Blogs from Picardy, France, Europe


Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin August 31st 2022

Lest we forget We had a quiet night after the nightmare the previous day so all is well in the Fairbairn camp. So I have decided I am turning into my parents. When I was young my mum and dad used to take all us kids (5 of us) abroad each year to France and beyond and we used to visit all the cemeteries for the fallen solders and war museums - well anything to do with the war - yes one brother is called Sherman and the other is Robert Lee or Bob as we call him - i.e a bit of a clue there i.e. Sherman Tank and Major Robert Lee Near the campsite there is a British cemetery Seraucourt-le-Grand so we decided to walk up and see it. It was quite a sobering ... read more
Unmarked Gravestone

Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin August 30th 2022

Day one in France So I need to explain why I had to put my big girls knickers on. Mike got to the ripe old age of 70 when he had to apply for his license again. He wanted to keep his C1 category on his license which allows him to drive vehicles over 3.5 ton. So this exercise was not as simple as applying online to renew his license. He now had to go for a medical and have his eyesight tested. So all done but he mentioned at his medical that he drank more than the Government’s Chief Medical Officer recommended limit of 14 units of alcohol a week. So now DVLA wanted more info on his drinking like in the last year!!!! So he has not received his license yet so cannot drive ... read more
Morning Croissants

Europe » France » Picardy » Laon June 28th 2022

What an absolutely super town, or city really as Laon has a cathedral. To make our day even better the sun was back in full and we had a glorious blue sky all day long. Fantastic. Smart Arse was more than happy to take us up the very steep hill into town which is built on a high ridge with views across the valley below in all directions. We found a car park on the edge of the ramparts which still almost surround the old city. It seems that parking in the city is free which was a pleasant surprise. The main street was festooned with multi-coloured balloons. It looked amazing. So much more impressive than the tradional bunting used in most places. I've seen photos which show that Laon in other years had a display ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Laon June 27th 2022

Well that was rather a lot of rain... but can't complain the only other rain we have had this trip has very kindly fallen at night and cooled the air down after excessively hot days. Smart Car was already loaded and ready on the trailer but still needed tying down to the trailer with its straps and the trailer needs to be on the back of the motorhome. Fortunately the overnight rain gave us a break as we were getting ready to leave. Long enough to load car and trailer. We had such an enormous pitch that it was quite easy to get set up and on our way. Heading north in a Westerly direction as the rain cloud very defintely to the East. We were heading for the blue sky and sunshine again. The drive ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin June 8th 2022

What an excellent decision. To stay two nights in the Bay of the Somme instead of just a one nighter as we've done several times. It rained in the night, fortunately we realised it was going to so Bob had taken the chairs in. By morning most of the rain had gone so no problem heading out for the day. We had planned to visit Le Parc du Marquenterre. A national nature reserve absolutely heaving with birds, and at this time of year, nesting birds. Decided to let the rain go further on its way to the East before we visited and drove instead to Le Crotoy. It really is a favourite spot though it has changed since we were here last in 2016. For one thing there is a lot of one way system and ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin June 7th 2022

We have had a lot of luck today. Ferry was booked for 11.05 so planned to be at Dover ferry port for 10am latest. Woke at 7.30 so got up, breakfasted and set off. No point in hanging about. Glad we didn't. No problem at all getting to and through the ferry. A pretty drive through the lanes of Kent and down to the port. Last week's dreadful backlog all gone and we whizzed through. At the booth as the lady checked our booking we heard her say to someone on the phone that she had a motorhome with a trailer and a little red car on top. That would be us. She passed us our papers and said "Gogogo they are waiting for you". So we did, sped round the port, found our lane, straight ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Beauvais December 29th 2019

Let's get this one out of the way first . Every morning we wake and before we breakfast we check the levels of the battery. They never fail to amaze us. It barely moves down and soon charges up again. Why do we distrust it and check every morning? It is delivering in a way we never imagined . What a freedom we feel now that we never felt before . So it is Bonjour from us at Beauvais. This is yet another city we have wanted to visit for some while. It has an astronomical clock that is worth seeing. We have seen clocks before in many cathedrals back home - Wells and here in mainland Europe - Prague . So what is special about this one? We were soon going to find out. It ... read more
The clock at Beauvais
How the builders got it wrong
The Bishops Palace Beauvais

Europe » France » Picardy » Noyon December 28th 2019

Where in the world is Gabby the motorhome? Sitting outside the ruins of the Abbaye de Ourscamp in Picardy. Who would have thought that we would have made it? It seems an age away that the idea was mooted to spend Christmas in France. We had plenty of Tesco vouchers to pay for most of the Chunnel trip and had the time off work to make a holiday worthwhile . What we needed was the battery to work. It did not and the holiday was almost cancelled . First it was on . Then it was off. This went on for a few weeks before in the end the new fitter assured us that the battery would work . So with a leap of faith we set off and it has all gone well. The most ... read more
The Gate of Honour
The Abbaye
Returning to nature

Europe » France » Picardy » Laon December 28th 2019

We loved Sedan . We loved Laon too. What could you not like about the town? Gabby had crawled her way up a serpentine road which eventually brought us out at the top of Laon next to the walls and in a purpose built free aire for 6 motorhomes. We could stay the night for free but to be fair this was more an aire for a day visit rather than one for staying the night. It was a touch too close to the road and would have been less than peaceful. Although we can now park almost anywhere we are never keen to be this close to the cars rushing by us. We had climbed from the plain below from the A26. Laon always looked interesting as we passed by on our way to somewhere ... read more
Yes he is a hippopotamus
Christmas decorations Laon style
A tower on the cathedral all delicate and lace like

Europe » France » Picardy » Saint-Quentin December 28th 2019

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 ... read more
Inside in Laon Cathedral
Laon Cathedral

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