Friday 10 July 2016
Today is my 53rd birthday, although we don't make a fuss of such things these days! So no cards or presents, but another hot, sunny day. The heat pushed us out of the van at about 0730. We enjoyed an English breakfast of bacon and eggs, but then went all healthy with some fresh pineapple and apricots. We cracked on with our allocated 'moving on' jobs, I paid for our three nights and we hit the road, target France. I'd found an aire in the hills, surrounded by woods, in Murbach, next to an old Abbey in the Lorraine area. On the journey we had to detour a couple of times as roads were closed for large Sunday markets, but eventually we arrived. It was a quiet, peaceful spot, by a brook and shaded. We put out table and chairs on the grass and enjoyed our lunch in the shade. We walked around the medieval garden but decided to move on. So we drove on to another aire in the village of Orschwihr, with views over the terraced vineyards. But this only had one spare pitch with nowhere to sit outside, so on we went. It was third time lucky - the drive took us over the mountains past many ski stations and with amazing views over the hills and lakes. An hour or so later we arrived at a large aire in the town of Gérardmer. We had a brew in the shade before packing our swimming gear. There's a large lake here and the town has grown around it, making it a popular tourist spot, in a similar way to the Lake District - only hot and sunny! We paid to enter the the small plages and enjoyed a lovely swim in the peat-coloured water. Returning to the van we realised from the riot of Flags Bleu and people in football tops, and red, white and blue flags painted on their faces, that it was the Euro final tonight - France vs Portugal. Another brew in the shade and once changed, we walked down the main drag, enjoying the sights and sounds of the football supporters. After a walk by the lake we returned to restaurant row and picked one to eat. It was noisy but all very good humoured. Fed and watered, we walked along the lake in the cool evening air as the sun set over the far side. Eventually the swarms of midges forced us back and we're now sat outside in the dark, listening to the football supporters and regular very loud fire crackers. We have no idea who's leading if any, but there's plenty of singing and shouting of "Allez les Bleus"! The end of another lovely relaxing day and, for me, another year older.
|Great views on the drive in to Gerardmer|
|Another lake, another beach, another swim....bliss!|
|Euros final - good move by the beer and fast food joint to add the big screen|