France May 2014: Pt 2 Fort Mahons Plage and Montreuil Sur Mer

Saturday:

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up on a large aire at Fort Mahons Plage, along with around 40 other European vans (and one other Brit!). We paid €9 Euro to stay here tonight, which includes unlimited water and disposals and whilst at first I thought this was slightly pricey, Keith seemed happy enough to stay here and make full use of the water tonight and before we leave tomorrow. Long showers all around!

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The aire at Fort Mahons Plage

I have to say, I’m pleased we did stay as we’ve had a great time here! But before I tell you about that, let’s skip back to this morning’s adventure! We awoke to sunshine peaking through the roof vents again, and although there were definitely more clouds on the scene, it didn’t dampen our spirits after such a great day yesterday. After breakfast we drove the 20 mins inland to Montreuil Sur Mer, described as “an incredibly pretty fortified town” in my “What to do and see within 90 mins of Calais” book that I got a few years ago off Amazon for about a quid! We soon found the motorhome aire, conveniently located 2 mins walk from the town centre, and even better- free! We soon found the market square, which was a hive of activity seeing as the market was in full swing, and naturally our priority was to find the saucisson stall. 5 mins later and €10 euros lighter we emerged happy as Larry that we’d got 6 new flavours of saucisson to get stuck into at lunchtime!

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The next two hours were spent exploring the town ramparts and the beautiful and oh so typically French streets thanks to the free town map from the Tourist Office. It really is a gorgeous place to visit- the town walls are well kept, enjoyable to walk round (free) and offer lovely views of the surrounding countryside; the cobbled streets are so enchanting that they inspired Victor Hugo to make the town the setting for a major part of Les Miserables after only half a day here back in 1837. We absolutely loved exploring Montreuil, in fact it’s made it’s way onto our favourite/most pretty French town list. Happily, the weather behaved during our time here too!

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After lunch (fresh warm baguette, Camembert and saucisson!) we headed back to the seaside on a 20 min journey to Fort Mahon Plage. During our journey it tipped itself down, but luck seemed to be on our side as by the time we pulled up/topped up water/emptied etc, plus delved into the saucisson once more (rude not to, no?!) and cracked open and finished the €1.20 bottle of red we bought earlier as an experiment, the storm had passed and ever since the sun has been out!

Wanting to make the most of the sun, we took a wander through the resort to the beach, which is a huge stretch of Blue Flag beach, had an ice cream and sat and watched the world go by. On our walk back to Bluebell we passed a fishmongers selling fresh mussels for €3 a litre. I’ve always fancied cooking fresh mussels on one of our trips, so nipped in to grab a litre, and ask how best to cook them. The very French fishmonger slowly talked me through it patiently: (so impressed I understood him!) butter, onions, small glass of white wine, parsley and told me this is what’s known as Moules Marinaire- THE regional meal. I already knew this, having eaten it many a time here before in restaurants but having never cooked it for us myself, I was so excited I skipped all the way back to Bluebell (nerd alert!!)

After finishing off my wine sized bottle of cider we picked up for €1.80 (flipping love this country!!) I set to the Moules, and it was (even if I do say so myself!) AMAZING! Will definitely do this again- to think it cost less than €5 for a hearty and tasty main meal for us is extraordinary!

Oh and by the way- the €1.20 bottled of red experiment…. It’s no Pape but it’s certainly drinkable and dare I say…… Tasty! It complimented our mid afternoon cheese and saucisson feast admirably and we will definitely be picking up more!!

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Until next time
Lx

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