Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
Our site in Anduze
Note the English 'sun worshipper'
We wanted to be more in the 'real' France rather than the tourist areas and we arrived at a recommended campsite in Anduze which is a ribbon campsite alongside the River Gardon in the Cevennes. We were not sure about the 'real' France as once again we were surrounded by Dutch, no longer the "grey hairs" but by families, as a third of Holland is now on holiday.
We were soon back in our 'catastrophes' and a lack of communication between us broke the caravan's high rear light on a tree branch, this time on the opposite side, so another €9 down the drain.
Tuesday evening was their night market which is unfortunately, just the day market by night. We walked and walked up narrow streets full of stalls selling the usual wares. There was a small restaurant with tables spilling onto the market square but with a queue for tables of about twenty people. Why? Was suddenly obvious as the set menu of three courses was €7! They even had a vegetarian option so we joined the queue. A bottle of rose was €6 and we left two hours later very satisfied, however Michelle
Our Steam Train
Michelle's dress was white when we set out!!
once again had problems riding her bike the one mile home, this time it was even more difficult as it was dark.
There is a steam train in Anduze which runs a 40 minute journey to St John du Gard. Despite the cost of €14 each round trip we decided to take it, as Michelle had never been on a steam train and Terry remembered the smell from the times he left Central Station for Blackpool all those many years ago.The train left at 11.30am but we managed to get there in time by having an early breakfast. It was a nice change from the campsite, where people spend their days in bathing costumes, to see everyone dressed up for the trip. The smell of steam from a train engine would excite anyone over 60 and the engine seemed itself excited as it puffed loud bursts out of its funnel.There were carriages completely enclosed but most people, like us, chose ones with open sides and a roof. Michelle had put on one of her new dresses and next to us was a young French mother and her little girl, who were both prettily dressed in white broderie
anglaise tops, mother had a scarf round her neck tied at the side like the French do.
The station master blew his whistle and off we set. Soon we heard the familiar, inimitable sound of "shoo shoo" as we entered a long tunnel. Three minutes later we emerged from the tunnel covered in soot and coke. So much for the nice clothes.
The views from the train were fantastic; it is certainly one of the most beautiful areas of France. St John du Gard was a disappointment though. After walking the boundaries of the village we found most people had just gone in a restaurant for a midday meal before returning to the station for the train back two hours later.
The return was much the same and we arrived back at the campsite needing showers and our clothes washing. Terry's head, usually just glistening with sun cream was now covered in black soot!
Seven days was enough so off we set for the Tarn Gorge and to see the Millau bridge.
There are more photos below