so later we arrive in Lille. We came off the motorway and almost straight into town. We had a map so we kinda had an idea of where we were and where we wanted to be. We followed behind another car, feeling a little nervous about hitting town traffic.
We parked up in the underground car park in the main sq. 17 Euro for 24 hrs. At least we knew the car would be safe here. We checked into a premier view room over looking the main sq. The fountain was directly outside our window.
We found ourselves in a place with mussels and rabbit on the menu, turned out to be more of a bar than a restaurant. We had a quick drink and then jumped into the next steak restaurant that we saw. Delusional with hunger we ordered a couple of starters, our hefty steaks and also a dessert!. After our bellies were full we needed to sleep it off.
Sunday morning, we were a little disappointed that the shops weren't open.
Lille to Calais was straightforward. The train was experiencing some difficulties and so we were delayed and hour and 1/2 in the tunnel. I took a nap to avoid getting annoyed about the delay. When we did finally move off we had to travel slowly so it took 50 mins instead of the usual 30 mins. Back to Folkestone and then back to London in a hurry!
- Book early to get the best deal on Eurotunnel
- Don't leave the postcards till the last minute
- Bring snacks and entertainment for the car journey
- Don't forget your camera
- Check French road rules to avoid breaking the law and receiving a fine.