James Bryant ... Photos of Spain 2007
Lloyd & I were both on annual leave and Lloyd suggested a day trip to France (ok so his actual intention was a bit of wheeling and dealing with duty free but his venture in import was short lived when he saw the prices).
Anyway, we were up ridiculously early (me at 03.35 am and Lloyd at 04.30 am... yep you did read that bit right I did say Lloyd was up at 04.30!), left Bicester just before 5.00 am and arrived at Dover in good time for the ferry and arrived in Calais at 10.55 am (French time) having had breakfast on board.
Neither of us felt 100% having sore throats and sniffles but we were there so ever onward... Our first point of call was the Tourist office...'which way to the Hypermarkets?' I think at this point Lloyd was still considering the import business... so a bus ride later we arrived at a retail park and yep there was McDonalds (may I suggest that should you ever visit a French McD's you go for the coke... they charge you for milk to put in the coffee), and one of the biggest supermarkets we have ever seen ... and then there was Sainsburys ... just a wine supermarket but a bottle of Mickey Finn and two bottles of Creme de Cassis later we headed back to the bus stop and Calais and into another shopping arcade which we had spotted on the bus journey out of town.
Walking back into town we looked at the town hall and the burghers statue outside (Lloyd was impressed by the number of windows in the roof).. bit of a photo shoot and then onward for lunch and paracetamol break at Au Bureau ... one of the best Margarita Pizzas we've ever tasted with french fries (well while in France).
Then onward with the touristy bit.... Now this part I can honestly say (and Lloyd would totally agree) was the best part of the day... Calais lighthouse, if you ever end up in the town it is recommended 4 euros entrance to a little museum of the lighthouse and a climb of 271 steps to a view which is amazing (in fact that doesn't do it justice).. yes we stopped several times on the way up and yes our legs felt like jelly for a long time afterwards but if I personally was to go back to Calais with time to kill ... forget the shops I'd head straight there. By the time we had descended the stairs (bought the statutory fridge magnet souvenir) and stepped outside we both felt ready to tackle the last phase of our day in France.
Never think Calais is just a ferry port, if you dock there on your inward or outward journey to France, take time to check it out, shops, museums, food, viewpoints there's something for everyone... would we go again? er did I mention we both have blisters on our blisters?
Go to homepage