france 2017

This year, I didn't write my blog as I travelled around.  Somehow I just didn't seem to have enough new stuff to add but I kept thinking that this is the best place for me to store my memories of where, and whose company,  we have enjoyed.   So, as usual, here it is for 2017.


As usual, we crossed the Channel through the tunnel,  but then stayed overnight in Calais.
That has not really been a good idea in recent years but it was all perfectly fine in 2017.  We stayed at an aire, well a car park really, supplied by cité europe, and it's free. That was handy for visiting the Orange telecom shop to top up our Domino wifi gadget that makes the internet possible for us in France..  There's a supermarket right there too and lots of other temptations all in the building right across the road from the parking.

Having got the internet going and after a good wander around the incredible supermarket, we bought provisions and then toddled down to Sens using the motorway.  Another new thing for us this year is having a 'tag' for the motorway.  It's a brilliant bit of kit enabling us to simply drive through the toll points without having to take tickets and make payments for each section. 

John has been finding that impossible the past couple of years as it isn't very clear where to put the ticket or the cash in.  The tag system is magic. Here's a link to the lead page for information and application.  It's all in English and you pay in pounds by the way.

In Sens, we stayed at the Camping Municipal.  It's a nice campground with an arboretum right opposite and we enjoyed walking and exploring there.  It was also very good for Poké hunting! 

Next day, we collected our friends Jan and Kev from the rail station with just a small hiccough in that we hadn't realised there were two entrances/exits to the station.  Yes, you've quessed it, we were at one and they at the other.  Eventually, we connected and made the short journey to Veron to collect their camping car from France Motorhome Hire.

France Motorhome Hire

The next few days included visiting Gurgy where we missed a visit to a snail farm, Chaumard, Roanne and Neuvic.  Then we arrived at Gluges on the Dordogne.

We had a great day on the river, no expense spared.  The cost? €32 for the 4 of us, two canoes and return to base.  OK, that was for the shortest trip but included a very scenic bus ride back to Gluges.
At Martell, there is a beautiful roundabout.  Well, good to look at but a nightmare for traffic.  The route is used by huge lorries that find it difficult to negotiate.  Guess who met one.  We both needed to wriggle a bit.  It looks so innocent doesn't it?

Right on that roundabout, just out of sight to the right, is a good little restaurant, Le Sans-Lys.  We went in for the Plat de Jour.  While this may look a bit of a 'dinner', it was truly delicious



Same village.  Just love that window.  I think Kev is wondering whether that gutter works?

Below, our photos taken in Rocamadour.  Got it right this time (Grant and Smillie) and found the campervan parking.  It's very commercial but we had an excellent lunch of duck confit for less than €10 and some of the stuff in the shops was actually worth buying!
Jan's photo on the left.


Here's a sight.  This is a basket of snails waiting to be someone's dinner.  I kid you not.  A lady came out and explained that they are very delicious - we think

Here are some more that I spotted - free!  I initially couldn't work out what the plant was, I though they were flowers.  It wasn't until I enlarged my photo that I could see properly


On the way to Viellevie, we stopped at Conques.  It's one of France's plus beaux villages and on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The main draw for medieval pilgrims at Conques were the remains of Saint Faith ("St. Foy"), a martyred young woman from the fourth century. It's probably been a money maker since then.

This is the famous doorway depicting Heaven on the left and the other place on the right.  Look closely and decide where looks more fun ????

On arriving in Viellevie, sitting outside enjoying a glass of the local, I spied this growing right beside my chair

Yes, that's for real.  It's stuck into my 'log' now.  It hasn't produced my fortune yet though.

Southwards, we chose not to drive over the incredible viaduct at Millau because you really can't see it properly from the road.

We detoured to go into the new visitor centre next to the bridge.  We have to say it is a huge disappointment.  The main feature is a video which really doesn't show the stuff you would expect.  We found it very boring and so dark that a disorientated man, who I had never met before, sat on my lap.  The poor guy was quite distressed.

Having arrived in Occitane we found the wine harvest in full swing.  One of our favourite wineries at Roquessels, we found everywhere deserted, not a soul to be found.  A local lady appeared as we were turning the campers around (which isn't easy) to tell us in express French that the family would only be there for sleeping and to return another time.  We hope it is a good harvest for you all at Domaine Trinites.  We shall miss our few bottles of delight this year.  Ho hum, we shall plan better next time.  We did see a few grapes but we didn't follow the load all the way home.

Following the harvest by Jan Bradley

Jan took the photo.

We can also recommend Domaine Jones and Domaine Fontanel

At the Hostellerie du Vieux Moulin in Duillac Peyrepertuse for a huge lunch

Village road sign    Didn't meet any cavaliers

On our northward route we stayed for a night at the aire at St. Armand Montrond.  This is the roundabout nearby

This is a genuine Mirage jet that was donated to the city by the French army (Air Force?) but I haven't disocovered why???

Lots of walking in Chartres and a great lunch at Table du Marché

I like the green of the cathedral roof and the boat in the foreground here.  Yes, I've tinkered with this pic because deep shadows were hiding the boat.  I'm happy with the colours that are somewhat larger than life.