Blogs from Pays-de-la-Loire, France, Europe


Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Angers June 2nd 2019

So, we're off again, and blogging again. This trip is mostly to the UK, for a family gathering which was supposed to be for my mum's 90th birthday. Sadly though, she decided she didn't fancy being 90 and gave it a miss. At the funeral last month (no blog for that trip) we all agreed we'd get together anyway. So we're heading (eventually) for Abergavenny. However, we'd head meanwhile that there's some good stuff going on in Normandy this week, so decided to head off early and take in some of that. So after morning service today, we had a quick lunch and finished loading the van, then set off. Today, we kept it to a couple of hours (or just over), and no toll roads, which brought us to the rather remote Aire near Chanzeaux, ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Nantes May 30th 2019

Thursday 30thMay Today was a public holiday for Ascension Day, and this would be a busy weekend in France, as a lot of people would ‘font le pont’ and take Friday off to get a four-day weekend. My hosts planned an overnight trip for us to Nantes – we would be staying with friends of theirs. After lunch we headed off and after about an hour we arrived. The friends of my hosts took us out walking and we headed for the port. Nantes is on the Loire River, just about 10 or 15 km from its mouth at St Nazaire. Nantes is also one end of the Nantes-Brest Canal, mentioned previously. Hence Nantes was a very important port ands ship-building centre. The port is now primarily for pleasure craft, and there was an excited crowd ... read more
Place Royale with Fountain
Basilique Saint-Nicolas

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Angers May 20th 2019

Saturday 18th May This morning I got up early to go to Angers by train for the day. This was mainly in order to meet my French teacher from Gosford, who moved back to France this year. The train from Guipry-Messac was at 7:54, followed by a 51 minute wait in Rennes for the train to Angers – about twice as long as the train trip from Guipry to Rennes! I arrived at Angers at about 10:45. Angers immediately struck me as a vibrant city, very clean and well looked after, with people in all the public places. I made my way to the enormous and imposing château, built on a bluff overlooking the river Maine. The huge dry moat, walls and towers, and the sheer size of the castle are all remarkable. I went looking ... read more
The Apocalypse Tapestry
Looking Down the Steps from the Cathedral towards the River
Tiny Door on Medieval House

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Les Sables-d'Olonne February 16th 2019

Sleeping to the sound of Atlantic waves rather than Mediterranean ones - don't sound much different actually! After over 7 weeks and 4000 miles, the "leisure" battery decided to play up now we're nearly home! Thanks be to God it didn't happen earlier. Just meant we had to warm up some bottled water in the kettle to have washes instead of showers - won't kill us for once. Home in time for lunch, then a MAJOR unloading/sorting exercise! Didn't even get as far as taking down the Christ,as decs we'd peft up when we left. Bit of shopping from Super U, where the cashier said she'd missed us and asked if we'd been back to England! Late afternoon, finally down to the Bar du Pont for an aperitif, then home to cook John and Scarlette's home-made ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Jard-sur-Mer February 15th 2019

After a lovely evening with John and Scarlette, enjoyed a cooked breakfast this morning and then set off towards home. The weather ws lovely, and the drive was pleasant enough but not terribly exciting. Charente-Maritime and Vendée are flat, wildlife-friendly, but without great scenery. Still, great to be "home" on the Vendée (Vive la 85!). We'd decided to take one more night out before getting home, mainly so we could arrive early in the day, since we knew we'd have so much to do when we finally made it. So we settled for the night at Jard-sur-Mer, less than an hour from home. A quiet Aire, facing the beach, which we'd seen before but (obviously) never had to use. Sitting in the van now (19.40). listening to the waves once again, but now they're from the ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire October 19th 2018

Confucious came to the rescue again. He said in this mornings jottings that " It does not matter how slowly you go long as you do not stop". We are doing just that in the last few days of our holidays. We wake up later . There is little point waking up early as all we are doing is moving slowly up France in the general direction of Calais. In a few days I will ring Channel Tunnel to change our booking for our return journey to the UK. With a bit of sad heart we ate breakfast and unplugged Gabby from the electricity supply. Just before we left the English caretaker came over to wish us bon voyage. He told us the boulangerie would be open in the village but that the road now bypassed ... read more
Entrance to Sarzay
a glimpse of the castle through the fields
the messy farmyard

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire September 12th 2018

It was difficult getting up this morning. We were up till 11:00 pm finishing yesterday's blog. The wine didn't help either. Today is another great day, weather wise. Our first stop after leaving Bayeaux was Mont St. Michele. As you approach from a distance it looks like a midevil island, which it is. Very surreal. It was much more crowded than our last visit, but worth the long wait for the shuttle bus to take us across the causeway. At one time, the island was only reachable during low tide. Many people lost their lives crossing the flats, as the tides can rise up to 45 feet, and rush in at incredible speed. Today there is a causeway that people can walk across or take a bus. As you enter the city through the drawbridge gate, ... read more
Midevil streets
Supply Sled
Sled winch Wheel

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Ancenis July 21st 2018

It’s Saturday I rollover and go back to sleep. Today is going to be somewhat of a rest day. I finally stumble into the kitchen, everyone is fresh but me go figure. It’s 9 am.. I can sleep in, after some coffee and breakfast I get the bicycle out. Check the tires and off I go. I ride through the country side taking it easy. I feel much more comfortable riding the roads here than I do in the USA. Cars and trucks are so good to cyclist, I ride for 2 hours and no stress except when the pack of riders blow past me like I’m standing still. When Bea was here, we ate at the village of Ancenis. We saw a Tapas restaurant, but it was so crowed we couldn’t get in. So tonight, ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Nantes July 20th 2018

We’re up... our breakfast routine has become just like we live here. The house has become second nature, I know what switches control what lights. One item is lacking, not enough receptacles. Yea, we are constantly un-plugging one item and plugging in another. With all the iPhone, iPads and laptops, I’m thinking there needs to be some more duplex or quad receptacles. While cleaning up after breakfast, Kirsten announces we’re going to Home Depot. She wants to visit the home building store in France. Why you ask? As you know, most of the houses are small. Last summer, she had Luis tear out a closet and turn it into a half bath. So, while in France she wanted to check out small sinks for small bathrooms. We pile into the car and of we go to ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » La Baule-Escoublac July 18th 2018

I’m up early ...don’t know why, I slept well but just woke up early. Sitting on the patio sipping my coffee staring at Leonarda the donkey. I go inside and grab some stale bread and take it to her. She takes the bread and walks away smiling. Now leave me alone. Kirsten and Omi are up by the time I finish my second cup of coffee. While Kirsten is making breakfast, she announces we’re going to the beach as soon as we’re done eating. We are?!, Yep, I feel like visiting this villages of La Baule and Le Croisic. Down the road we go, I have the Navi loaded but while I was plugging in Kirsten’s phone Apple CarPlay pops up, then disappears. Holy shit batman, this car has CarPlay?!. Kirsten and Omi aren’t impressed. I’ll ... read more

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