Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, August 08, 2011

Travelling off to the Gite for our summer holidays

We're back on the road again today travelling down through France for a summer holiday in our Brittany Gite. From a price perspective I prefer the shorter Eastern channel crossings via Dover so it was an unhealthy 3:30am get-up in order to catch the 7am Sea France crossing to Calais.
For some reason I've always had it in my head that it takes about 2 hours to drive the 130 miles to Dover and so previously we've ended up in a real rush and have several times literaly caught the ferry with minutes to spare, so slightly better planning ahead I allowed an extra half-hour and we then left 15 minute late! Still the extra 15 minutes made all the difference, it was a much less stressful drive down to Dover and we still ended up pretty much driving straight onto the ferry when we arrived.

Our car being winched in the air on the ferry deck ramp
Liz absolutely hates driving onto the ferry, she squeals as we go onto the boat and she squeaks again when we go up the ramp onto the upstairs deck.
Today was even more anguished noises as we in the last few rows of the upper deck so had to park on the inclined ramp - left car in gear and pulled the handbrake on as hard as I could manage. Once the ramp was full and everyone was parked the ramp was lifted up level with the main deck and we were deafened by the noise of all the car alarms going off!

Ferry over was pretty full but took just an hour to sail into Calais harbour and just half an hour later we'd stopped off and filled up at the petrol station enroute to the autoroute, and we were then given our first taste of French roadworks by being directed the opposite way down the autoroute, a U turn over the motorway to head back in the right direction, and then stopped in a tailback by the Calais port exit.

Despite it being August peak Saturday holiday period the drive down wasn't all that bad and we only had a couple of minor delays on the journey. We stopped off for a "traditional" meal at Ikea outside Rouen - traditional Swedish meatballs that tasted pretty much identical to the Ikea meatballs in the UK !

Got to the Super U in Plemet literally 2 minutes after they closed so we diverted on to the small supermarket in nearby La Cheze for some provisions for the weekend. We'll do a bigger food shop early in the week.



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