Tag Archives: Abbeville

Embry, Pas de Calais, Thursday 30th May 2013

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The pinic area at Embry motorhome aire

The pinic area and stunning views at Embry motorhome aire

 

 We are now at one of the loveliest motorhome aires we have come across yet, right in the middle of some stunning countryside in Pas de Calais with only the sound of birdsong to keep us company. We’ve been here since 11.30 am and, although there is room for 8 motorhomes, we are the only ones here.

 

The motorhome aire with the pitches separated by flower containers

The motorhome aire with the pitches separated by flower containers and Flot Bleu service point  on the right

 

The generous pitches are separated by flower containers planted with both, flowers and culinary herbs like chives and thyme, and there’s one with strawberries too! There is an immaculate shower/toilet block and a Flot Bleu service point which operates with jetons (tokens) available from a machine at 2.50 each. This machine in turn operates with credit cards. The aire itself costs 6 a night and we are waiting for Dominique to come and collect the fee between 5.45 and 6.45 pm, as it says on the notice-board. I do like the personal touch of letting us know the name of our hostess. It’s now 5.30 pm so she can’t be long.

Shower, toilet and information block

Shower, toilet and information block

 

In the shower block there are lots of information leaflets, local maps and magazines in French and English. The showers also operate with a jeton and they will run for 12 minutes. Adonis enjoyed one earlier on and he was very impressed with the large cubicles, the free toiletries (shower gel and shampoo) and the temperature of the water – not too hot and not too cold, but just right. Where have I head that before?

 

Gorgeous view from our pitch

Gorgeous view from our pitch

 

You can also order a baguette, or indeed a whole breakfast basket with croissants and pastries for 5 from Dominique, but as we’re doing our big shop in Boulogne-sur-Mer tomorrow morning, we won’t be taking advantage of this thoughtful service this time, but we certainly will in future when we’re heading south and not going back home.

 

A delightful flower border at motorhome aire

A delightful flower border at motorhome aire

 

Same flower border from a distance

Same flower border from a distance

 

The journey here was very pleasant, especially after yesterday’s nightmarish drive on the Paris Peripherique road. We left Conty at 9 am on the D920 west to Poix-de-Picardie, where we joined the D901 north to just south east of Abbeville, where the road crosses the river Somme at Pont-Remy. From there we took the minor road D183 north, passing St Riquier and Domvast and then the D928 to Hesdin, passed the woods and left on the D108 to Embry (NO tomtom this time!!!).

 

Some very old houses in the village

Some very old houses in the village

 

A bit closer

A bit closer.  How on earth is it still standing?

 

This house is over 400 years old!

This house is nearly 400 years old!

 

 

If houses could talk!  I wonder what this one has seen in nearly 4 centuries!

If houses could talk! I wonder what this one has seen in nearly 4 centuries!

 

It’s a shame the weather has turned cooler and grey again, as there are some picnic tables available here too, as well as a barbecue, so we hope we’ll be able to enjoy these on our next visit, which will probably be in August!

 

Pont-de-L’Arche, Eure, Friday 29th March 2013

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Motorhome aire at Pont-de-L'Arche

Motorhome aire at Pont-de-L’Arche

 

We’re on the banks of the river Eure, just south of Rouen, after driving on the first sunny day (did I say sunny???) we’ve seen for a long time.  We saw this very pleasant motorhome aire when we crossed the bridge north of the town on our way to what we thought would be our final destination for the day at Le Vaudreuil (lat 49° 15’ 29” N Long 1° 12’ 30” E), but we didn’t find the aire there all that attractive or welcoming – although it might have been alright in an emergency- and turned back to Pont-de-L’Arche hoping to find a space, as it was already 2 pm.  We were lucky another motorhome left soon after we arrived and we were quick to move and take over this prime spot with a wonderful view of the river and the church of Nôtre Dame des Arts on the hill.  The aire doesn’t appear on the Guide Officiel aires de Services Camping Cars, but it does exist and it’s free!

 

Prime parking spot right by the river Eure

Prime parking spot right by the river Eure

 

View of motorhome aire at Pont-de-L'Arche form above

View of motorhome aire at Pont-de-L’Arche form above

 

We’ve just come back from a walk around the small town in the sun (yes, in the sun!) – if still only 4°C – and had a look inside the impressive Gothic church I’ve just mentioned.  We also enjoyed the half-timbered houses, so old and rickety and typical of this area, and took a few pictures of all these quaint sights.

 

The Church of Notre Dame des Arts

The Church of Notre Dame des Arts

 

Impressive stained-glass window in church

Impressive stained-glass window in church

 

Half timbered houses

Half timbered houses

 

half timbered houses

half timbered houses

 

Half timbered houses.

Half timbered houses.

 

 

For the first time ever, we were delayed by a whole hour at the Eurotunnel terminal, as there seemed to be a technical fault of some sort in the tunnel itself, so we didn’t leave England till about 7.45 pm and arrived in Calais at 9.20 pm local time, being one hour ahead of GMT.  We drove down to the aire at Wissant and luckily there were still a few spaces left, so we quickly parked and heated up our pizza in the oven for a very late supper.

We were a bit tired after such a long day and went to bed after pizza without even bothering to do the washing up (very much unlike me!)

 

We were woken up this morning by one of the buses that usually park there for the night, blaring out some horrendous ‘circus-type’ music at the tender hour of 6.30 am.  I couldn’t go back to sleep after that, but stayed in the warmth under the bed covers until 8 am and still the temperature was only 5°C.  I let Adonis do his usual chores ‘downstairs’ first and put the heating on, so when I finally ventured down to the living quarters it was already a balmy 10°C.  Thank God our Elddis Autostratus has such an effective and fast gas heater!  I couldn’t do this otherwise in the winter (I know it’s spring, but the temperatures haven’t caught up yet with the dates).

 

We left Wissant just before 9 am and headed for Auchan at Boulogne-sur-Mer as usual for our big shop to see us through the Easter weekend.  We were on the road again by 10.45 am and followed the A16 to Abbeville and A28 to northeast of Rouen, where we found that the Matilda bridge is still shut (3 months now!), so we took the D6015 south, which runs alongside the river Seine, and very beautiful it was too and a nice and welcome change to our usual route.

Tomorrow we’ll be heading for Marbué in the Eure et Loir department; it should take just under 3 hours.

 

Pont-de-l'Arche

Pont-de-l’Arche

 

Le Crotoy, Thursday 3rd January 2013

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Le Crotoy as seen from motorhome aire.

Le Crotoy as seen from motorhome aire.

 

My first entry of the year happens to be on the Bay of the Somme on a misty, but warmish afternoon.  The thermometer in the van reads 17 °C and, as we haven’t had the heating on since 1.30 pm and it’s 4.45 pm now, the temperature inside can’t be very different from the outside.

 

Motorhome aire as seen from the Bay of the Somme

Motorhome aire as seen from the Bay of the Somme

 

We’ve just come back from a long walk with Sasha around the bay and the marshes and Sasha had a whale of a time leaping about, chasing the seagulls and the ducks.  I took lots of pictures all the way as I never tire of the beautiful sight of the town of Le Crotoy from the motorhome aire and the marshes.

 

Sasha enjoying herself on the marshes of the Bay of the Somme

Sasha enjoying herself on the marshes of the Bay of the Somme

 

 

Enjoying a long walk around the Bay

Enjoying a long walk and a run around the Bay

 

The aire still costs €5, plus €2 for the water and electricity borne if needed.  There are 8 vans here at the moment and it’s hard to imagine now how busy it was in the summer, with hardly any spaces left, even though the parking area is quite big, with room for 200 vehicles!

 

The Bay of the Somme

The Bay of the Somme

 

The Bay of the Somme

The Bay of the Somme and Le Crotoy

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our break at Amboise, as always, and left on 1st January for Montbizot, north of Le Mans, following mainly the D938/338 from the north of Tours.  Montbizot has a little aire with enough room for 6 motorhomes, but the water and electricity supply borne was switched off for the winter, but as we had topped up in Amboise, it didn’t really matter.  Again, the river Sarthe was overflowing and the walking area and path were waterlogged and flooded in parts, so walking was difficult and Wellington boots were a must!

After Montbizot, we carried on north on the D338 past Alenҫon and D438 to Broglie, where once again we had made an appointment with the vet to have Sasha wormed and checked before returning to England.  The guard came early in the evening to collect the €5 fee and we also bought a jeton (token) for water for €2.50 to last us until the end of the journey.  We were glad to see that everything was in working order.

It felt very strange this time round not to have Bramble with us, as we’ve been here so many times with him, especially during the walk along the Charentonne river.  Even the vet asked about him.  Still, Sasha loved the walk too and I hope it will be the first of many happy walks in this lovely village.

The vet was booked for 8.30 am, so we made an early start this morning and got here for 12.30 pm, following the A28, joining it at junction 14 north of Bernay and on past Rouen, but we had to take the A150 for a little while as the bridge was still closed on the Eastern side of the city and the traffic was diverted westwards.  We joined the A28 again at J.11 and followed the usual route past Abbeville to J.1 and D40 to Le Crotoy without any further disturbances to the traffic.

 

Le Crotoy

Le Crotoy

 

Various aquatic birds at the Bay of the Somme

Various aquatic birds at the Bay of the Somme

 

We are off to Auchan at Boulogne-sur-Mer for our final big shop to stock up on wine and beer before our final overnight stop at Wissant and going home.

We’ll be back in February!

Our parking spot at the motorhome aire of Le Crotoy

Our parking spot at the motorhome aire of Le Crotoy

 

 

Épagne, Canal du Somme, Thursday 7th June 2012

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Le Canal du Somme by Epagne bridge

It has been a very rainy day, with just a few breaks of sun every now and then.

We packed everything in the van last night – groundsheet, chairs, etc – before we went out for our French meal treat.  We gently strolled into the village of Le Petit Andely and settled for the Mistral restaurant, offering specialities from Provence.  It was a very enjoyable evening with very friendly service who spoke English, but we insisted with our improving French.  I had a ‘Terrine de volaille’ with salad in a vinaigrette for starter and a rabbit stew for main course and Adonis had the warm goat’s cheese with honey followed by a beef stiffado  served with some sort of macaroni cheese, which Adon couldn’t manage.  We thought this to be a weird combination, but I suppose this is the beauty of travelling and trying new and unusual things.  We finished with a lemon tart and a coffee and slowly wandered back to the campsite, enjoying the evening sun along the river Seine.  A perfect finish to a relaxing day.

Le Canal du Somme

 

We were ready to leave by 9.30 this morning and joined the D316 from Le Grand Andely and D6014 northwest to Rouen and back on the A28 before the tunnel at J13 all the way to J5, where we got off to join the D928 northeast to Abbeville and try our luck at finding a wild spot to spend the day by the canal du Somme.  Our efforts paid off and we found a charming, quiet parking place by the bridge at Épagne, where we’ve been since lunchtime.

We had a very wet dog walk along the canal and managed to take a few pictures of this great find.  We can really appreciate how wonderful it is now that the sun has finally broken through.

A view whilst walking the dog by Le Canal du Somme

 

It must be said that the weather hasn’t been on our side at all during this break and only enjoyed one very hot day on the day we arrived at Les Andelys last Saturday.  The rest of the time has been mainly cloudy and windy with a few showers for good measure.  Still, it’s been very relaxing and, as always, L’Île des Trois Rois is a fantastic campsite to chill by the river Seine, with very friendly and helpful staff and excellent facilities.

Adonis was happy because he caught 2 carp, which always helps to make it a successful trip, but he forgot to bring his ‘other’ landing net for quick fishing and can’t fish tonight as he can’t be bothered to get the bikes off the rack and climb on top of the van, where he keeps his fishing rods and other related paraphernalia.

We’re off to Boulogne-sur-Mer tomorrow morning for our ritual shopping trip before returning home on Saturday morning after spending Friday night at very convenient aire at Wissant, just 20 minutes south of the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais.

So, we’ll celebrate tonight with some Toulouse sausages, chips, French stick and Baron de Lestac Bordeaux.

Next time we write it will be during our summer holidays in early July!  Until then, cheers!

Le Canal du Somme by Epagne bridge