Summer In Jura – 1. Beaming Down


After two years of stagnation due to the Pandemic, we are on our first family holiday.

Clairvaux-le-Lacs is not an easy place to get to by train. Geneva airport is over an hours drive away and flights this summer are a mess. I decided to drive. “You can’t go to France in a 20 year old car” my dentist said. “It has done only 50,000 miles and is maintained perfectly” my son-in-law countered. The local BMW garage gave the car a clean bill of health.

Swinton and RAC confirmed that car insurance and breakdown cover are valid on the Continent. Halfords pack for driving in France has the yellow coats, Breathalyzers, UK sticker, warning triangle and headlamp diverters the French demand. The required Clean Air Certificate was obtained from France. Covid passes and GHIC health insurance cards were arranged. Hull-Rotterdam-Hull ferry crossing with P&O was booked.

We left Harrogate soon after lunch and joined the queue to board the Pride of Hull at King Georges Dock in Hull. Check-in started at 3 pm. “Are you carrying any weapons” the security guard asked. “Only my hands” I said. “Are you a martial arts expert” she asked. I said I am a doctor. The guard checked the car and body searched Ramani.

We bordered the ferry at 4 pm. Nobody was wearing face masks. No cabin upgrades were available but there were plenty of free tables in the Brasserie. The Kitchen served buffet suppers at £22.50 and £12.50 breakfasts. We ate sandwiches and fruit brought from home, drank latte at the coffee shop on Deck 9 and settled down in our tiny two-berth cabin. The ferry sailed at 8.30 in the evening.

It was a restless night.

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