Where's Frankie?

Up and down and up and down.

Saturday 8th April

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Our aire holding officially three motorhomes proved to be rather popular Thursday night – 12 that I counted. Early in the morning (9.30am) the bread van came round so I rushed out and pointed with my best french finger. Thought I was getting a baguette but ended up with a baguette looking brioche and a cheesy, lardon stick, both of which were very nice.

I left you saying that we were about to join one of the road trips that we have. If you’re lucky The Works sell cheap travel books and we picked up a few called “Back roads of…”. We’ve got France and Ireland, we did have Spain but some of those roads were very silly scary and we gave it away to a Brit in Portugal.

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We’ve had mixed luck with this book, it will take you to some great places, but sometimes it feels like a race to finish the course, other times it will take you on roads so far to the back of beyond you wonder if you will ever get home. Anyway, we were close to the start of a trip called “The land of three frontiers”. It gets it’s name from the area we are driving through, Lorraine, which has borders with Germany, Belguim and Luxembourg.

First stop on the tour is Liverdun, a home for the Bishops of Toule whenever the peasants started getting a bit restless. We thought it best not to park inside the walled town and parked outside…

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…which gave us a magnificent view of the Moselle below.

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I think we could have got through but there was little parking inside the town. We followed the tourist route around, the tourist office was obviously closed since it was a day with a D in it. Lundi, Mardi, Mecredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi and Dimanche.

As you can see, the sun is shining, we’ve been very lucky with the weather.

And then our route, which we nearly followed correctly (Stella had a hissy fit near a weight restriction) took us through Nancy, which didn’t look very appealing at all. Combined with the fact that it isn’t easy trying to find a parking space and there really didn’t seem to be much to look at (except the Cathedral, the Abbey, the Castle, the churches, …..).

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We tried to keep to the route and luckily it ended at an aire. Guess where and can you see the only other motorhome that stayed the night? We could see this place from miles away and by this point had already climbed steep mountains. We are slowly approaching Alsace, a very Germanic version of France, all the town names are in German but street names are in French.

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I thought it best to clean the front windscreen while Lucy started clicking off photos of the scenery.

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We climbed up to the 12th century church (and later the belfry).

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Here is a photo just for Clive Brooker just to let him know where his favourite Bitche is.

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Up the top of the belfry, the views were amazing, too much for Lucy who came over all giddy (or scared that I might give her a nudge).

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As the sun set, a haze sat in the valleys. Every so often a couple of bikers would turn up, have a smoke and then return but by 8pm it all went very quiet, not a sound to be heard at all.

Until 8am when a herd of ramblers came past chatting vingt a la douzaine.

One of the reasons for doing the Land of three frontiers was that it finishes near the Alsace wine route (again in the Back roads of France book) but the bit going the two routes was one of the better roads we travelled on. Lots of ups and downs, twists and turns (hairpins mainly) and dense forests. All the time the houses are getting more Germanic and all of a sudden we’re at our destination, Rosheim.

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As you can see, half timbered buildings, this was built in 1580.

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The main road through town.

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And the route we will (might) be taking. It’s Saturday, this is a main town on the wine route, the tourist office is closed. In fact when we study the town a bit closer we find one wine tasting shop, one upmarket restaurant and one bar which opens at 6.30pm. Sorry, scrub that, it’s Saturday and they don’t open Saturday evenings!!!

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There were some very nice buildings, this is Romanesque and has a museum inside telling you all about Medieval life. It will be open on the 24th April from 3pm until 5pm.

The aire here has been very nicely laid out but has no services other than a drinking water tap which is used by everyone and his dog so I don’t fancy filling up here. Reviews were a bit scathing too but I think most of that is due to the adjacent road which is noisy during the day but very quiet at night. Since it was still early we decided to move on to the next town, Obernai but upon reaching that town, the circus had moved into the aire and Lucy didn’t feel safe so we started following the Alsace wine route and ended up in Mont Sainte-Odile, again visible from miles away and at the top of a very steep hill.

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One of the stations of the cross, if we’d felt a bit more energetic we would have visited all of them.

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At the top is a large monastery perched on the cliff edges. You could see for miles in all directions.

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Must have been very peaceful in the days before tourists.

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The signs said that you had to have an audioguide but it must still be out of season, the display boards were good enough and told us everything we needed to know.

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Inside the Chapel of Tears, the walls are decorated in mosaic, we do like a good bit of mosaic.

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Unfortunately this is the sign in the car park.Can I pretend that I’m English and don’t understand the foreign lingo. No, I’m English and make sure I read and understand (and obey) every sign I see. I don’t know why, no one around here takes a blind bit of notice when it comes to signs.

We returned to Rosheim, we can get free internet from a local SFR customer and if we really do need to put some water in the tank I have some anti bacterial wipes to clean the dog slobber off the tap. It’s now 9pm, the outside temperature is 17ºC (was 22ºC earlier) and all the windows have been open. The bells are going whippy, but I think they normally do that before knocking off for the night and won’t restart until 7am. Fingers crossed. Typed too early, a second church has just joined in and he has a much bigger bell!!! C’est la vie.

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