France
Arrondissement de Boulogne-sur-Mer

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  • Day921

    Wissant, France

    January 3 in France ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    We've made it to France and have found a spot in the popular free aire at Wissant, 30km south of Calais. The crossing was fine, the ferry's Christmas deccies still in place, having not yet reached 12th night. Rainy downpours greeted us as Martha's wheels touched down on French tarmac but our hearts lifted a little as we left the razor wire and dour high rises of Calais behind to wind our way through rolling green fields toward the distant blue cleft where the Channel met a changeable sky.

    The van parking at Wissant is surrounded by a thick screen of small trees, their bare winter branches providing a good network of perches for robins and little brown birds. It is quiet, save for a little road noise and occasional squawks and screeches of waterfowl somewhere in the distance. It doesn't have fresh water but it does have bins, glass recycling, grey and black water emptying facilities. A slightly muddy footpath leads between the gardens of nearby houses and small streets provide passage into town.

    We arrived mid afternoon on Thursday but didn't leave the van until late Friday morning. The cloud of Poppy's absence still hangs over us, dampening the excitement we would usually feel embarking on a brand new tour. It always takes some adjusting from staying with friends and family to being by ourselves, but being without Poppy is making it all the more difficult. Our moods swing, as one moment we feel like doing something radical (for us), such as leaving the van and taking a flight somewhere and the next moment we have a strong urge to shut the world out and do absolutely nothing. We know time heals and are just trying to focus on the good memories we have.

    A cockrel's crows heralded Friday's eventual dawn. France is an hour ahead of the UK so it isn't light until after 8:30am. Vicky blogged while Will used the leftover cream from Christmas Day to make butter (as you do!?), then we slowly meandered through the streets toward the beach. Will needs to be careful not to overdo things since his operation, but we made it to the soft yellow sands and gentle rolling waves of the English Channel. High dunes topped with tufts of maram grass divided coast from countryside as people milled around, taking in the sights. Walking back through the quaint town of Wissant, with its cream or white facades, terracotta rooves and splashes of colour on the woodwork, we passed signs for a summer oyster and champagne bar, as well as plenty of seafront restaurants. We can imagine the place would be heaving in high season. After picking up a few necessities at a small Spar we saw a sign advertising direct sales from 'the boat'. A small shop, open to the outdoors on one side, had an iced counter with a selection of fish and seafood on offer. We treated ourselves to half a dozen oysters and a cooked crab that we enjoyed for lunch back at the van with bread and salad - MmmMmm!

    We found ourselves needing to run the engine for a while in the afternoon because the leisure batteries were getting so low. We really could have done with that solar panel! With Will's post op appointment in mid February, we've decided to stay in France for the next 6 weeks instead of venturing further afield. What we hadn't decided on was where in this very large country we were going to go. Well, we still haven't exactly decided but on the final evening at Wissant we booked a ferry from Santander to Portsmouth, a few days before the appointment. We've only ever brought Martha Motorhome over the channel because all other routes would have required Poppy to go into onboard kennels. This 27 hour crossing from Spain us a little more costly than we are used to (£420) but it allows us to meander south at our own pace and enjoy the winter sun when we are there instead of worrying about when to start making our way north again.
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  • Day19

    Lovely dinner in Hamburg

    July 13, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    After having a walk around the neighbourhood, we found a lovely Italian restaurant to have dinner. Unfortunately, as we were sitting on the terrace, we had to contend with smokers during our dinner. We really are lucky in Australia these days that we don’t have to worry about smokers when we eat.

  • Day19

    Our digs in Hamburg

    July 13, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    As I have said, our apartment is fabulous and our host Thomas is amazing. We even have fans, which will come in handy as the weather has been very warm. There is also wonderful art throughout the apartment and everything has been thought of.

  • Day10

    Cap Gris Nez

    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    After leaving Rouen we had about 2 hours in total to the EuroTunnel terminal so we stopped off about 20 minutes short for a brief and very windy walk to Cap Gris Nez a few miles west of Calais. Despite the wind we spotted a grey seal in the sea and a Montagu’s Harrier from the approach road. What a great place to cap off a lovely week away!Read more

  • Day31

    Tolle Fahrt

    September 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Bin heute so eine richtige Dörfer Straße gefahren, war wunderschön und interessant 🙂👋😎kleine Straßen teilweise entlang der Küste, leider kam die Sonne ☀ erst am Abend... 😆 Hier am SP gibt's auch einen Paragleiter Startplatz 👍

  • Day32

    Impressionen

    September 7, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Keine Worte... 👌

  • Day7

    last day in Paris

    June 25, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    breaky this morning was a baguette with jam and a croissant, there wasnt much else to choose from everywhere we looked. so we sat down at a little cafe, had our bread and coffee ad then walked across the street to a little fruit market and got a nectarine each, so yummy. metro to the Eifel tower. the Eifel tower itself was pretty amazing, and even bigger than i expected. while we were in paris there was a high caution rating for terrorist activity... that being said.... the whole eifel tower was gated, and we had to go through security and bag check to get in (smh the world we live in today) . from the Eifel tower we walked over to the park in front of it, where all the grass was gated off as well :/ then walked about a 1/2 mile to a grass area that wasnt gated, and took photos. from there we got on metro and went to notre dame and had our very plain sandwiches. then into notre dame. this place was pretty amazing, and well worth the trip. took 8 centuries to build, my mind is blown by that. 8 centuries!!! the detail in this place was awesome, and it was just huge. ftom there we got on the metro again, where a fight with like 20 guys broke out, which was pretty scary actually, cuz we were underground and had nowhere to go. at one point we were running dwn stairs in the wrong direction to get away from it cuz they were coming towards us.
    later on that day we picked up a car and started our journey out of paris, as soon as we got out of the city, and into the country, we both fet like our spirits lifted, and the best we felt this far. just always felt like we were watching our back walking around the city and rush rush. driving through the lush country was great. and we are taking back roads to aoid tolls, which has been awesome so far came across a pretty awesome castle. checked into a hotel at about 1130pm. just pull in, go to this atm looking thing, pick your room and insert your card and pay, and it spits out a room key. prettu kool.
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Arrondissement de Boulogne-sur-Mer

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