Up bright and early, ready for adventures. We stayed with our lovely friends, S and K, last night and were refreshed and ready for the off. G had even booked a hotel for tonight, which is a rare event as both of us prefer wandering aimlessly and only finding a hotel when we get tired.
Things were much simpler when we had camper vans as we took a bed with us, but this is a car trip, so a bit different. G went to great lengths to explain where he had booked the hotel and why. It had to be less than 300 miles from Calais and be easily accessible from the motorway. ‘Would you look up Metz in Route Planner and see if we can get directions from Calais,’ he said, staggering off to the car with our suitcase.
Found it straight away and made a quick note of the main points. Very pleased with myself, actually, as find anything to do with maps a little stressful. Once, when asked to say roughly how far one city was from another, me navigating as G drove, I studied the enormous road atlas carefully and said ‘oh, about an inch and a half.’ G was not impressed. At the next services I buried the wretched atlas in a dustbin and denied all knowledge of its whereabouts.
‘ Did you find it,’ G asked on his return.
I studied my notes. ‘Yes. From Calais, it is 1,243 miles and will take twenty-nine and a half hours.’
I guessed he wasn’t impressed. Turns out I was supposed to look up Metz, in France, 280 miles from Calais. I had looked up Minsk, which G tells me is in Belarus. Is it any wonder he calls me Bridget, as in Bridget Jones?
I was explaining, at length, how it was an easy mistake to make while in the car and so we missed the Eurotunnel exit and had to go almost to Ashford to turn round. Easy after that. Found Metz after easy trip. 283 miles and just under five hours, with one stop to look at a chateau. Culture, see? It turned out to be shut with all the windows boarded up.
We did have a prob with the tolls. It ate my 50 euro note and didn't give me any change. A bossy man came and had to open the machine and then gave back 30 euros in 1 euro coins. Some people are not meant for public service AND he smelled of brandy at 10 o clock. Hopefully German tollsters will be better mannered. I did apologise in sort of French and G said I sounded like someone on medication.
We took some ham sandwiches which were a bit curly in the heat. G munched them down but I am a bit more choosy.
We are just on the hunt for food as both starving. We have got to cross four lanes of traffic to get to restaurant so will probably be screaming a lot.
Into Germany tomorrow. Weather is hot – 30 + degrees today – and all very exciting.