Today’s been the hottest and most enjoyable day of this holiday so far. We are staying for a few days at this magnificent campsite right on the river Moselle. Our pitch is barely 10 metres away from the river itself and Adonis has already found a ‘swim’ in which to fish, but not before doing battle with a very protective swan watching over his brood. That was a sight to behold, funny and frightening at the same time! My money was on the swan!
We have provisionally booked for 3 days, but we might stay longer if the weather stays as hot as today: we’ve even had a swim in the river late in the afternoon to cool off a bit and didn’t feel cold at all either in the water or lying on the shore: that’s more like it!
The Lillypad windblockers, however, have come in very handy again, as every now and then we get a cool gust of wind that would totally spoil my enjoyment sitting outdoors.
Yes, it is a wonderful campsite, quiet, with lots of space, the river, the fishing, the swimming and very clean and hot showers. What else could you ask for?
I wasn’t so impressed with the showers at the campsite at Lac des Vieilles Forges, as I had another disappointing lukewarm one at 9 o’clock in the morning, when you really expect them to be hot, and it was the same in the gents’ block when Adonis tried in the evening. I felt like complaining, but the reception seemed to be empty when we left. We did, nevertheless, have a very pleasant walk around the lake and into the village itself and it looked like a charming place to live. We never managed a swim in the lake, however, as Sunday turned out to be a wet and not very warm day.
After leaving the Base de Loisirs at the Vieilles Forges, we continued southeast towards Charleville-Méziers and took the A34 for a little while to junction 3 with the idea of following the D4/27 south along the Meuse river, but the signs left us again in true French fashion and somehow we mysteriously re-emerged north of where we were supposed to be at Douzy and ended up following the parallel D964 on the other side of the river, still charming and more direct, all the way to Stenay, just 24 km.
Here we found once again an aire with a barrier which needed a code to be got from the Capitainerie nearby for only €7. This is a most impressive aire, right where the canal and the river meet, very clean, with free toilets, hot showers and electricity all included in the €7 daily fee: definitely an aire to come back to in future and one to recommend to other motorhomers. The fee also entitles you to a free entry ticket to the Musée Europeén de la Bière, or European Beer Museum, which we didn’t visit as we just wanted to relax in the sun by the canal.
So Adonis enjoyed his fishing and I my crochet and reading right by the canal mostly in the sun, although we did have a couple of quick outbursts of rain.
The most amusing part of the day, however, was after lunch, when a very enhibrated French motorhomer started singing ‘Coo Coo roo coo coo Paloma’ at the top of his voice along with the radio, but he must have fallen asleep soon after, being siesta time, as he was quiet for the rest of the afternoon, mercifully!
We also laughed at the smell from the pre-packed mussels we’d bought at Leclerc. We’d never bought them before and will not buy them again in future for, although they tasted OK, it left the motorhome stinking to high heaven for a couple of hours afterwards, even with all the windows open! What on earth do they put in them to preserve them? It makes one shiver. Lesson learned: Never put convenience over freshness!
Tonight we had a more pleasant experience with my home-made spaghetti Bolognese, cooked with fresh mince-beef: no nasty surprises there.
There’s a restaurant-bar at the campsite, so we might give it a go, as we haven’t celebrated our wedding anniversary properly yet due to Bramble’s passing a few days before and we were not really in the mood for any celebrations.
The D964 road from Stenay to Verdun and D903/904 from there to Toul and Villey-le-Sec is a very easy and scenic ride and only took a couple for hours, taking it very easy. Who needs motorways anyway?
It looks like cycling along the opposite side of the river is a very popular activity and I might give it a go while Adonis is fishing…