A journey through the European past, present and – hopefully – not the future.
January 2nd, 2016. We are on the road to the port of Calais to ferry over to Great Britain. At Dunkerque we leave the motorway in search of a supermarket to fill up our food supplies. The outskirts of town are bleak. A rough street leads through shabby industrial areas who´s prime is long gone. The residential areas are not much better. This is an area which is in decline already too long. Very much like the rest of the northern French regions along the Channel. This is “Le Pen” country and hope is not a common feeling here.
Calais is one of the few remaining economic anchors in the region. The port gives work for at least a few. Getting closer to Calais it sticks out that all the service areas along the motorway are closed. Once you leave the main motorway and enter the section leading to the harbour the rattling street gets better. A few kilometres away from the port fences start to line the route. New fences. High fences with barbed wire on top and plenty of floodlights. At the hard shoulder Police cars park in short distances. What looks quite similar to the borders of the Iron Curtain in the late eighties here has just one purpose: keep refugees away from the route to the ferry port.