Tag Archives: Vosges

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…

Gérardmer Lac, Vosges, Tuesday 16th July 2013

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The very pleasant Lac de Gerardmer

The very pleasant Lac de Gerardmer

 

 

Since leaving Cornée de Réchicourt on Sunday morning, we’ve been making our way south following the Alsace Wine Route or Route des Vins d’Alsace, with just one stop at the very convenient and attractive aire at Niderviller, still on the Moselle department, right on the Port de Plaisance. We found this a bit pricey at 10 a night plus €2 electricity, but it did include toilets and showers, which operated by a swipe card, to be had for a further deposit of €20. We weren’t at all surprised to find mainly German motorhomes here, as we don’t think the French would pay this much for an aire. We were happy to pay, though, as we had already enjoyed a couple of free nights and a very cheap campsite at Givet previously. So we had a very relaxing day there, as we arrived by 10.30 am and even enjoyed a swim in the canal to cool off, for it has been very hot every day.

 

Port de Plesance at Neverville

Port de Plaisance and motorhome aire at Niderviller

 

 

On Monday morning, we went back towards Sarrebourg to join the N4 east at junction 45 and then south on D1044 and D422 towards Molsheim and D35 to Obernai, where we stopped for the day at the Vallons d’Ehn municipal campsite to start our tour of Alsace, in the Bas Rhin Department. The campsite is very pleasant and with plenty of shade, very much needed this time of year, as well as the usual high standards of maintenance of grounds, shower blocks, etc. It also has a very convenient little shop and they sell fresh baguettes and croissants every morning without needing to order them the night before. There are also various take-away vans that supply the site on different days of the week, like pizzas or roast chicken. The very reasonable daily price of €18.60 also includes wife access, of which we made good use to update FB pages, etc.

Following the Alsace Wine Route

Following the Alsace Wine Route, Obernai

 

The town of Obernai itself is another fairy-tale picturesque town, typical of the Alsace region, with its stunning timber-framed and pastel coloured houses, bursting with geranium window-boxes and original shop signs. Like in Kaysersberg last year, we fell in love with the place and decided to go out for a meal in the evening as a belated wedding anniversary treat. We opted for ‘Le Dime’ restaurant to enjoy a typical Alsace meal and very nice and hearty it was too! We started with an onion tart and green salad for myself and escargots (snails) for Adonis, followed by a beef, pork and lamb stew and a rib of pork respectively. We both struggled to finish our main courses, as the portions were very generous indeed. I reckon mine would have fed 2 people at least! So much so, that I could hardly manage any breakfast this morning and just had an apricot and a coffee.

The incredibly beautiful and picturesque Obernai

The incredibly beautiful and picturesque Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

Obernai

Obernai

 

 

 

Enjoying an typical Alsace meal

Enjoying an typical Alsace meal at Le Dime restaurant, Obernai

 

My very generous and filling hot pot

My very generous and filling hot pot

 

We left the campsite just after 9 this morning and continued south on the sublime Route des Vins d’Alsace on the D422/1422 out of Obernai, past Sélestat and on to Ribeauvillé on the D1083 south of Sélestat, D42 and D1b. We were there for 10.30 am, so we went for a gentle stroll to admire yet another gorgeous town and where we bought 2 bottles of Alsace Gewürztraminer to enjoy later on. We didn’t really like the aire to stop for the day, so we continued on south west, past Kaysersberg on D415 and admiring the view every kilometer of the way. This is really stunningly beautiful countryside, with all the steep vineyards on the wooded hills and I kept taking pictures as we travelled along.

 

Hill vineyards in Alsace wine route

Hill vineyards in Alsace wine route

 

Rebeauville

Ribeauville 

 

 

Ribeauville

Ribeauville

 

 

An original front of house in Ribeauvillé

An original front of house in Ribeauvillé

 

The road got a bit steep and windy by Col du Bonhomme (over 900 meters high), but eased up after Fraize on the same road. From there we went south on the D8 to Gérardmer, where we stopped for the rest of the day at the motorhome aire near the town centre and only a few minutes’ walk to the beautiful lake.

Lac de Geradmer

Lac de Geradmer

 

We enjoyed a couple of hours swimming and resting on the shore, as it’s been another scorcher of a day, so swimming and shade are a must.

 

Entertainment for the young at Lac de Gerarmer

Entertainment for the young at Lac de Gerarmer

 

The motorhome aire is €4 a night, but there is no electricity and there’s a €2 supplement for water. There are, however, free toilets that ‘clean’ themselves automatically after each use!

The very spacious motorhome aire at Lac de Gerardmer

The very spacious motorhome aire at Lac de Gerardmer

 

High street at Lac de Gerardmer

High street at Lac de Gerardmer

 

Tomorrow we’re heading further west to Corre, in the Haute Saone Department, where we are hoping to stop at the aire on the river leisure centre or Fluvial Loisirs.