Europe Bike Trip – Part 8 – Gravelines, France to Home

The advantage of having the morning on my own meant that I could visit some of the places I’ve always wanted to visit around the English Channel on the French side, but never really had the chance to do. So, I headed firstly along to Dunkirk to take a look at the beaches there, which had been used for the evacuation of British and French forces in Operation Dynamo in May/June 1940. It was quite something to be there with that sense of history in front of me, but I was all too aware how quickly time moves on. There were no large monuments to the significance of the site and Dunkirk is, to all intents and purposes, just another French town.

My final part of the trip was an excursion around Calais and to the beach there, following out to the infamous Sangatte, an otherwise nice village whose name has been tarnished by the presence of the detention centre there (which I couldn’t find) and finally Cap Blanc-Nez, with a great view across the channel to the white cliffs of Dover.

I’d been there a few minutes enjoying the view when Chris phoned to say he had arrived at the port, so I headed straight back to board the ferry. Following a nicer crossing back to Dover, we made the journey back home.

Distance: 291 miles