Here you’ll find travel reports about Centre. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

157 travelers at this place:

  • Day929

    St Georges-sur-Cher

    January 11 in France ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    The electric heater is humming away happily and our living area is snug and warm. The medium sized, compacted yellow gravel aire at St Georges-sur-Cher provides free electricity, so the leisure batteries are getting a good charge, together with the rest of our electricals. We look out onto an open area of grey gravel and grass where cars park during the day. To our right, the main road is backed by a plantation of skinny poplars and far enough away not to bother us. Close by is the boulangerie, its red sign for 'pain' lighting up at night. An archway, whose christmas decorations are still illuminated, gives access to shop frontages in a small square with a limestone brick church. A fleuriste, boucherie / charcuterie and little supermarket; nothing remarkable, but it feels open and welcoming. One thing we especially love is the token system for the service point. An information board advises that 'jetons' for fresh water are available for free in the shops. It is a great way to foster a good relationship between business owners and the town's temporary residents.

    The day we arrived we had set off promptly in order to try and get Will a fishing licence. The system seems very complicated, with no national permit, but ones obtained from fishing clubs. Regional lines restrict the reach of permits from all clubs, but many have agreements with other regions, allowing licence holders to fish their waters. Will found a club that had agreements with every region but the next hurdle was the online application form. This was so tortuous that following many failed attempts he decided to visit somewhere he could buy it in person, thus the prompt start to the day. The skies were grey and showering Martha with rain. Perfect for travelling, as we didn't feel we were missing out on anything! On the way we saw several gilets jaunes encampments at roundabouts but they caused no trouble.

    The sat nav first took us to a residential street in Tours, which after 15 minutes of searching on foot, we concluded was not concealing anywhere that might sell fishing licenses. Following directions from Google Maps, we drove 4 kilometres accross town, parked and walked half a kilometre to find a somewhere that could feasibly, in the past have sold permits, but was now, most definitely, offices for a graphic design company- grrr! Back on the road and after parking up at St Georges, much persistence and €96, Will finally managed to purchase a fishing permit that would allow him to pursue his pastime throughout France for the coming year. All we've got to do now is find somewhere to print it out! It wouldn't have been worth the time, cost and effort if we were here for a matter of weeks, but we'll potentially be spending a lot of time in the country over the coming months, waiting for and travelling back to medical appointments in the UK.

    We decided to stay longer than usual St Georges-sur-Cher, mainly because of the electric hookup. Will had found a restaurant with good reviews but sadly Vicky's energy levels were very low, so we didn't make it. She stayed in the van while Will explored the town and made use of his new fishing permit and the fishing trousers, stool and bait catapault he got for xmas. On Sunday morning the car park filled up and people made their way through the arch with round, woven grass baskets and bags - it was a Sunday market!

    We joined the flow of people and saw a dozen or so stalls selling oysters and other seafood, veg and plants, roasting chickens, Chinese street food and honey. Vicky didn't make it round but was able to sit on a bench and watch the comings and goings while Will queued at the busy stands and picked up some produce we liked the look of, including a white petalled kalanchoe from the florists to cheer her up. There were a few people going into the little church and as we passed the open door we saw them huddled around a large candle at the end of the aisle, crystal chandeliers shedding their soft golden glow on the chestnut coloured wooden pews, while daylight shone in through the stained glass window, picking out its indigos and blues.

    Knowing the boulanger would be closed the following day we went in to pick up a loaf and decided to get one of the delcious looking (if a little expensive) puff pastry tarts that had filled shelves in several towns we'd visited. When cutting it open we found a ceramic tile inside. Puzzled and curious, Will took it back to the baker to ask what it was. The baker explained it was a traditional 'fève' (a bean). The tile had a moral inscribed on it which translated as "doing well is better than saying well"; actions speak louder than words. With a little research we discovered the tart was a Galette de Roi (King's Cake), eaten from epiphany / the 12th night onwards. The person who finds the fève becomes king or queen for the day, with special privilages. Will even got to wear a paper crown supplied with the galette. We love discovering new things and learning while travelling!

    Out of a maximum allowed stay of 7 nights, at Saint Georges-sur-Cher we stopped a total of 4. We'd begun getting itchy feet after 2 but it was good to just spend time relaxing and 'Being' in a place, instead of just passing through (especially as it came with free electricity!)
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  • Day928

    Châteaudun, Centre-Val de Loire

    January 10 in France ⋅ ☁️ 4 °C

    We are sitting in the shadow of the impressive Château de Châteaudun (well, we would be if there were any sunshine). Its grey brick walls rise to a neck-craning height, just over the road from the parking de camping cars. It's lower sections are built into the rock and covered in green lichen. They have but a few small inlets guarded by rusting iron bars; the dungeons perhaps? Upper storeys are mostly free from growth and punctuated by tall rectangular windows, some framed in archways and decorated with demure carvings. Impressive as it is, it looks in need of a little TLC. Over the other side of our car park the brown River Loire runs through an artificial basin. A canoe clubhouse perches on the bank and slalom poles hang in place, ready for when the weather warms.

    Like its castle, Châteaudun appears slightly run down; plaster flaking from the sides of buildings. On the way in we passed several houses, originally built into the cliff but now dilapidated beyond habitation. We also drove by the entrance to the Grottes du Foulon; a cave system renowned for its geodes (hollow rocks containing crystalline formations). In the case of the Foulon caves, they contain quartz and chalcedony; a microcrystal such as onyx. If we'd have been staying longer we would have visited. We'll have to put it on the 'return to' list!

    With Vicky feeling weak, Will set off to explore Châteaudun on his own. It is split into a lower and an upper town. Both are inhabited but the lower is the more modern and busy, with garages and noisy traffic driving through its streets. The upper is more touristy, its main square offering charcuteries and chocolatiers, its old quarter a pocket of history, with characterful, timber framed buildings and high sided stone walls. Cars are absent from the cobbled lanes and a well signed 'circuit touristique' leads you past the domineering historical buildings of the château, a hotel, the old town hall and more. Being the kind hearted bloke he is, Will decided to pay a little back to Châteaudun by having a beer at its old town café - well done Will! 😂 Before leaving, Vicky managed to make it up the steep stone steps and take in some of the sights. The streets were quiet in the feeble light of early morning and a delicate drizzle added to the olde worlde atmosphere.
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  • Day933

    Sancions, Canal du Berry

    January 15 in France ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We are parked up in Sancions' scenic aire, sandwiched between the Aubois river, which is narrow, grotty and thankfully out of sight, and the Canal du Berry, which is only a couple of metres outside the van door and a lot cleaner and prettier to look at. The sun is setting, casting its golden rays off the water surface and producing colourful reflections of the little grey stone bridge, steely sky and a small collection of buildings, their wooden shutters closed to the sight.

    After filling and emptying tanks and bins this morning we covered about 160 kilometres, taking us to the south eastern edge of the Centre-Val de Loire region. On the way we managed to buy LPG, diesel and even use the petrol station's laverie (launderette) for €4 when we stopped for lunch. We weren't sure whether to be reassured or worried at the availability of anti-mite detergent for 50c a dose, but the place seemed immaculately clean.

    We avoided the motorways and passed through many little French towns, interspersed by large tracts of agricultural land. We felt so welcome due to the number of van parking and service signs we saw along the way. There were yet more groups of gilets jaunes dotted here and there. The day had begun with an insipid light filtering through the usual covering of white cloud, but gradually this intensified until the sun was strong, the green fields vibrant and the sky steely blue. It was in these conditions we spotted a large group of birds in a ploughed field, that turned out to be Common Cranes; huge creatures with long legs and long necks, whose wingspans are 2m on average! Sorry we didn't get a photo, we were a bit too gobsmacked to see them standing there!

    Arriving at Sancions, Will made the most of the late afternoon sun by wrapping up and having a fish in the canal. There was only one other van when we pulled in, but one more drove in after us and started up its generator, keeping it running until nearly 10pm. We hope the noise didn't travel to any of the town's residents.

    Night time temperatures plummeted and we woke to a layer of frost. Thankfully we had plenty of LPG and Martha was nice and toasty inside! Taking the short walk into town at midday, it became apparent that we'd missed the morning market, quite a big one by the looks of it. Never mind, we were on the lookout for somewhere to eat out. We skirted the main square and delved a little way into side streets, reading menus displayed on the walls of cafés, hotels and bistros. Despite the attractive looking exteriors, the soft stone walls often clad in vines with painted shutters covering upper storey windows, nothing quite seemed right until we came to the unassuming Petite Auberge. We wouldn't have recognised it as an eatery if not for the chalkboard outside, advertising set meals.

    Vicky has been thinking a lot about her food consumption in terms of the environment and animal welfare and has decided to adopt a mostly pescitarian diet when buying food herself. She will continue to eat organic meat on special occasions such as birthdays, have 'sustainable' fish occasionally and generally cut down even further on animal products. This makes things more difficult when eating out and she'll not get to sample many of a country's signature dishes, but we'll see how it goes.

    We asked the waitress at La Petite Auberge whether they had a vegetarian meal and accepted the offer of 'une grande salade'. Will had the set menu of terrine, followed by chicken and mash with a flavourfull sauce, accompanied of course by a basket of french bread. We both enjoyed a slice of chocolate cake before Will finished with an espresso and Vicky with a glass of Ricard; a pastis she had read was popular in France. We shared the dining room with 2 other couples and a group of 3 and soaked in the relaxed atmosphere and french conversation.

    Afterwards, we felt the need to walk off our indulgences. The sun was out as we strolled along the grassy canal towpath, the tall Plane trees casting long shadows accross the water. After a while Vicky spotted a strange little bird flitting up and down the length of the canal, dipping occasionally to touch the surface. We soon realised it was a bat, out in bright daylight! Further along we saw a buzzard picking at something up ahead in the long grass. We got to within 50 metres before the wary bird of prey flew off, leaving what turned out to be a long deceased badger. We were on the periphery of town, so it was a real pleasure to see so much wildlife!
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  • Day84

    78. Etappe: Châteaumeillant

    September 24, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Gestern Abend hat es noch ordentlich gestürmt und geregnet, so dass es heute deutlich kühler ist als die anderen Tage. Ich bin froh, dass ich meine Daunenjacke schon dabei habe und wandere heute fast komplett mit ihr.
    Der Weg geht über kleine Städte und zwischendurch begegne ich zwei deutschen Frauen auf ihrem Jakobsweg - sie kennen schon meinen Namen, da zwei andere Pilger, die ich zwei Tage zuvor getroffen habe, von der verrückten Berlinerin berichteten. Lucille haben sie auch bereits vor ein paar Tagen kennengelernt. Irgendwie begegnet man sich immer wieder auf dem Weg. 😅
    Auf der Hälfte der Strecke kommen mir auf einmal 5 Rindern auf der Straße entgegen 😳 Erst weiß ich nicht was ich tuen soll, ich bleibe ruhig am Straßenrand stehen und sie biegen rechts neben mir ab - kein Bauer weit und breit in Sicht! Aber anscheinend wissen sie wo sie hin wollen. 😂
    Heute Abend heißt es wieder Camping! Aber dieses Mal in einem privaten Garten. Der Camper ist auch deutlich größer als beim ersten Mal und hat sogar Dusche, Toilette und Sitzecke.
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  • Day85

    79. Etappe: Sarzay

    September 25, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Hui! Das war kalt heute Nacht! Zum ersten Mal habe ich meine Schlafklamotten einfach unter den Wandersachen anbehalten. Denn nachdem ich heute Morgen die Confiture aus dem Kühlschrank genommen hatte, musste ich feststellen, dass im Kühlschrank die gleiche Temperatur herrschte wie im Wohnwagen 🙈 Das Frühstück war trotzdem lecker und gemütlich mit Croissants in meiner Daunenjacke 😅
    Schon nach wenigen Kilometern wurde es wärmer und ich konnte mich von meinen vielen Lagen allmählich trennen. Wir hatten eine tolle Strecke und trafen unterwegs kurz die beiden Frauen aus Deutschland. Nach einem Einkaufs- und Kaffeestopp in La Châtre erreichten wir nach 30 km unser Ziel. Heute übernachten Lucille und ich in einem Gartenhäuschen eines sehr netten, sehr alten Mannes und dessen West Highland Terriers. Es verspricht wieder eine kalte Nacht zu werden, also verlasse ich mich heute nicht auf die bereitgestellten Decken und habe meinen Schlafsack, der angeblich bis 0 Grad mollig warm hält, ausgerollt.
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  • Day87

    81. Etappe: Eguzon

    September 27, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Jippie! Heute haben wir wieder 30 km geschafft 🎉 Wir starteten gemeinsam mit Claude kurz nach 8 bei wundervollem Wetter. Der Weg war heute etwas anspruchsvoller aber sehr schön.
    Zu Beginn ging es über ein riesiges Viadukt. In Gargilesse machten wir eine kurze Radler- und Picknick-Pause und verabschiedeten uns von Claude, da er spätestens um 5 in seiner Herberge sein musste. Lucille und ich wollten uns aber noch ein wenig das malerische Künstlerstädtchen ansehen und haben uns deshalb gegen diese Herberge entschieden. In Eguzon beziehen wir heute ein Chambre d'Hotes. Das Haus ist größer als die gestrige Herberge und wir haben es ganz für uns allein. 😊Read more

  • Day82

    76. Etappe: Charenton-du-Cher

    September 22, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Eine abwechslungsreiche Tour erwartete mich heute, Straßen und Feldwege wechselten sich ab und es geht durch ein paar schöne Städtchen. Deutlich abgekühlt hats durch den Regen gestern und so ist es auch etwas herbstlich geworden. Heute verschont mich der Regen zum Glück und Dank der guten Wandertemperaturen gehen die 30 km heut schnell vorbei.Read more

  • Day83

    77. Etappe: Marcais

    September 23, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Die heutige Etappe fiel leider etwas kleiner aus als erwartet, denn zum ersten Mal seit Beginn der Reise, habe ich keinen Schlafplatz in meinem "Wunschort" bekommen. 😱 Aber zum Glück habe ich gestern Abend nette Pilger in der Herberge getroffen und so hat Lucille, eine Französin, die sehr gut deutsch und englisch spricht, noch einen zweiten Schlafplatz für mich in Marcais, wo sie bereits vorreserviert hatte, etwas abseits der Route gebucht. 🎉
    Gestartet sind wir heute morgen alle nach und nach über eine Abkürzung entlang eines Kanals (und ich habe sogar einen Eisvogel gesehen 😳🎉), die laut Chantal, der netten Herbergsbesitzerin, viel schöner und kürzer als der offizielle Weg ist. Dank der unterschiedlichen Geschwindigkeiten und vergessener Wanderstöcke 😅, trafen wir (3 Brasilianer, 3 Franzosen und ich) aber alle wieder im Supermarkt in Saint-Amand-Montrond zusammen. Danach trennten sich die Wege, da wir alle in unterschiedlichen Orten übernachten.
    Lucille und ich kommen gerade rechtzeitig in unserer Herberge auf einem Bauernhof an, als es beginnt zu regnen. Der nette Bauer und Hospitaliero hat uns vom Wegesrand mit Auto abgeholt, sonst wären wir wohl in den Regen gekommen.
    Für morgen ist die Unterkunft schon vorgebucht. Es wird wieder ein Caravan in einem privaten Garten, den ich mir mit Lucille teile - ich bin sehr gespannt!
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  • Day86

    80. Etappe: Cluis

    September 26, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Was hab ich gut geschlafen letzte Nacht in unserer kleinen Hütte! Im Schlafsack war es mollig warm und so sind wir erst um 8 aufgestanden 😅
    Zum Kaffee und zum Aufwärmen wurden wir von den Nachbarn eingeladen - wunderbar!
    Dank der Sonne wurde es schnell warm, so dass ich mich nach und nach von meinen Zwiebel-Look verabschiedet habe und zum Ende nur noch mit kurzen Hosen gewandert bin. Zum Mittag gabs heut ein günstiges 3-Gänge-Menü, so dass wir abends nur eine Brotzeit mit Tomatensalat machen. Die heutige Unterkunft in Cluis ist voll, aber sehr gemütlich. Und morgen wird es wohl sehr früh losgehen, da wir ein paar Frühstarter dabei haben und morgen 6 Kilometer mehr machen müssen als geplant. Lucille musst heute Mittag einige Telefonate führen bis es geklappt hat mit einer freien und offenen Herberge.Read more

  • Day17

    Day 17: St-Amand-Montrond - Le Chatelet

    August 29, 2016 in France ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Distance: 27.9 (371.8/1498.5)
    Weather: 23C, cloudy and a tiny bit of rain
    Mood: neutral pilgrim mode
    Blisters: 1

    All is good. Uneventful day with good mileage. Now it's time for dinner in my Chambre d'hote for the night 🙂

You might also know this place by the following names:

Centre-Val-de-Loire, Centre, Centro, Regione Centrale, 상트르

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