Monday, 2 July 2018
'Summer in the Alps' Day 1 - to Laon
Emails from Chris (Stockport Walking and Outdoors Group - SWOG) elicited the promise of a slideshow for SWOG on 3 October. I gave two options:
'The Anglesey Coast Path', which we did in April, or 'Summer in the Alps'.
Chris chose the latter.
So we thought we'd better get on with finding some material for the presentation!
Sunday 1 July
Technically our 'Summer in the Alps' didn't begin, but we did drive down to Reading in the afternoon and spent a very pleasant evening with Ian and Julia, including a 5.5km stroll around Dunsden Green. They are pictured with Sue, on that walk.
Sadly I left my fitbit and Garmin chargers at Ian's house, so I'll be watchless and GPSless, apart from the old S5 phone, for a while. We did used to manage without these gadgets, didn't we?
Monday 2 July
After driving 173 miles yesterday, we drove another 273 miles today, taking a 'Toll Free' (apart from Eurotunnel) route on some pleasant country roads to a town on a hill - Laon.
The toughest part of the journey was the first 4 miles. That took an hour! No wonder Ian sets off much earlier to go to work in Staines.
Anyway, we arrived at the Eurotunnel terminal just in time to catch our pre booked train, and the rest of the journey was uneventful.
Our route through a countryside of tree lined golden fields under a blue sky didn't make it to the Alps today, but Hotel les Chevaliers is friendly and helpful, and we enjoyed an excellent meal at Restaurant Le Parvis, in the square dominated by the sunlit cathedral.
This is a place rich in history. Our hotel room is up a spiral staircase reminiscent of a castle, with a long view to the north. Umbrellas deck a nearby street.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral dates from the 12th century, as do the town gates and much of the ramparts. After dinner we took a 2km stroll around part of the ramparts, passing a designated lay by for six motorhomes, unless you straddle two bays like the one pictured - the only motorhome using this unserviced facility tonight.
We returned to our room, from where we enjoyed a lovely pink sunset to the familiar sound of happily whistling swifts, who were of course oblivious to the disappointment of the Japanese footballers who at that very moment were succumbing to the superior skill of a few Belgians.