5 Jul 2013

Day 13: Antwerp to London

I'll say one thing about the chain hotels—they do good international breakfasts. We were presented with a buffet-style spread (smörgåsbord?) covering everything from fresh fruit to salad to scrambled eggs.

During breakfast the woman at the next table loaded up on two full plates of breakfast, and then made herself an enormous sandwich which she wrapped in a napkin and hid in her handbag. Naughty.

Our Eurotunnel ticket was for 6:20pm so we decided to taken the rural roads back to Calais since the journey would have only taken 2 hours by motorway.

Someplace between Antwerp and Ghent.

The same place, looking the other way.

Along the way we stopped in Brugge for lunch at an Egyptian restaurant I've been to a few times in the past—Toet Anch Amon—located 30m away from the Friet Museum (and free motorbike parking). It's interesting how owners of small restaurants remember people who have come in before, as was the case this time. The last time I ate there was more than a year ago.

A museum all about chips!

London was calling so we slabbed it the last hour to the Eurotunnel terminal and arrived nearly 3 hours before our scheduled departure time. The Eurotunnel operates a flexible system allowing people to depart up to 2 hours before or after the scheduled time at no charge. The theory is to prevent people from driving dangerously to make their crossing.

With motorcycles it's even more flexible, as the people directing traffic simply radio ahead to the train and squeeze you on the next available crossing regardless of the schedule time.

After speaking with an extremely cheery border officer we made our way to the shuttle and crossed 2 1/2 hours early.

View from inside the shuttle as we left Calais—train yards are not exactly eye candy.

In situ for the crossing.

A panorama of the carriage.

Coming out on the Folkestone side we beelined it straight to London dodging the sloppy UK drivers most notably in South East London. Unscathed we arrived and got straight on the phone for takeaway before checking out for the night.

Alps 2013 quick links

Day 1: London to Lille
Day 2: Lille to Hagondange
Day 3: Slow road to Ammerschwihr
Day 4: Ammerschwihr
Day 5: Ammerschwihr to Thônes
Day 6: Thônes to.... Thônes
Day 7: Thônes to Ruèras
Day 8: Ruèras to Flachau
Day 9: Flachau
Day 10: Flachau to Wemding
Day 11: Wemding to Urberach
Day 12: Urberach to Antwerp
Day 13: Antwerp to London

The gear and how it held up
The trip in hindsight