Tuesday, 6 July 2010

July 4th, 2010 - July 6th, 2010

Mersch - Camping Krounebieg - ASCI2010-410

The site is very smart.

We are now in Luxembourg, I was not sure what to expect, from childhood memories of "Radio Luxembourg", it had sort of "exotic" expectations to it.

In reality, it is very pretty, very rural, and very hilly. Not really high hills, but just sort of very up and down.

Monday, Bryan and Joan decide to take the bus into Luxembourg City.

Kathleen and I decide to investigate the cycle track, although we have no real intention of going all of the way to the city (it is 17km, 10.5 miles, from here), and we have been told it is quite up and down.

In the event it turns out to be easy going, it is fairly flat, as you can see, since it follows a river for most of the way.

The signposting is not up to the German standards we have become used to, and eventually we lose the track, and end up having to cycle along a fairly busy road. We decide to turn back, since we are not too bothered about going to the city, we are just out for the ride. We end up doing 20 miles, so we could have comfortably made it there and back, if we had not got lost.

One odd thing we have noticed, other than in the towns, there does not seem to be any shops, cafes or bars. Goodness knows where the Luxembourgers (or whatever they are called), do their shopping or have a drink.

We return to Mersch, find a cafe and have a snack and a drink, before returning to the van, so that Kathleen can indulge in her hair washing activities for the rest of the afternoon.

Tuesday, and it is time for us to begin the final leg of this trip, we have to travel across France to Dunkirk, in order to catch our ferry home.

We say goodbye to Bryan and Joan, for the second time on this trip, as they are now heading toward Brittany, to meet up with some family members, for a family camping holiday.

Our first task before leaving Mersch is to fill up with diesel, Luxembourg we have been told has the cheapest diesel in Europe, it is 1.007 Euro per litre, which is roughly equivalent to 88p /litre, I wish we had a bigger tank!

Stenay - Aire, Port Plaisance
This is the French version of the German Stellplatz we have been using, here it costs 7Euro per night, and that includes Electric hookup, toilets, showers, waste disposal etc.

Our problem now is, we are in "high season", and most of the campsites in our ACSI book do not give discounts during this period. This means that instead of typically paying 15 Euro per night, in many cases, the price increases significantly to something more in the 25 - 30 Euro per night range. As a result, we are using Aires to try and keep our costs under control.

The Aire is by the Canal de La Meuse, which is a functioning canal, with barges and pleasure boats passing, this is the view from our window.

I say the Canal de La Meuse, there is a river and a canal, it is very difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins!, but I think the bit we are beside is the canal.

The Aire is quite scenic as these things go. It is not quite as smart as we have come to expect of the German version, but everything is usable.

We arrive just after lunch time, at which point it is about one third full, but by 16:00 it is full.

It is quite a large aire, with space for about 40-50 vans, in addition to the area you can see in the picture, there are an additional six or so spaces, next to the office (where you "clock in" and pay).

It really is quite a picturesque spot, just a short distance away (about 100 metres), is this Water Mill.

Unfortunately it is no longer actually working, but it is quite an impressive sight all the same.

We are about 40 kilometres from Verdun, of World War One fame.

Stenay, must one have been quite a significant place, there is an enormous building, which is called "The Citadel" and was clearly once a military building, it has now been converted to shops and apartments.

Overall, it is a place of faded grandeur, but it still has that a certain charm and sort of "shabby chic" which the French seem to be adept at preserving.

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