Between the towns of Calais and wissant, is the natural park of Blac-Nez, mostly formed by cliffs that lend it's name to the park but also encompass some monuments of the Second World War, as the area was deeply affected due to it's close proximity to Great Britain. The best way to see these cliffs is following the recommended route towards Calais - wissant (north to south). From the beginning we realized that the continuous warnings are not in vain, as the winds are particularly strong and enveloping there. But it's worth it because if the day permits, the sea, the coast of Dover and even the surrounding valleys are beautiful ... you must take into account that the when you're at the top of the cliffs, you're at the highest point in the area. Another great area to lose yourself in nature, which in the present case we have to brand as French!
Once we leave behind the bunkers and cliffs in Calais, we see the existence of a huge obelisk, one of the deepest there is in the sea. This monument indicates the existence of one of the most important in the natural park of Blanc-Nez. When we get a little closer, we can see that this obelisk is a tribute to everyone who died in this area during WWII in this strategic enclave. The views are breathtaking and usually visitors spirit is most solemn, after there are numerous panels explaining the history of this place. As one of the recommended stops on the itinerary of the Opal Coast (either on foot or by car), this corner is usually quite crowded, mostly by British citizens.
There are two ways to cross the Channel, the narrow sea between France and England. You can either take the Eurotunnel or you can take the ferry. This time we decided to go by boat. The Eurotunnel is faster, but the queue is linger, the conditions are less flexible than the boat, and the prices rise much more if you are leaving on short notice. For the ferry, you simply go to Dover, and the process is pretty quick, unless you go by bus on Eurolines, and in this case the whole bus has to go through passport control, and if you're unlucky, luggage too. If you have your car, the ferry company representative puts a voucher on your car number plate so you can cross. You put it on visibly you have to wait in the line that you have been assigned. Then you just have to embark and relax for an hour and a half, and you're on the other side. There are games for children, restaurants on different levels and duty free shops. You can also change money without commission. To cross to France it takes an hour and a half while you need a little more to go to Holland and Belgium.
Not far from Calais and fairly close to the cliffs of Blanc-Nez are a series of bunkers and platforms currently disused and closed. However, shudder a little to think of part of European history, which affected the world, it was recent but is unknown to some. Of course, we are talking about German bunkers, created during the occupation of France for the purpose of besieging the UK and defending these shores from the possible attacks of the allied troops. For all those who love history, these bunkers are amazing and are fascinating relics and sad witnesses to human brutality. They create a strange contrast to the natural beauty of the Opal Coast... nature tries to fix what man broke.
The port of Calais serves mostly to reach the port of Dover in England, and from there go to London. The French company that operates the ferry crossing to England is Seafrance. All boats are worthy. It is a place with only chairs, some coffee and waiting area with some comfortable seating. Then there are the Duty Free shops, a small tourist information center, a currency exchange with no commission and a few restaurants. If you arrive at the port of Calais, you have the opportunity to get on the first ferry leaving. Overall the prices do not change much between an advance purchase and buying on the spot, unless there is a big promotion. It is more convenient because the ferries are often delayed, even blocked on the other side, and that offers more flexibility. The service operates 24 hours a day. The port of Dover has many services, the port of Calais has much less. Dirty bathrooms and rubbish coffee. There are shops when you leave the harbor, where the British go to buy cigarettes and alcohol cheaper than in their own country.
The Church of Notre-Dame in Calais is one of the principal churches in the city and it's also the oldest building in the city. Its construction began during the course of the 13th century under the direction of some renowned Flemish masters. However, visually Notre-Dame denotes the fusion of several architectural styles from different eras because its completion wasn't finished until the mid-17th century. There were a lot of proposed additions, alterations and numerous stoppages for lack of funds to continue construction. As usual, wars do not understand history or architecture and during the Second World War, this church suffered some major damage, which force the renovations process to begin, once again, for economic reasons have not been finalized. The church can be visited, is fully operational and is one of the most iconic and historic buildings of the city of Calais.
You can see the majestic tower of this council from anywhere in the city. It's pretty unconventional because it reaches up to 75 meters in the sky. This building was constructed in 1910, but World War I delayed its opening. It was finally able to be opened in 1925. For its construction and as representing a time of splendor of the city, accepted the proposal to build it in the Neoflamenco style, justifying the elegance of the building and makes it very appealing to the mix as load-bearing stone and red brick . Because this is one of the most famous places in the city that you can visit, you should go in and see rooms inside and a small collection of paintings. It is well maintained and most of the year during different colored flowers surround this building.
This is one of the places that I was most surprised by because it seemed to appear as if from nowhere, although I do not think that you will have a problem finding it because it is situated on the road to Calais. The scenery and views as you can see in the pictures are amazing, but it was a little cold, it was February, the truth is that it was very good and the atmosphere gave you a peace and serenity, although the sea was rather rough. I was impressed by the landscape: cliffs, rough seas, fog, ... very romantic if you think about it. Well I highly recommend it because I think it is worth it if you are around that area.
Undoubtedly one of the most emblematic buildings of the city along with the city. Construction began in 1903 and was inaugurated in 1905 by the President of the French Republic M. Loubet, with a special concert with 205 musicians to celebrate. The building is impressive neoclassical style recreating. The main façade (the access) represents four major arts: poetry, comedy, dance and music, emphasizing the work of this type of building. As it's next to City Hall it shows the prosperity of this city in early twentieth century due to constant trade between France and England. Both buildings mark the center of the city and show the union of Calais with St. Pierre, a village absorbed by the city's development. It's the most important theater in Northern France and can accommodate nearly 1400 people across four different galleries.