European Escapades

Archive for March, 2010

Nana P Diary Part 4

30

Mar

2010

You could build a few sand castles with this dune
You could build a few sand castles with this dune.

My next interesting story for you is the ‘Dune Pyla’, again you won’t understand yet, but as soon as you see sand you will have so much fun, it’s great to play in and from what I could see everyone one was having great fun. Again I don’t know too much about the history, but from what I understand is the dune is about 100 metres high and is virtually vertical (straight up for you). I looked at it on a hot and sunny day and thought – no , not for me, I could see people struggling to climb it red faced and out of breath at only half way. Apparently it moves (???) about 4.5 metres a year swallowing up everything in it’s path including trees and houses. (still confused how it does this) . I was quite happy viewing it from the bottom and watching everyone trying to climb and then trying to fall back down.

(more…)

Posted in Jessaca's Paige | No Comments »

La Goule Ambrée – Vaux Rouillac

30

Mar

2010

A nice pint of La Goule A nice pint of La Goule.

Brewed at the ‘Brasserie Artisanale Océane’ in Vaux Rouillac near Cognac, where I actually purchased it. This meaty brew comes in a 750ml bottle and at 6% abv is a big flavourful beer. Once open it shows a distinct rich amber colour, but is also slightly hazy reminiscent of a wheat style beer. The nose is fruity and slightly sour and has a distinct smell of the traditional Lambic yeast, so reminiscent of the Belgian beer I have still to get used to. The first taste confirms the Lambic quality and also a slightly sharp and fruity, but rounded taste in the mouth.

(more…)

Posted in Beer Reviews | No Comments »

Cognac and Coke

30

Mar

2010

lunch on the sun drenched terrace Lunch on the sun drenched terrace.

We left L’lle-d’Elle the next morning for Pons, which was the nearest we expected to get to Cognac our desired destination. The farmland of yesterday starting to turn into the fields of twigs, that Frances is always pulling my leg about. She often wonders why I get so excited seeing the rows of vines and trellis that greets us as we move from food farms to vineyards. It seems the only time I get to France is in the spring or just after the grape harvest when all there is are twigs. No leaves and definitely no grapes to gaze upon, so it’s a symbol really, to indicate where I am and not a concern on the time of year. These twigs told me I was near Cognac and as I had only a bottle of Tequila left, it was an opportune time to top up with a little of the ‘Eau de Vivre’.

(more…)

Posted in Travel Stories | No Comments »

Fighting to get to L’Ille-d’Elle

29

Mar

2010

the spire of lucon cathederal
The Majestic Spire of Lucon Cathederal.

What can you say about the small town of Challans? Well it wasn’t by the coast, it was around 100kms from our previous stop at ‘Le Croisic’ and it had a campsite. At this point I guess that’s all it had going for us at the time. The town was an average reasonable large town, which we skirted anyway, and the campsite was non-descript enough as to not offend, but also gave us no hooks to say, that was a lovely place to stay. To be honest with you as I was working out our route and writing the blog initially, we had forgotten completely about it, and then realized we couldn’t have travelled to L’Ille-d’Elle in one day, so had to have stayed somewhere along the route. Now you know where that stopover was.

(more…)

Posted in Travel Stories | 2 Comments »

Bridge Over The River Loire

28

Mar

2010

Le pont de Saint-Nazaire looks like a rollercoaster ride from here Le pont de Saint-Nazaire looks like a rollercoaster ride from here.

We left ‘Croisic’, bad hair day over and headed to a place we found on the map that intrigued us and thought we would stop there for lunch and a little wander. The place was ‘Saint Michael Chef Chef’ and was just south of ‘Saint Nazaire’ over the river Loire. I say just, but that was an understatement of the century. If you thought that the bridge in ‘Le Havre’ was as mind blowing, as we did , when we slowly inched up the steady incline to the centre of the bridge in our campervan, then you have never driven across the Saint-Nazaire Bridge that crosses the Loire estuary to ‘Saint Michael Chef Chef’.

(more…)

Posted in Travel Stories | No Comments »

TiTbiTs

27

Mar

2010

‘I thought that chip would fit, but my mouth was too small’

‘OH REALLY !!!’

Posted in TiTbiTs | No Comments »

Nana P Diary Part 3

27

Mar

2010

Stephen with a nice bottle of red wine on his birthday
Stephen with a nice bottle of red wine on his birthday.

Hi Jessica, sorry it’s been a while since I wrote to you; it’s sometimes difficult to find a good campsite with internet access. So we write what we feel at the time and wait for a campsite that we can download our stuff. No chance you’ll understand this so don’t worry. In a few years you will be telling me the latest things on the internet I’m sure. Two things I want to tell you about this last week, firstly Grumps birthday. I knew he wasn’t going to have his ‘normal’ birthday at home with all the family with lots of cards and pressies. So I wanted to make sure I could make his day as happy as possible as we were on the road.

(more…)

Posted in Jessaca's Paige | 3 Comments »

A Bad Hair Day

27

Mar

2010

View of La Roche-Bernard bridge and marina View of La Roche-Bernard bridge and marina.

From Carnac and the silent memory of the standing stones we headed to ‘Le Criosic’, a small fishing port on a peninsular South West of the ‘Brière regional parc’. As we drove the main route eastwards we crossed over a bridge and were greeted by the most beautiful looking harbour below us, atop which sat on the hillside, was the small town of ‘La Roche-Bernard’. We needed bread as it was coming up to lunchtime, and as the sun was shining and we were in no rush to get anywhere special, we decided to stop. There was an Aires de Campingcar sign pointing us in the direction of the marina, which we had seen a glimpse of as we crossed the bridge, we decided to head there. We parked up in the Aires, and then took a wander around this picturesque village. Walking through the high street we headed through old quarter, where there seems to be the more touristy artisan style shops.

(more…)

Posted in Travel Stories | 1 Comment »

TiTbiTs

26

Mar

2010

‘I told the barman, I loved French wine’

‘I think you will find ‘Je t’adore’ means ‘I love you’

Posted in TiTbiTs | 1 Comment »

Carnac – The Land of Stones

25

Mar

2010

lines of Menhirs running into the distance One of the many lines of Menhirs running into the distance in Carnac.

Well we moved along the southern coast of Brittany to a small town to see a museum and some stones, not the most interesting thing in the world I hear you say. I have plenty in my back garden already to look at. However as these stones happen to stretch for a number of kilometres and are rather large to boot, they are a little more interesting. Frances suggests that it makes Stonehenge look like a small provincial garden shed in comparison. Placed around 3300BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC, Carnac’s three alignments of over three thousand ‘menhirs’ form the largest concentration of standing stones in the world.

(more…)

Posted in Travel Stories | 1 Comment »