Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Monday, 30 June 2014

Monday 30 June 2014 - Summer Holiday - Day 4 - Verdun to Heidelberg


 
The campsite restaurant echoed to groans from a subdued Dutch contingent in front of an unseen TV. "Mex1" muttered a distressed man in orange as he passed our patio table.

Meal finished, we made our way to a window outside the crammed TV room. There were five minutes to go. Things looked bad for the Europeans to whom we had earlier sworn allegiance. Those five minutes proved very entertaining. We left our Dutch friends to celebrate and headed off down cycle track number 13  for a couple of kilometres,  returning in light rain from a seemingly clear sky.

The birds here at Verdun are as vociferous as those at Montreuil. One of the many delights of camping in such places.

After another fine sleep (we both sleep better in a tent than virtually anywhere else) sunshine greeted us, as did tea in bed and croissants from the campsite's local bakery. Excellent. 

Another leisurely departure saw us drive into Verdun for a quick look around. It's a pleasant town with a river and a citadel. We wished we had time to explore. Verdun would be a good spot to stay at for a few days - there's lots of walking and cycling and other stuff to hand, and the campsite is excellent, with good facilities including a pool.

Today's pictures were both taken near the centre of Verdun. 

A trip to a 'Cora' (think of Tesco Metro x 3) sorted out lunch, and we left the excitement of the retail park, complete with its zebras and camels, to continue our journey along an assortment of French byroads through small communities who farm in the pretty countryside. A massive field of sunflowers stands out in the memory. 

These small villages failed to reveal a coffee shop until nearly lunchtime, when a snack bar in Longeville-les-Saint Avold drew us through its doors. Our two coffees came black, with a bottle of milk. The milk was off. Our genial host disappeared for a while, returning with an abject apology. "My wife was making yoghurt out of that milk" he pronounced "This bottle will be better." So the coffees were replaced and everyone was happy. Here you can still get a cup of coffee (two on this occasion) for a euro.

Once in Germany we took to the motorway for the final part of our 190 mile drive to Heidelberg. 

The Satnav was very handy for locating Andrea and Thomas's apartment on Wilhelmsfelder Strasse, where tea and delicious apricot chocolate cake awaited us. A and T used to live a few doors away from us in Timperley, and kindly looked after our house and plants when we were away. Having abandoned the UK, in the process abandoning much of their large collection of plant pots in our garden, we have been forced to lure a homeless couple into our house as full time replacements for A and T (thanks Pam and Paul), and it's a pleasure to visit our old neighbours in their new home, where our European allegiance has now switched from Holland to Germany. 

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a 4km stroll down to the abbey at Neuburg, for an excellent meal and a bus ride back home.

Here's a slideshow for the day (13 images)
Next Day
Back to Index

1 comment:

Humphrey said...

Loving your trip. Zebras and camels, oh yea! Everytime I've been in Germany I've enjoyed myself hugely - wonderful people and great humour. Loving your account, and delighted that the two of ye are having a gentle and well-deserved holiday. Yum! Yum! Let the Beer O'Clock begin!