Bolougne-sur-mer, France (May 2007)

I hadn’t realised it’s been over a month since my last blog so I’m a naughty girl!

On 11th May 2007 we woke up very early (including the in-law who were visiting from Australia) and we drove to Dover and crossed the Channel to Calais in France. The ferry crossing was a bit too rough for me and there were quite a few times I felt very sick but everyone else seemed to be getting along okay. I’ve had this happen to me before on the QE2 so I just had to try and not think about it, or look out on the horizon. It wasn’t too long a trip (quicker than I expected) so it wasn’t too bad in the last 15-20 minutes.

Our destination was Boulogne-Sur-Mer which translates to Boulogne on sea. None of us have been to Boulogne so we were excited.

First off we drove through Calais which seemed like a very sleepy town and it seemed bigger than I thought, a lot of restaurants were closed but it was not yet Midday in France, perhaps they open a little later, or they only open for dinner. We could have stopped off there to have lunch but the day was going quickly (we’d been up since 5am) and we wanted to get to Boulogne so we chose to drive on. The next stop on the way was at Citi Europe which I’ve been to before. Citi Europe is where all the English flock to every day to buy wine, beer (larger) cigarettes and other things, because most things like that are much cheaper in Citi Europe or elsewhere in France. Citi Europe is just a 10 minute drive from the ferry crossing and the Eurotunnel train so a lot of people come here from everywhere to buy up big on a day trip. Of course its only for personal consumption – you understand.

Once we got to Boulogne we stopped at a similar place like Citi Europe and we had lunch. Oh my gosh if I had a lot of Euro with me that day and some credit cards I could’ve gone crazy but we were only at this discount place for lunch. We went into a really nice restaurant called Pizza Pai and it had a very tempting cold buffet that looked amazing. Instead I opted for Pizza, I had a Calzone (its a pizza folded over and it has gooey cheeze, ham, tomato and other things in it) and it was nice but I always order and then when someone else gets something better I think I should’ve ordered that instead. My parents-in-law both had main dish salads and I wished I had ordered buffet too.

Finally, we arrived in Boulogne-Sur-Mer (town centre) and I was in the mood for sightseeing and I took some fantastic pictures of the old Cathedral and then we walked down the cobbled streets within the Grand Square and eventually all the way down to the Port where I found some nice shops and wanted to spend some money, but nothing appealed to me. I also feel very bad that my French is terrible.

I did manage to get some chocolates bought by my Husband (I used the excuse that it was my Birthday in a week, which wasn’t a lie) and he didn’t seem to mind. I still haven’t eaten the chocolates but I know they won’t last much longer because he keeps asking me about them and of course I’ll share them with him. We also bought some lovely Brie and some baguettes to bring home with us. I would have loved to have bought more back with us but I didn’t think we needed to go crazy (at the time) but there are some bargains to buy in France and I would definitely make a day trip to Citi Europe and the discount place in Bologne again.

Map of Boulogne

I would definitely go back to Boulogne. I felt there was much more to see and I can imagine it being a lovely (but probably busy) place to holiday during summer. I think we might do a Church day trip there in November (if we can’t get there by ourselves sooner).

I took some photos of our Boulogne trip (but not too many) and you can see some of them below:

Which way to the Port?

Buildings on the way to the Port

more of Boulogne-sur-mer

inside the Cathedral

another picture inside the Cathedral

inside the CathedralDespite many tourists being in the Cathedral it was quite quiet, there were even an English group of school children on an excursion and they were on their best behaviour.

The Cathedral was being cleaned by local ladies who keep it immaculate. I took some pictures of some stained glass but the light was bad so they didn’t turn out and my flash kept wanting to pop up automatically so I decided that I’d taken enough pictures in the Cathedral and was just looking around when I spotted a huge canvas so I had to take a picture of it, it looks very old and the description was in French so I don’t know anything about it except its captivating.

inside the CathedralAs you can see its a pretty big and old picture, it has some visible restoration work done on it, I don’t know how old it is, who the artist is or anything about it, I just saw it and was drawn to it, I guess I’m appreciating art more and more these days.

Well that’s it for Bolougne-sur-mer. I did take a few more pictures but I might add them later.

We had a great time and I’d really love to go there again for a longer holiday.

France is a very interesting place for art as well as dining, sightseeing and shopping, so e ought to make another trip to Paris this year (and visit more of France in 2008).

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