26 August 2007

Jardins de Valloires Day Trip - 26th August

It was initially Nigel’s idea to go to France over the BH Weekend, and originally Monday. Claire and I were the only ones in the Kent Centre that were up for it and we couldn’t do Monday, but could do Sunday.

After a change of plans we arrived together on the 0820 Shuttle to France in company with another trio of bikes and their riders. A nice MV with extra loud pipes and a couple of Guzzis. One being a 1000 Quota, a rarity in every sense!

The plan was to head off down the D940 along the coast and stop for a coffee under Cap Blanc Nez at the Escalles campsite café. Sadly, when we got there after a short ride with perfect views over the Channel to Kent, it was closed until noon. Strange for a weekend in August.

We set off south again and at Wissant I hove right into the village. Ahead the road was closed and we parked up for a walk around a splendid village that we had never been to before. There was a boat festival on and the square was full of tables and chairs gearing up for lunch that appeared to be grilled or fried fish sandwiches! We had our coffee and then had a walk before returning to the bikes with ideas of lunch.

At Wimereux we stopped in the parking we have used before and went to the restaurant opposite the friterie. The friterie is either the best or the only one in town as the queue was always long! Sadly, not a good choice in my opinion. The moules were okay but the juice they were in was a bit insipid. Claire’s steak was supposed to be rare but was well done at least. At least my chips were okay. Nigel says that his moules were insipid as well as the sauce and his chips were soggy!

After a quick walk to the bank ATM to get a bit more cash we set off for the Jardins. I led and my newly fixed Quest led us across country to the N1 and then right to the door, well almost. The Abbaye and the Jardins are on the same site but have two entrances about 400 yards apart!

We spent an hour or so wandering around the gardens following the guide we were given. How did the girl behind the counter know we were English? I took out my camera and found it was all there except for a memory card, so we had to rely on Nigel’s photographic skills…

After another de-rigueur coffee we had to set off pronto to get back for the 1850 Shuttle leaving Nigel and Jane to a more leisurely trip back for a later crossing.

Another good day away. It shows you don’t have to go far to see something different.

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Hythe

I have only lived here since 1999. We have a nice little town.  Once the town was on the coast directly but over the years our side of the ...