Thursday, 5 May 2011

Wednesday 4th May 2011 - Thursday May 5th 2011

Villers-les-Nancy, Campeole Le Brabois, (ASCI2011-1268) continued....

The plan today, is to travel into Nancy on the bus, but, it is hair washing day, so everything must be organised around that.

Whilst I go and collect a baguette, make breakfast and wash the dishes, Kathleen attends to her hair. By 10:30, it is all over, and we go for the bus.

We have already bought our bus tickets in advance at reception (1.30Euro each, each way), so we are all organised.

We arrive at the Bus Station in Place Republic, no problem, well, no problem except that I have forgotten the camera (so any photographs today are via my phone), but I have remembered to bring the street map of Nancy, a bottle of water, and some bread and cheese. Not bad for a man who had to do everything else this morning, I think.

Nancy turns out to be quite stunning, there is an enormous square "Leopold-Ville Vielle".

All around the square, there are magnificent buildings, and of course, since this is France, pavement cafes, with people sitting reading newspapers, drinking coffee, or drinking wine or beer.

The French certainly know how to relax!

We choose a seat at one of the cafes, and join the theme, watching the world go by.

It is now 11:00 in the morning and, at the table next to us, two young men are having breakfast.

They also have a two litre bottle of Rose, we do not know it right now, but when we return to the same cafe for lunch, some two hours later, they are still sat there working their way through it!

After our coffee, we wander through the old streets, we have already decided to keep the picnic for when we return to the campsite, and that we will have lunch in the square.

This is a really impressive place for what is a provincial city, eat your heart out Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham.

The cathederal is in the process of being renovated, so is covered in scaffolding, which limits the photographic opportunities. It is not even possible to browse the inside unfortunately.

There are plenty more impressive building and open spaces however, and we have not even got to the park yet!

This one is recently renovated and cleaned, not the best photograph I have ever taken, the limits of a phone as a camera is my excuse. It is the Ducal Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine.

Next we stroll into the park, where peacocks are wandering about, and people are sitting eating their picnic lunches in the sun.

We sit and enjoy the sun for a while, before returning to the square for lunch and a glass or two of Rose.

Since I bought the coffee this morning, we discuss the possibility of it being Kathleen's turn to pay. Particularly since she is sitting with 100Euro in her purse which I gave her yesterday. The purse is not openned today.

The two young men who were there in the morning are still working their way through their large bottle of wine, joined now by two friends.

Fully fed and watered, (well wined), we need a stroll for some exercise and for Kathleen to work off the alcohol, she does not do well on lunch time drinking.

We head off towards the canal and the river.

Soon it is time to find our way back to Place de la Republic, to catch our bus to the campsite.

From my point of view, this has been a perfect day in a city. Pleasant weather, a good lunch and a few glasses of wine, a stroll in the park and by the river. Not a single shop visited. Heaven! 

The remainder of the day is spent lying in the sun, drinking wine, what hard work this is!

In the evening, by the time she has graduated to the Gin and Tonic, and talk becomes careless, Kathleen owns up to the fact that, although we have been away from home for a week today, she has not even opened her purse, except to put something in the collection at church, on Sunday.

Thursday morning, Kathleen goes to collect the baguette and buy bus tickets from reception.

The chap in reception admits that he is actually English (from Manchester), so all this time he has been pretending he did not speak English and forcing her to speak French.

We head off to Nancy again, we are joined at the bus stop by another English couple, we had thought that everyone else on the site was Dutch, but no, there is at least one other Brit.

We intend to have an exercise day today, as we maxed out on culture and drinking yesterday, so we stroll along the canal as it runs through Nancy.

It has presumably once been an area of industry and warehouses, but now it has been redeveloped as housing, shops and offices, with walkways and cycle tracks along it's banks.

We use the iPhone to record our walk on Runkeeper, it would appear that picking up the GPS signal is free, this sets me wondering, who pays for all of these GPS satellites whizzing around up there? Someone (the Americans presumably) must have put them up there at great expense.

We do about 4.5miles, and eventually end up back in the large park beside the Square, for a picnic, a rest and a sit in the sun.

Next we move on to the square and Kathleen cracks her purse open to buy the beers.

Eventually we remember, there are chores to do, we (well Kathleen) must wash some clothes, so after our cooling beer we head back to the bus station in Place de la Republic, and take the bus back to the campsite.

Just to prove it is not all fun and drinking, here is Kathleen doing the washing.

But soon it is all hanging on the washing line to dry, and she is sprawled in the sun in her bikini.

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