Sausage gate!

Cathy posting

Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Up at 6am wide awake as we had gone to bed early the night before, I made a cup of tea and sat outside on the bench in front of Pogo and watched the light changing on the River Moselle as the day began to break, I had a good feeling today was going to be a nice day.


Morning coffee, it’s going to be a good day

Left the free Aire (with services) at Millery near Nancy this morning, we bought a baguette from the mobile bread van who came to the Aire. There was a small road nearby but it wasn’t a problem with ear plugs in and the church bells stopped ringing at 11pm.

Drove to Ribeauville in the Alsace region through our first mountain pass  Col De Sainte Marie, we peaked at 742 metres above sea level, very steep gradients up to 10% in places on both sides of the mountain, Pogo was miffed a bit and started overheating, not dangerously so but we put the cab heater on full and opened the windows, that seemed to do the trick!

Once we had come down on the other side we pulled in at a supermarket, time to buy supplies, lots of lovely salad and fresh meat , we bought a tin opener! It was €5.75! but we needed one.

On towards the Aire at Ribeauville next to a wine Cave – Cave de Ribeauville, we found the exact spot but now it was a building site. Dave went inside the wine company offices to ask about the Aire and was advised to go the Tourist Information office just a short walk away. Dave came back with information about a new Aire located up the pass slightly, the way we had driven, it was an old campsite it seems as the areas  for tents were still numbered it was in the shade of a large rock and away from the road so it was quiet, it took us about 7 mins to walk into Ribeauville, can’t beat that!

Were all alone for now but we saw lots of other motorhomes going to the same closed Aire as we had done so it won’t be long before others arrive, Dave parked up after putting planks down under the drive wheels to make sure we don’t sink in to the grass. The ticket machine was broken so it looks like it will be a free stopover here tonight! Waahay!


The town really made an effort for Easter




Château de Saint-Ulrich – up the hill!


Butchers Tower built in 1920


Town Hall


zoom in to see the teddy bears!

Dave spotted a Stork on the roof of a building, he gets excited when he sees birds! And the camera was soon out!


On one of the roofs in the centre of the village

We are in need of supplies so when a nice young man invited us into his Fromagerie to taste some cheese we thought why not? We tasted a couple and liked one which was reminiscent of Comte but a bit more fruity so we bought some, I pointed to where I wanted the cheese wire to go but he doubled it! I didn’t say anything as I thought oh well it won’t be going to waste, next was the sausage, we tried a couple but settled on the smoked one, dried hung and matured Saucisse Fumee ….. it was really delicious so we said we’d buy it and I asked him how much it was, he pointed to the scales and I saw 4.6, he duly wrapped it all up nicely in lots of fancy paper and then told us how much it was….. It turned out that my saucisse was in fact 0.46 kg and €25 !!!!  lesson learned Cathy, wear your glasses when buying stuff!


How much!


Traditional Alsace wine glass


Traditional UK beer drinker!

We got back to the van and sampled the bank busting Sausage with the lovely cheese and some olives and crackers and it was delicious, erm was it worth €25 of course! at 2mm slices x 2 each hahahaha!.


UNESCO – maybe not so!

Cathy posting;

Friday 30th March – Good Friday

So it’s confession time, Dave has realised that his Sat Naff has 2 settings one is DMS -degrees, minutes and seconds and the other one is DD- Decimal Degrees! It was pure luck that we ended up at our first Aire in Ypres at all! Apologies to the Aires book you were right, our bad! (please see yesterdays post!)

So last night, Thursday we were parked up at the edge of the canal at Landrecies, it’s a small Aire for just 4 vans, there are no services but it’s a pleasant spot and it’s free! 3 other vans arrived later in the evening so all spaces were full.


Canal side at Landrecies

Next morning, Good Friday we noticed there had been a resurrection! All the other vans had gone, and we were up quite early… after healthy breakfast of porridge we had a nice walk along the canal about 9.30 am for 2.5 miles, I’m planning on keeping a track of miles walked on this whole trip and just need to download a walking app.

We set off about 11am to head for Rozoy Sur Serre in Hautes de France – Northern France (N50°07.668′, E003°41.452) The site is lovely just 4 spaces again but this time fresh water and waste disposal, extremely quiet and landscaped, it seems quite new too and there is only us here for now.

The Aire is near a little village Parfondeval, listed in UNESCO heritage as one of many beautiful villages, we parked up and had some French bread and coffee.


French bread, English tea, Italian coffee, a very European breakfast

We decided to walk to the village 4.5 kms away, even though it seemed to be alongside the road, however it started to rain quite heavily so we decided to drive, I get a bit stressed about driving into small villages with a big van but I need not have worried as it was empty like a ghost town not a soul about, no patisserie, no boulangerie in fact nothing at all, no winter flowers, it was described as incredibly beautiful well apart from a couple of nice cottages and a particularly old timber framed one I’m afraid I wasn’t impressed, maybe the heavy rain didn’t help but I won’t be coming back, sorry UNESCO.


Free Aire at Rozoy Sur Serre

We went back to the Aire and as it didn’t stop raining we settled in for the afternoon, I am reading a book called In Europe by Geert Mak, it’s a sort of biography and travel journal, he set off from his home of Amsterdam in 1999 to criss cross Europe tracing 20th century history as it slipped into the 21st, I’m only a few chapters in but I’m enjoying his style already.


Cathy in the library

It is time for tea now, chicken a la grecque we bought yesterday and tinned potatoes, well  guess what we left at home? you guessed it, yes the tin opener! never mind Dave to the rescue.


Good job he bought the leatherman tool along!

Dave has been making a note of all the places that we’ve been to and as we go he will record them for future reference and fellow travellers, whilst also keeping a copy of all our spending daily, weekly and monthly to make sure we stay on budget.

Off to bed early as were up early for Champagne region tomorrow.