Gallery

France- May half term 2013 (3) Cancale – Dinan – Perros Guirec (The pink granite coast)

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up around the back of a large souvenir store, overlooking fields and next to a Spanish motorhome. The weather was lovely earlier, however this afternoon has gone more overcast and chilly.

We had a lovely lazy morning sat outside the van on the aire in Cancale. The sun was everso hot, we had created our very own private sun trap. About 11 ish we hit the road for an hour and arrived at the pretty town of Dinan. There was a fabulous aire just under the viaduct and below the walls of the town, however we were only visiting for a couple of hours so parked in the central car park. Luck was on our side as we arrived at 12:00- the exact time that it was free parking until 14:00. We soon found the tourist office and got ourselves the free map with a walking tour on so we could see the best of the town. Dinan itself is very pretty. It reminded us of a cross between (a small) Edinburgh and Lincoln. There were lots of old houses that were made of timber, and cobbled streets. We enjoyed walking around part of the ramparts and there was a fab view of the river, viaduct and the aire.

We found a cafe on the main square and sat and people watched for a while. Keith wasn’t allowed a beer in the cafe as he wasn’t eating a crepe?! Weird rule, but I think he enjoyed the coffee in the end!

I had read lots about the “pink coast” so suggested we headed on the 2 hour journey. We had a good journey and arrived at Perros Guirec about 3:30. We had a bit of an explore, stocked up on lots of very cheap Bordeaux wine in Super U, followed the coast road back to Lannion. We were heading for a France Passion site (we actually had 3 to choose from in this area). We soon found it, but both weren’t sure we liked the look of it. It’s always our number 1 rule wherever we go, if we dont feel comfortable, move on. So we did, and ended up at the third one!

We’re going to try and have an earlier night tonight, we’ve been going to bed way after 11, unlike us, and rather merry!! Tomorrow we wave goodbye to the English channel for a few days and head to the Atlantic side of Brittany. First stop Quimper for lunch,then Concarneu for the night and I’m going to attempt to buy some fresh fish from the fish auction….

Until then

Lx

France- May half term 2013 (1) – Dover- Honfleur – Nr Granville

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up in amongst an orchard on the grounds of a very pretty French Farm in Normandy. The apples grown on this orchard are used to make cider, liquor and cider vinegar, and we’ve spent a glorious afternoon in the sunshine sampling *hic*!

We headed for Dover on Thursday after work, and had a very quick journey, which, luckily for us, allowed us go for a curry once we’d settled Jazz and showered. We parked on Marine Parade again, and enjoyed only having to cross the road to the curry house!

After a very peaceful night, we nipped up to Tescos to stock up on some supplies we had forgotten about, and then headed towards Folkstone to catch our train. We were hoping to be able to catch an earlier train, but they were full, so we had a chill in the car park, and spent some time in “Walkies” a dog play/ exercise area, which included lots of cruft type hoops and see saws and tunnels etc!

We were called onto our ferry shortly after 2:30 and thoroughly enjoyed our first crossing “under the sea”. We were so impressed with the whole embarking/disembarking process and the length of the crossing (35mins) that I can’t see us ever using the ferry again.

We decided to aim for the aire at Honfleur. We’ve been there before, and loved it, and as it was pouring with rain we weren’t in a hurry to stop driving. At 7pm on the dot, we arrived in Honfleur, connected with electricity courtesy of the aire (€10 for 24hrs with electric, water etc). After a quick shower (and time to allow the rain to stop) we hit the town and enjoyed a carafe of red wine, and sat outside overlooking the harbour. Jazz loved being nosey and was as good as gold.

We stumbled back to the van at 10pm and rustled up a late dinner and then promptly fell into a deep sleep until gone 9am this morning. After a quick cuppa we wandered back into town (5mins walk from aire) and enjoyed wandering around the alleys and exploring the market!

We headed back to Bluebell just before 1200 and set off towards Granville, near Mont St Micheal. We had a few France Passion sites in mind, but ended up picking the cider cave- surprising that eh?!

So now we are here, all tucked up in the apple orchard, the sun is shining, we are a bit merry on cider- we initially bought 2 bottles and a bottle of cider mixed with Calvados- but we’ve already drank them both so we went to buy 6 more! 🙂 We are sharing the field with a very friendly donkey (Dave)- he’s had his head inside our door most of the time we’ve been here so far. Jazz isn’t quite sure what to make of the donkey, however he isn’t barking!

Another van has just turned up, they are Brits and the farmer has been to collect Dave the Donkey, and show us a donkey that has only been born yesterday. So cute!

Tomorrow we head to Mont St Micheal and Cancale.

Until then

Lx

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France- May half term 2013 (1) – Dover- Honfleur – Nr Granville

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up in amongst an orchard on the grounds of a very pretty French Farm in Normandy. The apples grown on this orchard are used to make cider, liquor and cider vinegar, and we’ve spent a glorious afternoon in the sunshine sampling *hic*!

We headed for Dover on Thursday after work, and had a very quick journey, which, luckily for us, allowed us go for a curry once we’d settled Jazz and showered. We parked on Marine Parade again, and enjoyed only having to cross the road to the curry house!

After a very peaceful night, we nipped up to Tescos to stock up on some supplies we had forgotten about, and then headed towards Folkstone to catch our train. We were hoping to be able to catch an earlier train, but they were full, so we had a chill in the car park, and spent some time in “Walkies” a dog play/ exercise area, which included lots of cruft type hoops and see saws and tunnels etc!

We were called onto our ferry shortly after 2:30 and thoroughly enjoyed our first crossing “under the sea”. We were so impressed with the whole embarking/disembarking process and the length of the crossing (35mins) that I can’t see us ever using the ferry again.

We decided to aim for the aire at Honfleur. We’ve been there before, and loved it, and as it was pouring with rain we weren’t in a hurry to stop driving. At 7pm on the dot, we arrived in Honfleur, connected with electricity courtesy of the aire (€10 for 24hrs with electric, water etc). After a quick shower (and time to allow the rain to stop) we hit the town and enjoyed a carafe of red wine, and sat outside overlooking the harbour. Jazz loved being nosey and was as good as gold.

We stumbled back to the van at 10pm and rustled up a late dinner and then promptly fell into a deep sleep until gone 9am this morning. After a quick cuppa we wandered back into town (5mins walk from aire) and enjoyed wandering around the alleys and exploring the market!

We headed back to Bluebell just before 1200 and set off towards Granville, near Mont St Micheal. We had a few France Passion sites in mind, but ended up picking the cider cave- surprising that eh?!

So now we are here, all tucked up in the apple orchard, the sun is shining, we are a bit merry on cider- we initially bought 2 bottles and a bottle of cider mixed with Calvados- but we’ve already drank them both so we went to buy 6 more! 🙂 We are sharing the field with a very friendly donkey (Dave)- he’s had his head inside our door most of the time we’ve been here so far. Jazz isn’t quite sure what to make of the donkey, however he isn’t barking!

Another van has just turned up, they are Brits and the farmer has been to collect Dave the Donkey, and show us a donkey that has only been born yesterday. So cute!

Tomorrow we head to Mont St Micheal and Cancale.

Until then

Lx

Baby donkey - only 1 day old!
Baby donkey – only 1 day old!
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Slightly merry on the home made cider – behind us are the trees the apples came off!
2 bottles of cider and some calvados mixed with cider liquor (we drank both bottles of cider in one go so went and bought 6 more..!)
2 bottles of cider and some calvados mixed with cider liquor (we drank both bottles of cider in one go so went and bought 6 more..!)
the tasting suite...
the tasting suite…
our neighbour for the night- Jazz wasn't too sure...
our neighbour for the night- Jazz wasn’t too sure…
Nosey Donkey...
Nosey Donkey…
Can we be friends?
Can we be friends?
Composer Eric Satie's old house
Composer Eric Satie’s old house
Honfleur by night
Honfleur by night
Jazz's first visit to Honfleur - poser
Jazz’s first visit to Honfleur – poser
driving into the tunnel!
driving into the tunnel!
Aire at Honfleur with the Pont de Normandy in the background
Aire at Honfleur with the Pont de Normandy in the background
Bluebell tucked away on our orchard for the night
Bluebell tucked away on our orchard for the night

“And now it’s time for the feature presentation…”- FRANCE SUMMER 2011

We set ourselves a challenge. How much of France could we see in 2 weeks. The answer: just under 2000 miles worth!

Have a look at our map- I think we did a rather good job, don’t you?!

 

 

I’m going to try and do this methodologically: Here goes…..

Day 1- Calais – Champagne Region. Stayed at a France Passion site- CHAMPAGNE COUVENT-PARENT

Fab journey down and a very exciting experience pulling up onto our first official France Passion site. We didn’t really know what to expect, we just knew we had to say hello. I set about in my best french, and managed to get us some water and a pitch. I was quite impressed with myself. We also managed to establish that they made their champagne in their back garden and we could meet “monsieur” for a tasting at 6pm. It was so exciting. At 6pm the man knocked at Daisy’s door and off we went. He spoke a little english, and I attempted some french. Between us we coped and before we knew it we had done a tour of the factory and were sat with his family in his tasting celler trying out all the champagne. MAN IT TASTED GOOD. REALLY GOOD!!! We bought a few bottles, at a bargain price of 10 euros each. Keefy reckoned it was better than the stuff he had had in Claridges back in his old life. I thought it was the bees knees. Monsieur picked us some fresh figs off his fig tree to take on our onward journey, we slept like a log and it was an absolutely perfect start to our adventure.

Day 2- Champagne region to Dijon.

We stopped at another French Passion site somewhere near Dijon. I was absolutely hanging from the champagne tasting but it didnt stop us pulling up at another vineyard. It was LASHING down with rain, so we thought the best place to hide was the tasting cellar…. hehe. Hair of the dog and all that. My goodness, the wine was to die for. We purchased a few bottles at the bargain price of 4 euros each I think. Absolutely yum tastic!! There was a massive storm that night and we watched an English family attempting to slide there way onto the field at about 10pm. They had done the journey from Dover to there in one. The looked KNACKERED poor things. They were even crazier than us!

Day 3- Down South…..

To cut a long story short. This was the BEST DAY EVER. The reason is because we missed the turn off on the motorway in the pouring rain. Yes you read that right. We may have had a light disagreement as to who#s fault it was that we missed the junction.. but this soon was forgotten when we saw, on the map, a place called CHATEAUNEUF -DU PAPE. It was only the name of our absolutely FAVOURITE red wine int he whole wide world!!! A quick Wiki later and we realised it was indeed THE place, and not only that there was a France Passion site on one of the vineyards. ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT FAIL THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!!!! I cannot convey how totally awesome staying there was…..

Day 4- Day – Pape to Cap D’Adge

As soon as we turned off at Chat.. du pape.. the temperate and climate totally changed. Up until then it had been chilly and wet. Suddenly it felt like the med. It was hot and dry and there was that cricket sound you only hear when you are abroad. It was fab.

We moved onto Cap D’Adge for a few days on a site soaking up the rays and the sea. It was nice to just stop for a few days and chill. As you are probably working out from our posts, we don’t do that very often at all!!

We had some surprise visitors on the middle night.. my dad and Jenny who were also in France but further north and not having much luck with the weather rang to ask if we fancied going for a bite to eat that night. They drove an entire DAY down south for a lovely meal by the harbour, and then drove back oop north the next day. It was lovely!

Cap D’adge to Carcassonne

We had read about a French Aire in the heart of Carcassonne, and had decided to give it a go. I’m so glad we did. It was brilliant. I think it was 5 euros for the night and was 5 mins walk to the centre. What a magical place it was. We had a fabulous day exploring the streets, and chilling in the bars. Gosh, I love France.

Carcassone to Sarlat

We headed north to the Dordogne and had a great night on a Duck Pate Farm. It was on the banks of the Dordogne, had its own private beach so you could swim in the river and was fantastic. Sarlat is just wonderful- I’ve been there many times on tour and it was every bit as good as I had remembered. The weather was really hot, and it was just amazing!

 

Sarlat to La Rochelle (via La Rocque- Gageac)

We had a fab time exploring La Rocque- Gageac and were itching to get on the river canoeing, but alas we didn’t really have enough time so settled for a quick cold beer and a wander and vowed to go back someday!

La Rochelle was a lovely town. Unfortunately the weather turned at this point, but we still enjoyed wandering the town, old and new.

La Rochelle to Amboise

I had been here before, and knew that Keefy would enjoy the pretty little town, with a fairytale castle and the home of Leonardo da Vinci. We stayed on a rather random vineyard that produced great wine but was fairly new, and a bit of a walk to the town centre. Couldn’t complain though. We had more than got our moneys worth staying at France Passion sites so far on our trip!

 

Amboise to Versailles

Versailles had been on Keith’s bucket list for ages, and he was desperate to go, so we defied everyone’s advice and hit PARIS in Daisy… gulp. We made it, but surprisingly, despite France being a very motorhome friendly country, and Versailles being the most famous tourist attraction in the country, motorhomes were not allowed any where near!!

Thankfully we found a helpful soul who directed us to a campsite nearby and we pitched up within walking distance.. no thanks to the staff at Versailles..

We then queued for about 2 hours to get in! Bless Keith, he was like a kid at Christmas, couldn’t wait to get through those gates! We enjoyed a full day there exploring, my goodness it was so busy!!! Very impressive hall of mirrors and lots of very expensive painting and decor. I have to be honest. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I found it all a bit TOO MUCH! Too indulgent. Too fancy. Too chintzy. TOO BUSY! But Keith, loved it. And I was so happy to share that with him!

 

 

We had THE MOST AMAZING trip!! We fit in so much, we covered so many miles and we spent a fortune because we were driving a petrol motorhome……. but it worth every penny and I think we can both truly say we have the best memories. Chat… pape was obviously a highlight, mainly because we hadn’t planned it. Carcassonne was a treat, and so was Versaille for Keith. Swimming in the Dordogne will be a lasting memory, as will sitting out til 1am watching the clear skies and shooting stars in the Dordogne

Above all this trip highlighted the reason why we own a motorhome. We love the freedom it gives us and wouldn’t change it for the world! Can’t wait to go back! 🙂