donderdag 16 september 2010

Vacation in France – part 1

Hi everyone! I am back from my vacation in France. Well, officially I have been working for a couple of weeks now but I have been trying my best to keep that relaxed vacation-y feeling. This also meant that I wasn’t really doing anything in my spare time, lol.

But, now that I settled in my old rhythm again I decided it was about time that I picked up blogging again. I have a lot to talk to you about, including a race I participated in last weekend. But first things first: our vacation in Normandy, France!

It was a great roadtrip! We drove over 2100 km in 12 days, of which only about 600 on highways (to get to and from France). Those km do not include the extra ones we drove to get around once we arrived at our camping sites. So we only counted them when we had our tent with us. Short version of the upcoming story about our trip: The whole thing involved lots of cheese, ham, wine, croissants, chocolate bread and even more ‘magnificent views’ (read this with a huge upper class English accent). You can now skip the rest of the text and just look at the pictures if you want. For those of you who are interested: I also wrote a day to day breakdown, so that next month I will still be able to see how I passed my vacation.

Day 1: Home – Escalles, 412 km

On the first day we drove to Calais and from then it was touristic routes only, no highways. The landscape was beautiful with rolling hills and rocks with crayon! Just below Calais, we arrived at Escalles:

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I love driving through curvy hills. As does the Boyfriend. We had to fight over the steering wheel, LOL. Look, here is the campingsite:

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If you click to enlarge the picture you can see the camping site in the front, to the right of the town. On the left part of the camping there is a blue tent with a tiny tent next to it. The tiny one is ours.

Finally able to sit down with some wine and cheese. Good because we were starving!

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Yes that is wine form a plastic mug. It was all we brought. And nevermind the tent looking like it is about to collapse. The sticks are a bit beaten up so it was impossible to get it straight, but that first day we did do an especially crappy job. But hey, what the heck, we had a place to sleep.

Day 2: Escalles – Honfleur, 295 km

I woke up after a scary night hearing all kinds of sounds, like there were creatures just outside our tent. Most of the time I made myself think that it was just the wind, but at one point I woke up thinking ‘What the hell was that?!! That sure was NOT the wind!’ But the coward that I am, I just kept really quiet and hoped it would go away. We had some cheese left for breakfast but when we wanted to get it the next morning, all we found was an open box with the covering paper neatly folded open. No cheese. Oh no! Something ate the cheese!! I told the Boyfriend about what I heard during the night. We concluded that that creature must have eaten the cheese, but we don’t know what it was. It probably was not a rodent since there were no teeth marks whatsoever…. From that point on we just made sure all the food was in the car haha!

We packed our stuff and drove along the coast towards Le Havre. On our way there we stopped at a giant supermarket ( I don’t get why we don’t have those in Holland, they are awesome!) and bought a new inflatable mattress because one of ours had a leak (I spent most of the night sleeping on the ground).

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Look at the road!

Can you see England?

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It was a beautiful trip with lots of cute villages and towns.

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Lunch at the beach (bread, cheese and wine of course):

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From Le Havre we went over the Normandy Bridge: two giant bridges. The first one looked like a roller coaster. I was like OMG do we have to go up there?!!

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The answer was, yes of course! And when we came down, there was another one (the actual Normandy Bridge).

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Woohoo!

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We finally arrived at the other side, at Honfleur, and we immediately sought out a camping site. We had our own private place. And the tent was looking much better today (our car not so much but who cares)

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Honfleur is such a cute town! There were lots of houses looking like this: P7180174

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We went into town to have the most delicious pizza ever for dinner. It was really good! As was the wine. We also had desserts and then rolled ourselves to our tent and slept deeply.

Day 3: Honfleur – Bernieres-sur-mer, 70 km

The next morning it was time for a run! I was getting really stiff from sleeping on the these not so comfy mattresses and sitting in the car for hours, so I figured this might help. I ran across town and through a park. It was really relaxing, but also challenging given the horrible stones I was running on and all the hills.

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After a nice 5 min hot shower (you had to buy coins to get hot water) it was time for breakfast. We walked into town and had breakfast sitting in the sun and looking at the boats in the harbor.

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Then we were off for the next part of our road trip. The trip that day was beautiful with lots of green.
We passed through Ouistreham and visited the commando museum. It was quite interesting, it explained how the free French (Frenchmen who joined the British Army) participated in the D-Day operations by entering on Sword Beach. Sword Beach is the most northern of the D-Day beaches, and in the next few days we would be visiting the other beaches as well. We took it easy today, because we were both pretty tired of the huge amount of driving we did in the last two days. We made lots of stops at strange coffee places. We found a nice camping site at Bernieres sur Mer. They had a pool and we spent some time relaxing there. They also served quite nice pizzas (again haha). Later that night it was all kind of noisy as there was this guy called Johnny Rock (he looked like a Johnny Rock too) who sang French songs but also rock classics translated to French. It was horrible, but he seemed really popular. Later we saw his face in tabloids as well, but we are not sure if it was the actual one on the camping or a body double. Who knows?

Stay tuned for part 2 of our vacation.

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