Monday 20th April 2015 The bells have just rung to wake us and it is a lovely sunny Monday here in Montville. After breakfast we packed up late morning and drove down to Rugles after consultation with our friends as we were spending a further few days with them. We stocked up at Carrefour at Brionne on the drive down. We arrived at Rugles Aire mid afternoon and couldn't believe how lucky we were to get a superb pitch in front of a grass meadow leading down to the river with the town on the other side of the river.

This was the view we had when we arrived looking across the meadow towards the river with the village beyond.

Then we saw we had our own private "garden" with picnic table & benches! It got even better when we found there was free water, waste facilities and free electricity! Out came the electric kettle and on went the electric water heater BUT Dorothy forgot we have a microwave in the kitchen (oops). It is mostly used as our bread bin! People often ask us how long our gas will last - well our gas is now switched off!!! We spent the rest of the day lazing in the sunshine and cooked and ate our evening meal of fresh salmon outside too. Our friends then joined us for drinks "in our garden" - a lovely end to a perfect day.

Tuesday Another brilliant sunny day and we took the opportunity to walk around the small town. It was very sad to see so many empty shops here but we suppose that this is the price paid for when a town has an out of town shopping area on the ring road. We visited the Church of St Germain and were pleased to see such lovely stained glass in the Church windows.

Our 'phone did not do this justice on the one photo we took but every window was so brightly coloured.

On our return to the Aire we took a trip on the other side of the river and before crossing over the bridge came to a water wheel (disused we think) and weir.

Then we sat in "our garden" enjoying a lazy afternoon with our friends.

Later we cooked and ate outside again, pork this time, then ended the day in the late evening sunshine.

 

Wednesday Another gorgeous day and so Dorothy took the opportunity to catch up on the laundry and Allan washed the motorhome - well these things have to be done, life is not all sitting in the sun with our feet up! Later in the morning we strolled to town for fresh bread and spent a lazy afternoon debating whether to do the local geocache or not - chairs in the sun won! In the evening we tried to watch one of Sharon's DVD's but the neighbours got upset because it sounded like bombs going off. Perhaps we did have it a bit loud and the sound was rather dramatic.

Thursday Woke up to mist but the sun soon cleared it away. Dorothy loves using the microwave that she has just "found" Not used gas since Monday morning when we left Montville. With free electricity out came the Hoover for a really good spring clean and Allan polished the outside of the motorhome. Talking of spring, the blossoms are so lovely over here. Everywhere you look are pink and white blossoms with spring flowers underneath. Even Iris and Wisteria are out in bloom here!

Friday What a surprise!

We were sitting in our motorhome having coffee this morning when lo and behold a very nice young man came and cut the grass in "our garden".

He also did the meadow as well :)

How much better is this going to get!!!

Eventually we got round to doing the geocache and this was well worth the approx. half mile walk from town to get to. It took us past fountains on the way up the hill and a superb view through an archway into a garden, looking out to the aire, river and town below...

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The geocache was a pig to find but we got it in the end with a little help from a passing Frenchman! Here was a lovely chateau but in private ownership so we could only glimpse from the outside. On arriving back to our motorhome we found our neighbours had left and so in the evening we watched Sharon's movie "The Skeleton Key".

Saturday We woke up to find we had had rain overnight and the morning was still a bit dull. Allan had to use google on the internet to find out what the movie last night was about! We were not alone as loads of people were asking questions about it. Allan's first thought last night that it was down to the lawyer was almost right but it is a bit more involved than that.

Today the Tourist Information opened for the first time this year and the guy there was most helpful.

 

 

We did a self guided tour of the ancient town which, amongst other things, according to the guide took us past one of the oldest churches in France, the Church of Notre Dame Outre l'Eau probably dating to Carolingian time, where originally it is thought to have been a Roman basilica transformed later by the first Christians.

 

 

We had another look around the outside of the Church of St Germain which is shown in this photo and you can still see the ravages of war in the walls.

We spent the afternoon deciding should we stay in Rugles or move on. We decided to stay another night, although we had been told today that we could stay all year if we wanted to!

 

Sunday Although it was very tempting to stay in Rugles where we had all the free facilities and a superb spot on the Aire and everyone was so friendly, we have made the decision to move on today. It is cloudy and a bit showery so this has made the decision easier! After stocking up on food and wine :) at the supermarket on the way out of Rugles we made our way about 16 miles south-east to Verneuil-sur-Avre. Hardly any traffic, beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed and Allan really liked the second part of the journey which was on a dead straight road going on and on and on!

When we arrived at the Aire in Verneuil-sur-Avre it was empty and so again we have the best spot with our own little garden area! Admittedly not so special as Rugles but they can't all be as nice as that and this is in the city centre! We found out that in the hall adjacent was a craft fair. The French certainly know how to lay things on for us! So we visited the Craft Fair and had a few laughs making ourselves understood. We came back to the motorhome for a late lunch and then walked across the road to the town centre and got our bearings. From information picked up at the Tourist Information it is a small city surrounded by ramparts and water moats created by our Henry the First in around the year 1120 to reinforce the border of his Princedom in front of the Realm of France! There is an historical circuit and a moat circuit which we will take during our stay here.

When we arrived back to the Aire we were surrounded by a group of very large motorhomes. They all belonged to a club and go out together at weekends - much the same as our Rallies in England but their sites can cost nothing! We had a good chat to some of the group - using their limited English and our limited French and lots of laughs we managed to get by. It helped because we obviously had a lot in common to talk about. We then made our way back to our motorhome for a well earned rest and dinner. To finish off our day, here we are sitting at the laptop writing our blog and thinking of you all. At the moment we have no internet but will get this latest update uploaded as soon as we can.

We can't believe that yet another week has passed already. The time is just flying by. Where will you find us next?........

 

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