Wednesday, 7 December 2016
However, we got up at 7:00, as planned (in fact, I got up a little earlier and turned the hot water on, but then went back to bed again), and were away by 08:30. Before sunrise, although not before dawn..... we drove across country to Tréport/Eu enjoying the sunrise over the "big sky", and then up to Abbeville and so to the motorway. We reached Cité Europe about 11 and did an enormous, mostly Christmas, shop, and then were lucky enough to get a berth on the Shuttle going an hour earlier than the one we'd booked. We spent the crossing eating lunch, and only realised afterwards that by UK time it was actually only 12:15.... oh well.
A swift and easy drive home, where we arrived by 2:00, and then an hour's hard work and we got everything put away. Although as we are using the van as an extension of No 6 over Christmas, we have just put a bedspread on the bed and left the towels in the bathroom. Now just the laundry to do, and to take the motor home down to Sussex on Friday, and that is it for this year. Next trip early in the New Year..... Barcelona, perhaps?
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Monday, 5 December 2016
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Saturday, 3 December 2016
I had sat the alarm for 08:00 this morning, but by the time we got away it was 09:30 and we had wasted at least an hour's daylight. Tomorrow, even though it is Sunday, we will be up at 07:00 and, I hope, away earlier. Or out for a walk, but the days are so short it is a pity to waste daylight.
We set the Satnav to take us to Saint-Brieuc, but decided not to go into the town itself. The first part of the trip we went across country, and then along a nearly motorway-standard N road, stopping for lunch at a service area. Our own lunch, I hasten to add, not what was provided by a café. Then we drove on, catching a glimpse of Mont Saint Michel in the distance, and up the coast to this town, Paimpol. We are in a very nice aire, nobody else around, with services. It cost €4, and there is free parking in the town, but we need services.
The Swan Whisperer went out for a walk and then we had a cup of tea before we walked into town and had dinner at a random, but very good, creperie. And then back, and more or less straight to bed, although we did put the heating on for ten minutes, and boiled the kettle for bottles and tea. He is now charging his phone and checking the sports results... Which I am so not interested in, but he persists in taking me anyway.
Friday, 2 December 2016
We couldn't really let the year end without another short trip in the motor home; after all, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a booze cruise!
We couldn't leave on our usual 10:30 pm crossing as the Swan Whisperer had a rehearsal for the Christmas Show, so we were never going to be able to leave London much before 9:30 pm. In fact, the next crossing was not until 1:30 am, arriving in France at 03:00 local time. Eek! However, we managed it, but by the time we had made our way to the car park (and they have changed the exit from the Eurotunnel yet again), turned on the gas, sorted out windows and blinds, etc, it was at least 3:30 am. I had travelled in pyjamas, on the grounds that I wouldn't need to get out of the van once I was in it, and had spent the crossing curled up in bed, so it didn't take too long to snuggle down.
Needless to say, we didn't surface until after 10:00 am this morning! And there was a late breakfast and some shopping before we got away. The Carrefour looks amazing, and French supermarkets do Christmas so much better than ours do! Lots of foie gras, smoked salmon, champagne, etc....
Anyway, we got away at last and headed to the Aire du Baie de la Somme for lunch, and then on as far as Falaise, where we are parked up for the night. And drinking wine....
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Our seats were in either the first or the last carriage, depending on which way we were going! And there were several route reversals during the day. They gave us a printed itinerary, so we knew where we were and whether we were in time or not.
It was a very grey and dreary November day, with very little colour about. As always, perhaps the nicest part of the journey was the Mid-Sussex line, aka the Arun Valley Line, which runs through the water-meadows of the Arun valley, and passes Arundel Castle.
After Hastings, we headed back to - I was going to say Birmingham by way of Bethnal Green - but back to St Pancras via places like Sevenoaks, St Mary Cray, and then Rochester again to rejoin HS1 at Ebbsfleet. It was dark by then, of course, so one couldn't see much, and I was a bit stiff after sitting all day, but we had had plenty of opportunities to get up and move around and stretch, so it wasn't as bad as it might have been!
All in all, a very enjoyable day, and on-train sales, raffle tickets (no joy, of course) and a silent auction which I didn't participate in raised about £2,500 for the Royal British Legion.
But would somebody please tell me why it is easy to find the King's Cross exit from the Victoria Line platforms, very close to it, but utterly impossible to find the Victoria Line platforms from the King's Cross entrance????? There seems to be a wormhole that means whatever way you go you have to walk down endless claustrophobia-inducing tunnels with horrible lighting.....