England and France 2014

This summer our great Kiwi friends, Jan and Keven, joined us for 10 days in Norfolk and London (and later, France)

The view from Wroxham bridge   Views from Norfolk's Wroxham Bridge, London's Waterloo Bridge and The Eye

      The Thames, The Eye and Westminster         


This is Covent Garden. once famous for produce,

now great for the street entertainers and the craft market.

Our trip also included The Tower, Mamma Mia and the Strand Palace Hotel 



 then after exploring other bits of England, Jan and Kev met us at Dover where we happened to arrive in time to see a re-enactment of the siege at the castle.     

Here's a link to Paul Hillman's page describing it all.

On to France ...


We found a 'sleeping beauty' chateau, more of a manoir really but it has delightful owners and is a great change from the norm.

Chateau Sereville near Sens.  Do check it out and if it is anywhere near your intended route, do stay there.  It's B&B only btw.


Next, to France Motorhome Hire in Véron, then our first evening with the two motorhomes in St. Julien du Sault and a good meal at Les Bons Enfants.

Mennetou sur Cher


Another wonderful day in the city of Bourges, it is also magical by night.  If you are passing this way.do pause for a day or two.  There's a good market there every day too.

Below; Cambord Chateau architecture is the most lavish of them all. Next;  I can never resist a horse and also managed to get a photo of one of the lovely blue bees we see here.


  Le Puy de Dome 
Jan was fascinated to know how moles get up this high (1465 metres, maybe they took the train?  We did!)

We met up with all our mates at Vieillevie and enjoyed a fab bbq, followed the next day by posh lunch at La Terrasse


Below, La Roque Gageac, our lunch of local sausages and eggs with truffle before sitting beside the Dordogne at Domme for the evening.  We saw kingfishers, woodpeckers and bats.


       This strange but beautiful bridge is at Brantome.
Why is one arch wonky?

On to Meschers sur Gironde; moules cooked with onions, white wine and cream, fishing huts and the catch at the daily market.


Back to the Loire,    the chateau at Azay le Rideau.

Gilles Berthelot acquired the chateau in 1510 and for 20 years it was his sumptuous residence.  He was the king's notary but when a relative of his wife was accused of embezzlement, he fled.  François I confiscated the chateau and in 1537 gave it to his companion in arms, Antoine Raffin.
In 1791, during the Revolution, the Marquis Charles de Biencourt bought and restored it to its former glory.

Below; Cheverny; still I think, our favourite of all the chateaux that we have visited.  Just look at those ceilings !  It is the only chateau that I have seen that is well furnished.  It has been in the same family for more than 6 centuries.  The Marquis and Marquise de Vibraye live in one wing and open the house to the public every day of the year.

And then to top that, just meet the hounds ...  Cheverny is also an important hunting venue.  The kennels house about a hundred French hounds and have the 'V' for Vibraye shorn into the right flank of each hound.

  The view from one of the bridges in Briare        and the amazing aquaduct
and the map of our French travels with Jan and Kev (our travels continue after the map)

We found a new aire at Chaource, just a grass field an easy walk to the village.  We bought some of the local cheese, and very good it was too.
     This is the bird hide near Geraudot.

and an art installation by K. Rinke (1986) in homage to Gaston Bachelard. (Wiki info here)

In the centre is a pendulum.  This is Lusigne sur Barse close to Bachelard's birthplace.