Travelled: 142 kilometres from Bad Krozingen, Germany to Remiremont, France.
Stayed: Remiremont aire €6, all the usual service at additional cost. N48.01559, E06.60135
From Bad Krozingen it’s less than 20 kilometres to the border crossing on the Rhein River between Mullheim in Germany and Mulhouse in France. We see some very slow traffic ahead, then suddenly we see several French police and customs guards have set up a road block. Perhaps 20 vehicles back in the queue we slowly edge forward. I suggest to Pam to take a picture, but before that can happen we are at the front of the queue.
He mutters something I cannot understand in French, I respond in something he may not understand in Australian. He asks again in very good English, Why are you travelling to France ? I respond we are travelling across France to the Chunnel, then back to England. How long will you be… etc. This goes back and forth, then he asks, please show me your passports ? They are in the safe I respond. By this stage there are 50 cars behind us and he directs me to the area off the road set aside for known ISIS conspirators.
By this stage Pam is ready to turn state’s evidence as the questions continue. Obviously my comment about the passports being in a safe has his interest. How much cash do you carry ? About €200 I state, having no idea how much really, as Pam doesn’t trust me with money, in fact my wallet has been in the safe for 3 months. A little frustrated by now, how many cigarettes do you have ? We don’t smoke I reply. How much alcohol do you carry he asks ? About a dozen cans of beer and a couple of bottles of wine from the Lidl I respond. I can see I have broken him.
We start talking about Sydney and how wonderful France is. We both agree it’s all the Germans fault. The Police stop the traffic and everyone waves us goodbye.
Back on the road again, we struggle to re-enter French mode after so many miles elsewhere. Back to lots of round-a-bouts, illogical freeway ramps and seemingly rude people. They are not really rude, they are just French. The trick is to make sure they don’t mistake your for English or American and you’ll be fine.
We overnight alone in the aire. Dinner is a magnificient slice of quiche and a chocolate cherry cake. It’s great to be back to artisan bakeries of France. Pam has her hair cut, I purchase a sim, the sun is shining and we roll out of Remiremont to our next adventure.