We have good internet again and I can write my blog once more. The camping tour of France is going very well. Day 1 we drove from Paris to the little village of St Maurice in the north east. We camped in a beautiful old orchard – plums, apricots, apples and of course Poire trees. Scenic, quiet and relaxing after the first day of driving on the right side of the road in a left hand drive van. We had dinner at the local restaurant and our own goodies bought from the market for breakfast.
The next destination was the Jardin Fruitiers outside the village of Laquenexy. This gareden has displays of everything French – fruit trees, grapes, herbs, vegetables, flowers, ornamentals as well as theme gardens including edibles, colours, dry garden plants, and even a poisonous plant collection. It is a beautiful place and in 38 deg heat there was plenty of shade. The grassed areas were so soft and lush. This is also where there are 2 gardens from other places. One is Native American and the other is Te Putake – Maori traditional garden. The people brought over a huge stump of a Kauri tree and a slab of pounamu [greenstone] and there are carvings and art as you roam around. Tati really loved it here.
The downside was that there was a shaded outdoor cafe/restaurant overlooking the gardens and the village beyond but they would not serve us any food or drinks because we didn’t book. There were only 10 people there!! Most tables were not set. I was very annoyed that we had come such a long way especially to see Te Putake and they wouldn ‘t even serve us a glass of wine!! Needless to say we flounced off to the local restaurant and had a lovely lunch and wine under a shady tree.
Other exciting moments that we can tell you about later were: getting pulled over by the Gendarmerie when the GPS went haywire, the toilet and shower block at the camping ground that faced onto the restaurant and courtyard,not having any bags for our groceries at the supermarche, getting stuck at the toll booth because our Visa cards didn’t work, rules of the Piscine [swimming pool] and the very strange system of actually getting to the pool. This experience was particularly funny because the rule is you MUST wear a bathing cap. We didn’t know. While we were being told off a group of young people were dunking each other and kids were coming up choking and flapping. The pool guard ignored all this and continued to give us a dressing down because we didn’t have caps on our heads!!!! Cultural differences can be hilarious especially when no cap is worse than drowning!!!
Today we are strolling around Troyes admiring all the old buildings and courtyards. It is gorgeous. I’m sipping a glass of local Rose and the weather is much cooler with a nice breeze. Will consult the map of where to next after our wine.