There's a shuttle bus? Who knew? Our marathon trek to Calais centre ville

Schlepping (yes, once again!) our over burdened baggage along the narrow walkway, confident that “le centre ville” is just a hop, skip and a jump down the road, Le Kid and I dutifully trudged along the barely trodden path, hoping beyond hope that the next step would finally lead towards civilization.   After all, we were merely following the arrows that pointed “vers le direction de ville”, guiding us to accompany their trail as indicated on “les tres helpful” signs plastered about the exit doors of the Calais Maritime ferry terminal.   So, who were we to question said signage?  Mind you, our first clue should have been that the directions didn’t list exactly HOW many kilometres town was situated from the ferry terminal or perhaps we merely failed to notice the distance indicated.  Details, actually, whatever, surely it couldn’t be “that” far now, could it?

The term “kicking your luggage to the curb” took on larger than life magnitude as we blindly stumbled along the walkway, suitcases in tow, two clueless Canucks - a slightly scatter-brained Auntie and a “know it all Kid”, plodding along a now busy motorway.  Yikes!!  Le walkway had somehow transformed itself into Le drag race, with speeding cars whizzing along the thoroughfare, an unsettling welcome to the outskirts of Calais, kilometres away from our desired destination.

You would think that I (yes, me), a seasoned traveller of more than 30 years of traipsing the globe and then some, would have figured out a quicker route from ferry terminal to town.  But then, the best of us inevitably trip up and either neglect to read signs properly or completely miss viewing the tell-tale indicators of easy transport, via the conveniently located shuttle-bus into town, situated a mere footsteps away from the Calais Maritime terminal.

Perhaps I’ll just chalk that momentary lapse in judgement to having imbibed in one too many flutes of bubbly on the ferry crossing across the channel.  Yes, a perfectly plausible and highly believable excuse, n’est-ce pas?  Yikes!!

Fatigued, cranky beyond belief, having now traipsed hundreds of footsteps along the concrete pavement into a mirage of a town, Le Kid close to bawling uncontrollably that her delusional pink-sneakered Auntie had led her down a path of “no return” to routes unknown, miles from the comfy hominess of Hotel Meurice, a destination we were unsure of ever hoping to reach anytime soon.

Hopping in a cab was no longer an option as it would be foolhardy for such a vehicle to abruptly screech to a halt and pick up two stranded passengers without incurring a multi-car pile-up in the process.  Definitely not the desired welcome to the sandy beached fishing port, a stay in the local hospital not our first choice of five star accommodation.  No, just best to trudge on and hope for the best.

Placing one pink sneaker ahead of the other, we finally made our way towards the outskirts of town, where we happened to spy a police cruiser snaking its way along the deserted avenues, perhaps on the lookout for morons like us, traipsing into Calais on foot, unaware that shuttle buses and taxis were a quicker form of transport into le centre ville. 

This is primarily one of the motivating factors of why I write this blog, in order to give other slightly clue-less globe-trotters a few helpful tidbits of information in the hope of enlightening them to not make the same unbelievably moronic choices on their travel sojourns as I have.

And, on that note, today’s Wednesday “helpful advice column for clue-less wanderers” signs off, as I dig in the archives for even more examples of aimless meandering, which I will certainly share with you in next week’s blog post.

Come travel with the Kid and I as we forgo the comfort and convenience of air-conditioned buses, choosing instead to hike along the edge of the motorway, cumbersome baggage in tow…..come travel with us to adventures unknown…

Next week – Leaving my pink-sneakered footprints all over Calais.  Stay tuned!!

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