Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer holidays Part 1

Once again totally fabulous holiday, fully re-charged, well fed and shoulders no longer up by my ears. We went to Noirmouiter again, this time went via Amiens which was lovely, would like to take more time to explore as it is famous for the Hortillonnages, 'floating' gardens, which despite all best laid plans we did not manage to visit - needed to hit the road. We did have a good walk around the medieval streets, lots of narrow streets and waterways - not canals, smaller.

Then up to the Cathedral which was surrounded by some beautiful meadow planting. After breakfast, croissants from bakery taken to cafe (Michael says it still always feels wrong to be taking food to a cafe, but it's the way it is).
Then back into the car and off, we mostly hit the Peage but having experienced Rouen's dreadful traffic before, this time we went around the back through some wonderful countryside - almost alpine architecture and then by chance came to the river crossing, expecting a regular bridge, but finding this wonderful small ferry.
The kids loved it, although I think Stan had only just woken up so was a bit bewildered.
We arrived pretty late at the campsite, having done a screech around the Intermarche, but with no tent to put up we just got on with eating drinking and a bit of unpacking - never had a tent with clothes hangers before!
We quickly settled into a brilliant, chilled pattern. Wake about half 8, kids would go and buy bread and come back for hot choc, bread and delicious french butter and jam. Then beach, beach beach and more beach! Lunch when our stomachs rumbled - usually 2, then more beach, occasional trip to town for supplies, supper 8 or 9 - lots of Pallourdes, mussells and oysters.

Breakfast spot

Kids had their bikes this time, which was a revelation - Stan spent much of his time on his, disappearing off for long stretches, making friends and having a ball. Raff was more cautious, on a bit of small orbit with us at the centre but chilled nonetheless.

We soon met up with some lovely people with kids similar ages, one family in a tent near us had a daughter G's age, so they had a 'sleepover' in the pup tent. Another family had 3 boys, one of whom Raff really got on with - major Star Wars bonding, assisted greatly by R's encyclopedic knowledge (and his encyclopedia!). All of them were delighted with the stash of Lego in our tent. We spent a couple of wonderful nights, talking and drinking til very late, children gradually falling asleep, but one in particular stands out when they were all awake and crowded round the lamp in the tent discussing, Star Wars, Lego, stories, life? who knows, but it was a very sweet scene - need to get pics from Michael

After G's friend had gone she was not so keen on being in the little tent and insisted in being in with us, but the boys were more than happy to swap. Really glad we had taken it, as otherwise the sleeping arrangements were somewhat cosy - Michael said he spent the first night being alternately head butted and cuddled by Raff though the canvas separating their sleeping bit from ours!

That's all I have time for now, but will try and put some more pics up and onto Flickr - but it's not letting me in at the mo

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