Thursday, 6 October 2016

Briare, then to Chateau Thierry

Wednesday, 5th October 2016

Another bright, dry, cool morning.

Even as we head north, it stays sunny and by mid afternoon, it is 15C.

We say our fond farewell's to Deryk and Lesley, and Lesley treats us to a hilarious review of her English pronunciation of her French vocabulary, just to prove, she does not speak French. Droite (right) is a particular favourite of Kathleen's.

Still chuckling, head off for Chateau Thierry.

A pleasant drive of about 140 miles. Kathleen's alarm level increasing steadily as we approached nearer and nearer to Paris, but, after Fontainbleu, the sat-nav took us "cross country", totally avoiding the dreaded Paris Ring Road.

Our stopping place at Chateau Thierry is an Aire, N49 2.195' E3 22.966'. 

Incredibly well organised. 

Spacious, marked out bays, with more of less level hard surface, and a small grass area. Spaces for about a dozen vans.

We arrived about 1:00pm, there were about six vans here, by 4:30pm, it was full. 

Supermarkets and Town Centre, within easy walking (or cycling) distance, ie one mile to Town Centre.

You must pay, by debit/credit card, on entry. 

The machine gives instructions in English if required, you choose how long you want to stay (24 or 48 hours), how many people and if you want EHU. On the above date, the tariff was Euro9.90 per day, two people with services including EHU.

You get a receipt containing a code to open the barrier, and a separate code for the toilets / showers. 

There are the usual services, ie waste water emptying point, chemical toilet emptying point, plus, washing up sinks.

The Aire is located behind a McDonalds (no usable wifi signal on Aire), and alongside the River Marne.

The journey, so far.

This portion of the trip, in video:

Thursday, 6th October 2016

Blue sky, sunshine, but, we are in Northern France, and, it is October, so, a cool 8C in the morning, rising to a pleasant 16C by lunchtime.

Today, is my birthday, the last year of my 60s, so, I have to make the most of it,

We take a leisurely stroll into town, along the River Marne.

In the Town Centre, the travelling Fair and Circus, which was there yesterday, is gone, no sign that it was ever here.

We stroll around the town, in the autumn sunshine. 

I have already selected where I want to eat (L'Adress Rive Droite), but, Kathleen, being a woman, always like to check, just in case she has missed something.

As is the French way, suddenly, the place becomes quiet, displays of goods are taken in, shops close their doors, it is Lunch Time!

So, we make our way to L'Adress Rive Droite, the place is buzzing, but, we are given a very pleasant window table.

We are treated to first class attention, once they establish we are English, which does not take long, given our very limited French!, a waitress appears and explains the "Menu du Jour", in English.

We have the full works, Aperitifs, three courses, wine, coffee and "digestifs". We practice our appalling French on the staff, which they accept in good humour, and, they lapse into English, when all else fails!

Wine is chosen from a position of almost total ignorance, but is excellent. An excellent Port as an aperitif, for me, and Kir Blanc for Kathleen. Kathleen is amazingly adventurous, and even eats some salad with dressing on it, whilst for my starter, I have what I assume was eel (the waitress knew only, in English, that it was locally caught fish). If it was eel, it is the first time I have eaten it, palatable, but, perhaps, I will pass, or try snake next time!

A thoroughly enjoyable experience, which I enjoyed treating myself to. 


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