Final leg of the journey and home again
26.08.2009 - 02.09.2009 14 °C
Apologies for poor updating in the last week, but couldn't tear myself away to sit in an internet cafe when there were so many things to do and see!
wed 26th - Today we drove to Annecy which is west of Chamonix. Drive wasn't too bad and after having a chance to charge the ipods in yesterdays internet cafe we were delighted to have some tunes again! there is only so much French radio a girl can listen to...
Had some trouble finding the Aire listed in the book, and traffic was pretty busy. Managed to park the car and find tourist office. They pointed out where the Aire was - in a different location, so we set off in that direction to discover it was full...
Only solution was to park in the car park - but we started a trend, lots of other vans started parking there too! Not ideal to stay in a car park - but the location was right next to centre of town so it was settled!
Made some dinner then had a nighttime picnic in the park by lake d'Annecy with some wine and smelly cheese and crackers (I'd like to point out it was Cal's smelly cheese...not mine )
Thurs 27th - Second day in Annecy today. Decided to spend the morning cycling around the lake, found some really picturesque scenes. It was beautiful, the colour of the water was perfect, I'm just disappointed neither of us thought to take swimming stuff! Back to the van for lunchtime and spent the afternoon wandering around the town, and lying in the park again, just being a bit lazy! Went for a beer after dinner but inevitably we ended up back in the park with another bottle of vino :D
Fri 28th - today we drove to Semur En Auxos. Just a little stop over before the next long stretch to Paris. Nice Aire and nice town, went to explore a bit and decided to go for a few drinks after dinner. Only to find it was impossible. Alot of bars had closed, and a restaurant wouldn't serve us because we wernt eating! Found a pub but it only had one member of staff and we wernt getting served any time soon so ended up back at van, sober :|
Sat 29th - PARIS TODAY! Drive up was fine until we hit the "peripherique" and discovered we didn't have a clue what exit to come off at. Poor cal was driving and it was an absolute disaster. Everything you've heard about Parisians driving is true. Scary! Eventually we found the campsite (much to Cal's relief) and got pitched up. Quick shower, change and into the city! A good friend lived in Paris for a while and recommended a nice little restaurant called "Le Petit Pont" was lovely We wandered round The Louvre,Notre Dame, Ile de Cite and the Latin Quarter where we had a few drinks and watched some street performers
Sun 30th - Today was the big tourist day and we got off to a bad start trying to by Metro tickets. Booth was closed as it was a sunday and there was only one ticket machine with a big queue. Took us two attempts and my credit card before we succesfully obtained tickets!
We did it all, walked the camps elysee to the Arc de Triomph, wandered the Place de la Concorde. Had a bit of luck as we got up Arc de Triomph for free and enjoyed the views from the top. Spot of lunch and then we tackled the Eiffel Tower. Stopped for a ropey lunch underneath the tour before joining the queue for the stairs! Much of our time at the tower was spent in a queue, and I found it hard to enjoy the experience with so many other folk (particularly italians...) pushing in my way! However, the view from the top was worth it
After the tower we headed up to the Pompidou Centre and Sacre Couer to sit on the steps (along with about 1000 other folk) and took a wander round the area to try and find somewhere to eat. Managed to find a "diamond in the rough" with Alice's Pizza. Lovely restaurant and by far the best pizza we've ever tasted at reasonable prices too! After dinner it was into the Pigalle area to marvel at the...interested shops and the lights of the Moulin Rouge. I'll definetly be going back to see a show!
Mon 31st - Tried to chill out a bit today with alot more parks and rest stops. Started the day at the Science Park where I had done a study on the glass facade. Nice area and could easily have spent the day lying in the grass. Another disastor occured when Cal's flip flop broke. Much distress and after an attempt to fix it we headed back into town to try and find another pair. Stopped for coffee across for the Palais de Justice and then walked to Shakespeare bookshop next to Notre Dame. lovely place where you could have spent hours exploring the shelves for an interesting read!
managed to get Cal a lovely pair of "Paris" flip flops from one of the souvenir shops, and had much persuading to do to get Cal to put the broken ones in the bin - they had great sentimental value...
Spent the afternoon at a strange Railway Park, more drink stops and back to the Latin quarter for dinner. Spent the evening in Champ de Mars watching the Tour Sparkle and avoiding men selling keyrings, fags and bottles of wine lol.
Tuesday 1st Sept - Journey home began today, left campsite at 10 with the rain lamping it down. Managed to escape Paris was few problems. Wanted to go to versaille but with the weather as it was, it was hardly an ideal day for strolling the gardens. headed north to Amien where we stopped and explored the beautiful Cathedral which is the largest gothic building in France. After our stop we continued north to Boulogne Sur Mer where we stopped over night before early morning ferry. Went out for a meal to spend the last few euros and had an early night as we were up at 5am the next day to head home
Wed 2nd - Ferry day today. Up at 5am to pack up and drive to port. Arrived in plenty time and ferry left at 7am. Arrived pack in dover after particularly choppy seas and started the long, boring drive through Englands motorways towards home.
Had the best trip, and have seen so many places and have lots of stories to tell. I'd recommend it to anybody and maybe one day, we'll get another van and do some more exploring!