Today began with us making quite a list of things to do. First we walked to a barber shop where we picked up two bikes we had purchased online. We needed these, not because we’ve decided to ride to Rome but because the ship to Calais has temporarily suspended foot traffic. It does allow bicycles. This seems strange to us, but those are the rules and you can’t fight them. Our alternative was to take a train back to London, then to Paris, then to Lille and then to Calais. That alternative would cost more and would take up an entire day. So buying bikes it was.
Apparently it is true one never forgets how to ride a bike but I’ve never ridden while wearing a backpack. It should be easy enough I guess.
The two helpful employees at the tourist information center in Dover assisted us with printing out the forms required to enter France. We will need these to board the ferry in the morning. Most of the required information was electronic. One form however required a real signature. The website did not provide an electronic means to do so. Old fashioned paper was the answer. These all seem to be related to Covid so if your traveling in a “normal” year perhaps you will avoid this hassle.
After returning to our lodging with our bikes, we headed out for breakfast which became brunch since it was already after 10 am. We ate at the Beano restaurant which serves breakfast all day plus other food choices. This eatery came as a recommendation from a taxi driver who we chatted with on the street. Note to self, always follow the local people’s advice! We found “great food and a cheap price” – which was exactly what we were searching for.
Early in the afternoon we decided to stop for a glass of wine after touring the visitor’s center. The visitor’s center houses 3 levels of a museum. Each floor houses one of three interesting, if disassociated, exhibits.
- The History of Dover
- The Miracle of Dunkirk
- The Recovery of a Bronze Age Boat
Our nerdy side was satisfied for a little bit if time. Next came that glass of wine I mentioned. To be truthful we bought a bottle of wine because that is a better deal and we needed to spend the last of our British pounds as well. What a way to do so! We saved the remaining for dinner. Our little visit to the cafe was only spoiled by the expert aim of a passing seagull – yep, splat, right on my shoulder.
That’s really it. It was a walk-around day as we had to wait for the ferry in the morning. Little else to report. But we were full of anticipation. A whole new country awaited in the morning. A long continent to cross was ahead of us.
Tomorrow morning will be eventful as we cross the channel into France. One of the white buildings in the photo is our flat for the night. It may look swanky but I promise you it isn’t.