We are back in Chalon after returning from Ireland by car using the fast ferry and Channel Tunnel. As we were bringing Nuala’s car back to the boat, it was a chance to travel through the Channel Tunnel which we have always wanted to experience.
We left Dublin at 8.45 am Tuesday on the Jonathan Swift and arrived into Holyhead, Wales. We then drove down through England, arriving at Nuala brother’s apartment in London at 6.00 pm, just as he arrived home from work. Nine hours after leaving home we were with him. We had a great night with Aidan and we treated ourselves to a Chinese take away.
The next day we went to see the RAF museum at Hendon only ten miles from Aidan’s place. It’s a fantastic museum with the best display of fighter aircraft (ranging from the first aircraft to modern jet fighters), I have ever seen and all in great condition. Nuala enjoyed it but not as much as I did so if you got a text from her that day you will know why, as she spent some of the time sitting under the wing of a Flying Fortress Bomber sending lots of texts.
That night we went to stay with my cousin Fiona Charlton and her husband Richard and their two adult children Mike and Michelle in North London. Fiona cooked a great dinner and my other cousins Denis and Liz and her partner Eric all came over after dinner and we had a great time catching up.
The next morning Nuala and I left their house at 8.30 am and arrived in Folkestone at 10.45 am, almost two hours too early for our Channel Tunnel train. A very efficient system, as when we drove up to the barrier, a number plate recognition system welcomed me by name. It then informed us that as we were early, if we wished we could leave on the next earlier train!
We were then directed to a parking area and at the due time directed onto the train. We never actually spoke to any of the staff. We arrived in France at 12 noon, a very smooth and fast transit but there was not a lot to see as we were in a tunnel! A big difference from our first channel crossing of the Gap Year, when I motored C’est a Vie across to France. Two and a half hours later we were at our hotel in Reims.
We spent the next twenty four hours exploring Reims (a city we missed on our trip down the Marne River as we were in a hurry to get to Strasburg) .We were glad we stopped, the cathedral is magnificent, it’s a lovely city and the tourist office was one of the best in France.
The next day we left after lunch time and arrived back in Chalon just before it got dark to a great welcome from our new boating neighbours. They minded our boat and it was in perfect condition. We love our new temporary home!