Happy memories from a disaster holiday.
With our kids reaching an age where they could both appreciate it, we had booked our first family trip to Disneyland Paris. As we landed in Paris however, our youngest had begun breaking out in what was quite clearly chickenpox, despite having already had it a year earlier. Disaster!
Thus ensued a rather stressful 3 days where our youngest was confined to the hotel room while we tried to make the best of it for our eldest. Meanwhile, we established that our travel insurance would only cover keeping one parent in France with our sick child until clear to fly home again (could be weeks) while the other two had to fly straight back on the scheduled flight.
Not wanting to separate our family for possibly weeks, our saviour came in the form of my mother-in-law, who immediately offered to drive through the Eurotunnel and collect us.
That could work!
I quickly booked a one-way rental car from the train station at Disneyland and we made the 3 hour drive up to Calais, where Grandma was waiting to rescue us.
To much relief, we were soon back in the UK and decided to have a short stop and wander around Folkestone, which it turns out is lovely.
Usually thought of in terms of either ferry terminals or the afore-mentioned Eurotunnel, Folkestone itself was very nice.
We parked at the harbour and went for a walk in the sunshine. I grabbed my Fuji X-Pro3—as yet unused on the holiday—and with the bright sun took a series of images in the Acros black and white film simulation mode.
I really like the way the light is falling in this frame: the row of Victorian houses up high catching the direct light on one side while the London and Paris Hotel below gets a slightly softer glow on its curved frontage. In the foreground, bottom-right I like the couple of old harbour pylons that add a bit more interest, with the rear pair framing the tyre on the harbour wall to buffer moored boats.
The trees are grand old things, looming up and around the hotel and inn, offering some extra depth and a more organic surround for the interesting angles of the buildings to stand out from.
I took the photo above from a swing bridge that crosses the harbour which is itself quite photogenic, mixing stone arches with the more industrial swing bridge halfway.
And so our mildly traumatic first attempt at Disneyland Paris ended with a nice chance to see some family, explore a little of the harbour area in Folkestone and do a real trains, planes and automobiles odyssey. We hired yet another car on the UK side, to get back up to the North East, before finally dropping that back at the airport and collecting our own car another day later.
Earlier this year we did go back and try Disney again, more successfully this time. We also made a road trip of it which worked really nicely: a 4-day Disney trip became a week-long holiday with stops to see family along the way and everyone managed to stay healthy this time.