After the most amazing Christmas, surrounded in the family and shopping, it was time to head home. Despite someone who will remain nameless setting the alarm wrong, we arrived in plenty of time for the ferry, rolled on and spotted no more rival fiat pandas. The crossing was calm, we sat and did crosswords and spent the last Pounds. I drove off, and was a bit worried at customs as I had done so much food shopping which was behind the back seat. The Austrian number plate was looked at but the two old twits driving had them sending us through.
I was thrown a bit by returning to drive on the right, especially as ThomasT decided to direct me into the town rather than on the new ring road. I also flipped on the busy round about, but after a while I got my driving mojo back. We had planned to drive a northern route back around Paris and I had guessed at a couple of towns where there would be a Hotel. We by-passed Rouens, which was close to being as busy as Paris but ok. Then we drove into the centre of Amiens.
Here we learnt about French streets, with the major road flanked by smaller service roads, one of which I nearly drove up! We switched ThomasT off as we got to the centre and stopped in a side street, where I saw a sign for Ibis- a chain of hotels I’d seen. God had guided us straight to a Hotel! We booked in, ate some of our English goodies and crashed out.
The next day we drove down through Picardy and more battle areas, through thick fog which gradually eased. We ploughed on towards Stutggart and realised just how tired we were, so pulled into a reststation. The guy at the desk gave me a book with lists of hotels, but none were really near. So I asked another, who directed me to a place with a Motel. In the darkness we missed the first turning, but took the next and found our goal. A quiet motel in a town in the middle of nowhere. We asked how it came about – there is a big prison in the area, hence the Macs and a Casino. Thank you Lord for Heimsheim for a good night’s sleep.
Third day in we were sick of driving, the windscreen wash ran out and we got stuck up a closed road, but we bickered amiably through. Nearing Salzburg, we hit falling snow and an inescapable jam, which turned out to be nothing more than slowing down for a tunnel.
Home at last. Really, we should have stopped overnight in Cherbourg and then drove for two days- the ferry not getting in till 2pm. The short daylight hours mean we won’t do it again in winter either. I would want to stay for longer too. But it was OK, so many places we’d like to stop and look at. However, Dave owes me one flight at least!!!!!