Sunday 5 June
Well hi folks and this next adventure will take us through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, France again, Switzerland and into Italy and pretty much the same on the return.
We kick off nice and early at 6.00 getting us down to Dover in about 3 1/2 hours ( Sunday mornings are just excellent times to beat the traffic ! ) which enabled us to catch the 10.00 ferry rather than the 12.00 one. We set off early because at the moment the French are up to their usual tricks and there are a multitude of strikes going on including blockading Oil refineries, air traffic controllers and train drivers among others. I was uncertain what traffic we might encounter down Dover way, luckily there was no problems.
With the hour difference in time and journey from Dunkirk we arrive at Tournai in Belgium around 3.00. The aire at Tournai is just off the inner ring road which gives us only a 5 minute walk into the town. The main problem here is its very noisy with the traffic so I think it might be time to break out the Ear Plugs later.
We have a wander down to the town centre where there is a nice square with lots of bars and restaurants. ( and all the shops are shut ‘cos it’s a Sunday … Result ! ) We settle in outside a bar around the corner in the shadow of the Cathedral and toast the beginning of our holiday with a couple of Leffes whilst being serenaded by some young brass musicians who appeared to be getting some awards or something.
After an hour or two we have a quick shufty around the rest of the town before returning to “Cis” and having some cheese and biccies ( Jane had a nice Belgium loaf ) and chilled reading for the rest of the evening recovering from the day’s drive.
Monday 6 June
Off at 7.00 this morning planning to stop in Dudenage in Luxembourg around lunchtime. Got a good start and with a couple of tea stops we decided to continue on until we reached Luneville back in France before we head to Switzerland. We did however stop in Luxembourg for Diesel. I paid £1.10 a litre when filling up back home before we left and paid 95 cents a litre in Luxembourg. That works out around 74 pence a litre. Notice the difference Mr Osbourne ! ( British Chancellor of the Exchequer for my overseas buddies )
Luneville ( town of Looneys so we fit in well ! ) is very nice with a cracking aire that costs 8 Euros for 24 hours including free electricity and water. It has also got a good toilet block with showers too. It is situated next to a big Chateau that has lovely grounds and is only a 10 minute stroll into town. We had a bask in the glorious sunshine for an hour or two before showering and heading into town for an evening meal.
We stopped first for a quick beer looking over the Chateau and then went for a decent meal just along the main street and had a gentle amble home along the side of the canal by the Chateau back to “Cis” before settling in her rather warm bosom for the rest of the evening. The beauty of electricity included is that we could open all the windows and get the large fan blowing to try to dissipate the heat that had accumulated inside ” Cis” whilst we were out ( can’t grumble really the 2 days so far have been beautiful weather ! )
Tuesday 7 June
We have a long drive today so set off at 6.45 and enjoy the gorgeous scenery through Eastern France stocking up at a Super U with a few beers and wine and a couple of Flamkuchens that we got the taste for in our German travels last year . We finally arrive at the border to Switzerland at Basel. Here, Muppet that I am, go to the truck customs area because I thought “Cis” being 5 tonnes, I would need to fill out the Vignette to be able to drive on the Swiss motorways.
After visiting 4 different windows in customs I then wait 30 minutes for my turn in the correct one only to be turned away by an obnoxious Swiss custom official who has had all his charisma surgically removed with a pit trowel. having been shouted at that I needed my registration document and had failed to bring it with me so I had to return once more with the correct documentation. ( Sorry I didn’t chuffing know ! ! ) After filling it all out and paying the fee I was told that I could use the customs crossing where cars go next time. Thanks mate ! a bit “@!*##ing late now !
Having wasted the best part of an hour pratting about at customs, we arrive just after 2.00 at the camp site at Engleberg which is situated in between the beautiful Alps all around us. We pop into the restaurant at the side of the site to have a quick refreshment stop. We planned to sit outside but as we walk out the door to the garden, God turned on the rather large tap and we had to sit in the bar instead until the rain slowed enough to return to “Cis”
We spend the rest of the afternoon getting showered and spruced before Mrs Chef cooks up a lovely supper with the Flamkuchens and accompanying salad, Yum !
We chill for the rest of the evening making the most of the Wifi ( See Badger blog ) until finally its time for Morpheus to take us into her darkened realm.