Boulogne sur Mer, France

Saturday, August 25, 1928

Today was a hard one. After four hours sleep, I got up at five and left the Y 45 minutes later for Dover. There were many hills, but hanging onto a truck for 13 miles helped out. The boat left at 12:55 and I arrived at 11:50 after 84 miles from London. Went to the bank, ate a hurried lunch, and made it to boat with three minutes to spare. The trip across the Channel to Calais took a little over an hour. As we left England, the great white chalk cliffs towered high above the sea. A one-eyed gentleman bound for Monte Carlo became very interested in me because I was doing such a novel thing to ride a bike over the continent. After a long chat he wanted to take my picture. I posed on the crowded deck and one more film was wasted.

A half hour after everybody else had got through customs, I finished. The Frenchmen became very excited over my bike and I even had an interpreter. From Calais I rode to Boulogne [sur Mer], 35k or 23 miles. The road lay along the shore and every inch was a fight against a strong gale of wind. I walked very nearly 6k of the distance. The country is broad and rolly and all big hills. I wore myself out pumping down them and then killed myself walking up.

Have a fair room over some cafe for 10F or 40¢. I was plenty hungry, having had no breakfast and tried all over town before I finally found a hotel where I got a very large meal for 16F. I have sure pulled some hot French on the natives. My vocabulary is limited, but I get along. When engaging the room, I talked not only French but with my hands. I get along great until I hear a little kid rattle off the lingo and then down I come a few pegs. Must study lesson VII tonight and read my French newspaper.

Napoleon I stayed in an old building on the square. The town must all have been here then—narrow cobblestone streets and all.

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