|All at sea
||[Sep. 17th, 2015|10:33 am]
A year ago, I wrote up the last post of my previous trip to the US on the way to Edinburgh to fly the Atlantic again. A year on, I'm doing much the same: on the ferry (on the ferry and online, living in the future) sailing out of Poole towards Cherbourg, writing one final post about the last time we spent any time in France, returning home from Italy.
There's not much to say. From Champlitte, it was two days driving, north to the Channel ports. Other than lunch and overnight stops, the only interruption to our northbound progress was a pause to follow signs to the source of the Marne: a couple of years earlier we had holidayed along the course of the Meuse, and learned that it and the Marne rise quite close together, so to shun the source of the Marne would have felt like failing to visit a friend. It was, anyway, only a short diversion, a brief stroll in sun-dappled woodlands to observe a rock from which dampness emerged, a gated culvert and an information board which told us "La Marne est la plus longue rivière de la France." Wait, what? Surely the Loire is the longest river in France? The board explained, and I learned, what I had not previously known, the dirrerence between a 'fleuve' and a 'rivière': a 'fleuve' flows into the sea, a 'rivière' flows into another river.
We spent the night, according to my notes, "somewhere in the Aisne" actually, at Le Clos Chéret:
I forget how we found it: we were quite disgruntled to spot the sign proclaiming it an Alistair Sawday recommendation, but it was not, in fact, overflowing with English people (it wasn't overflowing with anyone, as far as I recall). The room with the double bed has a nautical theme.
Next day, we took our lunch break in Arras, in the place des Héros, which is a fine and striking space despite the cars parked on every inch of ground not actively being ripped out for and roadworks. La cuisine des ch'tis was much in evidence: my dessert was a layered confection of cake and cream called 'ch'tiramisu'.
One last night, in Loon Plage - presumably at the Campanile hotel there, as it's a handy just over the Channel standy. But why did we not eat at the hotel? There must have been a reason. Instead we did the best we could in the town, which meant the pizzeria: pizza here in the north comes in two varieties, à la tomate and creme fraiche (but if I can decipher this schema, both have olives and oregano. Did I eat, or merely marvel at, the antillaise, cream with chorizo and curry?
The following day's ferry crossing seems to have deposited us in London on the day of one of the Bears' summer singarounds - no notes, but photographic evidence. Ending a holiday with friends and music, what could be better?
Now it's time for the next adventure.