The Grand Tour

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, June 2, 2013

We were awake at 05.50 with bright sunshine outside to give us even more enthusiasm for our big trip.  We will leave Shrewsbury this morning with Nell, our 23 foot motorhome, and travel to Denham in Buckinghamshire for a nights sleep and a Thai meal at Sukayana.  Over the next 32 days will will leave these shores and have a long dreamt of holiday, travelling through France and Switzerland and conclude our journey with a stay at lake Garda before coming all the way back.  We are not total novices as we had a similar holiday last year, with Nell, touring Scotland.  We have also toured Arizona and California in rented motorhomes in years gone by. 
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Marcus Braddock on

Have fun, we'll miss you.

mary.braddock. on

Day 1 was not the best start although the weather is really nice. Mike has has an upset tummy and feels sick so we gave the Thai meal a miss and I settled for a pilchard sandwich instead. We did go for a walk by Denham aerodrome where small light aircraft and helicopters were still taking off and landing even though it was after 7pm. I got plenty of my knitting done in the absence of a television ( we opted to leave the freeview box at home and brought a selection of DVDs.) It's another lovely day so I will go out for a short run.

mary.braddock. on

Day 2 has improved as Mike is feeling better and has even had an ice-cream today! The journey from Denham to Folkstone was fair although we missed a turn and went all the way into Dover, at least we know the way for tomorrow when we sail. There was a lorry fire on the opposite carriageway of the motorway on the way here and the tail-back must have been 3 or 4 miles long! I felt sorry for all the people on the other side of the road, they must have been delayed for hours. The WIFI connection here is terrible and it has taken a long time to get online - it may be better in France!

mary.braddock. on

Day 3 of our holiday and we have now crossed the channel from Dover to Calais and the short journey to our camp site was uneventful although we had to use an un-manned toll road but managed this well. On arrival at Grandspette campsite we had a slight problem in that we forgot to fill our on-board water tank and, taking the lazy option tried to fill it from the nearest tap instead of driving to the motorhome water point, which we ended up doing as plan C.
We then decided to cycle to the local Carrefour which is about a mile and this was fine until looking for salad items we discovered that the french shops do not seem to sell spring onions however we bought something which I think is chives. There were no cycle racks at all at Carrefour which surprised us as this is the country which created the Tour de France. More tomorrow.

Mary Braddock on

Grandspette is a great campsite, I don't think I have ever stayed anywhere so quiet (apart from a hooting owl last night). It is set in the grounds of a former chateau and has beautiful grounds. We had a gentle bike-ride to Carrefour again and bough a baguette and a Camembert cheese to bake for our dinner tonight, along with some salad (Heinz salad cream supplied by well know UK store). The weather is gloriously sunny and we hope for more of the same tomorrow as we travel further into France!

mary.braddock. on

Leaving Grandspette and travelling south we payed 22 euros on the toll road to take us the 125 miles to Guigincourt, which is a very nice looking smallish town with a really good campsite. the weather continues to be very hot and sunny and much lager has already been needed for our wellbeing! It is again to be salad for dinner and maybe a dip in the indoor pool later. Tomorrow we are going to go into Reims by train and are looking forward to that as the cathedral is highly recommended as one of the best in France, also Chopin's birthplace is in Reims. I feel quite impressed that I was able to drive so far in Nell as I have not driven that many miles in France ever! The toll road was really great and well worth the cost as it saved us so much time. While waiting in Guigincourt for the supermarket to open after lunch I looked at the 2nd world war memorial at the church and saw that of the small number of residents lost in the war, two were called Emile Gaulois, father and son, and it just made me feel so sad . More news tomorrow of our day in Reims.

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