Swiss Roadie Trip Day 1 - London to Reims

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June 10th 2019
Published: June 10th 2019
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We’re off on an extra little adventure. Daughter no 2 is doing an experiment in Switzerland and needs a van load of equipment driven from London to Zurich. So we are going to be roadies. Or, more accurately, the old man is going to be a roadie. I’m just along for the ride. Does that make me a groupie? Probably not with my own daughter.

We start the day by catching an Uber to the college. We’ve not booked an Uber before. The old man eyes the App with the sort of suspicion you’d expect from someone encountering witchcraft. But the car arrives and we reach our destination without the driver casting a spell.

The van is delivered – 35 minutes late. Daughter no 2 is very stressed. However, the equipment is packed and we are on our way in plenty of time for our train, which is late anyway. When it is finally time to board, the old man has snuck off for a burger and has to be prised out of Burger King.

We have a lot of expensive equipment and a shed load of documents to accompany it but no one at either border control is interested.

It’s my first time in the Eurotunnel so I’m briefly excited until I realise we really are just sitting in a van staring at a wall for 35 minutes.

We arrive in Coquelles and set off down the motorway - not cheap in France – we’re going to notch up €120 in tolls. So it’s particularly annoying when we get caught in a traffic jam in a contraflow. This means we no longer have time to visit Reims en route and head straight for tonight’s accommodation.

Once checked in, we head to the supermarket. We are in the Champagne region. In my head, dinner consists of fresh baguette, French cheeses and pâté, all washed down with a nice, cold glass of fizz.

As we walk towards the door, the shutters come down. It’s Whit Monday (apparently a public holiday) and France is shut. We try a few more places, but the only thing open is McDonalds. So we spend our evening in Champagne eating chips and drinking fizzy water. Not quite the fizz I had in mind.

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