Monthly Archives: February 2012

Neung-sur-Beuvron, Wednesday, 17th August 2011

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Lots of space at Neung-sur-Beuvron campsite

 

Back in this wonderful municipal campsite.  We had a lovely hot evening last night and really enjoyed Moules Marinière and salmon with garlic and rosemary.  We got up early this morning and left aire at 9.15 am.  We had a quick stop to buy baguette and made it here for 11 am.  I did a lot of washing (€4, which included tumble drier), had a shower and relaxed until lunchtime.

 

 

 

 

It rained heavily after lunch and we had a siesta.  Wifi is free here and I’ve just checked my FB messages, etc.  It will be nice to catch up with the news later on, as we’ve been unable to get a British paper.  Have the riots ended yet?

 

Enjoying a swim in campsite grounds

Adonis cycled into town and bought me Marie France magazine, so I look forward to reading that.  I’ve also started reading ‘The Memory Game’ by Nicci French and I am enjoying that too.

Hear the peace and quiet!

‘House Rules’ by Jodie Picoult was excellent, but I did guess the end!  Cooking pork chops and chips tonight and tomorrow we’re hoping to have a relaxing time in campsite and maybe cycle to town.

Long dog walk

 

Enjoying the sun (taken Easter 2010)

 

Les Bordes, Tuesday 16th August 2011

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Shady motorhome aire at Les Bordes

 

It’s been a long drive today and we didn’t stop for the overnight stay until 3.30 pm, so we were a bit tired when we finally arrived.  It’s a lovely aire with shade, free water, a small lake and a good dog walk.  I think we’ll enjoy our stay here, especially as it’s central France and the weather is very good indeed: 30 °C in the shade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

yesterday we found a superb spot at Lac D’Orient, just 20 km east of Troyes.  We were right on the dge of the lake, with

Wild Camping at Lac D'Orient

some marsh land with loads of wagtails and just a few meters away from the sandy beach, cafes and toilets, although Ididn’t use those as they were the stand-up variety, which I find very uncomfortable.  We were facing south and had the sun all day, since we arrived at about 11 am.  We had usual rest and beer, lunch, nap and dog walk along foot and cycle track towards Lac du Temple, but I found this path too busy with too many bikes that spoilt the tranquility of the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy beach at Lac D'Orient

 

I cooked some pork loins marinated in ‘Masai’ sauce, which were delicious, and served it with couscous.  It was a beautiful hot evening with a gorgeous sunset and we stayed out till about 9 pm.

Bird watching at Lac D'Orient

When we got up this morning, Adonis noticed the official van taking pictures, so we assumed they were checking who was parked there and for how long, so we decided to move on.  I must mention now that there is an official aire about 100 meters away from here, but it’s not right on the shore and it was a bit too cramped for our liking.

Sandy beach at Lac D'Orient

 

Perfect for dogs to cool down.

This morning we headed for supermarkets on the Troyes ringroad, following the D619 and D610 and we got a bit muddled with exits 17a and 17b looking for Geant at Barbery.  We took the wrong exit and had to go all the way round again.  We did our shopping and trying to get back on course proved also difficult as it was a one-way road and had to drive about 5 km before being able to turn around.  We finally joined the N77 before St Florentin, Joigny and Sépaux, where there’s supposed to be a lake or étang, but we couldn’t see it from the road and must have missed a turning, so we stopped for lunch at Château Renard for an hour before carrying on through small D roads to join the D961 again at Thimory, passing Lorris and finally here, to the lovely little aire by the lake.

Beautiful dog walk around lake at Les Bordes

 

We had a quick beer and took Bramble for a walk through the woods.  I spotted a fishing area for Adonis and he’s going to have a go now!

Perfect for fishing too at Les Bordes

 

 

 

I am cooking salmon tonight.

 

Giffaumont-Champoubert, Sunday 14th August 2011

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Motorhome aire at Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

 

On the Lac du Der Chantecoq, by the sailing school.  It’s a lovely place with a sandy beach and good swimming spots, but so far we’ve been unable to find the facilities to empty the chemical toilet or fill up with water.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a very warm and mainly dry day, with just a shower on the way here and some drizzle just now.  We got to the lake at around 11 am, but we couldn’t find a wild place to stop for the night, so we had to come to this very busy aire, we had coffee and then lunch, siesta, walk with Bramble, swim in the lake, beer and I’ve just been for a long walk across the bridge to the other side by the church erected to remember the 3 villages that were swallowed by the lake.

 

The bridge at Giffaumont-Champoubert

We’d stay here another night, but the lack of facilities is a problem and we might try the north side of the lake tomorrow at Ste Marie du Lac Nuisement, and if we don’t like it, we’ll move south west towards Troges and Joigny on the riverYonne.

Sandy beach at Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

Sandy beach at Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

Sandy beach at Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

The bridge on the lake at Giffaumont-Champoubert

 

Pont-à-Mousson, Saturday 13th August 2011

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Motorhome aire at Pont a Mousson - La Moselle

 

Back in France.  After a good look at Germany’s weather forecast, we decided to head back to France, where it looked better, so we set off this morning at about 9.30 am and only stopped at Trier for a coffee.  The aire had been taken over by a car-boot sale and we had to stop at a huge car park that wasn’t very welcoming, so we carried on the A1 down south, through Luxembourg and into France.

We made very good time and made it here for 1 pm, with a quick stop at Match supermarket, just outside the town, which proved very adequate, with a good choice of fresh meat, fish and vegetables, as well as a fresh bakery.  We stocked up on essentials and arrived in aire before 2 pm and quickly set up for lunch.

 

 

After Bramble’s walk and swim in the Moselle, we went for a walk in the town, with a visit to the beautiful Gothic church of St Martin, whose exterior is riddled with WWII bullets and where there’s a magnificent sculpture of the burial of Christ surrounded by 12 other people and overseen by 8 angels hanging from the ceiling of the niche.  I’ve never seen so much detail in a sculpture before and I particularly loved the hair and beards, with all the curls and hairlines.  It dated back to the early 15th century and it just makes you feel very humble.

St Martin's church at Pont a Mousson

Bullet riddled exterior of St Martin's church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that, we crossed the new bridge built after the original was destroyed in WWII and Adonis bought some bait for his fishing, so he’s happy now despise the fact I got slightly annoyed when he obliviously went merrily on his way leaving me  behind while I was taking pictures.  I really had to make a run for it to catch up with him and it was hot!

Detailed sculpture of the Burial of Christ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The angels hanging for the ceiling in niche

 

We’ve just had a nice beer and I’m going to cook fresh trout with new potatoes and we have raspberry tart for dessert.

We are off to a lake further south tomorrow.  We must remember this aire for future reference, as for €7 we get free electricity, water, WC and hot showers and it’s right by the Moselle, with lovely views of the town and loads of swans on the river bank.

 

 

 

 

Pont a Mousson - Mosel

 

Pont a Mousson - Mosel

 

Pont a Mousson - Mosel

 

Pont a Mousson - Mosel

Bremm, Mosel Valley, Friday 12th August 2011

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We followed the Rhine north towards Koblenz and then crossed west just north of Rhens towards Waldesch and Dieblich.  We then carried on down the east side of the Mosel to Treis-Karden on the B49, where we crossed the bridge and carried on south passing Klotten, Cochem and Eller before arriving at Bremm.

 

This is another first class aire, with electricity and a toilet and shower block.  It was sunny when we left Bacharach this morning, but we’ve had a couple of showers this afternoon.  Still, I took Bramble for a long walk through the pretty village with immaculate front gardens and down the Mosel.  I didn’t even mind the rain, although it stopped soon after we started our walk

 

 

 

Both Adonis and I had a shower at €1 each and then connected to the internet.  I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter and managed to post some pictures of the last few days.

Some interesting pole somewhere on the road

On the road to the Mosel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather’s going to turn for the worst, so we might move back to France earlier than expected, but are thinking about staying here tomorrow for the wine festival!

I spoke to Pepo on Skype earlier: he’s happy and well and busy cooking.  It can only be good for him and I am very proud.

 

 

 

 

 

St Nicolas d’Aliermont, Wednesday 15th February 2012

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Rouen' Cathedral

 

Today has been a bit of a frustrating day.  We left Jumièges at 9.15 and followed Les Boucles de la Seine on the D65 and D982 to Rouen, where we found easy access and free parking right on the quay of the river Seine, within walking distance of the cathedral that we so much wanted to visit and the main reason of our journey here, to admire Richard the Lionheart’s eponymous heart and the tomb of the Viking king Rollo.

 

 

 

 

 

The approach to the old city centre was very pleasant, lined with old half-timbered houses among the modern buildings.  I took lots of pictures all the way, including the big barges on the river, the old streets and the first glimpses of the cathedral, its exterior and façade.  But when we tried to enter the said building, there was a notice on the door saying that there would be an ‘exceptional’ closure of the cathedral on Tuesday14th and Wednesday 15th February.  I couldn’t believe my rotten luck.  Of all the days in the year when it could have closed, after all the times we just travelled past this city saying ‘next time we’ll stop and visit it’, it had to be TODAY!  Today of all days, when we are actually here!

Buildings approaching the Cathedral

 

After this major disappointment, we decided to visit the Old Market Place, where poor Joan of Arc was burned alive and where an amazingly shaped church has been built in her honour.  We followed the Rue du Gros-Horloge (Big Clock), admired the arch gate and gold-plated clock and arrived at this most charming square, surrounded by stunning half-timbered houses.  We paid our respects on the spot whre Joan of Arc was martyred, marked with a plaque and a 20 meter-high cross, but couldn’t visit the inside of the church as there was a funeral in progress: more rotten luck.

Rouen's half-timbered houses

 

 

We had a lovely coffee served in dainty dishes in a café facing the church and market, bought a baguette and Tarte Normande and walked back to motorhome along the Seine.

 

Rouen's half-timbered houses

 

It was an easy and quick exit out of Rouen and we took the A28 northeast past Neufchatel by junction 9 and onto the D1314 to Bailleul-Neuville, where we wanted to make use of our France Passion membership and stop at the wild boar and deer farm of Ferme du Grémonval, but the access there was too muddy and difficult due to the melting snow and again our intentions were thwarted for the third time in one morning.  We quickly had to decide where to stop for lunch and the rest of the day and decided to head west toward Dieppe, past Londinières and on to the D920 to Envermeu and finally D56 southwest here.

Joan of Arc's Church

 

This aire is situated by a car park near the industrial estate, but at least it has free water and wifi connection, so we’ve topped up the water tank and checked our e-mails.  The internet is a bit slow, but it was good to keep up with what’s going on with friends and family.

 

 

 

 

The Old Market Square

Adonis’s been trying to seal a leak on the bathroom sink, as water keeps dripping into cupboard below.  We might need to replace the entire unit, as cracks keep getting bigger.

 

The place of Joan of Arc's martyrdom

 

Joan of Arc's martyrdom spot

Tomorrow we’ll head for Boulogne-sur-Mer to do our big shop at Auchan before returning home and then we’ll drive to Wissant’s aire to spend the night and have easy access to the Channel Tunnel terminal.

The Gros Horloge

We’ll be back at Easter!

Rouen's cathedral

 

 

The River Seine at Rouen

 

Jumièges, Tuesday 14th February 2012

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Jumièges, Regional Parc de Brotonne

We are at the aire and cark park by the Base de Loisirs du Parc Regional de Brotonne on Les Boucles de La Seine Normande.  It’s very well kept and it has hedges deviding the various pitches for a bit of privacy, even though we are the only ones here.  The only drawback is that there is no water supply this time of year and even the tops of the taps in the washing-up block have been taken off.

In fact, We haven’t been very lucky in the water department today.   We tried to top up our water tank at Broglie’s aire this morning, but the jeton (token) got stuck in the slot on the machine and it wouldn’t start the water supply.  Adonis tried to dislodge it using a sharp knife, but to no avail.  We were a bit annoyed that we had wasted our  €2.50 for nothing and Adonis covered the slot with masking tape to prevent other users from wasting their money too.  Hopefully the maintenance people will see it and fix it soon.

 

 

We started our way back north on the D438 to Bourgtheroulde-Infreville, where we  joined the D313 northwest to Le Pont de Brotonne to cross to the east side of the river Seine.  We stopped briefly at La Mailleraye-sur-Seine to try our luck with the water, but once again, after  using another €2.50 jeton, which actually dropped in this time, the water failed to flow again.  We were really annoyed at this for wasting €5 in total trying to top us our supply of the essential mineral and feel these machines should be better maintained in the winter or just close them altogether instead of making people waste their hard-earned money this way.  We don’t know if this cold weather has frozen the water or the pipes, as we don’t think the supply would have been cut off, as the aire is supposed to be open and ready for use all year round.

Jumièges

 

 

So angry and frustrated, we stopped at a nearby Lidl and I bought 6  2-litre bottles of mineral water for €1.12, which should be plenty for 2 days.

It’s warming up now and the snow is beginning to melt, but I’d rather keep buying bottled water than wasting our jetons:  we’ll save them for the Easter holidays.  I wouldn’t normally buy bottled water, as it goes against my environmentally-friendly principals, but this was an emergency and couldn’t be helped.

Jumièges

We are hoping to drive into Rouen first thing in the morning to visit the cathedral and then we’ll head up northwest again.

I’d like to mention that the ‘Memory Foam’ mattress we bought to go on top of the overhead bed mattress really works a treat and we are both sleeping much better and are not suffering from backache any more.

Parking at aire at Jumièges