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Europe » France » Lorraine » Metz April 21st 2014

Metz the discreet ! This is how I would describe this City... As opposed to its famous neighbour city Strasbourg, immediately recognizable through its black and white buildings, its Christmas Markets, gastronomy and traditions, the Capital of the Lorraine region is not featured much in the news or even in the documentaries highlighting the beautiful régions of France. And this is a shame really as the Lorraine region has so much to be discovered and enjoyed by the Visitor, much more than the recipe of its namesake "quiche" or even the famous Mirabelle plum I am of a curious nature opened towards the world, but this is only last winter while I was watching the "Come Dine with Me" show set in Metz, that I was finally able to discover the Capital of Lorraine and its ... read more
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Europe » France » Lorraine » Metz April 21st 2014

It is by wonderfully sunny afternoon, this Sunday December 1st that I boarded the regional train towards the City of Metz and its Christmas Market, Christmas Markets should I rather say as they are 6 in total spread around the city centre, but all within a walking distance. As soon as I arrive in the historic train station I was greeted by the towering silhouette of the giant Vosgian Christmas Tree dressed in silver and white which welcomes you in a City that knows to celebrate Christmas with warmth ! I know the centre of Metz quite well and yet it was a a wonderful surprise to discover all these familiar Streets and squares dressed in festive colours starting with the Place de la République with its Big Wheel and its Ice Skating Rink then to ... read more
Metz Christmas Market
Metz Christmas Market
Metz Christmas Market

Europe » France » Lorraine » Verdun September 12th 2013

Motorhome News from Switzerland. Part II 12th September 2013 From Grimentz in Switzerland, On Her Majesty's Secret Service - to Verdun in France, in search of memories of those who gave their lives that we should find peace. Here we are again. Turning up like a bad penny just when you thought you'd heard the last of us. We want you to join us this time as we take to the Swiss mountains, so get your boots on and bring a hat and a pair of gloves, it might get cold. We're off for a gentle hike or two with a bit of added grey haired nomad excitement thrown in for good measure, and then we'll be making a dash for the lowlands to the north to escape the cloud and rain. ... read more
Val d'Aniviers
Above Zinal
Grimsel Pass

Europe » France » Lorraine » Verdun August 21st 2013

We were well rested from our day of rest,relaxation and administration yesterday and ready for a day trip that would take us west to the World War 1 battlefields around Verdun and the Muese Valley. The day has dawned clear although the overnight temperature must have fallen close to, if not into single figures, as the air felt decidedly cool as we started out after a leisurely breakfast.It is a pity that we are located on the first floor and don't really see any direct sunlight and it will probably mean we won't get to use the balcony often. We had run the level of diesel down in the car and needed to top up before we got onto the open road and after a waltz around Amneville we finally found a gas station and filled ... read more
German WW1 cemetery at Hautecourt
French cemetery at Douaumont near Verdun
The French memorial at Douaumont

Europe » France » Lorraine » Amneville August 20th 2013

This will probably be the shortest entry of our BBA V2 blog and that is because today we really didn't do a lot to report about. With over 20,000km now travelled we decided that it was time for a rest day although we are sure we will make up for it in the next two days with trips towards Verdun and the World War 1 battlefields and then north to Luxembourg and try and discover more about the French folly of their Maginot Line. Thankfully the complex has a laundry and after having to work on translation of what we needed to do some washing with the reception we found the washing machine in the basement and filled it with a build up of clothes ready for something more than a scrub in a wash hand ... read more

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Europe » France » Lorraine » Amneville August 19th 2013

It had to happen,the golden weather came to an end overnight with a light shower of rain and this morning the temperature is a touch cooler. We have rated the bed at D's the best equal we have slept on during the BBA V2.It was too hard to separate it and the bed in the B&B in Tuscany. So well rested and with the Kindle E-Reader that Gretchen bought me for my birthday(she had had it shipped to NZ and D bought it back with her from a quick trip home earlier this month) we prepared to leave Basel and head back into France. We made it out of Switzerland without going anywhere near a highway and feel extra pleased we didn't give into the demands of the guy at the border yesterday. There was a ... read more
The inner courtyard of our Amneville apartment

Europe » France » Lorraine June 20th 2013

In Bayonne awaiting my bus to St. Jean. I have blessed to meet a ovely couple from Washington State and a lovely young lady from Australia - Jeri! Some pics fromBayonne.... read more
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Europe » France » Lorraine » Verdun May 30th 2013

On the road again and only a few days left before we will be home and Suzy parked up. She needs a clean and a restock. It's amazing how the fridge soon empties, the emergency stocks are depleted and the cupboards like Old Mother Hubbards are bare. The carpets are covered in sand and mud and need a serious clean and the bedding needs to come out to be washed. But before that we are still in France and still have two more stops to go before we reach home. The weather is still poor and feels like winter. Our planned stop was going to be Camping Breuils in Verdun. It is hard to get to this part of the world without thinking about the young soldiers who lost their lives unnecessarily fighting in the First ... read more
Verdun
Verdun
Verdun

Europe » France » Lorraine » Verdun July 28th 2012

Saturday, Day 12 We started the day in Verdun. We wanted to see the battlefields and then drive down to Reims, France. This is the location of one of the deadliest battles in World War I. It lasted more than 300 days in 1916. The battle was basically a stand off but Germany lost more men. In total more than 500,000 men died here. We drove around the battlefields and saw many of the original bunkers and trenches. There were also forts around the town that were captured, first by the Germans, then later recaptured by the French. The most moving part was the huge cemetery and memorial building in honor to those that died. In the basement of the memorial was a terrible scene. It housed thousands of bones of bodies that were never identified. ... read more
Verdun, France
Verdun, France
Verdun, France

Europe » France » Lorraine » Verdun July 27th 2012

Friday, Day 11 After Jackie read this blog she said that she was surprised that I omitted one of the best things we have seen on the trip up to now. I completlely left out comments on Burg Eltz, the beautiful castle just above Cochem. So, I am issuing an edit on this day. After breakfast we headed for Burg Eltz, the castle that R. Steves claims is his favorite in all of Europe. This castle has been in tact for 700 years. It is not on the Mosel River but in a thick forest a few miles north. In my mind it is the ultimate, and maybe the first, condomium. It seems that the three families lived together inside and had separate lives. There was a meeting room where they met to work out issues ... read more
Burg Eltz Castle
Burg Eltz Castle
Burg Eltz Castle




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