Cap Blanc Nez: A Hidden Gem Found Near Calais Right at The Northernmost Tip of France

Unique Journey

There was one time where I got so cheap that I did not want to take the train to visit Calais -- the closest point of France to the United Kingdom (Dover). I researched and found out that hitch hiking was a normal affair during the summer season in France -- they even have a website called hitchwiki ( https://hitchwiki.org/en/Main_Page) to get yourself sorted out easily; google told me that I just needed a cardboard and a pen to write up the direction where I was headed then I would be fine. I gave it a go, followed the internet, and went the westernmost part of the City near a roundabout towards the A25 - Dunkerque highway.

My first 2 hours waiting was MISERABLE… I did not find anyone hitch hike with. The cold weather has brought my body into a jolting shiver and that is when I decided to take a break at a shopping mall nearby. The next round of waiting was eventful! I got my FIRST hitch in just 15 minutes! WAHOOO I was so excited that I hopped in… FIRST RIDE EVER!! It was a father and son combo who did not know to speak english so we communicated using maps and paper. The only catch, the son told me, was that I will have to get dropped in a small town (1/2) way from my destination. The ride was quiet but I liked the French rap music they were playing and the smiles we exchanged.

BUT THAT WAS NOT THE HARD PART YET, after being dropped in small town, I waited for 30 minutes and still could not find a ride. I decided to walk on the highway and raise my “thumbs up” sign because I had to reach my destination… even if it entails walking the whole way. Luckily there was this small car that passed by me and suddenly stopped; it slowly reversed and the driver offered to give me a ride! I was so relieved… The reason he wanted to pick me up was because the driver was a migrant from Tunisia. A lot of people has helped him on his journey to France and he would just want to return the favor -- MY HEART SANK.

We bid farewell (3/4) way from my destination and I continued to walk in the highway up until I found a petrol station. I was pleasantly surprised when just after 5 minutes of raising my “thumbs up” sign, someone already picked me up!! It was a woman who wanted to visit her friend (refugee in an ongoing crisis during the year 2016) in Calais; she was traveled around 4 hours from Brussels just to see this friend -- a kind soul indeed. We arrived at Calais at around 5 pm; knowing that I had to get home before evening, I had no choice but to walk 4km towards the nearest train station. Luckily, there was still a ride going back… The reason behind my loooooong travel to Calais was to see Cap Blanc Nez, the area where one can see Dover, a fantastic cliff formation in the UK. It was hinted by a British couple my friends and I met in Malta while staying in a 5 star hotel.

2nd Time Around

After my initial failure of going to Cap Blanc Nez, I was determined to see it even more. I woke up early and took a train so that I can spend a day there.

I left my school residence in Lille and took a train to the city of Calais. I costed me around 19 euros at the time. Then from the town of Calais there is a bus that comes into town and brings tourist to the beautiful Cap Blanc Nez.

After visiting Cap Blanc Nez, I chose to hike around the edge of the cliff towards the town of Sangatte (4 km)where I took the bus going back to the Calais Train Station. I used this route: https://goo.gl/maps/RNhmYXQaPaCLG4d66

On the beach in Sangatte, I walked westward a little bit and found this beauty below. It was a beautiful experience to see the United Kingdom close up without having to go there. I hope you guys follow in my journey and share your experience with me.

Cap Blanc Nez: At the Edge of United Kingdom and France (Escalles, Calais, Hauts-de-France, France)

How To Get There?

https://goo.gl/maps/wXsf7zB2q6CEEHxq7

By Car, it would be easy just to follow the website link I have attached above.

By Bus, it would best to follow the schedule posted below. On weekdays, service starts at 6:00 AM and ends at around 7:00 PM. On the weekends, service starts at around 10:00 AM and ends at around 7:00 PM. (Lesser Rides on Weekends)

http://www.sitac-calais-opale-bus.fr/index.php/nos-offres-de-transport/div-in

Hike Map:

https://goo.gl/maps/RNhmYXQaPaCLG4d66

Photo credits: Dean Eldrick Tan.

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August 08, 2020

Kingdean97

John, would you have some photos along the D940? Would love to see it! :) 

August 05, 2020

Johndavidphoto

I have been here many times.Just a few miles further away from Calais is Cap Gris Nez.I'm delighted to see that someone else has taken the time to explore a little of this area.The whole coast between Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer is absolutely littered with wonderful places, scenes and experiences.It's absolutely jam packed with museums and history, particularly of world war 2, with abandoned concrete bunkers which are so easy to explore.The coast road - the D940 is a drivers dream.So close to the UK, but so much of a different place.

August 03, 2020

Kingdean97

Thank you for the kind comments guys.

August 02, 2020

Rbrucew

Nice story; reminds me of being a student in the 1970s.

August 02, 2020

Williamwise1

That is a lot of travelling and walking for one photograph! I'm sure it makes the photo even much more special to you. Great travel journal. I enjoyed reading it. William 

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