Wednesday, June 20, 2001
France, Belgium, and the White Cliffs of Dover!
Today’s the day we’re to head to “the Continent” for a day trip… Everything goes well until about 15 minutes away from the house, we realize we all forgot our passports!! Turnaround time!! 😛
Okay… passports in hand, we set off on the 1.5-2 hour drive to the southeast coast of England. We’re going to catch the train that will take us and the car through the Channel Tunnel under the English Channel! The crossing takes ~20 minutes, and then we’re in Calais, France!
We get to Dunkirk (or as it is known by the locals, “Dunkerque”) to stop and have lunch… and are surprisingly not that impressed by the food. As we drive out of town, we spot an old church with bullet holes from the WWII Dunkirk evacuation of over 300,000 British soldiers. Okay… that’s impressive!
On the way, we stop at the Dunkirk Memorial to the WWII British troops who died fighting so that others could live free. That was impressive and very sobering.
We decide to head to Belgium, just so we can say “we’ve been there”.
We didn’t know what to expect, but found a most charming village completely by accident!.
Veurne had several seventeenth-century churches, lots of shops (including great chocolate!), and a really nice out-of-the-way cafe where we enjoy Belgian beer and feast on the just-purchased chocolates!
This town is just what we had wanted to see! We’re quite pleased with the experience, but it’s time to go.
A quick detour for some “cheap beer” (actually… really good beer at surprisingly low prices!), we’re aboard the train to recross the Channel Tunnel to England.
Since the crossing point is so close to Dover, we have to see the famous White Cliffs. A 15-minute drive and we’re there!
There’s an impressive castle in Dover that we can see from the Cliffs. It’s too late in the day to tour, but we get lots of pictures! What a surprise, huh?
During the ride home, we marvel at how long the twilight lasts at this time of the year in England. It’s well after 10pm (about 1015pm actually!) before it’s “dark”.
We stop at Julian and Jenny’s favorite “Chip Shop” for Fish & Chips (Kathy gets the Chicken & Mushroom Pie!).
This effectively ends this phase of our trip. Tomorrow, we head off to Stratford-upon-Avon!! 🙂