After surviving the drive to Dover we had to deal with the antiquated boarding process for foot passengers. Who by the way are only catered for by one ferry line now as apparently they are not considered a viable cost burden. It appears as though if you don’t have a vehicle you are nothing. Even a motor scooter has more credibility.
We got to Calais and people handling skills had not improved. We eventually got to the railway station from the ferry port and caught a train trip to Dunkirk which I wanted to visit and try and get some firsthand information on the Dunkirk story. The train was great, very fast and very smooth and very quiet (NSW railways take note, it can be done) but Dunkirk was disappointing for me. We had accommodation problems and ended up in the Dunkirk F One. It serves a purpose as a cheap stay but not for the faint hearted. We stayed at Grande Smythe about five kilometres out of the main town as we couldn’t find anything closer. I find it very hard to describe this place, I think was like a new suburb grown up all at once, every house or block of flats looked the same, all the streets identical with the town centre with no recognisably distinctive features The closest I can get I suppose is a Canberra suburb but very French and everything closed at eight, it was almost spooky in a way.
So from Dunkirk we went on to Paris for a flying visit, it is such a shame that we couldn’t have spent more time there, the weather was good the girls very pretty and dressed for the weather. We stayed at a very interesting boutique hotel in the St Paul district which was full of life, colour and Frenchness. We walked miles along with the population of Europe out for the day and saw, the outside at least, of nearly everything. There was nothing special in the beers; just the usual lagers but sitting on the footpath in such circumstances made that the least of anybodies worries.               
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