France/Italy Part 7: French Riviera – Chateauneuf Du Pape – Dijon – Champagne

Bluebell the motorhome is safely parked up amongst some warehouses and caves that make up a champagne maker/distributor on a France Passion site near Epernay. We’re slowly adjusting to being back int norton areas, the weather has changed, and we’ve both had to dig out our jumpers!

We found a fantastic aire on the beach just 3 km from St Tropez, and did something which we rarely do- stayed there for more than one night! When we arrived, we were pleased to see that dogs were allowed on the beach- something that is a rarity in Europe during the heights of summer, and to have found a gorgeous little beach right in the heart of the riviera was brill. Our pitch was 50 metres away from the sea and we had an amazing view of all the luxury yachts just off the shore! It was just the sort of place we were after, and we had an amazing 2 days relaxing on the beach, swimming and sleeping!

We reluctantly packed our things up on Saturday morning to turn Bluebell round and begin the journey north. We both didn’t really want to leave, but equally, we didn’t want to have a mammoth drive back to Calais, we wanted to pad it out a little. So we set off Chateauneuf du Pape, where we’ve been before, and loved. It was supposed to be only a 2 hour journey, but unfortunately we weren’t the only ones heading north, and our journey time was doubled with traffic jams for the majority of the journey! Once we arrived all thoughts of traffic and leaving the seaside vanished- we both adore the wine, and got so excited see the vines, and find the France passion vineyard that we stayed at last time. It’s a beautiful house, surrounded by vines and mountains, and is blissfully quiet. We had a fantastic afternoon and evening, trying the wines, buying the wines, then of course drinking the wine!!

Inevitably, next morning we both awoke feeling a little worse for wear! We popped into the local supermarket to stock up on a hangover kit- annadin, coca cola, chocolate and fizzy water and set off to Dijon. Once again, we weren’t the only ones travelling and we hit huge delays, turning our 3.5 hour journey into a 7 hour beast. We later found out that this particular weekend is known as Black Saturday/Sunday as everyone is travelling back home after their hols!

We were intending on staying on a France Passion vineyard near Beaune, but we still we to feeling quite up for wine tasting, so opted for a free aire in the pretty town of Nuit St George. It was a pretty little town, and we enjoyed a short wander round, but we opted for an early night and locked ourselves away at only 7pm!

Next morning we awoke feeling much brighter, although the weather was still grim, and we set off towards the champagne region. On the route we mused about whether we had done the right thing leaving St Tropez when we did. We’ve still got a few days before we need to be at Calais, and the weather is depressing- maybe we should have stayed put in the sun for a couple of extra days and then done the long journey back in just two days. With the heavy traffic it feels like we’ve driven for long periods of time, and its seeming quite relentless. Never mind, next time we will know!

We reached our France passion mid afternoon after trying and failing to find two other France passion sites! We love France Passion and will always support it, however find the directions often impossible to follow. Why they can’t use coordinates I don’t know, or even a road name would be good! Never mind!!

We had a nap when we arrived, you know what they say- as you get older it takes longer to shift the hangovers….! After a nap and a freshen up we felt much more up for trying out the champagne that is made on the premises. It was nice, and we ended up with a bottle to save (!) maybe for Christmas. We had a chill and watched some Sopranos and hit the sack at 10pm! It was very quiet and again, we both slept like logs! We’ve made an appointment for Jazz for his return to England tablet in the vets in Amien, so we shall stop there on the way to St Valery Sur Somme, which is where we plan to spend our penultimate night in France.

Until next time

Lx

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