I thought the day would never arrive! Here I am sat in my sister’s house in France with Internet connection … oh boy do I feel spoiled. The hubster has gone for a game of golf and my sister has gone shopping, I’m here alone with a mass of photos, broadband and a sleeping dog!! I’m going to give you a very quick run down of what’s been going on and as I’ll be based here for a while, I’ll probably blog in more detail later on – but for now …
… we left England just over a week ago and we’ve had a cracking week (full of firsts!) Leaving England to join my sister and her husband on holiday in Brittany softened the emotions of leaving the UK for such a long period of time and to be honest it still hasn’t sunk in, we feel very much as if we are on our annual summer holiday, for now!
As we left early last week, the UK gave us a wonderful send off, the sun was shining and Harry the Hymer behaved beautifully on the trip down to Folkestone to catch the Eurotunnel over to France. It is at this juncture that I should tell you the hubster believes they actually built the tunnel for ME! You see I don’t do water and I don’t do sky so the only real option for me is the tunnel. The hubster drove the Hymer really well, and is getting used to the size of him, I was so impressed with the way he drove onto the train. It was a really good crossing, we got out the flask and sat at the table with Charlie, it’s very strange having your home with you. On arrival we were pleased we had bought a left hand drive van, it really does make a difference although I did have a couple of “breath in” moments when I thought he was driving a little too close to the hard shoulder!
France, on the other hand, didn’t give us the usual friendly welcome, we were slap bang in the tail end of Bertha the Boisterous!!
The wind was vicious and the rain was lashing it down, we couldn’t even see the white lane markings on the motorway as there was so much water! I must admit it wasn’t the most relaxed of journeys! Charlie however was a star and has found a place to lie between us and settles nicely, we hardly knew he was there. I forgot to mention, I don’t do heights either, and on arrival in France there are many (and I mean MANY) viaducts, I’m normally quite queasy on these in a car, I’ll leave you to imagine what it was like being high up in a van!! Being right up there at the level of the tops of the barriers which the French think is such a good idea to have in clear Perspex or Glass!! The views I’m sure were quite magnificent, although with my head firmly buried in my jumper, I can’t be totally sure! No to be honest by the time we’d gone over the fifth viaduct I thought it was time to face my fears and did have a couple of glimpses … ooh get me!! Brave eh?
We didn’t want to do the journey in one go so we decided to stop at an ‘aire’. I’ve done so much research into this and wanted to see what these aires are and how they work. I scoured the book and found one in a lovely little village called Durtal just after Le Mans. It is literally a car park and in the corner are 5 large parking spaces for Motorhomes. We were number 5 so very lucky to get the last spot. In the corner of the car park is something called a ‘Borne’ and this is like a big bollard, which has a fresh water tap, a drain with a grid on for emptying grey water, and another grid for emptying the toilet cassette, this borne even had a supply of electricity for a couple of Euros. We actually didn’t need any of the services, just the parking spot, so it was totally free. We reversed Harry into his space on a bit of a tilt but it’s only for one night (we were fine, although I was a little concerned that I may fall out of the bed!!) We then took Charlie for an early evening walk and popped into the local supermarket for a couple of provisions. We had a wonderful dinner in the van and then promptly collapsed and slept like babies. We woke early and took to the motorway to continue our journey to Brittany. When we start our travels good and proper we’ve decided not to take motorways, you miss so much of the beautiful French countryside and they are expensive, although they are in brilliant condition and so much less traffic than in England even though it was the ‘Grand Depart’ for the summer holidays in France.
Meeting up with the family was fantastic, it always is! We have always tried to meet up with my sister and her husband for our summer holidays. Even when their two boys were babies, through the toddler stage and on to teenagers, now we find ourselves just the oldies as the boys are now grown up and have lives of their own.
We stayed in a sleepy little village, near La Baule, which is a lovely city with all the top brand shops and boutiques, with a long promenade along the beach. We visited some really stunning coastal towns and I would recommend a visit, although we were extremely lucky with the weather! Brittany isn’t really known for sunshine, so we counted our blessings and not our calories! We ate, we ate and we ate some more, and all of that needed washing down of course and we’re in the land of wine! Well, just fancy!!!!
Here’s a little slideshow of photos.
Hoping all is well with all of you, will catch up soon 🙂