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John Burke's Paris 2000
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Oh Mon Dieu! Yes, the Burkes are off to Paris for the second time and with Mum and Dad Burke in tow to really make the French want to throw us out of the Common Market!

They think there's a problem with British beef? It will pale into insignificance when compared to trying to make sense of us lot!

Ok, it's Friday 23 June, 2000 and it's 3:30 in the morning!!! What am I doing out of bed??? Agh! 4:30am sees us standing shivering underneath Blackpool Tower waiting for the Leger coach for Dover and the Channel ferry. Here we go - get on the coach - Mum! Calm down... you're getting too excited!

Early afternoon and we arrive at Dover for the interchange - the swap from feeder coach to our main tour coach.

The driver is called Ken and his daughter Lynn is providing teas, coffees and cheerfulness! Ken's co-driver couldn't go so Lynn stepped in at short notice.

And so onto the ferry. This was Mum's first ever trip abroad and she was making the most of it. We stood watching as the last few cars and lorries rolled on then the gangway was raised and the ferry slowly pulled away from England's shore.

Dover's castle looked over us as we left the harbour entrance and rolled gently on the waves. We soon got used to staggering from side to side and it wasn't all that bad anyway. After the novelty of watching the waves go by was balanced and then overtaken by the wind and the risk of being bombed by the seagulls, we went in search of refreshments and ended up in the burger bar after seeing the queue for the main restaurant!

Calais was in sight by the time we had finished our meal and we went out again onto the deck to listen to the seagulls who by now were squealing in french... We watched as the ferry docked and trundled down to Car Deck 5 back to the coach. Once off the ferry we were joined by Chris, she being our tour guide for the weekend. It's another long stretch in front of us - Lynn! Get the brews going! Four coffees please, 2 with sugar 2 without - I'm sweet enough, stands to reason really...

Below: from our bedroom window the following morning. This looks both ways - 6 photos joined together.

Strange tale... We stopped for a meal break before we got to Paris and on returning to the coach a lady stopped Fran and said "Have you been on this trip before?" Fran nodded a bit surprised which then prompted "Are you Fran?"

We were all a bit surprised by now but then Judy (who the lady turned out to be) pulled out a printout of the web pages of our trip last year! Wow! A fan!!! Tony, her husband said he had come across the website after booking the trip and wanting to know more about Vimy Ridge. Shame... If he'd booked on the strength of the site I could have claimed commission!!! Anyway Tony and Judy, thanks for your company and er... sorry about the music playing (heeheehee) See later folks - and no getting impatient and peeking too early! Sneak preview on the link below!

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