Saturday, 29 October 2016


Seems like the band Kiss and various other ghouls have taken over our house.

Gill Nikita & Sean.

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Good job he has a comfort hole


A five hour cruise from Biarritz over the Pyrenees, by passing Zaragosa to end up in Teruel the capital of Aragon, once over the cloudy hilly bit temps rose, it is now a sunny 25C.

On the outskirts of Teruel there is an airport without check in desks, here aircraft from around the world are stored in the dry air, awaiting the right conditions to go back into service or to be stripped of valuable spare parts.

At the hotel I used my newly acquired language skills at reception, unfortunately the vague look on the staff member had me reverting back to speaking my native tongue sllloooowwwwlly & loudly... he speaks English ...phew....more practise required.

Plaza Del Torico
Moorish tower


Friday, 28 October 2016


We didn't set of from La Rochelle until gone noon which meant we didn't arrive in Biarritz until gone 16:00. The car was too tall to fit in the hotel's underground car park so after dropping the bags off we found a spot for it a few streets away outside the Tourist Info shop.

Our first thoughts on Biarritz is that it isn't as chic as the hype would have you believe, the casino's are here and the Hotel du Palais but there are plenty of good value bars and bistro's that cater for the surf set. Architecturally it reminded us of Brighton.

Refreshment was had here 

Rocher de la Vierge topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary.

The small harbour.

Surfers in the Atlantic
It was 22C when we arrived here, tomorrow we should cross the border into Spain..... I'll get my shorts on.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Ille de Re

As we arrived at La Rochelle quite late in the day it was decided we would stay another day to mooch around a bit. It's a fabulous place steeped in history, wonderful architecture, waterfront views and good food & service in the bars & restaurants.

Entrance to the inner harbour.
 The Chain tower in the above picture gets it's name from a time when a chain was hauled across the entrance at night time.

The chain.

The Chain tower, St Nicholas tower and the Lantern in the back ground ( link )

Back street bar.

Church of St Sauveur

The town clock.

La Rochelle is the largest harbour in Europe for leisure craft.
In the afternoon we drove over the arching road bridge to Ile de Re, the sun came out to show the island's sandy beaches, leafy squares and streets of green shuttered dwellings at their best.

Bridge to Ile de Re
 Although not quiet at this time - are the French kids on half term too - I bet it is difficult to get parked or find space for your bum on a seat at a restaurant table in the height of summer.

The well off Parisian's looked to have locked their bit of the island away till next time, the same as some Londoners do to Cornwall.

 We sat at a harbour side restaurant to have lunch of moules & frites.

Fruits de mer inevitably are much tastier when you can see the boat that supplied them bobbing about on the water.

St Martin

St Martin-de-Re.

Water spout at the end of the street.

Top marks again go to Marco Polo Mojacar Macey for the recommendation.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Le Mans

Left Rouen in dense fog so rather than use the A- roads we used the toll roads. Le Mans was to be our stop over but after a brief stop for me to visit the Le Mans circuit museum we decided as the fog had cleared we would head to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast.

I took loads of photo's in the museum these are my two favourites.

Bugatti type 57, supercharged engine & lightweight aluminium body won the 24 hour in 1937 & 1939

Jaguar XK9 won in 1988

The hotel overlooks the harbour, a short walk took us into cafe culture central. Although the temperature was low the pavement seating outside all of the bars & bistro's were busy (I believe this maybe because a large proportion of the population like a fag). We found a nice warm table inside one establishment and enjoyed a meal before heading back to our hotel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Saga in Rouen

Our car insurers would only cover us for 90 days in Europe, no good as the vehicle would be the other side of the channel for 160 days. Got the heads up from Mojacar Macey to try Saga - why not - I've been old for a few years now. Result, 365 days cover for under £100 was possible a couple of add ons including legal cover raised it to £140 a considerable saving from current insurers.

The same thing with breakdown cover, our AA cover is for 104 days per visit, to take it up to the 160 days would be a whopping extra £817 on top  - with Saga £118 for 365 days in any European country included.

So with that sorted we headed for the Chunnel:

Felt like we were driving to France through the train.

Calais was sunny as we exited the train, we didn't see any sign of the jungle on our way to the A16 - we did see van loads of Gendarmes heading out of Calais perhaps the job was already completed.

A three hour drive got us to our first stop in Rouen.

A large city on the banks of the Seine, Rouen is where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. We spent what was left of daylight exploring a small part of the city

Large hotel boats cruise the river.

Cathedral of Notre Dame

Could almost be Chester

The Gros Horloge

Still operating in France.

Joan of Arc Museum at the site of her death.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A two hour cruise.

A metal slipper launch maybe.

The grass is always tastier on the other side of the hedge.