Tag Archives: Cap Gris-Nez

Gérardmer, Vosges, Friday 10th July 2015

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Lac de Gerardmer

Lac de Gerardmer

The first week in our new Hymer 584 has gone very well indeed and it didn’t take us long to get used to all the new control panels, doors and windows mechanisms, etc. We are really enjoying the extra space for storage underneath for tables, chairs, fishing gear, buckets and bits and pieces one needs when travelling like this and we really LOVE the separate shower with its own screen, the bigger bed lower down and with more space for the air to circulate, the bigger fridge and fixed dining table and just about everything else. I don’t even miss the oven, as we have bought an Andrew James electric Multi Cooker that heats up pizzas, casseroles and even cooks chips with a crisp finish. It really feels like a step up the motorhoming world!

We had a sort of plan for the first week of our travels that we failed to follow completely and about which we had a very good laugh earlier on. Poor Adonis spent hours researching motorhome aires and maps to come up with a route towards Germany, but for some reason, not really quite sure why, we did something totally different.

The last hour on our way to the Channel Tunnel was slow and painful due to the M20 being shut for Operation Stack after the French strikes at the docks, so we had to follow the A20 through Ashford, which added a whole hour to our journey. Still, we arrived to the terminal 2 hours before our scheduled departure time with the hope of boarding earlier, but all the trains were full and we had to wait until 4.20pm, which gave us time for lunch and a rest before the crossing.

We arrived at Calais about 6.15pm and tried to stop for the night at the aire at Escalles, but they put up a sign now banning all overnight stays, so we tried Wissant further down the road, which was packed by the time we got there. We then moved further down towards Cap Gris Nez and stopped a the restaurant-bar Les Deux Caps in Audinghen, which used to be a France Passion site before but not any more. Nevertheless, we had a beer outside to enjoy the last of the sunshine and asked the friendly waitress if it would be possible for us to stay the night in their car park and they very kindly obliged.

The lovely motorhome aire at Nuncq Hautecote

The lovely motorhome aire at Nuncq Hautecote

The next day, Saturday, we did our usual shop at Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer and stopped for the day at the private aire of Nuncq Hautecote for 6. this is a lovely aire with all the usual facilities with an extra charge for electricity, which we didn’t need. It also had a country lane adequate for dog walks.

View of the Champagne fields from Manoir de Montflambert, Mutigny

View of the Champagne fields from Manoir de Montflambert, Mutigny

Sunday was our 18th wedding anniversary and it found us in Champagne country at Mutigny, south of Reims, with amazing views of the vineyards. This aire was free and there were numerous Champagne outlets in the village, but the aire itself is further up the hill following the road to Manoir de Montflambert.

Champagne fields

Champagne fields

Motorhome aire at Manoir de Montflambert, Mutigny

Motorhome aire at Manoir de Montflambert, Mutigny

From there we carried on south east, past Châlons-en-Champagne and followed the N44 to St Dizier and N67 to Froncles, north of Chaumont in the Haute Marne department. Here we stayed at the aire by the canal and, although the location is very pretty, we felt a bit crowded and, for some reason, I couldn’t quite relax, so we decided to make our way to the spacious aire at Corre in Haute Saône.

The attractive aire at Froncles by canal

The attractive aire at Froncles by canal

We were the only ones in Corre when we arrived and had pick of the pitches and only a couple more motorhomes joined us during our stay.  We love it here because we can swim in the canal and Adonis can fish and the facilities are all included in the €8 daily fee. We ended up staying 3 days, as it is lovely and quiet, with everything we need and the village is only a few minutes walk along the canal, which is also a very pleasant dog walk.  There is a nice bar and restaurant by the Marina and aire too for those who don’t feel like cooking…

The large and mostly empty aire at Corre

The large and mostly empty aire at Corre

The bar and restaurant at the Marina and aire in Corre

The bar and restaurant at the Marina and aire in Corre

The pleasant walk along the canal from the aire to the village

The pleasant walk along the canal from the aire to the village

We left this morning and tried a campsite with direct access to the lake Gérardmer, but the only pitch available was too small and totally unsuitable for us, so I went back to reception and asked if we could have our money back, which they very kindly did without any fuss. The campsite was heaving with young families and young people in tents, but we think this is due to the Kayak races taking place at the moment for the French Championships.

Lac de Gerardmer

Lac de Gerardmer

We are staying at the aire by the Tourist Information Office for €5.50 overnight fee and went swimming in the lake before lunch and after siesta. It’s much busier than when we came 2 years ago, again due to the races we presume, but still wonderful and cooling.

We are planning to cross into Germany tomorrow, but then again, we might change our minds…

Camping de L’Ile des Trois Rois, Les Andelys, Eure Department, Sunday 25th May 2014

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Les Andelys on the river Seine

Les Andelys on the river Seine

 

Shock! Horror! I’ve left my digital camera behind and I’m kicking myself: How can I possibly write a travelling blog without pictures? Is it worth doing at all, I wonder? Well, luckily 21st century technology has given us mobile phones with in-built cameras, some of them very good and, between Adonis and I, I think we have captured some beautiful images, even though my laptop is refusing to upload mine, just my luck!

 

Our overnight stop at Escalles, Pas de Calais

Our beautiful overnight stop at Escalles, Pas de Calais

 

We decided against stopping at Wissant aire on Friday night, as we weren’t very impressed with some motorhomers’ parking on our last day of the Easter holidays, causing mayhem with the buses, as quite a few vans did not respect the buses parking lanes and the whole thing seemed overcrowded. So, instead, we opted to stop at the bus/motorhome car park in Escalles, just a little up the road from Wissant and it turned out to be much more pleasant. We were the only ones there till about 9 o’clock and we enjoyed a lovely evening walk up the hill of Mont d’Hubert, which commands stunning views of both, Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez, with Wissant in between. I think we’ll probably make this our future overnight stop before our crossing back to England on the Eurotunnel, even though it has no facilities at all.

 

The magnificent view from Mont Hubert over Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez and Wissant

The magnificent view from Mont d’ Hubert over Cap Blanc Nez , Cap Gris Nez and Wissant

 

Stunning sunset on Mont Hubert

Stunning sunset on Mont d’Hubert

 

Yesterday morning, we did our usual shopping at Auchan in Boulogne-sur-Mer (J. 31 of A16), topped up with diesel and followed the motorway all the way to Beauvais (23), which meant we were there for just after 1 pm, including ½ hour coffee stop on the way.

 

View from car park & Motorhome aire at Beauvais with Cathedral in background

View from car park & Motorhome aire at Beauvais with Cathedral in centre

 

We stayed at the free motorhome aire (N49º 25.455′ E002º 04.810′) with adjacent car park which overlooks the cathedral and with steps down into town. The view from these steps is quite impressive and this seems like a popular place for people to pose and take pictures of the town and cathedral below, as we did too.

 

Beauvais Cathedral

Beauvais Cathedral

 

Front of Beauvais Cathedral

Front of Beauvais Cathedral

 

 

We had a quick look inside St Étienne church, where a wedding was about to take place, and then we carried on into town for a beer and a walk to the cathedral and the Galerie Nationale de la Tapisserie, which has the same stature as Gobelins and Aubusson and where you can see tapestries being made. Both places well worth a visit and free of charge. We also enjoyed a walk through the rose garden near St Étienne Church, even though is was raining at that point.

 

The impressive aisle inside Cathedral

The impressive aisle inside Cathedral

 

 

This morning we followed the D927 straight south to Auvers-sur-Oise, where we stopped for about 90 minutes to enjoy la Irisiade or Iris/Flower Festival at the Château, which was absolutely lovely with some unusual and amazing flower arrangements all around the château’s gardens and we were particularly impressed with the school children’s efforts and the melon carvings and table-top flower dressings for special occasions: absolutely stunning!

 

The Chateau at Auvers-sur-Oise

The Chateau at Auvers-sur-Oise

 

The gardens at Chateau de Auvers-sur-Oise

The gardens at Chateau d ‘Auvers-sur-Oise

 

I must mention the horrible road leading to the campsite at Auvers-sur-Oise. We knew the campsite would be shut, but were hoping to park outside, which we did, but the road is in desperate need of repair and not one we would like to travel on again.

 

Artist at work on the flower festival/Irisiade

Artist at work on the flower festival/Irisiade.  Painting on plastic

 

Children's work for the Flower Festival

Children’s work for the Flower Festival

 

A bin covered in flowers.  I love this idea!

La Fleurbelle:  A bin covered in flowers. I love this idea!

 

Stunning table flower arrangements

Stunning table flower arrangements

 

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Amazing Melon Carvings

Amazing Melon Carvings

 

Street Art too!

Street Art too!

After battling with the traffic to get out of town and through Pontoise, we had an easy drive to Les Andelys on the N14, D14 and D125, so we were here for 1.30 pm and lunch was a bit later than usual.

 

The lovely L'Ile des Trois Rois camping

The lovely L’Ile des Trois Rois camping: Chateau Gaillar above our motorhome

 

L’Ile des Trois Rois camping is just as lovely as it’s always been and I always feel happy to be here. The staff are very nice, helpful and friendly and the views of Château Gaillard beautiful and almost surreal, especially at night when it’s lit. We have pitch No 14, as the receptionist recommended it for fishing and Adonis is very happy with his ‘swim’. Let’s hope he catches something…

 

our generous pitch No 14

our generous pitch No 14

 

I love to walk around this campsite and photograph the mobile homes’ gardens, as the owners seem to take great pride in adorning them with beautiful flower displays, tubs and sculptures. I could easily make this my home. We have booked for 3 days, but we might squeeze another one in if we can.

 

Chateau Gaillard

Chateau Gaillard and excercise area at l’Ile des Trois Rois Camping

 

Bridge over the river Seine seen from l'Ile des Trois Rois

Bridge over the river Seine  at Les Andelys and l’Ile des Trois Rois Camping on left

 

Some elaborate garden display at l'Ile des Trois Rois Camping

Some elaborate garden display at l’Ile des Trois Rois Camping right by the River Seine

 

recycled boot!

recycled boot!