Sunday, 11 October 2015

To Le Cateau Cambresis, then Home

Thursday, 8th October 2015

Weather exactly as forecast, cloudy, but mild at 15C.

Today we are heading to an Aire at Le Cateau-Cambresis (N 50.10206,  E 3.55513) .
Not exactly the most scenic journey, as we make our way North and West, staying well away from Paris.

In fact, I think the nearest we get to scenery are the striking Autumn colours or the trees by the roadside.

We pass the great cathedral city of Reims, passing more or less through the centre, but the closest we get to the famous Cathedral is in the far distance, probably not even visible, in the gap between the avenue of trees.

RomanRoad There is something about this road which makes me think, it must have originally been laid out by the Romans, as it goes straight as an arrow across the undulating countryside.

It is almost impossible to pass through this part of France, without seeing reminders of WW1, we pass several World War 1, military cemetaries, this area was obviously hard fought over.
Le Cateau Cambresis was presumably "at the thick of it" at that time, there is a military cemetary, to the left of the road,  at the entrance to the town. The font of all knowledge, ie Google (not Kathleen, in this instance), tells me, over 500 UK soldiers, from WW1,  are buried there.

We have been to Le Cateau Cambresis several times in the past.

LeCateauCambresisAire We have been to the Aire at Le Cateau Cambresis several times in the past.

Like most places, it has it's good points and bad points:

Good points, 

It is within easy driving distance (approximately 100 miles) of Calais / Dunkirk, mostly on free motorway.

There are four free EHU hook-ups.

The campervan service point is free, indeed, the whole thing is free.

There is a Lidl two minutes walk away.

Not so good points.

It is near a fairly busy road, so, a bit of traffic noise, but, quiet overnight.

The town is depressing, clearly it has once been a thriving busy place, now, it is a sort of French version of Hebburn.

Friday 9th, October 2015

A very cold start to the day, only 5C, but, it feels colder! As the day progresses, and we draw nearer to the coast at Dunkirk, the sun comes out and temperatures rise to an acceptable 16C.

A late start, and, a relaxed drive, of approximately 100 miles, to Gravelines, arriving at about 17:00.

We discover there is a good Commercial Centre at Caudry, just a few miles along the road toward Cambrai, from Le Cateau Cambresis, with a large LeClerc supermarket, good for final wine and gin top up, and diesel of course.

Saturday 10th, October 2015

A dark and foggy departure from Gravelines.

To Dover, not an illegal immigrant in sight.

Thanks to queues at UK Passport Control, even at 6:15am!, we miss our 6:45am ferry, and are put on the 7:45am.

A stop at Retford for lunch, and then home. 



  1. These are absolutely gorgeous, I love them! They are all so sweet, I can't even choose a favourite!
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