Saturday, 6 August 2011

Well that month went fast...

I hadn't realised that it had been a month since I did a successful post...  Things have been a little busy here - getting ready to go on vacation (and going away for a week) and general life has just got in the way and my muse was present to start a couple of posts, but left before I had a chance to finish and post them...

Anyway...  For the catch up let's start with a few vacation posts (see if I manage them all!)

Last week was spent in a static caravan in 'Crecy la Chapelle', a small village / town about 10 miles away from EuroDisney.  The reason for the holiday was the 40th anniversary of Mrs Stace's parents.  So the whole family joined them on holiday for a week.

Getting there was a breeze - much easier than I was expecting, at least for the first 510km's; the last 3 were a nightmare.  We started the journey with stress - the street of the camping site was a little outside of the town itself and so couldn't be easily found in the sat nav that we have.  Still, point to the town and see where we go from there.  Mrs Stace called her parents for directions once we got there and it seemed easy enough - turn right at the only church  you come across.

We drove across Holland, Belgium and into France without any traffic issues at all - we were warned about several by the sat nav, but by the time we reached that point it was cleared.  Even Antwerp was clear - that is normally a nightmare when we go the the UK!

Through France at a constant 130kmph on the AutoRoute - it may be expensive (15 euros toll from the border to Paris on the A1, and 2 euros to pass EuroDisney) but the roads were nice to drive on.

Getting to Crecy and oh dear...  Firstly, everyone knows how traffic lights work, right?  Red, red and amber (in the UK at least, not on the continent), green, amber and then back to red.  Well in France they have a different system in some places.  Red, Red and amber (but not the normal amber of the light, a new fourth amber at the bottom of the light!!!) that flashes whilst the light is on red to say go if it's safe.  If it wasn't for the two French cars in front of us I would not have known and would have had some angry people behind me at the lights :)  As it was I thought 'Whoa, someone doesn't doesn't like to wait for the lights' as the first car went.  When the second followed I thought more 'hmm, one person jumping the lights I can see, but not two' and then I started to scan the lights to see anything that could explain it.  I spotted the (very dim) flashing amber and assumed that mean I could go if it was clear.  In the week there I never saw that light on green...

In the village itself we found two churches - but neither of them on the side of the road and so went round and round in circles trying to find out where we should be...  At some point Mrs Stace saw the sign for a camp site and we just assumed there could only be one.  At a few junctions we had to take an educated guesses where they decided that people didn't need to know which way to go and lo and behold we left the town onto the ring road we were originally driving on and there was Church.  On the right was the camp site...  If we had not seen the sign for the village and left the main road we would have got there about 1/2 earlier than we did - and less stressed!

The camp site was a revelation for me.  I though that the Brits had a problem integrating on holiday - it seems that the Dutch can take it a step further!  The camp site was 95% Dutch and was ran for the Dutch - all the signs were first Dutch, then French, Germand and English.  Funnily enough the staff were not - so whilst the signs were Dutch you couldn't ask for what was written - you needed to translate it into French :)

Well I guess that's long enough for now - here's some sample shots of the week :)

Our caravan on the first night

A Cheater from the Cat Park we visited on the first day

The keep from one of the small towns we visited - I'll remember the name at some point I am sure

The last day in Paris - Arc de Triumph

You don't really need to know what this on is do you?


  1. Hi Wayfarer,

    So nice to hear from you again.

    Looks like you didn't have too much trouble with directions and finding your destination.

    Beautiful pictures, but what was that last one? LOL.



  2. Thanks both. The trouble with the destination was that when the SatNav is down and I have no idea what I am looking for I get really, really stressed. It was 1/2 hour that I absolutely hated! Used a little too much fuel as well - I get a heavy right foot when stressed...

    Glad you like the pictures - there is a good chance that I am going to bore you with them over the next week :)


    The last one was some temporary structure that was built in Paris. Apparently it was built for some show a couple of years ago. As it's not permanent I didn't bother to write down the name :)