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East from Amsterdam

5915 Views 177 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  jiwawa
Well, I'm on my way! Left Belfast Harbour for Cairnryan a few mins ago - half an hour late due, I think the capt said, to a collision yesterday? Misty but apparently calm. Stopping in Ayr tonight to catch up with friends. (I don't normally say where I'm heading, only where I've arrived - gives plenty cover for getting lost 😂)
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I came on to a site at Titisee. They've a MH park outside and you can use all the Camping facilities for 16€. There was 1 space when I arrived and people have come and gone thro the day but the campsite is rammed (it's a public holiday today - Ascension Day). I walked round the lake to the conurbation at the far end. I'm not sure there's much ordinary housing but it was quite crowded - seems it's quite a touristy place. It wasn't raining but that snell wind was there again! Had a nice Alsatian tarte for lunch (or should that be Alsacienne?)
Wood Door Fixture Font Wood stain

It says Behind this door you will find the most important thing on the campsite -
Jeans Door Wood Standing Wood stain

Open the door and...

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Titisee ist wunderbar, I have a recording of the song somewhere at home, we went there in the 80tis when you could park the car right next to the lake and we had a trip round the lake on a boat. You certainly are seeing a lot of Europe this trip Jean and of course you are the most important thing there 😁, sehr lustig.
I really have seen a lot this year. I've done c.7,000km so far and, apart from family (and your good self Jan), it's usually been 1-nighters.

I'm in Colmar today. Have been a couple of times before but it bears revisiting - such a pretty town. AND the TO make an effort with a town walking map. My 1st choice of stopping place was full (dedicated MH parking) so ended on a parking area for a function hall. Says it's closed this weekend but not sure how they'd feel about you parking if there was a wedding on. Speaking of which, I saw a bride standing on the street corner on her own. I asked where her man was (in French of course!) - he was in the town hall. Poor soul, she looked quite lost. I must say, I'm enjoying being able to string a few words of the local lingo together! Tho I feel quite rusty. Had a gorgeous Alsacienne quiche for lunch.

I picked up diesel in Freiburg in Germany at 151.9¢ - it's 161.9 at the local supermarket 24/24, so that was a good choice. It was a lovely drive over tho there were quite a few traffic jams (holiday weekend) and I've seen more MHs these last 2 days than the whole of the rest of my trip. Ascension Day must be the signal to get out there!
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My parking in Titisee
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My parking in Colmar
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A very nice Sylvaner
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Some of the lovely architecture
Cloud Sky Building Plant Window

Église St-Martin
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Maison Pfister
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A swan showing how to sail elegantly in Little Venice
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Looks very popular with tourists Jean.

It is Ray - bunged!
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I was talking to a fellow who'd brought his 33yr-old Carthago right into the heart of Colmar - it was VW-sized, lots of character about it. He was saying when things go wrong you can generally fix them without too much expense. Not like modern vehicles.
I've had an 'interesting' day... Headed to Munster (not in Germany as you might think, but only half an hour drive) - to a parking place at Rue de Docteur Heid, I kid you not! Complet 😔 Then rearranged to climb to Col de la Schlucht to get a nice view. Masses of parking, n all of it taken 😔 That was after climbing at 15kph following cyclists - 1 huge line of traffic. Double-parked while I sussed something else (and of course I couldn't go and sample the view!)

Came to Gérardmer - its huge carpark was bunged too but someone left just as I was arriving. Bit of a squeeze but made it. Then every eating place was Complet. Was just about to get some bread from the bakery next door when I found a little place and a lovely Alsacienne tart 👍

After my rocky start I'd a good day. Went a walk round the lake - 6km. It was quite hard-going at times cos there are lots of boulders n tree-roots on the path. It's obvious a water-sports mecca tho it's a bit early in the season yet but the town, and round the lake were heaving.

I'm parked in the free carpark in front of the TO but I discovered there's dedicated MH parking behind - free during the day n €7 at night. When I passed it coming in this morning I thought it was a dealer's place there were so many MHs jammed in.
Wood Rectangle Font Pattern Art

I love these old photos!
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Odd-shaped church
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And inside too
White Sculpture Statue Art Religious item

The most moving crucifix I've ever seen
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Bedrock Terrestrial plant Groundcover Grass Grass family

The tree roots are almost like stone now
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Doesn't this gladden your heart!
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We love that area Jean having toured it in the MH and in our former sports car days. We love Gerardmer and regularly stay at the aire. It's free for Blue Badge holders as well. You probably spotted it, but there is a place just down the road from the aire with grey water discharge and fresh water take on if you need it. We've only been there once when it was very busy thankfully.
Yes Graham, I used that dump at about 7am yesterday! Drove over to Épinal, parked in a huge carpark by the river. Looks like they're gearing up for a big event this week but I couldn’t quite work out what. The TO had, joy of joys, not just 1 walking route but 2 - 1 in the old town n 1 on the island. So I'd a great day pottering around and taking in the atmosphere. It was hot and thunder threatened but never actually arrived. I'm loving being steeped in the French language tho I have to admit that, without also lipreading (and I don't like to stare when I'm not actually talking to someone) I find it a bit hard to follow. I'm in a café in Mirancourt right now and one conversation in one ear, another in the other!

The driving has been lovely. I was on a 'big' road today for the first time since, probably, Lithuania. I'm parked in a carpark tho there is an official aire next door - but no shade.
Sky Plant Cloud Building Tree

What a lovely building for the bank
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The basilica
Paint Art Plant Tints and shades Painting

A mural of the Abbesses who lived in the area. They seemed to have been fairly long-livers according to the info - they must have led a good life (tho maybe not, looking at the mural!).
Sky Window Plant Cloud Tree

The Chinese Tower, to get the town's taxman from his residence up to his garden, the place du château. Why do I smell a rat?
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My lunch - no fewer than six lamb cutlets! But I didn't let it go to waste!
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And unusual statue of Jeanne d'Arc. She was born in the Vosges area
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Just looking at this got my feet tapping!
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A piece of art with a pretentious explanation. But I liked it.
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Is this a new game of pevers?
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Has anyone heard anything of Geoff @nicholsong since he started his trip?
Can’t help with Geoff Jean but this weekend is Whitsun there will be a lot going on.
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Geoff and Basia are grand, some problems with getting online.

After Épinal I went to Mirecourt, heading for a paid aire but I went down a 'back entrance' N couldn't get thro so just stopped in a large parking area that had shade (much needed) which the aire didn't. Mirecourt is a bit rundown but I thoroughly enjoyed sitting over a coffee in the square n listening to French conversations all around. Couldn't make out a great deal and I couldn't lipread without staring! I was very impressed I was able to lipread the waiter in Épinal from opposite ends of the seating area - mind you, he was only asking me if I wanted to eat!

Had quite a thunderstorm. After, I went for a walk along the river n ended up with about an inch of caked clay on the base of my shoes - walking like the Chinese (Japanese?) on their box-shoes!

Most churches had pews that were 'known' to belong to certain people but in Mirecourt they made sure of it - the names and number of seats are actually carved into the back of the pews! And some have obviously been chiselled out n a new carved piece inserted!

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Next day I'd selected Bar-le-Duc. The parking is right at the top of the town n my approach was on a very steep and narrow road to a roundabout. A white van came off the roundabout at speed n clipped my mirror. Fortunately it wasn't damaged but I had to fiddle to try to get a better view. I could see enough if I leaned well forward but not by default. The area around is the old centre, the Renaissance area, but there's not much going on there. I tell a lie, there was a felon being led up the stairs to the police station, handcuffed to a policeman! He was obviously a regular as there was a bit of banter between him and another policeman. After a look around I decided to head on, to Revigny-sur-Ornain.

The driving journeys have been excellent, still set on No Tolls, No Motorway. The parking here was either in the campsite itself or 2 dedicated MH spaces just outside with a service area just behind. It used to be paying but since the TO that issued tokens is no longer there, it's now free. There's a shallow but fast flowing river through the town n I was fascinated by the rather large fish holding their own against the current, even without frantically waving their tails. They were grey, with a silver underbelly that they flashed occasionally when they flipped on their side but they had coral-coloured fins that they seemed to use as legs n feet to anchor themselves in the shale. A young one looked more like a dogfish. Bigger ones would come n 'cover' it - not sure if they were trying to protect or smother!

There's also a canal by the town but looks as if it's not in use any more. And there were 2 large fish, dead, among the weeds. I do hope it's just natural death rather than pollution.

As I left this morning I saw there was a market in the adjoining square.

Cloud Sky Building Temple Window

The Police Station where the felon was taken
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Mr Maginot (of the Maginot Line) whose family came from here so he spent much of his youth in the town
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The town spring
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The rather strange war memorial
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And today I came on to Givry-en-Argonne. It looks a rather un-prepossessing place but I've thoroughly enjoyed the day. The parking is behind a little supermarket and by a little lake - looking very strange with tree branches sticking up out of the water. There's a bigger lake across the road n I really enjoyed the loud birdsong (no idea which birds; if I could upload a video here maybe someone would recognise it).Also there was a great shouting match among a lot of frogs/toads with the bubbles at the side of their neck getting great exercise - I don't think I've seen that in real life before. I also saw one laying eggs - I'd have thought it a bit late for that? There were a couple of swans on the lake with no fewer than 9 cygnets, and a duck with 6 tinies.

There was also a herd of white cattle which charged to the fence between us as I was walking thro a field of wheat (not doing a Theresa May, I was sticking to the hard path where the tractor tyre had passed!) They then charge along it in the direction I was going. I suspect they could have jumped the relatively low fence if they were so inclined. I remembered my cousin, who'd grown up with cows, had been charged a couple of years ago n was quite badly injured so I decided discretion was the better part of valour n retraced my steps.

Had a lovely 3-course lunch n coffee at a very unpretentious restaurant for 15€. I'm gonna be the size of a house when I get home! But I'm doing a fair bit of walking to balance things up.

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Crowded again then Jean.

You should see it now Ray!! 3 vans have joined me! Actually, when I took the pic there was another at the other side of the parking 😉
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If you get a chance to visit one for the forts on the Maginot Line Jean, they are quite interesting. I went to one well over 35 years ago now which involved being whisked around underground on the trains they used to move between forts. Fascinating place to visit despite being a deeply flawed concept.
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Ah, it'll not be this trip Graham, but something to keep in mind for the future.

I started out for an aire/FP in the Champagne region but got caught behind a wide load. He'd had numerous opportunities to pull in n allow the tail to pass but didn't. We were driving in to L'Épine, just a wee village really, when I saw the amazing cathedral, and even better, some parking right there! I have no idea why they would have built such a grand structure there in 1406 but it's quite beautiful. I bought a croissant in the bakery n went to the cafe seats. Café it was not! The coffee arrived with the water in a cut-glass decanter! And with 2 small but delicious home-made biscuits. I thought This isn't gonna be cheap! The bill came, specially printed on headed notepaper for the hotel and rolled up like a scroll! 4€50. Could have been worse!

The aire is very nice, very quiet and there's a lovely UK couple from Nottingham just starting out on their journey, their 1st in Europe. They've a German pointer, Truffle. I keep wanting to call it Waffle (my son's dog).

I've stripped the bed n remade it - the hard part - n had a shower. Tho I boobed in that I put the water on to heat but forgot to change the power source from gas 😲 It's 5€ a night (unless, like my neighbours, you're France Passion.)

Sky Plant Building Wheel Vehicle
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Font Material property Paper Paper product Document
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This last had me confused for a bit!
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Gentlemen it is forbidden to hang upside down and do a gravity defying wazz?
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Or be prepared to have a shower in the process!
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