But first, at the dog control
The border control queue
The border control of both countries – France (front) and UK (at the back)
Another part of the drilling machine here
Going aboard to the Eurotunnel train
But first, at the dog control
What a better way to spend our quiet Sunday than to explore the beautiful coastline of Cap Blanc Nez in the northern tip of France. Literally means ‘white nose cape’, it is France’ equivalent of the white cliffs of Dover.
This lovely fine sand beach of Sangatte is easily accessible from the main road. So glad that the peak of the tourist season is over so we have this beautiful beach all to ourselves and to few families this morning. If this was July or August, we won’t even get a space to park.
Another part of the Eurotunnel drilling machine. Some parts are also displayed on the English side, some sold on eBay but most of them have been buried alongside the tunnel as they are too heavy and expensive to bring up to the surface.
We were wondering if there is a military camp behind those high security fence. Of course, we are in the vicinity of the Eurotunnel station, a highly patrolled zone to keep refugees from crossing the channel onwards to the UK illegally.
Saw this magnificent piece of Engineering displayed at the roundabout in Sanggate near Calais. It is part of the drilling machine that bored the undersea tunnel of the Anglo-French Eurotunnel and which has been made into a Hommage to the drillers.
Traffic was unmoving on our way to Sanggate. A marathon was going on!
The beach of Sangatte (France) overlooking the white cliffs of Dover in England while ferries and ships ply fast between the two countries.
Charlie met a very submissive friend.
The marathon in Cap Blanc Nez
The waiting game starts.
Holiday over but we still have extra time in our hands before our trip to the UK on Monday. Of course, we had to catch up on some well needed sleep as we had always been on our feet the last 21 days. So after a grand afternoon nap at our most favourite ‘aire’ in France, we took a leisurely walk in the fields, picked some blackberries and just enjoyed the world around us.
Behind the ‘aire’ is this village which we already explored 21 days ago.
There’s a big plantation of these in the fields. Are they parsnips or turnips?
A bunker amongst the bushes!
Picked some blackberries on the way. I’ll soak it in water overnight to rinse off any insect and dust then have it with our Greek yoghurt and honey for breakfast. Delicioso!
Parked next to us is this bus-size campervan. It’s like taking your mansion with you on your holiday but we are contented with our van, really, because it is much easier to park even on village roads.
Wow! The 3-week Charlie-necessitated holiday is over, how time flies!
We are back here in Boulogne sur mer where we started 21 days ago and are now waiting for Charlie’s vet appointment taking place in an hour. Once he is cleared and deworming tablet taken, we have to wait 24 hours before he is allowed entry into the UK. We cross the channel on Monday, if everything goes well.
We arrived in Bolougne just in time for the Saturday morning market. We bought roast chicken for lunch and couldn’t resist eating a quarter of it as its sooo-delicious aroma is tempting us to attack it straight away, and so we did and it’s only 10 in the morning!
This tomato plant has more than 50 cherry tomatoes growing on it!
This couscous sells at 5 euros per portion
Saucisson (dried sausages) is ideal to take on long travels because they don’t go off and it’s perfect as aperitivo.
No, that is not an American Indian tepee. That’s the restroom of the aire we slept at last night.
Just when we are about to end our trip that we discovered the mesmerising beauty of St Emilion town. If only we have one extra day we wouldn’t mind sleeping in the free carpark just to extend our exploration!
Not only that its vineyards is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, its monolithic church and the secret it keeps underneath is simply staggering. From a single solid limestone rock, an underground church was carved in the 12th century and thank goodness, the later use of the cave church by a wine barrel maker whose work emitted black soot to the interiors has actually protected the original colours of the paintings on the ceiling, so even after several centuries, the paintings are still there and some relief sculptures still preserved.
This underground church is the largest in Europe and its immense size just blew us away! With everything done by hand and only crude tools available, how did they do it?
Enjoy these last photos of St Emilion. There were lots of American tourists, by the way. I overheard one, sitting in a café with friends saying, ‘So we are here! Isn’t it iconic, this place!’ And I could even hear his deep sigh of disbelief.
The timing of our visit was perfect! It was cooler and breezy yesterday as opposed to the burning heat the other day so we were able to leave Charlie in the van while we did our sightseeing/wine window shopping and a visit to the underground church. Too bad that they don’t allow photography so I’ve nothing to show here but equally glad that they have that restriction so this historic monument is preserved for a long, long time for future generations to enjoy.
The tympanum of the monolithic church.
The bell tower above, the monolithic church below and underneath is the underground church.
Even these fridge magnets are photogenic!
Saw these classic cars in the carpark, must be some club do.
I had to try their famous macaroon and canelle. The macaroon is not as showy as Pierre Herme’s or Laduree’s but it is sooo crunchy and delicious!