Friday, May 05, 2006

Day Trip Dover - Calais

Day Trip to Calais in France

Found that our supply of wine was running low. So we decided to make a day trip to Calais in France to buy some. Now that summer is just round the corner it is time we replenish our wine store. On a good BBQ day with friends and family, it wouldn’t be difficult to polish off 8 to 10 bottles of wine. So an ample stock is necessay for the coming summer.

We started from home in Welwyn Garden City at 5.30 am for the drive to Dover. Not sure how long the journey will take and as it will be dependent on the traffic situation we started early. The journey was uneventful and it took us just under 2 hours to the ferry terminal in Dover. We managed to rebook to travel on an earlier ferry. The crossing took an hour and a half. The sea was calm and the weather was perfect for a sea journey.

Got to Calais 11.00am French time ( 1 hours ahead of British Summer Time ). We drove straight to Cite Europe which is a shopping mall. The 2 main stores here are Tesco and Carrefour. There are also many famous retailers for fashion, sports equipment and sports wear. There is also a good selection of restaurants. The place is clean and very well maintained. However, as it was a weekday the place was not too crowded.

We did all our wine purchases from Tesco because they have a better selection and also because they list the price of each bottle in GBP as well as in Euros. In Tesco you can find wine from all regions of the world. The selection is so large it was quite difficult to decide which to buy. All in all we bought 108 bottles of white and red and 36 bottles of beer at a total cost of 300GBP which works out at less that 3 GBP per bottle of wine.

From Carrefour we bought some pastries and cheeses.

Our trip back was good. The sea was calm and the ferry was comfortable and well maintained. The cost of the ferry for a car and 2 passengers from Dover to Calais was only 19 GBP, well worth it. Got into Dover at 7.00 pm and back in Welwyn Garden City at 9.15 pm, in time to vote in the local election.