Maciej is a wonderful writer, and never more so than when he writes about his travels. I'm a complete sucker for writing about Britain by non-residents, and this passage had me rolling around with recognition:
Great Britain is a deceptively small country; it's very easy to get distracted and find that you've overshot it altogether, which is how I found myself standing near a petrochemical plant in Calais just a few hours after boarding a train in Sheffield, a city that I thought was safely removed from the southern coast.
Given the state of our railway system, I'm quite impressed that he managed to get out of Sheffield on a train, let alone make it to Dover to catch a ferry. There's probably some kind of award available on receipt of proof of such a feat of derring-do. I gather that Visit Britain have had a concerted campaign to encourage more tourists, so apropos of Maciej's comment, how about this as a marketing slogan: "Britain — blink and you'll miss it."