A Travellerspoint blog

Day One - April 1st, 2019

Calais to Bayeux - 234 miles

Well, here we go. The adventure of a lifetime… hopefully.

Waking before 6am certainly wasn’t part of my plans, though I guess it was excitement mixed with perhaps some nerves that I’d managed to keep a lid on. That meant waiting around the hotel for a few hours until I had to leave and drive the couple of miles down to Dover to board the ferry.

I was originally meant to travel on the 10:15 service but was shunted to the 11:10 service, I think due to the fact April 1st would have been the first week-day after Brexit, and my original ferry was changed to a freight only service. Speaking of the B-word, the drive to Dover on Sunday was a pain on the M20 because of that concern, with contraflows that left me glad I wasn’t in any hurry.

Like usual, had a good chat with the lady at the P&O check-in as she asked where I was going. Then had a good yarn with a couple of bus drivers parked up in the lane next to me.

The ferry crossing was smooth and seemed to go rather quickly. Before I knew it, we were being unloaded in Calais. Having never driven in Europe before, I thought it would have taken time to adapt to driving, but as soon as I hit the motorway, it was easy. Opinion of French driving after my first day? Well…

No idea what I spent on tolls between Calais to Bayeux. A16 was tolled. A28 wasn’t, and you could tell, as the quality was rather different, before the A29 and A13 were both tolled to. But the best sight on route was crossing the Pont du Normandie. €5 to cross it, but I wish there had been a proper spot to pull over and take a photo of it. Magnifique!

French motorways are generally empty. I was told before I left about that, and the only traffic I hit was around Caen. My little car managed to do Basingstoke to Bayeux, via Dover, on a single tank. I’ll have to fill up before I start driving around Normandy, but that’s already put my mind at ease regarding fuel economy. Price of petrol in towns is around 20 cents cheaper than a motorway, so always fill up before leaving for the next town / city!

Haven’t been around Bayeux yet, except walking to the local Carrefour, as I’m now exhausted and will have an early night. I already know my ultra-limited French will be a problem but I’ll manage as I always do.

Plans for my three days in Bayeux is one day wandering Bayeux itself, in particular the tapestry and military museum, before spending a couple of days driving around Normandy, with all the history around the area.

Posted by benjamin2981 08:23 Archived in France Tagged road_trip driving

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