Monday 4th April 2016

We were still here in Giverny, the home place of Claude Monet, where he spent half of his lifetime and where he built up his splendid gardens. In truth most of it is a collection of plants, row upon row of edging and border plants without anything of substance behind them. It is definitely a collector's garden. We hope you got the flavour of the house and gardens from our attempt at photographing it.

Today we decided to spend our time in the village and first walked along to the church to see not only Monet's gravestone and the last resting place of most of his family

but also of the pilot and crew of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down in the last war.

 


The Airmen's Memorial says...........................

During the night of the 7th and 8th of June 1944, a Royal Air Force
Lancaster bomber crashed in flames to the south of the village, in
the "Plaine des Ajoux"
This statue displays a propeller blade from the aircraft to pay
homage to the seven crew lying in our cemetery.
Their sacrifice led to our liberty today.
This monument stands in testimony to the crew and is a symbol of
the admiration and gratitude of the people of Giverny.

 

The church was just a normal sort of village Church but it was lit by an amazing blue from the stained glass window

Today is the funeral of Allan's sister Lil, in Canada. Of course we were unable to zoom across the North Atlantic to be with our Canadian family.
Our thoughts were with all of our family, in Canada and England, and we sat for a time in this beautiful Church in quiet reflection of Lil and her life.

Along our trek back down the road we found many artist's galleries, galleries selling other people's artwork and tourist shops.
This seemed to be the sort of place where tourists are invited to come and spend money, big money.
Dorothy took a liking to a stunning painting costing over €3000 and Allan was glad when Dorothy said it was too large for us!!

We also passed the Marie, which was tucked away up a little street behind the school cum community hall.

Allan's interest was at the other end of the street. Yes, you've guessed, it a geocache near another lavoir.

We made our way back towards the motorhome parking area and were taken by the blossom in the village car park.............

We then returned home again for another night here.

Tuesday

We can stay in any one place like this, without facilities for about three or four days and nights. After that time Allan starts to get itchy feet, or the toilet starts filling up. Water is never a problem as we can carry extra barrels of that, food is easy. Wine and the toilet are the only problems. After three days, then one is empty and the other is full.

Today we decided to move on further north. Dorothy's back is not too good and so we decided to use the time travelling.

Later in the day after filling up the wine at Gisors we then carried on to Beauvais. Imagine our surprise when we pulled onto the Aire at Beauvais and looked at each other and both said together, or exclaimed together, that we have been here before. About three or four, maybe five years ago. At that time we were not writing our blog and we thought that we would never forget some of the wonderful and special places that we have visited. How wrong could we be. Now, we just can't remember the names of the hundreds of places that we have visited.

There was the bend in the river, the town with the big wall and artists along both sides of the main street and the American calligrapher. The one with the fire station across the road, where they were setting up for the afternoon barbecue. Oh, you know the place, where was it now? And then we find that we have both forgotten where the hell it was. Hopefully with this Blog we shall remember, at least, the years of our retirement.

Just as we were arriving at the Motorhome Aire, the phone started to ring and as we were setting up we had an unexpected but very nice chat with our son James.

In the evening we telephoned Mum to catch up on her appointment today.

Wednesday

Today we stayed in the motorhome all day but in the evening, we managed to go out for a short walk but not too far. Just to the top of the steps.

Another phone call with James and it was good to talk to him. We can't wait to be able to see them again.

Thursday

We woke to a sunny day today. Much appreciated after all the rain we have had! Dorothy's back was still not good but she was being well looked after. Allan made the breakfast and did the "housework" and Dorothy was able to sit and prepare some of the blog.

In the afternoon Dorothy wanted to try to make it into town and so, with the aid of her tens machine, we went down and this is seriously down, about 30 feet downwards, along a long slope to the top of the steps and then a further 108 steps down to the city of Beauvais. The first thing that we noticed was a large road, cycle and pedestrian bridge, it just didn't look right, then the main square - this is not the same place? Further on, Allan seemed to find his bearings and declared that the Tourist Office was down this street, no it's not says Dorothy that sign is very much like the TI, but its a shop. I know, says Allan but I'm sure it's here, lets check with this guy. He confirms that it is indeed where Allan said and on arriving there we both remembered having been here before.

In the TI we found out that the bridge is only three years old and the new square was built last year. So yes, we have been to Beauvais before but just not the same Beauvais. The last time that we were here in Beauvais, before the bridge, there would have been even more steps to get down to the street level.

Now the problem. Allan said no more Churches, well, this isn't a Church it's a Cathedral and the glass, statues and objects are so splendid that we couldn't resist a few photos. The clock, and the organ are outstanding. And anyway, it is our blog, so it is our bushiness what we put in it. So there!!


In the cathedral there are two clocks, one from the 14th century, which is one of the oldest clocks in the world and is still in running order

and the other is an astronomic clock, ordered from Auguste Vérité in 1865. It contains over 90,000 perfectly synchronised parts.

These photos do not really give an idea of it's incredible size. The clock is 12 metres high and 6 metres wide!
There are 52 dials displaying, amongst other things, the time in 18 cities around the world, the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the tidal times and the position of the planets.

Allan said that the organ reminded him of Batman??

After the cathedral we made our way back to the motorhome, via the 108 steps up. Dorothy needed to rest her back and so Allan took care of the dinner tonight.
What a wonderful husband Dorothy has xxx

Friday

It was a lovely sunny morning and after Allan had again prepared the breakfast and done the washing up (love him xx) we decided to try to get into the town again.
This time we took the long way down, via the wooden walkway. Halfway down we stopped to photograph this view.

In town we first took another look at the new Square.............

and then started quite a long walk out to Parc Kennedy for some geocaching. On the way we came across a Domino's Pizza place

and decided to have a Pizza in the Park!

Parc Kennedy was an odd place, a mix of sports areas, open grass areas and a pretty woodland glade...............


With all the goecaches safely found, we made our way back to the new Square for a beer and sat outside in the warm sunshine. Although the sky looked very threatening!


As the sky darkened we felt it was time to head home, especially as Dorothy can't hurry at the moment and it will take her some time to climb all the steps! We arrived back just in time to miss the heavy downpours and spent a quiet evening in.

Saturday

During the morning we decided that we have been here long enough so we moved on to another Aire de CampingCar on the west side of Beauvais. This one has no services but we can easily nip up to the one with services if we need to. Just to see how far it is to the city, we walked into the centre and found that although the sign says 10 minutes it took us 15. We must be getting older. During the week days there is even a free bus service so we may take that if we stay here until next week.

We went to the city for the market. When we arrived in what we thought was obviously the market square there was nothing to be seen. A lady passing by pointed us to another market square the other side of some shops. When we did find the market it was absolutely massive. One half of the square was food and the other side was clothes and other non-food. There must have been around 100 stalls.

During our shopping, a parade came by. Music, banners and many people waving flags.


It was the CGT Union (General Confederation of Labour) together with PCF front Gauche (French Communist Party). We have no idea of what they were in favour of or against but we took some photos anyway. It was obviously to do with worker's rights.

We left the market and headed home for lunch. Shopping at the SuperU Hypermarket, which was conveniently opposite the Aire, rounded off our day.

Sunday

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary to our nephew Damon and niece Rachael. We can't believe it was a year ago today that we were celebrating your Wedding Day xx

And a very Happy Birthday today to our cousin Jean in Plymouth. Hope you have a lovely day xx

Another day in France where nothing much happens. Allan left the computer on all night. This would cause a problem in the English winter but there was no problem today and the batteries were topped up by 11am. Although the sun was shining when we got up, it was only 4 degrees outside and in the mid-afternoon it was still only 13. We had a lazy Sunday morning and in the afternoon we decided to do part of one of the Walking Tours around the city. The full walk is 3 hours for fit young people; that is not us at the moment!

Along this walk we took in The Boileau Tower.


By means of this building it was possible to regulate the water flow supplying the city's moats and mills downstream.
The tower is one of the last remnants of the 1489 fortifications.

Most of the rest of the city was seriously damaged in 1940 by a German bombardment and rebuilding was not completed until the 1960's.

We followed the river on the way back and it was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll.

As an aside........

When we were last here in Beauvais, in our previous motorhome, we were sent on a diversion around the town. Allan has never forgotten being faced with this...........

We were 2.90m high so "no way" said Allan. This archway is opposite the cathedral and upon seeing it again, Allan just had to photograph it, remembering when he had to turn around in the cobbled cathedral precincts and go back the way he had come - BACK UP THE ONE-WAY STREET!!! Luckily the French motorists were very understanding!

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