2018/09/19 – France – Giving it another try


Wednesday 19th September

Decided to give France another try as we have not had great experiences in this country in the past. 

Think any Aussie travelling through France should have clearly marked BIG  stickers on their WoMo stating they are from Australia – the more the better. 

We sit and watch as people in French Mohos look at our GB number plates and then move as far away as possible and as quickly as possible. 

Brexit is a sore point here not to mention the centuries old dislike of the British.  When we make our Aussie nationality clear – the air changes – for the better.

Again we experience a change as soon as we cross the border.  No border checks again. 

The French countryside is really beautiful but once you hit the towns, most are woeful and depressing and have done little or nothing to create pride in their towns or homes – no repairs or paint for a very long time!

Our first stop was to visit the Citadelle Montmedy but were turned back half way up the hill and advised it had closed in August for refurbishment – not sure when it will reopen. 

Had to back down the hill as there was no opportunity to do a several point turn – ugh! – this is our second time past Montmedy and still haven’t seen the Citadelle.

Next we found the prettiest little CP ever.  Parking Quncy-Landzecourt GPS N49.494961 E5.300020.  – it only holds four Mohos but the setting is beautiful. 

Nice arrangement

Just at the edge of the village, colourful flower pots line the bridge at the entry and each pitch is divided by shrubs and flower pots. 

The outlook is across green pastures and a stream.  There are no services here (we don’t need them anyhow).  The village is very small with no shops, only a few houses and farms but all of these well looked after and a credit to this small place.  My driver opted to move on.

Should have stayed here as the next few options were not good and we seemed to drive forever until we arrived at a suitable place.

Our campsite for tonight:  Aire de camping-car, Lavoir du Bourget, Louppy sur Loison – GPS 49.442310    E5.349570

This was smaller again with only two gravel pitches but we had the most magnificent view across to the Renaissance Castle and church on one side and green pastures across the valley on the other side.  No services here.

Renaissance Castle and church

Very small village so only took an hour to explore before the night set in.

Thursday 20th September

A great day travelling today with this CP certainly being off the beaten track taking us though some magic rural countryside.

Our campsite for tonight:  domaine du Vieux Moulin, Lachausse – GPS 49.0355530.   E5.817170

The CP is again gratis with no services.  It is behind a restaurant, a local  produce store and a working farm which is serviced by the handicapped.

Takes only about 5 Mohos but there was a selfish French Moho with trailer and motorbike who parked sideways to the water view which left little or no room for anyone else.  We fortunately were able to squeeze in and had a beautiful view across the huge tranquil lake where fishermen sat and sat and sat for hours without a bite – other later arrivals had to park at the back.

Ventured into the restaurant for some lunch but no one spoke anything but French and the menu was in French only (surprise surprise).  Eager to support the farm and the handicapped, we stayed for lunch.

Using google translate on an Ipad and showing it to the waitress, we ordered one meal to share and two drinks.  Ended up with two meals instead but given the language problem, opted to grin and bear it as we always seem to have to do in France.

Walked around the farm where there were hundreds of chickens and other weird looking fowls in outside coups and then ventured into the small village.

The CP setting was really special so we sat and watched the most glorious sunset across the lake.

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd September

Our campsite for two nights:  Pont de Plaisance, Pont-a-Mousson – GPS N48.902939.  E6.061160

Had two wonderful days here.

The CP is right on the town’s edge with the Moselle lapping at the front door.  There are two parts, the first being right on the river with the second part on the marina.  We chose the marina as there were only four pitches near the marina office that got internet. 

All services here with great showers and WC facility and one gratis washing machine and dryer.  Couldn’t believe my luck to get one load in before the CP filled up, then there was a queue of baskets lined up in no time.  Internet is provided for one device only and each day you have to queue up to get a new code for the day. (French customer service?)

The Gothic Eglise Saint Martin built at the beginning of the 16th century is the main attraction in the town and stands tall at the end of the bridge that leads to town.  Major refurbishments of the internal statues were underway but we were lucky enough to gain entrance.  Great town to explore with bikeways running along both sides of the Moselle.  Too cold for this little duck to bike it, so we walked forever.

Saturday mornings, there is a local produce market in town until midday.

Sunday 23rd September

Miserable wet cold day today so not much fun travelling today. 

Our campsite for one night:  Aire de Camping-Car, Hombourg-Haut – GPS N49.123890.   E6.778720

This CP is set on a mixed parking area adjacent to a soccer field.  No cost to park and any services required are at a small cost.  Well laid out large pitches with a grass break between each.  There is also a Netto supermarket next door.

Nothing is open today and the showers continued throughout the day.   Mid afternoon the cars started to pile in to the soccer ground car park next door and soon the carpark was full.  Couldn’t believe they would play today but they did and as the squalls became heavier and the wind got stronger, we were not surprised they didn’t finish the game and headed for the shelter of the stands.

Some very cold and miserable players and spectators left the ground later in the afternoon.  Our entertainment for the day.

Monday 24th September

Our campsite for one night:  Aire de Camping-Car, Bitche – GPS N49.054409    E7.433860

This was a great find and so very interesting.  A must to visit.

The CP is set in the parking area for the Citadelle de Bitche.  Separate area dedicated for six Mohos with full services again gratis with a fee for water and electricity if needed.

Back end view of Citadelle

The Citadelle sits high on a plateau with panoramic views across to the North Vosges Mountains.  The Citadelle tour cost is €10 pp and is worth every cent.  You receive headphones (spoken in English???) which lead you through the inside of the Citadelle to 13 stations where stages of the film “Men in War of 1870” are projected onto different surfaces.  It talks of the war between the Prussians and the French (another French loss) and the fight to save the Citadelle from occupation.  Several museums have been set up within the Citadelle and are very interesting.  The views are amazing from the rampart walls.

On the Citadelle Tour

It is a short walk downhill to the City of Bitche to the Garden of Peace.  The gardens and vegetal creations are throughout the city centre and make for a pleasurable walk.

One of the many decorative street art pieces in the town square