A Travel Nightmare

My sister and her husband come and stay with us for a few days every year but last week their journeys were fraught with problems.

They decided to break the outward trip and stay a night in Calais so that they could be here by lunchtime on Monday.

During the morning I had a text from W saying that R had locked the keys in the car.. The people at the hotel had tried to find a solution but as it is a new, all singing all dancing, model (a company car) no garage would even agree to look at it (with no guarantee of opening it) for less than 300 euros. If you try to break into these new ‘ technologocally advanced’  vehicles, apparently, they would become immobilised.

The only thing for it was for R to take the ferry back to Dover and meet his son who had to drive down from Norfolk after work with a spare set of keys. The ferry company would not allow him to come back on the night boat as a foot passenger (!!!) so he had to wait for the 8.35 crossing on Tuesday. He booked a night at the nearest Premier Inn while W stayed another night in Calais. She couldn’t go back to England as they had their dog with them and dogs are not allowed into the country without a veterinary certificate signed between 24 and 48 hours before travelling.

Well, they finally got here on Tuesday afternoon and we had a pleasant – if rather quiet – time together.

They left on Friday morning and messaged to say they had arrived at Calais in good time and were in the queue for an earler train.

However, later that day when I received a message, instead of saying ‘we’re home’ it said they were held up in a 2 hour tailback following an accident. They didn’t get back until 8.30 that evening and had to stop by a MacDonalds as they hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

I do hope it hasn’t put them off coming again.

3 Responses to “A Travel Nightmare”

  1. Keith Says:

    The main thing that stopped me from driving to France this last year or two is the major problems on our motorways in England, especially getting to Dover to catch the ferries. The last time it took 7 hours to get to Dover from Leicestershire. No accidents, just too much traffic. I queued for two hours at the Dartford Crossing on the Thames. I could have walked to Dover, it would have been quicker I think. When I arrived in France there were no problems. I drove to Provence in 12 hours using the practically empty motorways, and stopped for lunch half way!

    Coming back was quick and easy, until I drove off the ferry at Dover only to find the M25 was almost at a standstill. When I finally got to the M25 – M1 junction more major hold-ups, again it was due to the sheer volume of traffic.

    I understand how your friends must have felt. I vowed that the next time I went to France I would fly. Trouble is that it makes your arms ache! Boom, boom!

  2. sablonneuse Says:

    You’re so right about the difference in driving conditions, Keith. It;s no pleasure driving on overcrowded roas is it?
    If you ever manage to fly over here there’s a large chicken shed in the garden with plenty of straw. . . . . . . . .

    • Keith Says:

      What about the smell? Still, I suppose the chickens will get used to it. Boom, boom!

      You knew that was coming didn’t you?

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