Trip to South France September 2010 - 2074 mile return journey

Discussion in 'France' started by Andy_H_VW, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. I thought I would post this up again in the hope of getting some Karma back and also as it makes me smile thinking of the great memories of last Summer
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    Hello one and all,

    At the beginning of September I took the van across to France for a road trip. Here follows a very short summary of the 2 weeks we spent in our VW in words & pictures. We stopped at a great deal more places, but I figured easier just putting a summary up.

    After leaving our at my parents (sadly she has no pet passport), we set off for Dover with Guide books, maps and a very out dated Sat Nav.

    Waiting at the Ferry port - Daisy (my van) was ready for the off, and so was to begin our 2 week adventure travelling from Calais to the South of France and back again.

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    My girlfriend and I had set off not having planned any part of the trip and instead opted to take a casual approach to things, stopping where we liked and with no real itinerary.
    This kind of worked for us, but you do have to be disciplined getting up in the morning and knowing roughly the direction you wanted to head (in our case South!).Whilst waiting for the ferry some final adjustments (headlamp beam adjusters)
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    The Ferry journey was uneventful really, and on arrival in France we decided to get on with the driving and make our way in southerly direction

    First major stop for us was Reims Cathedral - a bit of culture:
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    I am usually a lucky sort of chap - and today was no exception I found a mobile phone in the grounds of the Cathedral which I duly handed in -

    Karma my way I hope!

    Champagne shop - yum yum very tasty! But alas the van was already fully loaded with booze, so we decided to buy some
    when we had cleared the fridge out a bit
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    At the first campsite we stayed at we decided to get Electric Hookup.


    We didn’t really need it, but we figured we would get it so we could have the proper lighting on in the evening.
    It was then that we discovered that our mains Hookup cable wouldn’t fit the campsites electric points.

    The actual connection was different to what we were expecting[​IMG][​IMG]
    Unfortunately the campsite did not sell the adaptors so we got refund on the Hookup pitch price and made an effort the next day to find one, (which we did).

    As it turns out every other campsite bar this and the last one used the standard connectors.

    15 euros unwisely spent and overly priced given ebay sells for fraction of cost.
    To say it put me in a bad mood was a slight understatement!

    Next stop: Troyes.

    We both really liked Troyes, not only was it really pretty, ie full of 16th Century buildings - but it was very bike friendly, so we got a chance to stretch our legs and cycle around, and take a slight break from driving
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    We spotted a Tool museum, which was quite interesting actually!

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    Our journey south continued and the presence of vinyards started to become apparent. We took the Burgundy wine route, stopping in little villages along the way, and breaking for lunch in the vineyards themselves - mmmmm!

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    A few days into our trip we experienced Torrential Rain and Severe Storms, and a look at the weather forecast indicated it was not going to get better unless we headed much further south. After having already had a full days driving and seeing the weather was due to get worse we decided to get a hotel as it was getting dark and we couldn’t get out of St Etienne due to road closures.

    A few last minute protective measures to the van were carried out (duck tape and cups!) to prevent the van from the leaks it seemingly started to have at the back due to the rain.

    We left the van in the hotel car park and settled in for drinks at the bar.

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    The next morning the storm had passed and the day had started nice and sunny!Time to inspect any water damage to the van.

    The Duck tape and strategically placed cups collected all of the water that was leaking in via the tailgate seal and from one of the mushroom vents
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    Decide to head further South to avoid more bad weather! As it turns out a good move as the weather starts to get hotter and we avoid more of the storms coming in

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    Camped up for the evening and took the mountain bikes out for a wee spin around the block.

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    We liked this campsite a lot (had a pool and the weather was great!) - Decided to check out the awesome Roman aqueduct. (Pont Du Gard)

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    Seeing as the campsite was well provided for we decided to stay another night, to give us a break from driving so much and enjoy the scenery around the area.

    We headed out on the mountain bikes to Castelione (a picturesque village on a steep hill), before retiring to the pool for the
    afternoon for ice creams, swim and a cold beer!.

    [​IMG]h=600 height=800 src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g86/Andy_H_2006/2010%20-%20France/090920103777.jpg" />[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    For anyone interested this was the campsite:
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    On the road again - but stopped to check out scenery
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    Next major stop was that of Cannes & St Tropez

    oh how the rich live -
    lol:
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    more within my price range!
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    Then onto Nice... Stopped for a day by the seaside and a dip in the sea - very refreshing and a lovely sunny day!

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    Then we decided to head into Monaco, to drive through the famous tunnel and check out the super rich and their sports cars.

    Finding a campsite this far south can be tricky but we found a great campsite in Menton, up a very steep hill with many twisty hairpins.

    had a few checks to do on the van as she had been backfiring a little (turns out it was a small hole in the exhaust (which was to get steadily bigger on way back up North)

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    Perhaps one of the most awe inspiring scenic parts of France we found was driving along the Route Napoleon.

    It’s one of those roads you want to drive slow on as the scenery is breath-taking!

    If you haven’t seen it, it’s amazing.
    Loved by Bikers though so be wary on the bends

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    We continued our journey to a village called Lalley - highly recommend driving this way - very pretty and some stunning views!

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    900 Metres high
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    Next major stop: just in the area of Grenoble itself - for us it was really a place to rest up rather than explore

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    Next major stop: Back to Dijon for a proper look round, we stopped here briefly on the way down to the South of France, but both of us wanted to go back and see it a bit more. (and to get some mustard!)

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    Out for dinner in the evening for Moules et Frites! Yum!

    [​IMG]Next

    Major Stop:
    Epernay - the champagne capital

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    Finally our trip takes us back to just outside Calais, ready for an early ferry the next day. The last night in France.

    We had covered just over 2000 miles and our trip would see us do 2074 miles by the time we got back home)
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    Daisy back on the Ferry - and both of us with some awesome memories, but very keen to meet up with our Spaniel back at the parents[​IMG]

    Next year thinking trip across Germany......

    :)
     
  2. Fantastic trip and lots of piccies too ...
     
  3. great write up and piccies! thanks for posting, theres so much inspiration from the european tour threads!
     
  4. i love reading road trips like this. karma to you. 8)
     
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  6. Great summary dude, but is there any reason the side step is on wrong side of the bus ???..
     
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  8. k to u for cool photos and having the same kona bike as me ;D
     
  9. kenregency

    kenregency Guest

    nice to read and look at pics waiting now for Germany pics :)
     

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