EUROPE TOUR 4 BEGINS – Finally, the Covid situation seems to be improving! It is June 2021 and France has re-opened it’s borders to tourists and we have begun another tour of Europe. Hurrah!
The original plan was that Tour 4 would commence late March or early April 2021 and last until the end of Summer, with us exploring some of France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia (and perhaps even Azerbaijan) and then finding our way home again. The new Brexit rules limit the amount of time we can spend in EEC countries to just 90 days in every 180 day period, hence we developed an outline plan that would see us divide our time evenly during the first six months of the tour between EEC (France, Austria, Italy and Greece) and non EEC countries (Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan). The delay caused by Covid lockdowns has put paid to that plan and as of now we have no fixed agenda. We are back in France with the Van and our two dogs and that is all that matters. We’ll make plans as we go.
The paperwork necessary for us to get back to France was enough to try the patience of Job. If Covid wasn’t bad enough with vaccinations and vaccination certificates, Antigen tests and associated certificates, etc; Brexit rendered our pet passports invalid and … Sod it! You don’t want to know! We’re here.
During previous tours the trip through the Chunnel went very smoothly but on this occasion there was a delay for the best part of two hours because of a train breakdown – frustrating but no real problem. We can live with two hours out of a tour that will hopefully last a number of months. In real terms it meant only that when we finally arrived in France we decided to park up sooner rather than later so as to find a decent restaurant and bar.
A little town called Wimereux delivered on all counts. It’s a fairly quiet seaside resort on the French Opal Coast just to the east of Boulogne. We found a well priced municipal camping site on the edge of the town, stocked up on essentials from a local Carrefour store (i.e. bottles of Cotes du Rhone, Picpoul de Pinet and, of course, Vanya’s favourite Cremant) and not long after were sitting on the terrace of a reasonably priced beach restaurant eating oysters and mussels with carafes of particularly good Muscadet and a not bad Chardonnay.
Wimereux was a pleasant enough place and it served our purpose but, except for the beach it offered little to warrant staying on and in the morning we elected to move on to Bayeux in Normandy.