It got close on one Cherbourg-Portsmouth ferry where they wanted me to
get off the boat because they were "too full" and I refused to reverse.
I was severely miffed because they insisted that it was a case of first
come first served and I had bought my tickets in September, this was
The Stringis/Minoan Line Venice Patras ferry expects you to reverse a
considerable distance up a steep ramp to get to the upper car deck,
the cars are then packed in like sardines, it's impossible to get
to/into your car once all the cars are loaded. Getting off takes ages
as all the drivers of the outside cars have to be present before
unloading can start.
The ferry across the mouth of the Gironde is worth the foot passenger
fare just to watch the loading and unloading.
Long story follows
There are lot of Germans using the ferry in the summer, and Royan is a
very anti German place ( it was held for months after D day by a SS
battalion and the place had to be leveld by the RAf before Bordeaux
could be used as a port)
No self respecting German is ever going to let a frog go before him and
no real Frenchman is willing to accept that a Bosch might be allowed
preference. So the whole loading is a scrum with the added bonus of the
way the ferry is loaded.The cars are loaded ( without passengers) across
the ferry in lines about 6-7 long and 15-20 lines, with each car within
3 inches of the next line. So RH Drive cars cause a problem cos we leave
a bigger gap...
You know how when you're on a plane and people start getting luggage out
as soon as the wheels have gone burp? Well on this ferry it starts even
earlier with people climbing over the side ramps and across bonnets to
get to their cars , some even leave windows and sunroofs open so that
they can slide in and wait behind the car in front...
Then the ramps drop... Remember you are loaded sideways on 15-20 lines
abreast and the slip way is onl3 3 cars wide . So everyone is tryign to
leftwheel with those on the right having much further to travel than
those on the left but those on the left with a much tighter lock needed,
facto in that some drivers can't be bothered waiting to pick their
passengers up at the pickup point but HAVE to get them aboua 2 seconds
after their wheels have hit dry land..
You get the picture?
Now imagine one of those little Bambi Romahome things, driven by Herr
Kraut. Herr Kraut has been told by Mns Le Frog that Mrs Herr Kraut must
leave the back of the motorhome and walk onboard, but Mrs Herr Kraut is
about 96stone and doesn't want to walk and there no way Herr Kraut is
gonna listen to Mns Le Frog. Mns Le Frog simply shrugs his shoulders,
walks off and leave Le Bosch to it.
Herr Kraut drive on board drive onboard followed buy a Galuoise puffing
Maurice Chevalier clone in string vest driving a battered Pug 504. He's
a local, places his pug within centimetres of the car to his right parks
and walks off. Mrs Herr Kraut tries to open rear door , can't Mns
Chevalier has parked with centimetres of the rear bumper. Herr Kraut
comes to help her pullign and twisting trying to get her out and just
gets her stuck. Meanwhile Mrs Herr Kraut lets the dog out ( a Daschund
of course) on one of these 13 mile long extendable leads. The bloody
yapping thing has been locked in since they left the Ruhr and it
dissapears out with the lead shreaking like a reel with a marlin on the
end of it. Meanwhile another line of cars is parked , going over the
dogs lead so the dog is now the wrong side of the row of cars with it's
lead under a car, it tries to come back home around the back wheel and
wraps the lead arounf that, then the tow hith of the car that's parked
over its lead, then another car arrives and closes the gap the dog is in
so it yelps and dives under it reapearing on the "open" side of the deck
.. meaning that it;s lead now goes under that car from the front to the
right hand side. Mrs Herr Kraut is screaming, the dog is yelping, Herr
Kraut is now bellowing at Mns Le Frog that he was previously ignoring.
I'm drinking a coffee watching all this and move over for someone to sit
next to me, it's the Maurice Chevalier clone. He look over the edge ,
looks at me shrugs his shoulders and says something like " Bosch ,hey,
what can you do about them?"
Marc. Please note the above address is a spam trap, use marcc to reply
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