Where's Frankie?

The Grand Tours

Tuesday 28th October

Last night was one of the quietest nights we have ever had, not a sound until 7am but by then I was up and awake and ready to go. I disconnected the electric and filled up with water but it was one of those pushy in taps that you have to keep pressed in because it turns itself off far too quickly, it was a bit chilly so I only half filled the tank. Our next stop was a town called Vouvray which is in the Loire valley and we made very good time despite the morning fog, arriving by 10.30am.

It’s a very small aire only taking three units which was one reason why we arrived so early. I counted 11 units parked in the aire when we arrived so we stopped and had a look around. A French woman told me she was leaving in 5 minutes which was rater handy. Within 20 minutes there were “only” four of us left and we managed to park in a designated bay. Our plan was to nose around the area today and then cycle into Tours tomorrow but after a visit to the Tourist Office and finding out that Tours was a good 6 miles away that idea was firmly stamped on by the boss.

On our way back from the tourist office we found a bus stop and worked out that we could get a bus into Tours for €2.10 each, it was only €1.50 on the way back since we had reusable tickets. French buses are very similar in length to our buses but they have two rear opening doors, lots of standing room and very few seats, they seats they do have are not designed for people of normal height (such as myself).

By the time we arrived the sun was out, full blast and it was really nice to wander around just in a t-shirt, just a pain that we had taken thick coats because it was chilly when we left Frankie. We weren’t too keen on Tours, there were lots of old medieval buildings and despite me promising not to show you anymore here are your photos of the day:-

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I know, once you’ve seen one medieval building, you’ve seen them all!! We eventually found a crust seller but this was an artisinal crust maker and he had put some bread inside for a change. Maybe we’re just had enough of the big towns and need something else to see.

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The tram running through the middle of the city looked very modern and sleek.

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And the bridge was bridge like. This photo is just for members of Dagenham Camera Club just so they know I am keeping my hand in.

When we got back to the aire there was another English motorhome so we introduced ourselves and they invited themselves over for after dinner drinks. Catherine and James are retiring in April and going full time so they had some questions although what useful stuff they could get out of Lucy and I after 9 days was a mystery. Another English motorhome turned up so I invited them in as well, Jo and John were on their way back from 5 weeks in Spain. We all had a great chat about where we’d been. where we were going, how to fill up with gas, find aires, all the usual “we ain’t got a clue questions” that we all have.

Forgot to ask about the zebra crossings. No belisha beacons but they have the stripes. You can stand by the side of one all day and no one will stop but it seems that if you put a foot on one the cars do stop but we’re not brave enough to test the idea, we wait until the traffic has all gone and then run across.

Whilst talking to Cathering, James, John and Jo we realised that we couldn’t remember the names of aires and what they looked like from only a couple of days ago and since this is our only diary of events this is todays aire.

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Three official bays all full up. Four units behind the camera that you can’t see and by the ned of the evening we had 11 units squeezed in. The silver box to the right is the service point. They are all slightly different in operation but this one takes a €2 coin and gives you 10 minutes of water or 50 minutes of electricity. There is a lift up flap for the toilet waste and a drive over drain for the washing up water waste which is just out of shot to the right. The river Loire is 40 yards behind Frankie out of sight and there is a picnic area and mens and ladies toilets to the left. Rubbish bins are to the right again just out of sight.

One thought on “The Grand Tours

  1. Duncan

    Hi Mark/Lucy
    Great read, if you are going that way there is a great aire at Brantome by the river 2 min into old town it’s called little Venice if any good to ya.

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