Saturday, 6 December 2014

Winter break, Saturday

We haven't had a holiday since Oberstdorf, and the Swan Whisperer had plenty of leave days to use up, so here we are in Caen for a few days.  We set off from home at 8:25 this morning, only ten minutes later than planned, and had a fairly uneventful drive to Folkestone, getting used to our new SatNav, which is very clever and knows street names, but its French accent is appalling!

We got to Folkestone in plenty of time, but couldn't get on an earlier Shuttle as it was very busy - an awful lot of people appeared to be going on a pre-Christmas booze-cruise. And something went wrong - I don't know what - but we were sat in the holding bays for ages, and didn't actually get off until 11:20, 30 minutes later than scheduled. Not impressed!  However, it couldn't be helped.

Our first stop was at the Aire de la  Baie de Somme, which is a cut above your average service area, although the food was mediocre, and far too much. I didn't even try to finish my potato, onion and cream pie, which I think was supposed to have bacon in it, but maybe one lardon to a pound of spuds. Plus overcooked green beans (which I prefer to the raw ones we get in the UK), and carrots.  But then I had cheese, which was lovely -Roquefort, and a wonderfully ripe Camembert.

The thing I like about the Baie de Somme is the ducks.
And we weren't sure whether these were young coot or young moorhen:
Then we set off again, but needed petrol so came off the motorway at a pace called Totes, where there was a most peculiar Intermarché, which appeared not to sell essential things like coffee and tinned peas, but only fresh and frozen stuff, and non-food items. Luckily we only wanted fresh stuff for a picnic in our hotel room.

Back on the motorway and over the Pont de Normandie and on towards Caen, stopping once more for the SW to have a breath of air, and apart from trouble parking, we arrived safely at the hotel. And have settled in and eaten, and I am in bed, although not ready to snuggle down yet.

One new thing this holiday is that we have invested in a Liber-T pass, now available for British cars, which is wonderful - you just drive straight through the toll booths. It beeps to tell you it's read it, and then the barrier goes up. The T-only lanes barely slow you down.  It takes it out of your bank account by direct debit, and send you an invoice when you get home again.

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