Adventure b4 DEMent1a

Trotter

Full Member
I’m sitting outside in my chair in the sunshine. Now that makes a wonderful difference . For the last few days I’ve either been driving or sitting in the van watching the rain.
Atm I’m by the Saone canal between Lararche and Ponttailler, both sur Saone. Pretty sure that means, on the Saone.
A little bit of sunshine makes me feel so much better. That is the reason why I have a sun lamp at home. Not for topping up my tan. No it’s because I’m a SAD b...
The lack of sunshine gets me down. It’s probably times like that I’m best left on my own.
No excuses today, sitting here, shorts on, not listening to the football on the radio. Think I’ve worked that out as well. Coming down in March I could hear the footie, on the 3 with legs, got into Spain, sim failed, bought a local Orange sim, the BBC blocked coverage. When I got back into France I was using the data on my phone. Could listen to the footie again. O2 cut me off, got a local sim, and no coverage again. Auntie Beeb doesn’t like foreigners. (!Is that racist). Not that it makes any difference, The Arsenal can’t win the league anyway.
Going to get back to my book and carry on topping up the tan😬.
And staying cheerful 😃
 

Trotter

Full Member
Long drive yesterday. Free motorways mainly, drove through Switzerland again and also Germany. Started collecting countries as points or trophies or something. Sad really. One thing I have noticed with the peage system is, if you’re in a hurry, they are great. If you’re not, the older trunk roads are usually free from heavy traffic, and you’ll see far more of the countryside. They are as good as many roads in the 🇬🇧. To be recommend .
I don’t enjoy bigger towns or cities , buildings don’t do much for me. I suppose being dragged up in London, made the countryside somehow magical. If I’m asked, Did I go to Paris or Barcelona, I’ll be honest and say no. Although I did go close to Lisbon,
That was the last time I was in heavy slow moving traffic until yesterday. Looking to see if fuel was cheaper in Germany I went into Offenburg, it wasn’t. I had forgotten how “ interesting” town driving can be. Then I hit Strasbourg in the rush hour . Mumble, mumble. Not fun!
I needed to get back into France so I could use the internet to find a park up. The first one I found was off road by the Rhine. Looked okay on p4n, it must be a fairly good place because a lady was using the area to ply her trade. Not for me then.
Arrived in a Aire in the church yard of Niederbronn les Bains. Got here late so I’ve not had a chance to look around yet. Bit of traffic during the night, not to bad , but it’s certainly not a place for a lie in. The bells, the 🔔s. Quasimodo would be in his element . Seven o’clock, up you get.
Breakfast time, speak later
 

Annabella

Full Member
Started collecting countries as points or trophies or something.
Hope you've got stickers on the van to prove you've been there Del.
Glad the weather has improved, sunshine certainly does made a huge difference :cool: Hope your tinnitus improves.
 

Trotter

Full Member
No stickers, all in my head. Got proof on my phone if anyone was thinking I’ve been telling porkies and have been hiding in my bedroom all this time. Didn’t know I had tinnitus, it was the bells 🔔, honestly. I kid you not.
 

HurricaneSmith

Full Member
Hope you've got stickers on the van to prove you've been there Del. ..............
I used to collect tiny stickers to the few places that really meant something to us, but always put them on the bathroom window.

When I traded the van in the first thing the dealer did was to remove them before putting it on his forecourt. If I'd known he was going to do that I'd have steamed them off.
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Trotter

Full Member
Long day yesterday, finally got to an Aire in Dun sur Meuse after spending ages going around and around Verdun looking for the Aire there. When the penny dropped, it was a supermarket carpark, I went out of town. Done supermarket carparks before. Lesson learned.
Coming towards the end of the trip now, another 4 nights. This part was always on the agenda. A chance to show some respect to those who gave up their lives in the war to end all wars. How they have been let down.
I realise I’m getting mauldlin. But row after row of graves, catches me at the back of my throat and moistens the eye.
The sun is still shining, that puts a smile on my face, enough to cheer me up.
Ran out of Yorkshire Tea last night. I’ve replaced them with Tetly English Breakfast Tea, bought locally. I now know why continentals drink coffee. It says tea on the label, I’ve no idea what’s in the bag,
Later
 
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Lee

Moderator
It's a bit late now but in future go to Aldi and look for assam tea it's a lot better than English breakfast but still inferior to Yorkshire tea.
 

saxonborg

Full Member
Long day yesterday, finally got to an Aire in Dun sur Meuse after spending ages going around and around Verdun looking for the Aire there. When the penny dropped, it was a supermarket carpark, I went out of town. Done supermarket carparks before. Lesson learned.
Coming towards the end of the trip now, another 4 nights. This part was always on the agenda. A chance to show some respect to those who gave up their lives in the war to end all wars. How they have been let down.
I realise I’m getting mauldlin. But row after row of graves, catches me at the back of my throat and moistens the eye.
The sun is still shining, that puts a smile on my face, enough to cheer me up.
Ran out of Yorkshire Tea last night. I’ve replaced them with Tetly English Breakfast Tea, bought locally. I now know why continentals drink coffee. It says tea on the label, I’ve no idea what’s in the bag,
Later
Is that the aire alongside the canal, if so been there a few times and find it quite a relaxing place even though the town appears quite run down. There are quite a few aires along the Meuse similar to Dun, Montherme and Revin are ones we have stayed at.
 

Trotter

Full Member
It's a bit late now but in future go to Aldi and look for assam tea it's a lot better than English breakfast but still inferior to Yorkshire tea.
Even for a wimpy southerner, I think everything is inferior to YT. Mind you, the old Coop 99 made a great brew
 

Trotter

Full Member
Is that the aire alongside the canal, if so been there a few times and find it quite a relaxing place even though the town appears quite run down. There are quite a few aires along the Meuse similar to Dun, Montherme and Revin are ones we have stayed at
Think it might have been. The one I stayed at last night was pretty noisy. Now at Bouillon Belgium. Lovely place, by the rugby club. 24 hour free. It’s 1020 local and I’m staying put. After two days of long drives I deserve a day off 😬 Aren’t they all days off.
 

Trotter

Full Member
Saving the best till last? Almost, I still have four days left. This place is beautiful. It seems to have everything. River, forest, castle and an incredible town. I know the sunshine doesn’t hurt. I’ve had a energetic/lazy day. Short drive, a walk up to the castle this morning, and a walk through the forest up to the monastery this afternoon then reading a book/ asleep in a chair later.
Someone’s had a great day,
Not that it makes a lot of difference, the club is association football, not rugby as previously quoted.
I can’t think of anyone who deserves a day like this more than me 😘
 

Trotter

Full Member
Some years ago I was involved with a motorcycle race club. Every year we had an invite from the Belgian Club CRMB. The crazy Belgians raced around the village of Jehonville. As I was in the area I thought I’d pop in and revisit. Fifteen years on, I couldn’t find any trace. Every thing was temporary, paddock was a lay-by, straw bales marked the circuit. The village now has speed bumps. You ain’t going to race over them. I don’t know if it’s a financial thing but their race schedule has been drastically cut over the years. A couple of International meetings, at Spa and I think Chimay. I can only guess the local lads get their racing fix in Germany, France and even UK A Belgian sidecar team were British Classic champions for several years.
Leaving there, I went on into Boussois, again in France. Another lovely place. By the river, landscaped , service area and free.
Simples question. How is it that even small villages can put these sites together for total strangers, and our shower can’t put a tidy lay-by? I’m guessing , travellers?
Only three more nights left. Two things looking forward to, excluding seeing Nic again. An unlimited, high pressure shower and a decent cup of tea. I ran out of Yorkshire a few days ago
 

Trotter

Full Member
We Will Remember Them.

Phew! Back in the van after witnessing the Last Post at the Menen Gate. Three buglers, I had expected something like that, what I didn’t expect was a orchestra and choir. Incredibly moving. If anyone asks, there was something in my eye. That’s why I had to wipe it. Spent the day walking around Passchendaele and then a good bit of time at the Gate. Then around Ieper, Ypres, Wipers how ever you feel like pronouncing it .
Parked in the road to the left of the Menen Gate along side the canal. Spending the night here.
Night!
 
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HurricaneSmith

Full Member
Well done you! They do occasionally extend the ceremony to include a choir or orchestra, or even a lament if a Piper is visiting.

Ypres takes this moving ceremony very seriously, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's ancestors fought there.

If only it had been the war to all wars. Sorry to lower the tone, but like so many families, three of my ancestors took up arms and only my grandfather came home..... and in his case, through a hospital.
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Trotter

Full Member
Saturday was my last full day of the trip. Stayed at the aire at Watten about 30 km from Calais, yet another aire next to a canal, love it. An ideal place to stop for a quick run for an early Calais ferry.
Another motorhomer and I visited the nearby Nazi era blockhouse. It was built to manufacture liquid oxygen to fuel the V2 flying bombs. One massive structure ,bombed by the allies, and thankfully put out of action.
Today sadly I left France, not exactly kicking and screaming. But I’ll miss it, and Spain, and Portugal.
One day, I’ll work out why Northampton doesn’t have the same attraction. I think the difference is France is a great place to go to. Where Northampton is a great place to go from.😉
Anyway, thanks for reading this rubbish, It’s going to take a little while to get used to being home, although I did enjoy tonight’s dinner. Nik cooks so much better than me, and a dishwasher! Brilliant.
 

Tezza33

Full Member
So glad you are home safe and sound Del, strange thing going to Europe in this day and age, it changes every year so it doesn't matter how many years you have been doing it you can still learn so thank you for the info you have supplied, now get planning for the next adventure
 

HurricaneSmith

Full Member
I remember your concerns before you left on your solo adventure, and you've come back a convert!

For any trip longer than a fortnight I travel solo too, as the boss loves home too much. What with the travel planning, cooking, washing up, laundry, photo download and annotation, time whizzes by and I crash into bed each night, tired but very happy with the memories I've created.

Well done you!
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