Channel Tunnel

Finally our summer holidays have arrived  and we are off to France on Sunday (26 July 2009). We are looking forward to it  immensely, for all the usual reasons. The beautiful peaceful countryside, the  dramatic scenery, the fantastic food and the lovely wine. We are particularly  looking forward to some sunshine! We had a good spell of weather in June here  in Swansea but since then it has been rain all the way. After a busy year at  work for both of us, we need to feel the warmth.
We are driving right down to the south, to  Bacares, which is on the Mediterranean near Perpignan, about 20 miles from  Spain. It is a long drive but it gives us an opportunity to stay at two of our  favourite hotels, Val Moret near Troyes  in the Aube (www.le-val-moret.com)  and Chez la Rose in Julienas in Beaujolais (www.chez-la-rose.fr)
As always we will be crossing via The  Channel Tunnel. This will be our 38th crossing. It is so easy and  generally trouble –free, though we have had some memorable delays. But usually  you sit in your car, you sway gently from side to side for a while and then  suddenly you emerge into the sunshine of France – you hope!
The Channel Tunnel is a wonderful thing, an  engineering marvel. It had been talked about for many years. The Victorians  talked of a tunnel to match the achievements of the Suez Canal and the Panama  Canal. The geology under the channel was checked during the 1870s and trial  tunnels on either side were dug in 1881 and within the first year each side had  bored almost 2 kilometres of tunnel. But the political will didn’t exist for  its completion, especially since there were vociferous objections from the  military about the possible compromise to national security that it would  represent.
It was over 100 years before it was eventually completed in 1994.
The French developer of the Suez Canal, speaking in Dover in July 1882 said  that the one day “England and France would be equally desirous of it, seeing  the benefits to both countries.”
Well we certainly see the benefits, for it speeds us so quickly towards our  holiday and still represents the perfect cure for sea sickness!
As a result of our holiday I won’t be  around for three weeks, so this website will remain untouched until the middle  of August. But I am sure I will return warmed and refreshed and ready to  develop the website still further.
So thanks for reading and enjoy your own  holidays if you have the chance, swine ‘flu permitting of course!

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