I was asked to join a team to do work on a project in London and in France last year and signed right up. When we arrived there was a big location change in France from Paris to Cannes, about half the country away. There was then an equipment rental issue, someone would have to drive it from London to Cannes and back. I thought this could be a great way to see some of the French countryside. Little did I know of all the delays and challenges I would hit on the road.
First, was driving on the opposite side of the car in a big manual transmission van. Figured that out fairly quickly, but that was followed by the ferry delay from England to France. I was able to enjoy the little town of Dover and eat a meal. This put me at arriving at my next destination, Reims, very late in the night. With little sleep I still wanted to see the town so I headed out in the morning to do a little sight seeing on foot. It was nice to see a French city other then Paris. Reims felt less hectic but still had the French charm to it. I hit the road with the goal to make it to Cannes by the evening.
As I drove though the countryside, I realized I would be not that far off from seeing the mountain town of Alp D’huez. This town has been ingrained in my mind since I started cycling. I knew I had to see it, as it was also Tour de France season. I took the detour and arrived just before the sun set in the french Alps. It was beautiful, and now I know why people enjoy going there so much. My late night arrival in Cannes was followed by a few days of work. I didn’t get to see the town much, but I was able to see it from above shooting from a helicopter. The Mediterranean sea is such a deep blue from above.
After another long shoot day it was time to hit the road and head back to London. This time I was joined by Dawid, my new friend and co-pilot. It was much better driving with someone. I mapped out a route that would put us at a stop over in Orleans for a nights sleep. The next day was mapped out to make it to meet up with a stage of the Tour de France. Our timing was perfect, and we made it to the town of Le Havre just as they came through. It was a site to see. We made a few more pit stops, checking some old churches and loading up on snacks. We took the chunnel back which was much faster then the ferry. After a long chat with the UK border, we finally made it back to London to enjoy a meal at Dawid’s moms house.
The following few days were spent working on another project around London. Somewhat aimlessly walking around I stumbled across a flea market. It was filled with a lot of goodies, none of which I needed. This was a heavy work loaded trip, but I was able to see many things I haven’t seen before. Making just a few hours to see something new makes a trip like this worth it.