It was quite a long stint today up to Chalon sur Saone and a 4 night stay at Chateau D’Eperviere (a site that we’ve stayed at previously). We’re mainly intending to relax here, as we need it!
This site has suffered 4 floods this year, 1 very recently, which meant that we couldn’t have the type of pitch that we prefer (on grass rather than a hardstanding). We parked up so that we could get the sun in the morning and shade in the evening, but unfortunately this meant that we were facing our neighbours (not usually a massive problem) which they were clearly not happy with when they returned to their van – they proceeded to peg their towels up to create a barrier. They even pegged the towels together to be sure! This is the 1st time we have ever had this happen and were quite shocked. Although it meant we had the sun at the wrong time of day for us we turned round in the morning.
Of course, this meant when we got new neighbours (2 French couples in a little camper van…) they were facing us. Not a problem – although they were quite loud and Popeye’s nemesis Bluto was with them!
The weather was lovely this time (last time it rained most of the time we were there. We did manage to get in the pool once, but only by keeping an eye on the sky and spotting a blue bit!) Our first day was all about relaxing so that’s exactly what we did! We were either sat by the pool, in the pool (I stuffed up my ears again by seeing how far I could swim underwater – it’s over a week later and I still can’t hear properly..) or sat having a drink outside the bar. It all had the desired effect!
On our 2nd day we decided to visit Tournos, the closest town to Gigny sur Saone (which is where we actually were – not Chalon as you might have expected!). This is a really old town with a large abbey, a hospice (Hotel de Dieu) and vestiges of it’s Roman heritage all around the town. The abbey was amazing; free to go in and you could pretty much go anywhere – sort of). What I mean by this is that there are 2 large towers and 1 of them is completely accessible. When you go up you’re not ready for what you see (see below):-
The town has several narrow alleyways connecting the ‘main’ roads and also the Hospice – we decided not to visit the Hospice as in it’s literature it looked very similar to the one we visited at another nearby (well about 25 miles away) town, Beaune, last time we were here. If you haven’t been to Beaune but make it to Tournos I would recommend visiting though.
There is a little town on the main road from Tournos to Chalon which claims to have invented photography – every time we drove through I was protesting “Have you never heard of Lacock??” So I just looked into it and it would appear that the 1st photo that produced a proper negative was taken at Lacock Abbey and those previously taken in France required a 10 minute exposure and didn’t produce a proper negative. So maybe they’re not lying after all!
That evening we’d already booked to visit the restaurant on-site. It was a lovely setting in the courtyard of the old chateau but we were sat outside in the sun and Calv wasn’t too happy with that! He also wasn’t happy that we’d dressed up (sort of) and there were others there still in their shorts eating pizza from the takeaway!
He was also a little disappointed in his Beef Bourginogne as he felt it was quite dry. I however was very happy with my steak, and also my starter of Poached Egg in red wine. It confirmed my view that in order to get a decent meal in France you really have to pay for it. This meal (3 courses each and 1 drink each) cost us 72 Euros and, although better than any other meal we were served, it still wasn’t fantastic, unfortunately.
Our final day here was again all about relaxing, after we’d done a wash and hung it up
. Therefore another visit to the pool was in order 🙂 Later on we decided to head out on our bikes. Down to the river where Calv remembered there being a restaurant. Unfortunately it was there but closed, so we kept going. Along an unmadeup road and we found the actual village of Gigny sur Saone (we thought the church, campsite, water tower and school were it!)
We also found some more dilapidated buildings – we still can’t believe how many we see!
Tomorrow we move onto Paris so that we can finally visit Versailles. Very much looking forward to this 🙂