Monday 28th September 2015

After a lazy start and a walk through the other side of the village of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, we left this lovely canal side Aire just after midday. Now we are definitely heading back towards the UK as we are going even further North. The way is via Gien which we had visited a little time ago. We needed to visit Gien again because we need to fill up with gas and according to the website this is the nearest place with LPG. As we find that the diesel here is only €1.06 or £0.77 per litre, oh well, why not fill up the diesel tank as well!! Dorothy said that she just needs a bottle of milk from the Auchan supermarket. When she takes a shopping cart then Allan knows that this is going to take us some time!

Arriving at Vitry-Aux-Loges - another Aire along the side of a canal, at about 5:30 pm the sun is still shining and so we sit out for as long as possible until Dorothy cooks a wonderful dinner of meat with tomatoes, herbs and aubergines topped with a Gratin Dauphinois and Allan loves her very much.

Tuesday

After Blog writing we went to the end of the disused canal lock to find the geocache that was there. After a walk around the village see what was there and discovering just another little village that closes down for most of the afternoon we returned to the Aire. Allan worked on the Guédelon photos and Dorothy sat outside reading in the sunshine!! It's a hard life.
View of the Aire on our walk back...........

Wednesday

Cold this morning, the outside temperature is down to 5 degrees C. We are beside the disused "Canal d'Orléans" that runs from east to west and there are some tall trees on the other bank. It takes quite a while for the sun to rise above the trees but as soon as it does then the temperature rises dramatically and the solar panels replace all last nights electricity very quickly.

Our next stop is going to be Chartres. Dorothy has said that Chartres is one of the most important Cathedral cities in the world. The Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has the greatest collection of medieval stained glass in France. There is no Aire in Chartres but we have found on a website (www.park4night) that there are many suggestions for parking. We decided that Louisant looked best, as it's on the edge of a lake and park. Although we stopped there and had some lunch it seemed to be too far to cycle and certainly much too far to walk to the city.

Another suggested parking space that we found was nearly in the centre of the city but was only suitable for short motorhomes and would be noisy at night. We tried a third parking place a bit further from the city centre. It was beside a fairly busy road not too far away from the centre of Chartres and as busy roads usually become quiet at night, this was our choice. It was very near to the Municipal camping ground so we are just as close to Chartres as the paying campers and in fact, if there is no rear entrance at the campsite then we are closer.

Thursday

This morning we went to the city. It was either a walk up a long hill, or a longer distance to walk along beside the river and then up an even steeper hill. We took the first, which actually turned out to be a long walk up a long hill.

After a walk around the city where we found this painted wall scene
we visited the Cathedral

Allan was not impressed, Bourges Cathedral was much better with more elaborate and even more detailed stone carving. It also seemed to be much bigger than this one.


It is true to say that Chartres is under going a massive restoration and a lot of the cathedral was screened off from public view. Display boards made it clear that the restoration is being done to the highest standards, preserving the cathedral in the best possible way, however some of the medieval painted walls and all of the rest of the walls look like they are just being painted over with thick masonry paint and then lines drawn on to look like the joints of stone blockwork. Even the displays call them "Faux", needless to say Allan was not impressed with the paint and whitewash job.

Conservation or preservation? this just looked to Allan's untrained eye as destruction and devastation.

The choice is do you have the soot and pollution of hundreds of years, making the walls black and dirty, or pristine whitewash covering the original, making it look similar to, as it was originally. There must be hundreds of thousands of candles burnt in these churches and as they are in the centre of cities the normal inner city pollution must be horrendous. As a similar thing you can see many old cars but with replica parts and fibreglass panels to replace the original steel.

More photos from our walk around the Cathedral................

We came across a little Chapel housing a silk relic of the "Holy Shift of the Virgin" ("sancta camisia")..........

We returned to the motorhome for a rest and dinner before the Light show tonight but we were so tired from all the walking that we decided to do the light show tomorrow evening.

We ended the evening with a phone chat to our friend Anna.

Friday

A very quiet day today as we were planning a long walk this evening. Preparing breakfast, Dorothy looked out of the window to see a young deer hopping past the motorhome. It was a pity she did not have the phone to hand to take a photo.

At about 5 pm we decided not to walk but took the cycles along beside the river and were able to reach the city very quickly. After looking at a few menu boards we decided that Italian was the choice for our special treat tonight. The "La Scala" that we visited in Bourges was absolutely wonderful but even though this spagbol cost half as much again, the value was nowhere near as good. Sometimes more expensive is not always better! We had a good time there though.

The light shows around the city were very impressive. The one at the cathedral square was simply stunning and lasted a long time.
...................................... .......................


To the rear of the Cathedral...... it was amazing how they picked out all the stone statues!

Around the City other buildings were alight............

Another one around the city was at the Theatre. It was covered with many different light show displays from different Light Artists. It was so awesome that we couldn't take our eyes off it for a photo!

The only downside was that it seems the route between the different places has been altered over the years to accommodate new venues and some of the blue marker lights showing the way were missing so we got lost one or two times! We even think that we followed a previous years route part of the way because, disappointingly, we missed the light display on the painted house we saw yesterday. A walk through the fountains and down to the river was to end our evening.

But of course the day wouldn't be complete without a lit up LAVOIR!!!
This was a very "posh" lavoir as it had an upstairs!

Totally worn out we returned to the motorhome at about half past twelve for a well earned G+T.

Saturday

Today we left Chartres and on our way out we found a massive Carrefour to do our shopping this morning. The store was one of the biggest that we have been in. There was even a Sushi bar that was bigger than most English supermarkets devote to their cheese counter. The cheese counter was actually bigger than some supermarkets! This was a morning shopping trip and we left at half past three with €160 less in the bank.

We then made our way to Nonancourt, even further on our way north. This was a small aire but with the advantage of electricity. We arrived at about 5.30 pm and settled ourselves in for the evening.

Sunday

A bit misty today. With plenty of water available we must fill the tanks and with the gratuit electricity, Dorothy is busy with the laundry. Allan is making use of the electricity on the computer. A wedding video that he has worked on whilst we have been away, is now getting to be urgent as we return to Newhaven next Friday! The blog is needing some words. Corrections were made to last week's blog - mainly in the accents to letters and links to pages.

During the afternoon we had a play (test) with a new kitchen gadget that chops things up into slices and cubes faster than a knife can. Sadly the rain came and did not stop so we did not get out to see anything of Nonancourt on this visit.

 

We can't believe that next Friday we will be back in England. Where have these last six months gone? click here to find out!!!!!

 

Last Week - Next Week - Index - Message Page