Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Boulogne-sur-Mer

The white cliffs of  Dover astern on a grey morning
Today bought a moderate SW wind. This would have been perfect for going to Calais.  However this seemed not so attractive. Calais is rumoured to be full of asylum seekers desperate to get into the UK and various French and English officials who job it is to stop them.We have a lot of sympathy with the refugees who are often showing energy and initiative in escaping from civil wars or similar disasters and looking for a better life. However we thought Calais might be less suitable as a holiday destination, so we hauled in the sheets and headed south.

We had a brisk sail and after 6 hours reached Boulogne. The marina was full partly as there was a rally of Dutch yachts, but we squeezed in eventually.

It is many years since we were last here but the town is still busy despite the loss of the ferry traffic. It is definitely worth the walk up to the old fortified town where there are many interesting attractions. We had supper in a restaurant there and walked round the old ramparts.  
The Pharoah's ship in Boulogne

The second photo shows a model of Cheops' ship from ancient Egypt. The original is over 4,000 years old and at 42m is rather longer than this model. It was a little unclear why this model was on display in Boulogne (although that may be due to poor understanding of the French explanation on our part). But its interesting to see the quality in woodworking and how the design works due to the shipwrights' thorough understanding of the materials they had available to them.

While we felt we could spend another couple of days exploring Boulogne we also hope for reasonable weather to move on west tomorrow.