Tuesday 26th May
I forgot to add this photo into the last blog. It is taken at the Lalinde aire, the station is to one side of us and over the road is a large garden with this garden shed. I thought it was very pretty and I want one in my next garden.
Our next “target” was Perigueux just to the north of us, it was marked on our maps as a large town but our guides didn’t mention it at all. Can’t see why not, this is the view from the free riverside aire. This is Perigueux Cathedral, built originally in the fourth century, what you see here was rebuilt in 1895 although the belltower is from the 12th century.
The second building that you see is this, no signs or information boards though.
There were lots of hidden narrow alleys, secluded modest squares and ramshackle buildings. These buildings overlook the river. We had lunch here and then moved on, the aire was great as a parking area and probably good overnight but it was only lunch time and we had seen an aire just to north next to a chateau which looked very promising.
Unfortunately it was under a flyover, there were two vans in storage there and we couldn’t get a good look of the chateau, it was surrounded by trees so we moved on. Not having a plan means we are pretty free to do whatever we like.
And here we are at Brantome, not the expensive aire of course, this is the €2 a night aire next to and run and managed by a motorhome dealers. Obviously being Sunday the dealers were closed but the sun was out so we stayed.
We visited the dealers on Monday morning, mainly to browse inside the very understocked accessory shop, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about the accessory shop in Cranhams again (and they are open on a Sunday). It turns out that this is the motorhome building factory for a make called Font Vendomme. Bog standard Fiat vans enter one gate and motorhomes leave the other gate.
Our aim today was Brantome itself, just a mile down the road and full of 3.5 ton weight limit signs (which normally mean narrow streets). We eventually skirted the town and found a field with a couple of motorhomes parked up and lots of no motorhome signs!
Brantome is built on a large hairpin in the river Dronne with a cutting across the neck turning the town into an island, it’s nickname is Venice of Perigord.
Everywhere you looked there was a photo opportunity.
Lots of grockle shops, but nice pedestrianised roads. Note the one way sign on the left, later in the day we watched someone reverse their car up this street.
This building was a Benedictine Monastery built and rebuilt since the 11th century, it is now the town hall.
This bridge has a 90 degree bend in the middle of it, couldn’t work out from the notice boards why but there had been a similar bridge in Perigueux and that one was used for collecting tolls.
As you can see, very lovely place to stroll around, stop for a coffee or food and generally chill out.
This is the gothic abbey church and the bell tower is the oldest in France.
From Brantome (if you are nearby please go and visit) we made our way to a small village for an overnight stop. Free water, electric and waste services, a nice view over a freshly cut playing field, sun and peace, what more could you ask for?
We are gradually working our way North, we have a date in 15 days time and we don’t want to get there too early so it may seem that we are aimlessly travelling about. You are right, we are pretty aimless (and clueless).
We had a place in mind not too far away but it wasn’t for us, then the next two aires let us down, really not good enough for us aire connoisseurs so I’ve ended up driving far further that I had hoped and have stopped at a place called Oradour sur Glane, we’ll tell you why we are here in the next blog, I think Oradour deserves a whole blog to itself.
We arrived here about 2.30pm and it was half full up. Our app says 20 units, our book says 27 units. I counted 37 units parked when I went out after dinner and they are still coming in at 9pm. I’m very surprised that we are the only Brits here.