Bob had very carefully chosen our route from Le Crotoy to Chartres taking special care in working out how to get across the Seine river which is never terribly straightforward.
Rouen is the obvious route across but we hate Rouen, for a couple of reasons after problems there on previous trips, so do our very best to avoid it.
Today’s route was absolutely excellent. The weather was drop dead blue sky gorgeous, the roads almost empty of traffic being a Sunday on a holiday weekend. The Tandy was in excellent spirits and so were we after a good long and obviously much needed sleep.
Our route took us almost due south, edging quite close to Paris and nowhere near to Rouen crossing the Seine at Mantes la Jolie. A route we’ve not been before and there are some treasures of little villages and towns in this area once you get off the beaten track and we did. Beautiful churches and timbered building, typically Normandy style. Flowers everywhere. Red poppies filling the verges and edges of the fields.
We did stop at one place, Mormoulin, where there is a gorgeous mill complete with millrace but otherwise we just
drove along enjoying the scenery and admired the lovely countryside. An absolutely lovely drive.
We arrived at our campsite in Chartres mid afternoon. A municipal site I presume and rather tired, certainly the sanitaires could do with a refurb and the site itself could do with maintenance, some grass and hedge trimming would not go amiss. The Acsi book describes it as being a short walk into Chartres along the river. Actually 3km which is perhaps not terribly short and not a walk we fancied doing. Especially as the weather had turned absolutely glorious and hot and really rather too hot for too long a walk. A swim in a pool would have been preferable but none available.
We decided to go by scooter instead so unloaded Kismee and after a few false starts (several actually) found our way into the city. The sign posting in Chartres leaves a lot to be desired. One sign points to the city centre but then you are on your own – and Not in the city centre. Once we found somewhere to park we followed a Tourist Circuit sign and again that was the only such sign we found.
mind, after climbing some steep steps we eventually got to the Cathedral. We have been to Chartres once before, in September 2003 but we didn’t camp that time, just stopped off en route.
There was a service in the Cathedral which was rather nice as the music was lovely and it seemed to be a rather informal affair, not a full Mass. I took photos of the Rose Windows of course, as, as a Stained Glass artist, this is surely as near to Stained Glass Heaven as you can get.
We had a bit more of a wander round, got lost again and have totally failed to understand the geography of this city. Think it might be easier to understand when approached from the river side but we came in via a set of roads which all seemed to lead to one way streets which we couldn’t go down !
We had a somewhat expensive set of drinks in a café opposite the Cathedral and didn’t leave a tip as my large white coffee came as a small black but I couldn’t be bothered to complain.
Back at the campsite we packed everything away as thunder
has rolled in the distance since we had dinner. The barometer has shot back up again now though so we are hopeful of more lovely weather for our next stop – Nantes.
Note : Best thing about our not brilliant campsite – the birdsong is fantastic. The trees are full of songbirds. Worth stopping just for that.
Campsite = Camping des Bords de L’Eure
my rating = 6/10
Price using Acsi = $14.
Tot: 2.686s; Tpl: 0.064s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0496s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb