I've been to France many times normally just a visit to Cite Europe near the Channel Tunnel terminus, but my most memorial trip was to view the solar eclipse in 1999.
I drove over to France the day before
and stayed in a small hotel in Arras (twinned with Ipswich!) Then it was up early to drive
into the area of the eclipse. I found a farmers field with a few other cars in it and
people looking up at the sky. Bad news - clouds!
As the time of the eclipse approached
it seemed that my plans to avoid the chaos in Cornwall had back fired. However the cloud
thinned enough to see the moon move in front of the sun. As totality approached and it got
darker and darker it became apparent that I was not alone - everywhere you looked in
the countryside you could see flash guns going off!
Getting to France had
been very easy - however getting back was a nightmare - EVERYONE else had the same idea at
the same time, the roads around Calais were blocked, and the queues at the channel tunnel
were massive. I had a 18:00 crossing booked, I finally got on the midnight crossing.