Pros and Cons of Ferry Crossings

If there are many ways to get from England to France (plane, rail, boat), I have certainly done my fair share of channel ferry crossings. I spent many of my childhood summer holidays in France so have crossed umpteen times. But that was as a child where I was shepherded from place to place in a blissful bubble. As a fully fledged adult, I am now aware of my surroundings, and have to take responsibility and be in control of everything! Since I’ve been in charge, I have done two such crossings; Dover to Calais, and Poole to Cherbourg. So what are the Pros and Cons?

Pros

No pesky luggage restrictions. Pretty much as long as you can fit it in the car it’s ok. So you can take that extra pair of shoes or two, and the warm coat, and even the tennis rackets or snorkel just in case! Continue reading

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Cooling off in Collioure

Collioure was a strange one. I had planned it as an off-the-beaten-track retreat on the coast before we flew home. Little did I know that half of the UK had had the same thought. Apparently Collioure is firmly ON the beaten track!

There is no doubt that Collioure is very pretty, with colourfully painted houses and a plethora of restaurants serving tourists. Continue reading

Carcassonne; Medieval Relic or Disneyland?

Carcassonne has been “on my list” for a while. It looks terribly romantic; a walled fortress and castle complete with turrets, archways etc. I had heard that it is also terribly touristy but that didn’t put me off.

We arrived at night and were thrilled to see the battlements all lit-up.  Continue reading

Is it a bike? Is it a train? …. No it’s a Rail Bike!

We were looking into booking a holiday in South Korea (until politics put paid to those plans!) and when researching we saw a rail bike – we both liked the idea of it. Cycling along on rails is a novel way of sightseeing. So when I noticed a Rail Bike on the map near to Millau and Roquefort, we were there like a shot! My BF was especially excited 🙂

The rail bike (velo rail du Larzac) place has lovely views over the surrounding countryside. There are 3 routes you can choose. Continue reading

Up close and personal with the Millau Viaduct

Millau was also somewhere that I have always wanted to go. The famous Millau viaduct is inspiring and beautiful, but also annoyingly far from everywhere I have ever been! So we made the determined trip there to finally see this wonder.

Having trekked all the way there, we also made the effort to see the bridge from all angles. We approached from the west and travelled underneath the bridge, seeing it at close quarters. Continue reading

Visiting the Cheese Caves at Roquefort

Roquefort cheese is amazing to me. The blue veins, the perfect blend of creamy and salty. Ummm.   I have eaten it since I was a toddler – by which i mean that our french family friend gave me some when I was a toddler and i enjoyed it, much to his amusement. It was not a staple of my toddler diet.

I explained to my BF that I really wanted to go and when he saw my eyes light up, he agreed that we had to go. He had a similar reaction to Disneyworld, which we went to for him… so this is my Disneyland! Continue reading

Touring the Noilly Prat Vermouth distillery in Marseillan

From our base in Cap D’Agde it was an easy drive to the small picturesque town of Marseillan, home to the Maison Noilly Prat.  Noilly Prat is a Vermouth sold all over the world, and I can confirm it is very tasty!

We arrived for the daily English tour in the afternoon and were taken into the barrel house where the giant vats of grapes are kept. These barrels are so big that an adult person used to go inside to clean them (they don’t do that any more due to health and safety as the fumes are probably extremely strong!). I hasten to add that Noilly Prat dates back to 1813 so things were different then! Continue reading

Being Prudes not Nudes in Cap D’Agde

We went to Cap D’Agde for some down-time at the start of the holiday – and we got what we needed; clear seas, several marinas with still water so clear you could watch the fish darting about, and some nice food!

After an easy drive from Perpignan airport and some amusement at the sat nav calling it “Cap De A-G-D-E” (spelling out the letters instead of pronouncing it as a word!) we arrived in Cap D’Agde. It was early evening and were pleased to find a warm climate, quiet marina, and some quiet cafes and restaurants waiting for us. Continue reading

My Top 5… Rural Idylls

Spending time in the countryside can be rejuvenating and an escape from the rat race. Here are my top 5 rural places to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty….

Number 1: Switzerland

Switzerland has rolling valleys of the greenest of grass, grazed by doe-eyed cows with bells round their necks, in front of snow-capped mountains. Continue reading

Cruising into Cherbourg

We glided into Cherbourg at 5.30am, my BF snoring away in bed, and me excitedly hovering on the balcony. We were on the biggest cruise ship in the world, but it was silent as it came into port. The maritime police and pilot boats which sailed alongside made far much more noise!

It was a beautiful fresh morning and the dock was lined with people who had come to see the ship in, which was lovely! I went back to bed after my rare bout of wakedness at 5am, but awoke again to a sunny morning. After a good breakfast we debarked the ship to see the sights and sounds of Cherbourg. Continue reading