Welcome on board – St Valery – France

Thursday 2nd August 2018

Dave posting,

Yesterday we wanted to visit Khal Burg but it was closed, we had read that it is now a monument to the local and Ukrainian prisoners who worked for 10 to 14 hours a day tunnelling and building this observation post for the German army, dozens of them died in their endeavours, built during 1942 following the Canadian landings in Dieppe during operation jubilee, Treport was considered a strategic location to protect the port and the railway, it was at the forefront of technology at the time having 4 levels, diesel generators and a water supply. It had 3 observation posts was 270 metres long and 225 steps, work finished in 1944 after the Allied landings leaving it unfinished and it was abandoned for the next 60 years before a local group started to restore it, instead we had our swimming gear with us, so we finished the day on the lovely sandy beach with a picnic.

We left Le Treport early this morning at 10.am, well that’s early for us by our standards! Lol! A lot of campers seem to leave between 7am and 9am and form an orderly queue at the service point before heading off again.

Our next stop as we take our time around this French coastline is Saint Valley Sur Somme just 25kms away to a popular Aire. It’s a ticket auto barrier system €12 for 24 hours and includes all fresh water, waste disposal services and electric hook up (EHU) on some pitches, on a first come first served basis! There’s some shade from the trees but not everywhere, you have to get here early to bag the shady spots and EHU’s (GPS N50.18211, E001.62896)

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Cathy working hard on her blogging!

Although it’s a busy Aire there’s plenty of space and pitches and we don’t feel squashed in.

We are lucky and find a place near the EHU point, so we grab it whilst we can, this pitch is facing north as well, there’s no shade though but the awning will provide the necessary shade later. Whilst the electric is included in the Aire fee we make the most of it by charging all our equipment; iPad, iPhones, Bose speaker, kindles, laptop, my two shavers and our camera. Cathy likes it when we have electric, she can use her hair dryer, it must feel like a treat when that happens!

It’s a 15-minute walk to town so after a light lunch we made our way, soon we are strolling downhill on the quiet narrow, cobbled streets passing the fisherman’s cottages, some of them look to be pretty holiday cottages, Cathy was trying to peak inside the ones with the doors open as we walked by, they must be so used to it as it’s a busy street as you enter.

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The pretty cottages of Saint Valery

We continue and soon we are in the centre of Saint Valley Sur Somme, the streets are once again cobbled with one-way traffic as the buildings are so close together. There is every type of shop here lining both sides of the avenue, it has a feeling of a Cornish town by the sea.

Cathy popped in to a few hairdressers and tries to get an appointment for today or tomorrow but unfortunately no joy today.

As we stroll along we think it must be lunchtime as the businesses seem to be closing up for their 2-3 hour lunch break, we find the tourist information office at the end of the town and guess what? It’s closed for lunch until 2.30pm. Never mind we follow our noses and act on our instincts to find our way around, it usually seems to work for us.

All the restaurants and bars serve Moules, Moules everywhere and everyone seemed to be eating them, but we notice they are twice as expensive as the ones we had at Le Crotoy a few days ago which we can see from here just across the estuary bay in front us.

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Le Crotoy across the bay

We spot the narrow-gauge railway that connects the towns of Cayeux Sur Mer and Le Crotoy, it looks a bit touristy so we give it a miss.

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Saint Valery railway station

Along the quayside there’s a wide, long and tree-lined promenade that follows the estuary and goes for miles! Again, we ponder our mistake of not bringing bikes with us! There are lots of families out strolling past the occasional ice cream and confectionary sellers in their portable stalls.

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Promenade

We find ourselves in the medieval part of the town dating back to the Roman era of 611 AD. They look very well-preserved and are still being used as homes or small businesses.

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The church sits atop of the town and the Somme estuary, but the views are restricted by trees and other buildings, around the churches and arches there are small groups of painters and artists sat in the shade with their easels, paints and pencils.

P1080698Nearby we find a plaque that mentions Joan of Arc, a national heroine of France she led the French army to victory over the English at Orleans, captured a year later in 1431 she was held prisoner here until she was taken to Rouen and burnt at the stake as a heretic, aged just 19, by the English and their French collaborators.

P1080695We walked 2kms to find a hair salon on the directions and recommendation of a hairdresser who couldn’t fit Cathy in for 3 days, we walked 1.5 kms in the direction of where she said out of the town, it’s very hot again and no breeze at all, we failed to find it, so it’s time to rest our legs and refresh, finding ourselves at a marina bar overlooking the river harbour in the shade of the balcony, the whites and blues of the boats catching the sun and the gently chinking of the masts in the gentle breeze.

Soon we were chatting to Jeff & Dot from Dover, they are here in their motorboat at this marina, we had a good old natter and they finished their drinks and got up to leave, they asked us to join them for a drink on their boat! Well we though why not, just for one drink though as Cathy doesn’t like the bobbing movement of boats even when they are tied to the marina. C’mon on board!

The four of us spent the next 2 hours chatting about all kinds of subjects whilst drinking a couple of lagers and glasses of rose wine with some crisps, Cathy felt fine, they showed us around their motorboat, with a small kitchen, dining area for 4, bedroom with 2 singles at the forward end, lower control deck and a rear socialising deck where we sat in the sunny afternoon. Thanks guys for your hospitality, we really enjoyed your company, good luck on your travels!

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Jeff and Dot our very kind hosts

Continuing to walk through the town back to Pogo we can hear an Amy Winehouse song calmly wafting over towards us from a terraced restaurant on the quayside, Cathy likes her music, it’s still warm and sunny and we are bit peckish, the music being played by the band and the singer entices us in and the next thing we are sat down in a prime position right in front of the band ordering a drink! The food menu arrives with the drinks, we like our spot, the atmosphere is welcoming and good as are the musicians. Cathy orders her favourite Mussels and this time its moules with curry and frites! I go for the salmon and spinach lasagne, the evening turned in a great one, super food, excellent bottle of pale Rose wine whilst the band kept us entertained as we sang along with them.

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The band, they were very good!

In the quiet summers evening, we walked back after being entertained for a few hours and now we are enjoying the tranquillity and peacefulness of the night.

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Good night

Dave

2 thoughts on “Welcome on board – St Valery – France

  1. Saint Valery looks amazing. Great shot of the sunset but best of all, Cathy on a boat!!!!

    You’ll be able to sit on the garden swing whilst actually moves next 😁😁😁😁

    Like

    • Degs you never know! I’ll try the swing next time, the boat in the Marina did sway when another boat came and moored next to it and Jeff had to squeeze up a bit to let it in, the Rose wine took my mind off it ha!
      Cathy

      Like

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