Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Eleanor, final day

By the time Carrefour opened its doors at 09:00 this morning, we were standing outside ready for our final shop of the holiday, the big one that included wine and coffee, and would have included bread mix if they'd had any particularly nice ones (they didn't), and another helping of rognons sauce madère (so nice of the French to have servings of this in the meat section - I had never really explored the meat section of French supermarkets before this holiday, so didn't realise), and stuffed tomatoes for tonight's supper.... and so on.  And then to Eurotunnel, and, after a short delay, back to the UK.  Where it was peeing it down with rain - we were tempted to turn round and head straight back to France.  Especially when we got home and found the main circuit had tripped and our freezer had been out for days..... yuck. 

We have taken everything out of the motor home, but it needs a good clean, which it will get tomorrow before being taken down to its UK home on Friday.  And I want to explore a place near Chichester which is supposed to be very good for servicing and mending motor homes, as there are a few things we need to do if we are to take it to the Cologne Christmas markets, which we would like to.

Meanwhile, having gone to bed at about 09:00 for the last 3 weeks - that's 08:00 UK time, of course - I am having trouble keeping awake.  I will sort out pictures and so on tomorrow.....

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 20

And so the journey ends where it began, in the car park of Cité Europe. And tomorrow we will shop first thing and, assuming no delays in the tunnel, be home in time for a late lunch. 

We did not, however, retrace our steps much until we got to Abbeville. We drove to Rouen on the more sensible way, having learnt how to make the Satnav go the way we wanted it to.  We parked up in the designated camping-car parking, but it was rather a long way from the town centre, so we drove up and round it, and then on out to Dieppe, stopping en route for lunch in a supermarket car park. 

Then on to Eu, where William the Bastard got married, and so to Abbeville and the motorway.  We drove into Calais and stopped for a cup of tea where we could see the ferries go in and out, and then we said hello to the Bourgeois, as we always do (long story), and finally out here. I went and had a wander round the shops - there may have been some accidental buyage of a winter coat - and then back to the van for supper, and bed in a few minutes.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 19

So the penultimate night of our holiday finds us back at Les Andelys. The plan for today had been to drive to Giverny (no Eleanor connection, but just because), spend the night parked up there, and then visit Gisors tomorrow morning before heading back to the Calais area for the final night. However, for some reason we went straight to Gisors, and it seemed silly to go back on ourselves. So we didn't. After all, John's losing Château Gaillard to the French was pretty much the end of things, so it makes sense.

Gisors is lovely. The Castle is in ruins, but its grounds are now a public park, so you can have a good nose round and see the various towers that are still standing.


We had parked up about 5 minutes walk away, and had a quick cup of tea before heading on here.   Given that one car park was out of use as there was a funfair in it, and another was out of use for a market, we were rather pleased to have found a parking-space so near!

We had decided to eat out as it is so nearly the end of the holiday, and there was a very good restaurant only a few minutes' walk away from the camp site. A 4-course meal with wine for €12.50 per head is pretty good value, and it was a good meal, too. Am now stuffed!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 18

The antepenultimate night of our holiday finds us at Vouvray, where they make my favourite sparkling wine. And yes, we have has a tasting, and may have another in the morning if we're not away before they open.

Last night's parking, in Niort, was super. We were supposed to pay €7.70 for it, and would gladly have done so, as it included electricity as well as services, but nobody came and asked us for it. They are supposed to send people round, but.....

We came upon a supermarket that was open - unusually, as it turned out, because there was a half-marathon in the town, though quite why that meant it had to open I'm not sure. But I was glad it did, as it meant I could spend €0.86 on a baguette for lunch and a bottle of water. And the good citizens of Niort certainly appreciated it!  Very busy, it was.

Then we drove on N roads as far as Poitiers, and then on the motorway to Tours, where we parked up near the hotel we'd stayed at during the Coupe des Druides a couple of years ago. We had quite a pleasant walk, sad to see that a restaurant where we had enjoyed a meal was in the process of changing hands, but another one was still there and flourishing.

The Cathedral was a bit far away, though, so we went back to the van and headed off to Amboise, going on the South back of the Loire, which may have been a mistake as the best view of the Castle was as we were driving away, having investigated the aire, which was a bust as it wanted about €24 for the night, and for that price we'd want WiFi, at the very least.

So we drove on to Vouvray, and found the aire quite passable (free, but you pay for services, fair enough), and have parked up here. The wine merchants are all open on Sundays, so we bought half a dozen bottles of a nice one for my father for Christmas.  We should have bought some for us.... Maybe we will....

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 17

I an hating the fact that the holiday is so nearly over!  On the other hand, I am tired now, and in fact slept all afternoon instead of walking round Niort or getting on with my knitting.

We were slow leaving Saintes this morning, as we had a walk around the "Abbaye des Dames" complex, and enjoyed looking at the church.

The rest of it is now conference rooms and private housing, I believe. Then we shopped, which brought home to us how nearly over this holiday is - only 4 more nights.  Mind you, I shan't miss the very cold mornings, although it was a good 10° warmer this morning than the previous day.

We are parked in a dedicated motorhome aire tonight, with electricity. There is a fee, but we don't know who to pay. I assume that someone will come round and ask sooner or later....

Friday, 16 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 16

Cold, cold, cold! That was us this morning. It really took me until lunch time to thaw out. Tonight I am sleeping in my warm socks, the ones I wear when I have Vick on my feet. And a cardigan. The SW is fairly ok as he has warm PJs, but I don't like pyjamas and need/like a clean nightie every 2-3 days.....

By the time we had thawed out, we had left Angoulême and driven to Cognac, half way between Angoulême and Saintes, which was today's goal. Cognac is a bit after our period, but we nevertheless enjoyed walking round the old town and, because there is free parking over lunch, we were able to have lunch there, too. 



Then we drove on to Saintes, and found the camping-car park, which costs €5 but very quiet. A bit of traffic noise, but I won't hear that when I'm asleep.  But the hose on the shower had perished so we had to go and find a new one, and the ones in camping-cars are not standard size. But there was a specialist shop, so we were able to get a new one, and a washer to fit, and now the pump no longer strains and the shower doesn't drip. 

Then back to the camping-place, and a ready-meal for supper. And wine. And I have nearly finished the small garment I am knitting for a future great-nephew.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 15

We woke this morning to rain in Arès, but by after breakfast it had passed. Chores today included, as well as shopping and the usual drain, flush and refill, buying and refilling oil for the van.
Because we were about 50km the wrong side of Bordeaux, it was a long drive to Angoulème, and we ended up stopping for lunch at a lay-by en route. I had bought a "pain d'Aquitaine", just because, and very good it was, too. 

We arrived in Angoulème in the early afternoon, and were lucky enough to find a parking space and got out to explore, just as the heavens opened. But we found various sites associated with our period, including a church in a street named for the Taillefer (? Can't remember how you spell it!) family, who were the family of none other than the eponymous Isabelle of Angoulème, wife of John Lackland and thus one of my forebears!

And we had, of course, already seen her effigy in Fontévraud. So that was good. Most of the other stuff we saw was more modern, although the market hall is on the site of the castle that Eleanor would have known, so we saw where it was. 

We were running out of time by then, plus we were cold, so we went back to the van and drove down to the car park where we are spending the night, and had a cup of tea. Then the SW went off to walk round the ramparts, and I visited the nearby comic strip museum, which was not very good as the layout of the exhibits and the understandable lack of light made it difficult to see. It ought to have been fascinating, but was rather headachy.

Then back and read and knitted for a bit until supper, and now reading in bed, wrapped in my rug. The van warms up very fast, but gets cold even faster!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 14

We are 2/3 of the way through this holiday, which is very, very sad. We are both enjoying it so much, although there was too much driving today, and too much squabbling over where the sat-nav wanted to take us (well, why didn't he check it himself if he wanted to go a specific way?).

We knew this morning that Bordeaux is not a friendly city to camping-cars, but we thought we'd go there anyway and hope for the best. As it was, we were able to drive round bits of the city and I think we caught a glimpse of the Castle and the Cathedral. Then we drove on down the coast right down to Cap-Ferrat,
and then back up here to this camp site which the Swan Whisperer chose, and is really not very nice, too touristy, even though it is the end of the season. But it will do, although its WiFi doesn't work, and the launderette is taking two lots of drying to be done. I had to go and knock on the door of the nearest camping-car and beg for change!  And acorns keep falling on the roof, which is a bit disconcerting.

It was bitter cold this morning, and it is not nice trying to dress in a freezing cold van!  We did turn the heating on after the SW's shower, and I think maybe in the morning we'll see if we can have both heating and hot water!  And I might go for a hot bottle tonight, although it's still warm after cooking dinner.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 13

Today was cold, and overcast, and cold!  And did I say it was cold?  We set off late as the SW had been trying to change a washer on a tap in the shower, I think successfully. 

We discovered that Moissac, a town where I had spent a very happy holiday with a French exchange when I was a girl, was not too far out of our way, so we decided to go there. We hadn't been able to get water in wherever it was we spent the night outside Cahors, so we asked the sat-nav to take us to the services in Moissac, which it duly did, and we topped up with water. Then we drove into the town, parked, and had a walk round, enjoying the Abbey church, where I remember attending an Easter vigil as a16-year-old.




We decided to eat lunch by the Tarn, and drove to a car park there.
It was cold, so I turned on the heater, forgetting that we needed the gas to be switched on before it would work. And the water pump started to make very odd noises - and on investigation, the bung was not there!  Madpanicarrgh!! while we threw the lunch things into the fridge again and dashed back to the services where luckily it was where we had left it! Phew!

So back to the Tarn for lunch, and then we drove on to Agen, but we found the Satnav's idea of the town centre wasn't anybody else's. We decided to go and find where we were going to spend the night, but neither of the places we found was very nice, just services. We stopped at one for a cup of tea and a rest, but then drove back into town and have parked up by the canal, unfortunately on a rather main road, so not very quiet. We are not the only camping-car parked here, though!

The Swan Whisperer went exploring and found the way into the town centre, so we walked in and found a lovely brasserie at the station, very much not a station buffet, all 1930s decor. Delicious menus at €19.90 each (C £15), including the eponymous prunes!  At least, mine did. And we treated ourselves to coffee and/or an infusion, in my case (verveine), and so back to the van and bed. We really must get up early tomorrow, though - the trouble with being here, due south of the UK, is that it isn't really light until 8:30 am, so we are not really getting up until then. But I have set an alarm for tomorrow!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 12

Once again, we finish the day not where we had intended to be.
But to begin at the beginning. We set off from the campsite near Rocamadour to visit the town this morning, and found that we could actually have parked up overnight outside the Château, buy there were no services and, of course, no WiFi. But also probably no flies!  We seemed to have picked up an awful lot overnight, and although I bought a tin of Raid, it didn't seem to make much difference.

I had never heard of Rocamadour before starting to plan this trip, which just goes to show how ignorant I am, as it was heaving with tourists, far more than any of the other places we've been. Even Fontévraud was quiet - none of the school groups you would have got in the UK. Here there was at least one school party, and a coach-load of English and one of Japanese tourists. I couldn't take photos in any of the chapels, they were too rammed. 

We went on to the ramparts of the Château, which were a bit high for my taste, but I did manage some good photos.
Then we took the funicular down to the chapel level,

and when we had explored there we took the stairs down to the Cité, as they call it, which was basically a tourist drag and reminded us very much of Mont-St-Michel.  The same sort of very step and narrow streets, lined with what my mother calls "Do-the-tourist" shops.

I went back up in the lift, which really was a lift, and rather expensive, and the SW walked up, but I noticed he was breathing heavily when he arrived, which he tried to disguise. We both took the funicular back up to the car park!

The next stop was a town called Gramat, where we managed to get an adapter for the gas, and it is working now, so we have plenty to do us for the rest of the holiday. The SW thinks we have more gas in the first bottle than he thought we had, so I jolly well had a hot shower and an egg this morning!
We then headed to Cahors, but it was a bust, as the first parking we tried was in a supermarket car park, and really rather nasty, not like the one in Falaise, and the second was full and over-full. And the streets were too narrow for comfortable driving, and we couldn't see where any of the sights were. So we looked on the app and have found this car park in a random village somewhere, by a medical centre and, I believe, a sports centre.   And I am going to cook pork chops with an onion, mushroom and cream sauce, with courgettes and probably rice, but maybe pasta or potatoes, washed down with a local red wine! Yum, I hope. For pudding, we have discovered that Andros do fruit purees with cream on the top, which are lovely and we have been eating them all holiday. You can't get them in the UK, or rather I've not seen them there, and am profiting!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 11

Sunday again, and we were due to head south to Rocamadour, where Eleanor and Henry had been on pilgrimage. From the atlas, it was going to be a dull old drive, motorway all the way.  But by going a few miles out of our way, we could drive down through the Limousin and end up at the Dordogne, so that is what we did. A very lovely drive, past woods and pastures, lots of the eponymous cattle, rivers and lakes and pretty little towns. And so to Beaulieu sur Dordogne, which was lovely!



We walked round the town and watched the world go by on the river for a bit, and then drive on, now leaving Limousin for Midi-Pyrenées, and Corrèze for Lot.  We haven't quite got to Rocamadour, as this campsite is on the near side of it, but will tomorrow.  Meanwhile, free WiFi! I have gone back and uploaded a couple of pictures on to each blog entry, and of course all of them, to date, are now on Facebook.  

This campsite would be very nice if it wasn't for the flies!

Eleanor, Day 10

So after posting Friday's update, we returned to Nouaillé-Malpertuis to find the car park, which we had left empty, absolutely full! Luckily there was one space left, which we grabbed and went to bed. When we woke up, it was empty again, but that didn't last long, as it soon filled up again, this time for a funeral in the church next door, which is in the grounds of a former Abbey, and rather lovely.  We couldn't go inside, of course, because of the funeral, but we had a good walk round the grounds - now the Mairie and private housing.

Then we set off for Limoges. It was the loveliest drive through wonderful countryside, very autumnal. Even nicer once we'd stopped to shed a few layers - mornings here are very cold, but it soon warms up.
We liked Limoges, too. It felt as though we were quite in the South of France, although of course we aren't. A lovely Cathedral, pleasant Old Town, and delicious ham and butter sandwich!
We moved on to this little town on the outskirts of Limoges to spend the night, but discovered we have an adapter missing from the new gas thing. We think we can get, or contrive, one, but not on a Saturday night - we must have driven 20 miles round the various hypermarkets, looking! I was not impressed. Anyway, we got back here and there was enough gas to cook supper, although we are not having showers this morning, just in case.....
Then, when we got back to the car park, it was as bright as day with a floodlit football match going on!  They turned the floodlights and the car park lights off at about 22:30, so that was all right - but they came on again at 06:00, waking me out of a sound sleep!  Oh well, I soon dozed off again.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Eleanor, day 9

Today was Poitiers, which we thought was going to be a bust, as we couldn't find anywhere to park, but then we did and had a lovely walk through the city centre to see the palace (now law courts) and the churches associated with the Plantagenets.
Then lunch, then we drive down to a place called Nouaillé-Malpertuis where we are going to spend the night. The SW went for a walk, while I read, and then we drove back nearly to Poitiers to have dinner in a Buffalo Grill to take advantage of the free WiFi and upload photos.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Eleanor, day 8

Today we visited both Fontévraud Abbey and the Forteresse de Chinon. It is both possible and easy to do them both in one day, but I'd strongly suggest, if you do, doing then the other way round, as Fontévraud is marvellous and Chinon rather disappointing.
Instead of playing up the really fabulous architecture and telling us about the buildings and so on, they have a series of very dull films inside, about the various royals who lived there and only a very little about the building, and outside they have decided that King Arthur had links with the place so it is all about the Knights of the Round Table. As if! Everybody knows that was Winchester, where Alfred still waits to drop his sword in shock when a virgin walks by! And the Round Table is there and visible to all! Chinon, forsooth!
So we came away and went to the supermarket before coming to this camp site. We really didn't feel we had learnt anything from our visit, except perhaps that Joan of Arc came here, but that was all.
But Fontévraud, by contrast, was totally magical. The huge church, with the effigies of three of my many-times-great grandparents and Richard the Lionheart. 
The cloisters, the refectory, the dormitories... Many of the areas are used for concerts and so on, it's very well used. One cloister is used for conferences, and I think there was one going on.

What we hadn't known was that it had been, until 1963, a maximum security prison, and there was a lot about that, too.  One exhibition compared and contrasted the lives of the nuns and the prisoners. It was brilliant. And some pictures showed you what the area had been like when it was a prison, and how it had been restored. Fascinating. Definitively "worth the journey", as the guidebooks say, whereas Chinon, despite having been the seat of English government for the best part of a century, simply isn't.  One star - " interesting " at most.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 7

Gosh, is it really nearly a week since we set off - and in two weeks we will be home! But for now we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves, even if the gas igniter on the fridge has stopped. Oh well.
We were on electricity this morning, and had out showers on site - lovely and powerful. Then we went to the other side of the village to see our friends Josiane and Claude, whom we hadn't seen for far too long. After a lovely time with them, we headed on, firstly to the little supermarket in the village and then down the Loire to Saumur.
Of course, typical, most of the road that actually went beside the Loire was closed for road works, and we had to go inland a bit, but it was still a nice drive. We discovered, as we came into Saumur, that we needed diesel, and decided to buy more gas at the same time. The woman in the caisse couldn't have been more helpful, I don't know why people think the French aren't! So we have another big bottle of gas - now if only we could get the fridge to light....
We parked up by the Château de Saumur and had lunch, and then paid to go into the château.

There was a guide who told us all about its history and how Philippe Auguste stole it for France..... And then we went in and it was mostly a museum with furniture and so on. There was also a horse museum on site, and we looked at that - Saumur appears to be a major equestrian centre.
After a drink in the café, we came away and drove to Brézé to have a quick look at the château there, and so on to Fontévraud where we will spend the night and visit the Abbey tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 6

Everything was working fine this morning! Mind you, we did wake up rather late - we had had a disturbed night with thunderstorms and so on. But once we had had breakfast, we set out to explore the Cathedral of Le Mans, and I'm so glad we did. We drove up, and the town is really lovely, even with traffic.
 The Cathedral itself is where Geoffrey of Anjou married the Empress Matilda all those years ago, and we think he is buried there, although we weren't sure whether we actually found his tomb.
Eleanor and Henry were frequent visitors, of course, and are mentioned in the panels talking of the history of the place.  I wish I had enough data to upload photos, but they'll go on Facebook as soon as I find some WiFi.
Then it was time to move on, and we stopped at a place called La Flèche to shop and have lunch, and then to Angers. We looked round the Cathedral there, but it was not as nice as the one at Le Mans, and then walked to the Castle but, disappointingly, although the town is definitely associated with Eleanor, the Castle is 100 years later.

So we came away and drove to Juigné-sur-Loire, where we are seeing friends tomorrow, and we are parked up in a vineyard, with electricity, showers and loos, and have had a wine-tasting and bought some wonderful white and rosé.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 5

It is not a plan to park up where a lighthouse is sending its beams every few seconds! I slept badly because of that, but fell asleep eventually to wake to a very wet morning and no hot water.   Turns out it needs more battery than we had available. So we ran the engine for a bit before we could have our showers. I think we will have to replace the leisure battery sooner, rather than later, as it simply isn't holding its charge.
So we left Barfleur in the rain and drove down to Caen, where we stopped to do some shopping and to have lunch in McDonald's and use their WiFi to upload photos, etc. Then a long motorway journey to Le Mans, where we now are. I fell asleep.
The rain was away when we got here, so after using the service point, we went out for a walk. Heartened by meeting another British couple who are moving to Portugal in their van, which seems every bit as temperamental as ours - we thought the fridge wouldn't turn on to run on gas, but it had!
One always thinks of Le Mans in terms of the eponymous motor race, but of course it is an essential stop on any Eleanor tour. We were too late to go into the Cathedral, but we explored the old town, known as the Cité Plantagenet, and had a wonderful walk.   All dating back to Plantagenet times. There is even a street named for Queen Berengaria, and a museum about her,

but sadly not open until tomorrow afternoon, when we shall have moved on if we want to see anything of Angers.
And so back to the van and fresh ravioli and a cherry tomato, basil, garlic and parmesan sauce, very delicious. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 4

By dint of conservative management, our batteries lasted until this morning, and then charged up quickly.

Today we managed to set off in reasonable time from Falaise,  and arrived in Cherbourg in time for lunch. There was supposed to be a guided walk from the Tourist Office at 14:30, but when we got there, no sign of anything, so I suppose we should have booked. And although there were services on the car park, the hose wouldn't fit on their tap. So we headed off, stopping at St-Père-l'Eglise to use their services, only to find they were out of use. Oh well, we think we've enough water to do us.
We arrived at Barfleur, and found the motor home park at the second try. Very nice, in front of the sea wall, with a view of the lighthouse.

After a cup of tea, the SW went for a walk, and I tried to read, but fell asleep instead!  We then walked into town along the sea wall, and found a restaurant was open that would give us supper. I had cod in a lovely sauce, followed by nougat glacé, my favourite, and he had a galette au tartiflette, followed by an ice. And we shared a pichet of very nice white wine.

What I had forgotten was that Barfleur was where the White Ship had embarked from, and it must have been wrecked about opposite where we are parked!

Then back to the van just as the rain started!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 3

We had a nasty shock last night - I was already in bed, having retired there shortly after dinner, but the Swan Whisperer was reading in the main section, when all the lights went out. For some reason, although we were on mains electricity, the batteries were not charging!  And when we set off this morning they did not appear to be charging either from the solar panel or from the engine. We stopped and the SW fiddled about a bit and that seems to have done the trick, but very annoying at the start of a holiday. I shan't be impressed if we have to drive 30 miles before I can have my shower - I had it in the camp site this morning, but not very enjoyable!
Anyway, I firmly told the Satnav that we did not want to go on motorways today, and it sent us on such a pretty route through some beautiful Norman villages ("Why, " asked the SW, "is there never any parking where one would like to stop, and plenty when one doesn't?") and across arable land, and orchards heavy with apples...
We arrived in Falaise and have parked up in what is technically a supermarket car park, but in fact is away from the actual supermarket, and in a little park, very pleasant. After lunch I did a quick shop and then had a nap while the SW went for a walk, then we both walked into the town to see the famous castle where William the Bastard was born and it all began.


We didn't pay to go in, but pottered about the outside, taking lots of photos of the keep and the walls and the gardens. Then we bought a postcard for the Boys (I must buy a stamp on Monday), and headed back, stopping to look at Holy Trinity Church, the oldest in the town, and to buy some clementines en route back to the van.
I have peeled potatoes before it got to dark to see, and soon we will have the end of yesterday's chicken with mash and courgettes.
Hope to find some WiFi soon to upload masses of photos from the last two days.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Eleanor, Day 2

Things that don't go as planned. I quite thought that we would be spending tonight in Rouen, in a car park by the banks of the Seine. But the Swan Whisperer said, could we visit the Château Gaillard, about 30 miles SW of Rouen. So I asked the Satnav to take us there.
But it was the first day of the holidays, and even though the SW has retired, he always gets sleepy, so after a long break for lunch at Baie de Somme (not very far, but we set off quite late and the van isn't the fastest vehicle on the road),

we had to have another an hour later, and by the time we got to Rouen it was nearly 4:30, and we got caught in rush hour traffic, and then the satnav and I had a misunderstanding about tolls, so what with one thing and another, we didn't get to the Château Gaillard until about 6:30.  But it was worth the journey.
Really spectacular.  And there was a camp site at the foot of the cliff, just by the river, so this is where we are spending the night. We may or may not go through Rouen on our way to Falaise, which is on tomorrow's agenda.
Meanwhile I have cooked chicken and rice for dinner, which was very nice, and there is wine. All good!

Eleanor, day 1

Yesterday started off as a normal day for me, doing Grandmother duty until after the school run. Then I headed straight home, expecting to find the Swan Whisperer and the van there, but on my way too late to go back and have the offered cup of tea or to let the Daughter work another half hour, I had a text from my mother saying he and the friends who'd gone with then has only just set off.

No real harm done, and we got away on time, although our clothes were piled on the bed and didn't get put away until we arrived in Folkestone. We didn't have long to wait for our crossing, and it only took a few minutes and one wrong turning to find the motorhome section of the Cité Europe car park.

Which is where we still are. Later, we will be starting the tour proper with a drive to Château Gaillard and Rouen.