France 152 - St Quentin /Le Bol - the swimming pool, the ice rink and the gym/ I paid too much for the aire on the complicated machine


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Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin
December 28th 2019
Published: December 29th 2019
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This believe it or not is just  a cake box This believe it or not is just  a cake box This believe it or not is just a cake box

............and that is not a cake on the top .
Gabby the motorhome is currently parked on a paid aire with 12 spaces alongside Le Bol. Le Bol is a huge complex made up of a swimming pool , a jacuzzi , hot tubs, a gym and a skating rink. All waiting to be used at a price . The machine to enter the aire was horrendously complicated. I asked it to explain to me in English what I needed to do and it did exactly that however it was still rather confusing. I pressed one part of the touch screen and it came up with 1 euro a night which I knew was wrong. I tried again and it came out with something else equally wrong. In the end I shoved my card in and it printed out a receipt showing I had paid 7 euros for the plot and for electricity which we did not need. The lithium battery is still delivering. The machine had also added the first tourist tax of the trip 1 euro. It was still excellent value compared to the ACSI rate of 21 euros a night . So far we have paid very little for camping . OK we dont have showers but we have tried Gabbys shower and it works . The hardest part is drying it out afterwards . The gas heats the water up effectively and we can manage in the cold weather . We miss washing machines but have brought enough clothes to last the holiday . All is working well . No complaints from either of us yet.

The car park/aire was fairly quiet and was not full. Just 6 vans overnighting. That has been one of the things we have noticed this holiday . There are few motorhomes on the road . Would we come again next year? Would love to but it is sadly a leap year and probably I wont get the time off. The railway line runs behind the aire but there are few trains travelling today. It is as quiet as it can be.

I couldnt resist Le Bol. It was just outside the site and I was starting to have swimming withdrawal feelings. ,. I went round first to find out how to get in and what the opening hours were ., A swimming pool on the doorstep was too much to ignore . It was calling me . Having worked
Laon Cathedral Laon Cathedral Laon Cathedral

No pictures of St Quentin so more of Laon
out where the entrance was I set off with my bag. I got to reception and paid my 4 euros 80 to swim. Quite expensive compared to what I pay back home. 19 euros a month at home for as many swims and gym visits as I can manage. It was difficult trying to converse with the receptionists who spoke no English however mimicking swimming got me through the doors. They took me up the stairs to show me where the changing rooms were. More confusion ensued as I was shown where to put my clothes. Fancy lockers with security locks. The guy showed me what me to do and eventually I entered the pool. A pool quite empty . I had the place almost to my self. There were palm trees dotted round the building, the jacuzzi was bubbling and I got my swim.

We had intended to go into St Quentin . We had passed many times but always on the way from somewhere to somewhere else. We had plans to walk up to town although it was rather a stiff walk and the rain was falling heavily. We thought that we might have to try again tomorrow. So what was in St Quentin worth seeing? . For a start it is named after Saint Quentin who is said to have been martyred in the city in the 3rd century. If we had walked up we would have seen a large open square in the town centre described as a lovely space with a range of attractive buildings. In the main square would have been an impressive gothic style hotel de Ville with an impressive tower filled with 37 bells. Finally we would have seen the impressive 15th century basilica . Sadly the rain did not stop and it poured down the next morning so St Quentin did not get a visit from us. Instead we completed crosswords and I finished my book The Tattooist of Auschwitz. A disturbing but brilliant read.

When we left I had to put the code back into the machine to let us out. The machine gave us two choices . We could leave temporarily and return to the aire for the remaining time left on the ticket . Good for a visit up town without having to pay again. Or we could leave permanently . I chose the permanent choice and the barrier lifted letting us out ready to start the next part of our journey. We are moving closer and closer towards Normandy and Christmas Day.

Such a good overnight stop . We would use it again.

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