We were feeling incredibly positive about our day at Vimy Ridge and were now ready to drop off our rental car and head into the UK. I won’t go into great and lengthy detail, but it is a good idea to plan your way off of mainland Europe.
We get to Calais just to find that the location we have been sent to only deals with industrial vehicles. We are told to go to Boulogne Sur Mer to deal with the Hertz location there. That involves more backtracking and the likely waste of another day.
We were hoping to be able to get over to London by night, but with he amount that still needed to be done, that wasn’t looking like it was going to happen. We were cranky, hungry, and now miserable knowing that we were going to be behind schedule, trapped in France for another night.
The Hertz was empty by the time we pulled into Boulogne – though it shouldn’t have been – at 20 min before its closing time of 5pm. Fine then we decided, we would get a hotel and have a decent meal – try to enjoy ourselves.
We crankily approached the downtown and stopped at the first conveniently located hotel that we came across. Another Ibis.
The staff was friendly and the rate was good, which helped us a bit with our ‘travel anger’, and when we got to our room and realized that we were right beside a castle and a gorgeous medieval walled city (the view from our room is pictured above), we both broke into laughter and cheers (really!).
Yes, instant happiness and excitement. Funny how a bit of history and architecture can do that to a travel enthusiast.
We decided that we were meant to be exactly where we had ended up and hoped we would remember not to get so ‘crusty’ next time fate re-directed us.
Right outside our hotel were ancient fortification stones dating from the third century – unimaginable! We were filled with the thrill and excitement of beautiful Boulogne – and our day would get even better!
We found our way through the tunnels and to the top of the wall that surrounded the perfectly intact medieval section of the city. The brow of the wall itself had been turned into a gorgeous grassy park.
We walked the entire circle in hardly any time. It was quite something to be able to look down upon the picturesque, scenic town from above. It seemed that every breath we took was an inhale of favourable emotion, and each exhale a release of all our travel angst.
Another incredible moment of expedition serendipity. Now to explore the town and find some food…
Additional photos in the slideshow.