Category Archives: France

French windows, shutters and doors

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I know this is a bit of a lame topic, but I have to admit that over the last two years travelling through France, I seem to have developed an obsession with French windows, shutter and doors, often staring at them for ages and losing my husband in the process of photographing them.

There is not much to say, just that I think they are beautiful and I will understand if nobody else agrees with me or people find the topic boring or uninteresting.

For those of you who might be interested, here are some that caught me eye.

Arles, Provence

 

Arles, Provence

 

 

Arles, Provence

 

Arles, Provence

 

Mers-les-Bains, Le Somme

 

Mers-les-Bains, Le Somme

 

Mers-les-Bains, Le Somme

 

St-Cirq Lapopie, Le Lot

 

St-Cirq Lapopie, Le Lot

 

Rouen

 

Rouen

 

Rouen

 

Tours

 

Tours

 

Tours

 

 

Montreuil-sur-Mer, Friday 26th August 2011

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Aire at Le Crotoy

We had a very pleasant day yesterday in Le Crotoy.  We arrived at about 11 am and it felt much cooler than the Loir, but later on the sun came out and it was quite hot by lunchtime.  I sat outside and finished my book just after lunch and had to wear my hat and sunglasses, making the most of the last days of summer.

Thousands of seagulls and 1 cormorant

 

I took Bramble for a long walk around the bay, which was packed with thousands of gulls and one lonely cormorant.  I went back after walk to capture the light and freeze the moment in photographs.

We went for a meal in the evening and shared a pot of Moules Marinière for starters and then I had sole and Adonis had scallops.  It was all delicious and it was great not having to do the washing up for a change.

 

 

 

Which way to go? The Bay at Le Crotoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Startling Starling display

 

 

 

I’d like to mention the beautiful display of thousands of starlings last night fluttering around trees and over our heads by the Jeanne of Arc monument.  It was truly spectacular and we couldn’t take our eyes off it, as couldn’t anyone else.

Startling starling display

 

 

 

 

 

There was a storm in the night and it rained quite heavily, which kept me up for a while.  I had to come down to shut windows and sky lights as the rain was coming through.

 

 

 

Jeanne of Arc Monument at Le Crotoy

This morning we decided to try somewhere new like Quend Plage, just over 10 km north of Le Crotoy, but the aire we found wasn’t quite on the beach and it didn’t have any facilities, so we came to tried and tested camping La Fontaine des Clercs.  As alwasys, it’s been raining, but we like the old town and we are ready for the vet tomorrow.

Some restaurants and hotels on the sea front

We’ll set off for City Europe on Sunday morning and then we’ll try our luck with the strike early on Monday morning.  We’ll be back in October, perhaps this time to Bretagne.

Sunset at Le Crotoy, Bay of the Somme

 

 

 

Broglie, Wednesday 24th August 2011

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Taking a stroll in Broglie

 

Good drive up here, just got a bit lost around L’Aigle as road we wanted (D919) wasn’t signposted and we took wrong exit of D926.  Still, I soon spotted mistake and retracted our steps back to L’Aigle and got it right 2nd time round!

 

 

We got here for 11 am and after lunch and Bramble’s walk, we had a beer in town and looked for a restaurant for tonight.  There are 3, but one was closed for holidays, one doesn’t open on Wednesdays and the other was a Kebab place.  Poor Adonis cycled uphill to find restaurant outside town, only to find out they only open at lunchtimes and Saturday evenings.  We had no choice but to warm up a tin of Cassoulet for Adonis and some left over Bolognese sauce, which I served with rice for a change, for myself.

 

 

 

Broglie

Tomorrow we are heading for Le Crotoy for a seafood restaurant.  I want to end this holiday on a high note!!!

Broglie

 

Madeleine-Bouvet, Tuesday 23rd August 2011

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Motorhome aire at Madeleine-Bouvet

 

We spent a very quiet night except for the thunder at around 4 am, which made the van shake, but, surprisingly, there was not much rain.  It was close and muggy, but all in all we all slept well and got up at 8 am.  After breakfast, walking Bramble, emptying grey water, loo and filling up with water for FREE, we set off on the D5 towards St Calais, then the D1 to La ferté-Bernard, the D323 and 923 to Nogent-Le-Rotrou and D928 to La Loupe, where we stopped for bread and got lost trying to get out, as we couldn’t see the D920 signposted anywhere and had to do a bit of a loop to find it.

Madeleine-Bouvet

We got here at 11.45 and I walked Br. round the pond.  It’s a lot cooler today (24°C), but pleasant.  People are fishing here, so Adon will have a go later.  We’re right on the edge of the pond and it’s quiet, so he could get lucky today.  I tried to phone vet in Montreuil-sur-Mer, but answer phone came on.  I’ll try again this afternoon.

Madeleine-Bouvet

 

Only 6 days to go!  Tomorrow will probably be Broglie, then 2 more nights before we need the vet.  Don’t know if we’ll try to get a Sunday evening train or not.  Our lovely journey is drawing to a close for the summer of 2011. 😦

 

Madeleine-Bouvet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motorhome aire at Madeleine-Bouvet

 

Savigny-sur-Braye, Monday 22nd August 2011

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Aire at Savigny-sur-BrayeSo we spent 3 days at Lac des Varennes and very nice and hot it was too.  We did a lot of swimming and I felt very proud of myself yesterday when I swam to the other side of the lake and back, which must be well over 100 meters altogether.  It was so hot all I wanted to do was be in the water.  Adonis tried fishing, but being school holidays, it was far too busy with swimmers, canoes, paddling boats, etc and he didn’t catch anything, although other people did.  Still, we’ll go back in October when it’s quieter and better for fishing.

We left this morning at 10 and headed for Leclerc in Château-du-Loir and followed the D305, passed La Chartre-sur-le-Loir towards Troo, hoping to find a wild camping place by the river there, but access was blocked, so we continued to aire at Montoire-sur-le-Loir, but we didn’t like the location and tried this one instead, which is just perfect and has a free water tap and toilets.

swimming in the river by motorhome aire

swimming in the river by motorhome aire

We arrived just before lunch and we loved it.  I took Bramble for a walk along the river bank and then Adon went for a swim with him too.  We’re parked in front of the municipal campsite, by the tennis courts and park.   It’s all very quiet, considering the location and there’s little traffic on the D9, which we followed and is right behind us.

View from the walk in the park

I cooked Spaghetti Bolognese and it was lovely after so long not having it.  It’s still very hot.  Hope we’ll sleep well tonight,

Having a play in the park

 

 

Lac des Varennes, Saturday 20th August 2011

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We arrived here yesterday and plan to stay for 3 more days.  It’s been very hot: 24 °C yesterday and 29 forecast for today and 26 for tomorrow.  Adonis’s been fishing, although so far he hasn’t caught anything, but he’s had a couple of bleeps on his buzzers!!!

Lac des Varennes

 

We met a lovely couple yesterday, Rob and Debby, and had a good laugh with them in the evening, sharing some wine and beer.   They are on a 3-month tour in their Rapido, which they showed us around and very nice it was too: our next van, I think.  Funny how they couldn’t get their satellite dish going either, just like ours!  They are planning to go  to the south of Italy and, as our holiday is coming to an end soon, I can’t but feel a little bit jealous of their adventure just beginning.  They’ve just left, unfortunately, as I really enjoyed their company.  I hope they have a wonderful time.

 

 

 

Sheltering from the sun

 

It’s a lot busier here now of course, but we still have a large pitch right by the lake, so Adon doesn’t have far to go and Bramble can cool off when he starts panting in the heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a cooling swim

 

We’ve been swimming too and the water is lovely and warm, so we’re all happy.  I’m going to try and revise my German a little bit so that I don’t forget what I’ve learned so far.  I’m seriously thinking about enrolling in German lessons in September…

Cooling off in the lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying an evening meal in the sun

 

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