Le Mans and the Gendarmerie

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September 21st 2022
Published: September 21st 2022
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Lovely stuff like its name sake, ha ha
Up early to get to Le Mans. Well we had a diversion of what must have been at least 20 miles as the A28 where we needed to get on was closed. To be honest this was quite good for me as it gave me a break from being buffeted on the motorway - I know I will need a back and shoulder massage when we get back to the UK as cor blimey my right shoulder has so many aches due to having to hold the motorhome in the wind.

We have to stop at a toll and there are swarms of gendarmeries on the other side so I am thinking get me out of here bleeding quick before I get stopped even though I have done nothing wrong. However when I see a policeman I feel guilty, why I have no idea but they put the fear of god in me. If I ever got stopped I would probably say fair cop I did it - oh what are you stopping me for, ha ha. Anyway back to the tale. So Mike puts the ticket in the toll and it won’t take it - so I am making sure I do not look at the gendarmeries as I don’t want them to see the whites of my eyes. Mike puts the ticket in again and once again it won’t take it - so now I am panicking - I shout “get the bleeding machine to take the ticket” to which Mike shouts “I cannot get it to take the ticket” - to which I look at the gendarmerie and she looks back at me - now I am panicking what does a French cell look like. So Mike tries again this time he opens the passenger door and manages to make the ticket machine take the ticket - I sigh a big relief as I don’t want to look at the gendarmerie again. He then puts the credit card in to pay - and it felt like forever before he takes the card back - I shout “take the card - take the card”. It felt like ages and all I can feel is this gendarmerie looking at me - and I am making sure I don’t look forward and see her eyes again. Once Mike eventually, yes eventually takes the card and the barrier comes up I am off - I look round and Mike is hanging on to the swinging door as it is still open - I am thinking bleeding heck this is getting worse. I slow down enough for him to close the door then speed up again to get away from the Gendarmerie and Mike shouts “let me get my seat belt on as they will stop us if I am not wearing it”. So I slow down and look right so the Gendarmerie cannot see the whites of my eyes and once he has his seat belt across his chest I am off like the wind - woooo hooooo I do not need to see what a French cell looks like - I can live for another day.

So eventually we managed to get into the Aire that I wanted to get into due to all the reviews on how near to the centre of Le Mans it was - we were lucky though there were only 2 places left. It is really weird not staying on a site and this is our first Aire in France apart of course from the French Passion sites we have
One of the stained glass windowsOne of the stained glass windowsOne of the stained glass windows

Sorry have not done it justice
stayed on. This Aire does have water and waste disposal at a cost if you need it but no electricity so we are on battery let’s hope it is okay - it should be as we have a lithium battery and can only stay here one night.

We decided to walk into Le Mans - now I did not know what to expect but oh my god what a pretty place with so many amazing buildings - I even managed to find a shop called Paula - so I had to go in for a peek - Mike was happy I did not buy anything but there was some nice stuff in there even though I say so myself.

We stopped for a bite to eat and it was a really nice meal and one of the best we have had apart from my cooking of course!!

After lunch we carried on exploring and came across the Cathedral Saint Julien. Well if you have been reading my blogs previously you may remember that I mentioned the Cathedral in Orleans was spectacular, well the Cathedral Saint Julien honestly topped this. It was so beautiful and you wonder how so many years ago this could have been built. A few years ago I did a couple of days doing a course on stained glass window making and I can tell you it is not easy in the least so how could someone so many years ago without all our mod cons be able to produce windows so magnificent I have no idea. And, the claim to fame of one of the windows is that it is recognised as the oldest stain glass window in the world. Unfortunately, the light was such that I couldn’t get a decent photo of it.

It is only 3.45pm and Mike has gone for a rest which means I am on my Sweeney Todd (i.e. all on my own). Now do I go exploring more or wait until he has a rest? That is the question!

Well I decide to do the right thing (which is a miracle) and wait until he has had a nap. Then I have a rest haha. We then walk back into the centre of Le Mans when all the tourists have left and it is such a pretty town with so many beautiful buildings I am in awe and so glad that we stopped here and especially in this Aire as if we had not we would have been quite a way out and only seen it as tourists in the tourist timeframe.


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