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France 2011

August...   After travelling from Norfolk to Kent, we stayed overnight on a Caravan Club CL about 5 miles from the Tunnel Terminal.  Our crossing was paid for using Tesco vouchers.  It's really worth shopping at Tesco and joining the Clubcard scheme.  The vouchers can be exchanged for 3 x the face value so a £100 crossing ticket costs £33 in vouchers, which of course, don't actually cost anything anyway!  Did you follow that ?  If so, great, your brain must be less pickled than mine.

First stop at Auchan hypermarket.  Got lots of prawns for €2, Cotes du Rhone Villages for €2.60 and fuel for €1.32 litre.  (€1.09 = £1 at the Co-op in Loddon)

Aire at Arques.  Lake to the left. 

Railway line to the right - not too noisy though.  
asparagus My roses from home have just about had it. 

White asparagus, not the same as English though.

Right, a barge passing the aire at Souppes-sur-Loing, 
the captain's car looks a bit precarious 'parked' on the top.
I'm also curious as to how they got it on there ?
Or how they will get it off ??

Below, Sully sur Loire chateau
car on barge
No nails were used in the construction
of this building in about 1395

Sully sur Loire chateau      I like the finials on this bed!

Sorry if the pictures are a bit dark and fuzzy, no flash is allowed
(camera set @ 400 ISO and slow shutter)

The aire at Sully overlooks the Loire, is free
and makes visitors feel welcome without any obligation
to visit the chateau.

We were very happy to pay €6 each to visit the chateau.

I do wish the Brits would adopt this thinking.
The aire at Uzerche is also free and includes unlimited electricity.

Uzerche aire
St. Cirq Lapopie was recommended by friends, and we missed it last time around.

Wow!  The rocks are dramatic.  The walk to the village from the aire made my legs stiff for a couple of days.  It was 1.2k uphill.  Very touristy too.  Very nice single plate lunch which included foie gras, smoked duck and goats cheese.  Add 50cl red wine and a coffee =

John took some photos on the return drive ... one overhang had 2.9m clearance - thaat's how tall we are !!!
Below:  some fool thought it a good idea to rent boats to visitors for their holidays !!!

St Cirq Lapopie

Left, 4 musketeers in Condom.    Did you know that's what Condom is famous for?
Right, John took this at a local market ... lots of colour, eh? 

Sunflowers for miles and oysters for lunch
Below, Albas - the town and the barrage, where we spent the night.  The camper is just visible through the structure.
Below right, St Jean Pied La Port
Albas Albas
We were very lucky to find john's niece and her family at their wonderful new home.

Also, it happened to be the local fête day so there were local producers tempting us with their wares.  We enjoyed it all.
It was too hot and busy near the Spanish border so we returned to the Midi. 

More wonderful food at Vieville.  That's pudding, an ice-cream mushroom, plus lots of fab flavours. 

Relaxing by the river for the afternoon. 

Below, mistletoe in the trees.
The plan was to head northeast and stay at a campground just outside Lyon, then to use public transport to travel in to visit the city.  That went by the way when we missed a turn somewhere and managed to miss Lyon !!!  However did we manage that ???  By the time we realised we were too far north, we decided to head for the countryside instead. St Victor sur Loire
Entraygues Le Fel Right, St Victor sur Loire not only has great scenery, the next village has the greatest boulangerie in France.  There are the most fabulous cakes you can imagine.  Stayed for 2 days - but it rained for most of that time.
At Seurre, we arrived to find powerboat racing on the river.  But the racing had to stop when a barge came through

Yes, 82.4 metres of it

It looks much shorter from this angle.   By the time it was level with us I couldn't get it all in my viewfinder. 

The racing resumed when it had passed and the swans didn't mind the disturbance either
Getting internet has been virtually impossible in France this year, we've even been to 3 McDonalds! 

In Epinal, we abandoned looking for wifi and tried some different food; The Ducs de Lorraine restaurant, an absolutely fabulous lunch.

Le Manoir in Epinal
A really nice riverside aire at Lamarche sur Soane.  The blue things on the right are the services (water and waste points) for the campervans and moorings

The city of Nancy:  Quite a surprise


Nancy city in France

We're not lost, we're Here - and don't forget to look up.

Back to Calais, then England through the Tunnel


We've never had a 'carriage' to ourselves before.
Glad we didn't take the ferry, it was very windy

Calais ferry

The views from and around Brighton Pier

View from Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier 2011
Brighton Pavillion England Surfing in Brighton England
Fish and Chips at Harry Ramsdens


Fish pedicure on the pier
Fishy feet