We were surprised how the rules for mask wearing varied from one European country to the next. When we crossed a country border we had to watch carefully to see what people were doing so we could comply with local rules. We felt so much happier and more comfortable in Sweden where hardly anyone wore a mask – we felt the protection the masks offered was vastly overrated. In Germany they were very strict and masks were compulsory indoors and a lot of people wore them outside too. In one German shop we were requested to adjust our masks to ensure our noses were completely covered with the masks reaching right up to our eyes. The Germans were allowed to shake hands though.
We postponed our return to the UK until we no longer had to quarantine for ten days upon our arrival home. Repatriation proved to be very expensive – even for us double jabbed oldies. If you couldn’t pay you didn’t travel and we witnessed some extremely upset people at the Eurotunnel terminus. The two of us paid an additional £300 for a Covid test in Calais and another Covid test for Day 2 after our return including the additional cost of the Eurotunnel crossing, the price of which rocketed within a nanosecond of the announcement of the government’s change of policy.
We stayed overnight in the Aire at Sangatte, thus avoiding the Cité d’Europe where we always used to stop in happier times. Then we would do a big shop at Carrefour and have a meal in one of the restaurants in the shopping centre. However, the last time we parked at Cité d’Europe, a Border Force officer advised us to move to Sangatte because of the aggressive behaviour of the young migrant men.
Sangatte provided a lovely parking area set at the top of the windswept cliffs. The site was full of campervans but we managed to find an isolated spot in the corner. We noticed a couple of police vans were parked on the beach. They told us they were deterring migrants trying to cross the channel to the UK. Later that day three policemen called at the truck, they were very friendly but we were very aware that we were being checked out to ensure we were genuine tourists and not people smugglers.
That evening we walked the few hundred yards down to the the local sea food restaurant where we enjoyed a large plate of oysters, a perfect ending to our stay in France.
Blog ends . . . .