Travels by myself – 5 France

And now for something completely different….

I’ve written about my love of France in my family history blog. I visited there so many times – as a teenager, a newlywed, with my family and, latterly, with just my husband again. I had already been once, by myself, to spend new year with our friends, travelling by Eurostar.

After my trip to Kenya and, egged on by my friend, I planned a trip that would cover most of the summer. I didn’t want to impose myself upon them for the whole of this time so set about looking for somewhere to rent. In the end it was my friend who found a converted barn in the village where they live and the owner was willing to let me have five weeks for the price of four! I’ve been to the village so many times and I knew exactly where my summer home was going to be.

So, after a lot of planning and three trips back into the house. I was on my way with a packed car, heading for the Dover ferry. I allowed myself plenty of time to drive from Yorkshire but I made good progress and had plenty of time for stops. I’ve had sufficient experience of embarking and disembarking, so that was not the worry. It was the moment when, after creeping along behind all the cars from the ferry, they begin to peel off and, all of a sudden you realise that you are on your own! But, thanks to my trusty satnav, I managed to find my way to my hotel.

Next morníng, said satnav guided me down the motorways to my little village in Champagne (the place not the drink). The only problem when driving on your own is having to jump out at the Péage because you’re on the wrong side. It doesn’t endear you to the French drivers queuing up behind you. But I arrived, calm and relaxed and feeling a bit like a 19th Century lady voyager.

I spent a couple of days staying with my friends before moving into my house – just in time for my first visitors. Sure enough, I was due to have a constant stream of family and friends who had decided it would be good to come and see me. And, to be honest, I was really looking forward to it! The pace of the holiday was fairly gentle, with leisurely walks and drives in the countryside and visits to old friends and familiar places but there were a few stand out events and I’ll write about those next time.