Monday 1st August 2016
A lovely morning so we sat and enjoyed the sunshine and took a walk to town in the afternoon. We bought a wedding card which, after checking that we have the right address, we were able to send off at the Post Office. Lets hope that it gets there for Friday.
Milly-la-Floret is quite a pretty
little town with a large covered Market hall and many little shops. Unfortunately
it was not the market day today and many of the shops were closed for their
annual holidays. The market hall is an interesting wooden structure.
The sky in France is sometimes covered with vapour trails, sometimes kown as contrails and you can see several in the photographs. It was interesting to see that quite a few shops were undergoing refurbishment and even a few new businesses were starting up. France is slowly recovering from the last recession.
The little Cocci Market has an exceptional
display of fruit and vegetables. We counted as many as 15 varieties of apples
in the outside display.
Now that we are close to Paris a quick look at the estate agents shows that all the property prices are much higher than we have ever seen before. In fact in other more remote places we could afford anything in the window. Here there were two properties that were actually more expensive than ours but they did have outbuildings and swimming pools.This is not to say that our house has a high value, it is just that property prices in France are much lower than England.
On the way back to the motorhome,
we met our neighbours Theo and Ingrid and they said that we should visit the
Chapel and herb garden as it is quite interesting.
In the cool of the evening after our dinner we sat and chatted to Ingrid and her husband Theo until at least midnight. Another very pleasant evening with stimulating conversation and everyone is happy.
It has been raining through the night and everything outside is wet. As we won't be sun-bathing today this makes it an ideal day to be moving on.
After saying our goodbyes to Ingrid and Theo we packed everything away, ready to travel but just before we leave there is something important to do! Yes, a geocache.
There was a geocache on a large antique flower petal and herb still across the road. In the past it would have been used to make make essential oils and perfumes. Allan just couldn't work out what the geocaching hint meant. It was not in French and not easy to interpret. When he had a second look at it today (this time accompanied by Dorothy) it became obvious (to her!!) that it was in English but just parts of the words were being used to indicate where the cache was. As soon as Allan realised this and that the cache was further in its hidey hole than he had expected, it was soon in hand and the log signed.
After saying our goodbyes to Brigitte who was also leaving today, we did the necessary emptying at the WC borne and then we were on our way again. Quite quickly we were on the motorway with a journey of 23 miles before we reach Paris and then the fun really begins. The many motorways link with each other and are quite difficult to navigate as we travel around the west side of Paris.
For the last part of the route around Paris the sat-nav took us off the motorway, down along the embankment of the Seine before turning off through some of the worst slum areas that you could possibly think of before returning to another motorway. On most of the junctions and intersections there were Syrian families, begging for food for their families and wanting a lift to other destinations. There was rubbish strewn everywhere and lots of graffiti, some of it in Arabic. Nasty place indeed. However, if you looked a little into the distance you saw several of the major landmarks, we were so close!
Eventually we joined another motorway and were relieved to be heading north and out of Paris to the clean countryside and farmland again.
On the way and about 10 miles from our destination of Beauvais, is the town of Noailles. There is a forested area just before it and, in the lay-bys along beside the road, young women were waiting, sheltering under pink umbrellas. Perhaps they were waiting for a bus or something. Really, all holding pink umbrellas??? These ladies were "working"! Carrying on down the road through Noailles we saw several young ladies in little groups walking towards the forested area, all carrying pink umbrellas!
We arrived in Beauvais and made our way to the aire on the hill to do all our services and fill up with water. Then we went down into the town aire and settled in for the night.
Beauvais, where we have been many times before, is a very nice little town. Not the best weather today as it was drizzly this morning. After a late breakfast we then decided to take the free bus ride to town. The notice said that it was only a nine minute walk to town, which we have done many times but today we decieded to take the free bus. The next one was in 4 minutes and there are up to 4 an hour except between 11.45 and 2 pm when most of France is usually closed anyway.
We arrived at the city-centre and went straight to the market. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday and today there were only the food stalls and very few clothing and non- food. Last time that we were here the market was much larger so we wonder if when we were here in the springtime it was on a Saturday.
After the market we went geocaching.
The first was in a beautiful park with streams and a massive water feature.
Sad to say that the geocache proved to be elusive and was not found and there was dog poo everywhere which did not encourage us to search thoroughly.
The second one was in another park on a statue of a poet and was much easier and found very quickly.
The third one was one that we couldn't find the last time that we were here in Beauvais but undeterred we gave it another try and Dorothy also found that one quite quickly.
Next was a visit to the Tourist Information
office which we found was having a redecoration. They do not appear to be enlarging
it, which is strange because it is very small for a large town.
Allan explained that their Town is in decline and that they should report it to the Mayor as tourists find it objectionable to find dog poo in the parks and prostitutes in lay-bys. They just smiled!
We found out about the cathedral
light show tomorrow which we will go to see and that there is a museum of archaeology
and paintings so we went there for the afternoon.
Their display of early Fire equipment was found outside under the arches.......
When we left the museum we walked
back past the cathedral and came across the oldest house in Beauvais.
Most of Beauvais was bombed in the war but this house was saved and has since been relocated next to the cathedral.
A free bus ride back to our parking space finished off the day and as Dorothy was having trouble with her back (must be something about Beauvais as it happened last time we were here as well!) Allan went across the road to the local HyperU supermarket for a couple of Pizzas.
This morning we did some shopping in HyperU. Although in favour of Brexit, as we have become very despondent with the current state of the EU and how it is run, unfortunately since the Brexit vote, the value in Euros of our meagre pension money has dropped considerably and we cannot buy as much as we previously could. Hopefully this is only a temporary setback and the future will be brighter again for everyone.
Tonight was an evening when the light
show was happening outside the cathedral. We have seen these before at Bourges
and Chartres, which have both been very good, so we took the free bus ride to
town and awaited the time for the show.
It wasn't quite as good as the other displays nor as well attended on this night.
There were 8 projectors and at least
two laser projectors in the cabinet to provide this display.
There was also a light show on the tapestry museum next door.
We then strolled back to the motorhome.
Congratulations to Glenn and Sarah who are getting married today. We wish them every happiness in their future together.
We were so sad not to be able to see our family all dressed up for the occasion, especially our grandaughter Scarlett and were thrilled when Frankie sent us some lovely photos of them.
We took advantage of being close to the automatic laverie and we took over all the heavy laundry that we had. Whilst waiting for the machine to finish we spent some time in the adjacent HyperU. There was a "bit of a do" when Allan went back to get the laundry out of the machine as the machine had broken down. oops! Luckily he was able to get someone to call the fix-it man and eventually all was well. As we could not hang the washing to dry in the Beauvais aire we left, heading north. After shopping at E. Leclerc along the way we arrived at our next aire at Conty. It is a small village just south of Amiens. As it was late in the afternoon Dorothy set about hanging the laundry to dry and we spent the evening in the last of the sunshine, chatting to our new neighbours.
The Tourist Office here has a very
helpful young lady. We had a look at things to do in the area, and then had
a walk around the town!
We had a look in what we thought was a small hardware store but it turned out to be somewhat of an Alladin's cave! It seemed to go on and on and sold all manor of things from screws, nails, plugs and sockets, tools, paints, garden stuff, pet store, toys, kitchen ware, electrical goods, gifts, etc. etc. We came out with some camping gas just in case we run out before we get back to England.
We woke early to a beautiful new day. The sun is warm and everything is wonderful. Breakfast outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine and then for lunch, Allan went to the Depot de Pain for bread today as the boulangerie are having their vacation, and we had that with a salad and mackerel in tomato and basil sauce, yum yum.
After our late lunch we started off
on the 132 miles north. Don't you just hate sometimes when the sat-nav says
something like "roundabout in 23 miles" and then you drive all that
way without seeing another car :) About 5 pm we arrived at Bergues and settled
for a space on the road side of the Aire, next to another Autotrail. We had
a good chat with the owners who come from Edinburgh.
We will spend tomorrow and Tuesday morning here and then make our way to the Port of Calais.
*** You will notice that we are revisiting places now and when we do so, we are not taking so many photos (if at all). You can always look back through our index pages to locate these places if you wish to see photos of interest.