September Travels: Home – Basel via Calais

[This post is part of a series which records my road trip to Sicily during September. I took loads of photos, but have only included a few at the end of each blog post.]

Our road trip south did not start well! It was dark and heavily raining – a typical northern English September day. The OH prepared the car while I packed and tidied the house for the cleaners and cat sitter. Like all car journeys everything seemed a rush and before I knew it, we were in the car on our way.

We had a number of errands to do before hitting the road: drop off keys at work, fill up the car with diesel, check the pressure of the tires and pick up the OH’s mother (MIL). That was when things started to go a bit wrong. First, I realised the cat sitter didn’t have any keys. Once we sorted that out, I realised I didn’t have any spare lenses and no way to get into the house, which I remembered after we had driven almost all the way home. So,we went to pick up MIL and got her keys to the house. Halfway back to our house MIL remembered that she had lost her phone. Back we went to her house to pick up her phone. Finally, we got back to ours, I picked up my lenses and we were then off.

The trip to Dover was uneventful. It was rainy and damp. We made good time, stopping for coffee. Because we made such good time, we stopped at the family ‘seat’ of my OH to pay our respects to the relatives buried in the church yard. This was also the place where my OH and his mother spent many summers while he grew up. As MIL hadn’t been to the ‘seat’ for years, we wandered up to the church and paid our respects.

We arrived in good time in France to have dinner and get an early night before getting up to drive to Basel the next day.

After making good time from Calais to Luxembourg via Belgium, Luxembourg totally ruined our road trip vibe. It was rainy, full of traffic and a complete nightmare to navigate. We had an inbuilt GPS system, two road maps (France and Belgium) but none were helpful when snarled in miles long traffic in the middle of Luxembourg. It finally dawned on us that the highway we were trying to get back to was shut for road works. Unfortunately, the diversions were spectacularly unhelpful and as a result we lost a good couple of hours driving aimlessly around in circles.

On the plus side, we found a great little park to have lunch in (I may have had a giddy 15 minutes running around like a kid), and I discovered an excellent hoppy soft drink in Belgium. Eventually, We arrived in Basel at about 9:30pm and dumped our stuff to grab a meal at the restaurant – the details of which will be in my next post!