When visiting the lovely country of France, Calais might not be one of the prioritized places for the casual tourist. Calais is an industrial seaport and city located in northern France, part of the Opal Coast with scenic cliffs and dunes. However, there's another secret to be found in this town. Our dear friend and Lomographer Julija Svetlova a.k.a. @neja went on a French road trip just last summer and visited Calais' countryside. In her trip, she caught some picturesque shots that highly reminds of us of Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh's paintings. Read her own travelogue here:
Calais is not a place that comes to mind when one is planning a holiday but as we live in London, the Dover to Calais Channel crossing is the only way for us to travel to mainland Europe and back, by car.
Most people do not really see Calais itself, the usual experience is shaped by a visit to a gargantuan shopping mall on its outskirts (3 bottles of wine for £5, and 12 packs of canned beer are among the favourite deals for many), and a nightmarish pit-stop at Eurotunnel's infamous Terminal.
In July 2018 we decided to embark on a road trip to Arles for the Les Rencontres d"Arles photo festival. The eight-day journey took us to five different locations, Troyes, Chassignoles, Arles, Beaune, and Reims. When we left Reims for a final push towards home, we knew that something had to be done to experience our last lunch on French soil. We simply could not face the prospects of chewing on Eurotunnel Calais terminal's "cuisine". Luckily, my trustworthy app, Raisin, was at hand. Raisin is an app that shows you the locations of many restaurants and bars that serve low intervention wines, meaning the wine that has not been treated with chemicals and has no or very little added sulfur. In our humble experience, places that sell good wines usually provide good food, too.
So I opened the app and looked for someplace very close to Calais, and to my surprise, I did find one, La Cour de Remi! Well, it was not entirely near Calais, but because it was located in a rural location, we later had a chance to explore the agricultural countryside all the way to Calais, the type of roads and places you normally don't see from the highway.
The cornfields and haystacks of Calais were just fantastic, so photogenic! I quickly loaded a roll of Kodak slide into my Nikon F55 camera because I thought that those sun-kissed landscapes deserved the best film that I had. We slowly drove through the narrow single-track roads as I was clicking my camera at virtually everything.
We did not visit Calais as such because it was time for us to board the train and head back home, but we were so impressed with its surrounding countryside that we are definitely going to come back and explore more! Viva Calais! Pas de Calais!