Polly and Micks Grand Day Out.   


  On the 3rd May 2011 me and Polly drove Archie our Hymer motorhome to Dover to board the Sea France ferry to Calais for our Grand Day Out 2011 which lasts approx.4 months. We go via Sea France Dover-Calais as this is by far the cheapest option. Unless you know different.

 Upon our arrival at Calais we drove out of the port and along the coast road towards Boulogne-sur-Mer to Cap-Griz-Nez


                                       We arrived at 23-30 cooked a meal, enjoyed and went to bed.


                                                                                                        Distance travelled from Salisbury. 310 Kms.

                         Wed. 4th May

Got up and made cup of tea at 7-0 then went back to bed for couple of hours.Then had some breakfast,cleared up and went for a walk around the Cap and took some pics.


                                                                     Just follow the signs. 

                                                        With the morning comes the Grockles. 

                                              Not homesick yet. The bucket is for any photographers viewing.

    Link to more info.                                                                              http://www.fortified-places.com/grisnez/

Back for lunch, then tried to adjust my headlights for French driving, bit of a prob, leave to later. Had a cuppa then dinner then watched Man. U. thrash Shalka 4-1 Bed to sleep.Both nights Gratuit. Not so many visits from the police as last year.

The odd french phrase may creep in. Gratuit means free.

                     Thurs. 5th May .

Left Griz Nez after breakfast, approx 10-30, heading for Catillon-sur-Sambre, another Aire we stayed at last year.

                                                                                                                                           Distance 210 Kms.


Just a large parking area used by motorhomes and sometimes the local council. Very quiet, main road other side of houses. The main aire is just up the main road on the canal bridge,  here you can get free water and empty grey and black water. The town is a bit of a one horse town on road from Arras to 'Charleville Mezieres' where we have been before and is well worth a visit. Not much to photograph here except the church but couldn't get inside.Spent the evening chatting with one of our neighbours in another van. They were from Gretna.


                               Fri 6th May

Had another chat with neighbours then left site at approx 10-30 heading for the Verdun area. Drove into the town of

Sedan to see the chateau and stop for lunch but nowhere to park so drove out again on to main road and stopped in a layby. Carried on past Dun-sur-Meuse and turned off to Catillon-sur-Sambre to go to the aire but not what we had hoped for. The aire was a little layby in middle of town so filled up with water which cost 2 euros then drove on towards Verdun on back road and just before the battlefield we found a nice pull in off road amongst the trees.

                                                                                                                                            Distance 216 Kms.


                            Sat. 7th. May

 Weather continues as before, bright sunshine but a few little clouds appearing. might cool it down a bit.Cool in the evening though.Drove around Verdun, signs for the road we wanted a bit crockeyed, I suppose it might be the way I'm reading them, but sorted it a few Kms. up the road. Then drove across high open countryside to Pont-a-Mousson, where we stopped at Intermarche to stock up on some foody bits, then past the airport and on to  the Aire near the chateau  that is on Polly's disc of all the French Aires.

http://www.campingcar-infos.com/Francais/accueil.php                                                    Distance 187 Kms.


After dinner we walked up to the chateau and wandered past the buildings, quite impressive. We are staying Sunday so give it a better look then.

                            Sun.8th. May

            Stayed at the  van till lunch time then went to see the Chateau, approached  through the gardens.

                                                             Upon reflection about equal 

Wandered on through town then along the river back to Archie. Filled up with fresh water which  cost us   3.5 euros, Bit dear really but over the whole four months we only paid for water three or four times.

                         Mon. 9th May

                     Nice drive to Raon l'Etap, then into tree covered hills where we stopped for a cuppa.

 A little rest then on to Mont St. Odile  which is Southwest of Strasbourg Nr. Schirmeck. We visited it last year and were so moved by it that we wanted to go back. It is a place of pilgrimage and is well worth a visit, as is the whole area.

Info for Mont St Odile                                                http://www.mont-sainte-odile.fr/

Around the base of the Mont is a footpath that is a nice walk all around the site. Set into the rocks are about fifeteen of these pictures of the Crucifixion,about a metre square. Not sure what they are called but help to build up the atmosphere of the place.

Stayed for a couple of hours to soak up the atmosphere. Then drove towards The Ballon D'Alsace and stayed in a layby halfway up the hill. A bit of traffic in the evening because it is such a beautifull area but no problem at night or early morning.

                                                                                                                                                    161 Kms.

                       Tues. 10th May

Drove through the hills but didn't hang around too much as we were here last year. If anybody likes nice quiet walking holidays in the hills with some interesting sites, also here is Le Struthof, the remains of a concentration camp which is also a memorial to what went on there .We visited this last year, so in a period of twentyfour hours we visited heaven and hell.

                   Info.                                                     http://www.struthof.fr/

Drove down out of the hills to le Howald and then out on to the road into Germany, over the Rhine to Freiburg, got a bit mixed up with the roads but ended up going through a mountain pass with Triberg at the end of it, which was a popular place going by the tourist shops. Didn't stop.Drove a lot further than we had hoped for, almost reached Bad Waldsee (Hymerland) and stopped for the night in a walkers car park near Sigmaringen. Large lorry and trailer drove in and parked for the night so no worries about staying there.Very quiet spot,railway line but havn't seen a train, yet.


                                                                                                                                            277 Kms.

                         Wed. 11th May


                                                          Wrong!  Little engine just gone by.  When I find the photo I'll put it on.

Drove on to Albstadt and found Intermarche and did some shopping. Went on a few Kms.to Balingen and stayed at another walkers car park in the mountains, lovely place. We stayed here last year as well. Heavy rain in the night.

                                                                                                                                               69 Kms.


                     Thurs. 12th May


Went out of mountains into a lovely valley With, river, canal and railway line all alongside the road .The railway is a tourist line called The Naturpark Express and covers a lot of beautiful countryside.We come back this way later so will load pictures then.

Carried on towards Bad Waldsee  and stayed in a Aire we found in the German Stalplatz book called Bad Waldsee Echenreute. Actually no longer an aire but they let us stay there and we went in for a meal in the evening, and very nice it was too.

                                                                                                                                         147 Kms.


                            Fri. 13th May

Drove to aire at Bad Schussenried to empty grey and black water and take on fresh. A lot of vans there glad we didn't find this one last night. carried on to Oberessendorf where our friends live. Anton does the work on our van when we go there.Anton came home at lunch and when we had finished he went round Archie to work out costs for doing the jobs on blinds, shower room lights and other odds on the outside.Quite a few bob in all.

                                                                                                                                              90 Kms.

                                                                  Parked near Antons house  

                                       Finally got to the end of page one.  Another seventeen to go.