Tuesday 22nd October 2013 Back to France.
Left at 5.45 am. A lovely moonlit night. Set off North to Frankfurt and on to the autobahn. The dawn started as we headed West, passing through Berlin, and the sun was shining by the time we crossed the old East-West border close to Wolfsburg and motored on past Braunschweig’s industrial sprawl. The autobahn skirted around the North of Hannover before it turned Southwards and it was still a very lovely day as we cruised through the beautiful hills of the Wesergebirge and the Minden Gap. Through the hilly region of the Southern end of the Teutobergerwald to run Southwest to Beckum.
South of Hamm, through Kammen and North of Dortmund and Oberhausen, where we crossed the Rhine and into the Netherlands at Venlo, crossing the Maas. At Einhoven Mike let Lucy, our navigator whose maps are not up to date, take the new motorway ring instead of the route to Antwerp. It took ages to get off the ring road and back on to the right road, then we were OK past Gent and onto the French autoroute parallel to the coast into Dunkerque. By this time we were well and truly jet-lagged. Mike had to find La Poste before it closed, in order to deposit enough Euros in the current account to make sure we had enough in there to pay the French car and bike insurances for next year. They wouldn’t take the payment without proof of identity, so he came back to the car for his passport.
There was only one woman on the counter and he had to wait in the queue again. When he got back he said there was a notice that said to make any withdrawals they would need two proofs of identity and to withdraw over 1,500€ they would need five days’ notice – and two pieces of identity. What a way to run a railway! We called at Carrefour’s fuel station and topped up the car’s tank and paid 1,30.9€/litre (about £1.11). On to the hotel which was close by Carrefour.
There was a queue. We booked in and paid 1,10€ tourist
tax and had a cardboard “credit card” door key. We dumped our
overnight bag, etc and went shopping in Carrefour, or rather
staggered around in a daze. Bought beer and wine to take home and
bread and paté for supper. Back to the hotel and I stowed all the
stuff and made some sandwiches, too tired to eat out, while Mike went back to Carrefour to use a
phonebox to call his Mum. He looked at French TV when he got back, we
ate our supper and crashed out at 8.30 pm. (The motorway pix are from Flickr- not mine - and what happened to the font?)
|The journey across Europe - 973 kms|