|Vasoul, St. Dizier and Soissons, to Calais, France||Week 32 19th - 23rd November 2011|
|Gilley as we left it. Our road led up the hill behind it.|
| And the cows rang their bells as we passed.
While there are electric fences we reckoned the bells are a nice reminder of the days when stock roamed more freely.
Gilley is not far from the Swiss border and the Alps.
Yup. That's frost on the ground. We wondered about ice on the roads.
|France through the side window of Tardis.|
| Canals never lose their interest.
Another set of lock gates.
|We camped next to the lake in Vesoul and went for a walk.|
| In contrast to the Russian fishermen in the Altai this
French fisherman had a tent, a couple of brollies, and a half dozen rods.
Also in contrast, only one of the fishermen caught fish (that we saw).
|Some of the woods we past by were used for hunting. We saw signs for where the hunters can meet and park, as well as "guards" by the roadside - we figured they were there to keep us safe rather than to shoot us if we crossed the boundary.|
| The further we travel the more wind turbines we see.
It took forever to have these two "in phase".
About the click of a camera shutter really!
Not sure what we'll do when we find a farm.
| Near St Dizier is a Metallurgical Park.
Closed "of course" but quite a few different locations in a larger area.
This was an old foundry.
| With nearby "workers' cottages".
The signs of industrial revolution.
| We are about center in the photo.
The CLC Aires near St Dizier.
Our first Aires which we shared with a handful of motorhomes.
|Passing through Champagne we unfortunately found it remarkably easy to not buy any.|
The entire roof covered in solar panels.
| The Aires by the canal at Soissons.
We missed it and spent the night in the municipal campground - free wi-fi, quiet, and walking distance along the canal to the center of town.
| Grain silos on the canal.
The lean is an optical illusion (I think).
| I guess at the right time of year the long boat may stop
to be loaded with grain.
The trucks are with a traveling fairground.
|Cobblestones in the main square of Soissons.|
|And looking the other way.|
| Gothic arches in the cathedral of Saint Gervais and Saint
Protais at Soissons.
One of the seven great cathedrals of Picardy.
This building was started about 1275 on the site of preceding ones from about 300.
For the observant its a three storied gothic design. A bit new at the time.
| With columns as far as we could see.
The cathedral was badly damaged in WWII and has been rebuilt.
A massive undertaking.
|And flying buttresses.|
|Which we photographed from all angles.|
| From the post office in the center of Soissons.
Posting letters has become noticeably more efficient and less time consuming. But still a non-trivial task as someone works out the air mail postage on each letter or postcard.
The Abbe Saint Jean Des Vigne in Soissons which is now a museum.
| Under the church is a crypt.
The museum was interesting. A small museum that ranged from stoneage to present.
At one time Soissons was a French capital. Inside the walls were up to 12 religious buildings.
The museum also contained some rather dark pictures of medieval torture that made us cringe to look at.
Pleased we weren't there (as they say).
| The weather closed in as we headed towards Calais.
We knew it must change at some time. We've been lucky.
| We like Aires.
This is free motorhome parking with waste disposal and water for about 70 opposite the ferry at Calais.
About 5 minutes drive the next morning.
|Spilsby, UK||Week 32 - 38 24th November - 9th January 2012|