We set off from Leeds at some unearthly hour on Saturday August 20th and made the long drive down to the south east coast with frequent stops for rest breaks and you know what breaks. We still got to Dover with well over an hour to spare and had the luxury of having time for a meal before entering the ferry port area.
After clearing passport control we moved on to the ticketing checkpoint..........
Once in the boarding line, Stephen took the chance to attach the deflectors onto the car's headlights so we could drive on the right at night without blinding oncoming cars.
A couple of lines across from us was a cute little 'teardrop' camper and I took the opportunity to take a panorama shot which looks a bit distorted as it's meant for landscapes and not close up objects.
Soon we were heading up the ramp and into the bowels of the SeaFrance ferry for the 75 minute crossing to Calais.
Once settled on board, I went out onto the deck to watch our departure and see the famous white cliffs fading into the distance as we set off for foreign shores.
With no formalities to slow us down at Calais, we were on our way to our first bed & breakfast, Aux Trois Maillets about 60 miles from the ferry port. Not having been to France many times before, I couldn't help but take my first photo through the windscreen - despite it only being of a road sign. Over the next 2 weeks I'd be taking many more in-car photos but rest assured, they'd all be much more interesting than this one ! Early days.
I'd seen the b&b so many times on Street View in the period leading up to our departure that it was kind of weird to see it in real life. We were greeted by owners Ysabelle and Jean-Michel who showed us around their lovely house in Angres.
Aux Trois Maillets was a delightful b&b and best of all, being off the main tourist route from Calais, was, at 55 euros for the 3 of us, dirt cheap !
We literally tossed our cases in the room and set off into town for our evening meal. It was a small town without much choice but we just needed fuel so didn't mind a less than stellar meal. Afterwards we walked around the local streets and came to a roundabout which featured a replica of Louis Bleriot's channel crossing plane with a sign on a rock that never really explained the reasons behind it all. I've tried to find out why it was there but without any success.