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September 10th 2015
Published: September 19th 2015
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Couchy le Chateau Auffrique

We drove for a bit and thought we should find a camp soon.

This town – Couchy le Chateau Auffrique- has an Aire de Services.

So we pull up and what a nice little camp site the local municipal government has for us.

Not big – but with 5 or 6 places for camping cars – all levelled and with hedges between each camper spot. Good garden setting.

But as often happens in France, we stop at a place and then discover that this town or village has some remarkable feature or place in history.

In the 13th century Engurrand III built this hilltop fortified town.

The walk up was steep. We expected to see some ruins. But when we reached the top we entered a medieval town – a modern working village in medieval buildings and surrounded by the remains of the ramparts built in the middle ages. Unfortunately much of the chateau and walls were destroyed by a retreating German army in 1917/18.

This town has only 1,100 or so residents who all seem devoted to the town. There is a mayor and about 10 councillors – most of whom are voluntary or receive only a stipend.

Unfortunately there was a hitch with the machine that controls reticulated electricity and water at the camping car aire de services. But when we went to the Mairie ( mayors office ) the people there were very helpful and cheerfully came to our assistance. They did so promptly. Getting prompt service in France from a government office is not something that usually happens. So we were very lucky to have these nice people serve us so efficiently. Also the people from the mayors office seemed resolved after this to prevent future problems by attaching printed operating instructions and making sure the machine at the camping aire receives some protection from sunlight so that users can see the robotic computer screen.

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