I had a good reason – i’ve been poorly…
Anyway – what a truly fantastic weekend! And a hell of a first date to top! :D
Friday night involved a slight amount of franticness – rushing home from work to get on the road asap. The drive to the Chunnel went well, pretty smooth, but had to wait 40mins for my crossing.. If I’d got there 15mins earlier they would have put me on the earlier train.. oh well.
Quite the experience! The train engine looks normal, but attached to it instead of carriages are dual level boxcars. You drive the car straight in and park, and sit in the car for the 35-40min crossing, then drive off the boxcar on the other side. Very smooth system, of which I approve!
I was on the lower level for both trips.
Driving off on the far side, into the darkness, with the bright lights of the satnav to guide me the 4hrs to Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy). It was long, and strangely llike a video game after a while.. “just stay in the white lines”.. Hardly any traffic, and French motorways are brilliant. No potholes, no dramas except for tollbooths which, since the French have left-hand drive cars, meant I had to jump out of the car and run around the back to pay the tolls! Tried just to lean over for the first one, did not work at all, so ended up jumping out & running for the rest of them. About 20-quid’s worth of tolls all up. but for the state of the roads, entirely worth it. And they did serve to keep me awake!
Arrived safely at MWLIF’s at about 3am – and drove up the hill to see him in sillhouette, leaning out his second storey window waiting for me. :D He had some wine chilling, and we chatted for a couple of hours before I passed out around 5.
Damn body clock woke me round 8 – though I didn’t feel tired or anything – andrenaline is a wonderful thing! :D Wide awake. B’fast of bacon butties on french bread (I brought the bacon with me – the French don’t do bacon. Bizzare, but they don’t do bacon. Can’t buy it in the supermarket.) Headed out to Mont Saint Michel.
It was a little further than MWLIF had anticipated, about 2 hrs all up, but we talked & laughed the whole way. Cruising round a corner, we saw this and had to stop for photos…
Another 15mins and we were there. What a truly stunning place. Seriously looks like something created by the Weta Workshop for Lord of the Rings.
You have to park about a mile away, then get a free shuttle (or horse and cart) to the gates.
Walked in & around the bottom level, then stopped for the best Moules in Normandy, from (I was told later) their own moule beds!
A half of lovely crisp rose, wonderful food, amazing company and an hour later, bill paid, we headed off up the stairs to finish the explorations.. (MWLIF’s photos)
including cat-sized seagull, who loved having his photo taken!!
A couple of hours wandering around, the obligatory magnet purchase, and we were done. Headed out, hit the supermarket for dinner-fixings, and back home for the evening – which involved talking, laughing and movie watching.
Sunday morning dawned, fantastic weather once again, and after another bacon butty we headed out for the 30min drive to Falaise, home of the Castle of William the Conqueror.
Stopped for a coffee in the local cafe, very quiet village on a Sunday morning – it seemed like the town was asleep (except for those in the cafe with us) but quite a pretty place..
Stunning gothic church, which we later learnt was almost fully destroyed during WW2 and rebuilt from pretty much scratch. The Chateau du Willem was equally impressive…
and the view from the top stunning…
They even give you an iPad to go around with, shine it on the walls and see what the place was like in it’s 3D/360view glory.
Back to the house for a late lunch before I got back on the road – the fantastic weekend over and a 6hr drive home.
Left with a little sadness, a lot of happiness and good feelings, and a great wish to return. Drive home was no problem – arrived home round 10:30pm.
Since then? Skyped almost every night and planned next visit :D
May everyone feel this happy xx