Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
We arrived in Ringaskiddy at around 10:30 and it was well after 11 when we got off - not surprising really when you consider the number of cars that had to get off. we were welcomed home by a docker giving us all the "thumbs up". Some unfortunate family on our deck had to be pushed off and another crowd visited the deck many times looking for their car.
Forgot to say that the only celebrity on board was John Bowman who stacked up his BMW530d in the wine supermarket in Roscoff (and he took the opportunity to have a few samples). We stopped there for chips - we prefer Red Cash as the place for the last few bottles as its French run and not an English outpost - and were surprised by the number of people who called in with empty boots ! Some people had kids and still had lightly laden boots ... the most surprising sight (which we had seen on the road to Morlaix on the outbound journey) was a buggy loaded on a boot lid rack on a volvo... the most dangerous had to be the Laois guy eating his fish and chips off his lap whilst driving out of the wine place and up to a roundabout - a nice safe way to end your holiday. Not.
Unloading the car went quickly enough and our wine tally shows that this year was better than either of the trips last year. Bag-in-box wine were our primary purchases this year - for a 3litre they ranged from around 7-12euro. Tesco have them for 22euro which shows how much they rip us off even though its not covered by the groceries order. The other massive saving was on filter coffee - Lavazza Mattino 4 x 250g packets cost 4.15 but a single 250g costs around 4.00 in Tesco.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Had a good nights sleep last night - probably the best ever on a ferry.
Cabin is handy we are parked on deck 4 and the door is straight down from where we are.
Breakfast was nice and it was great getting it served to the cabin though it will be nice to get a fry again .
Loading went on until after 10 last night but everyone got on though I wonder how squashed things were. We had adequate space but nowhere near as mUch as on the outward journey. It would be difficult to get out a rockatot if needed.
Looking out from the balcony we can see sun shining on Ireland.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Well about 3 hours to go befor the ferry and we are about 15k west of Roscoff letting the lads have a run on the beach.
Most of the car was packed up last night - having a ground floor apartment made lugging the wine and stuff much easier. More or less everything fitted in ok l the rear seats can be moved forward which have a but more boot space and the underfloor spaces were ideal for small things.
We drove over along the coast road which was nice and calm. We heard on the radio that there was a bad accident on the road between Morlaix and Guingamp - hope it wasn't ferry traffic it would be a terrible way to end your holiday and imagine the language difficulties dealing with the emergency services.
Its a nice evening, around 20 degrees and very calm so hopefully it will be a smooth crossing.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
In Dinard st the moment and you can see some changes from last year - the butcher is now a kodak express place , the bakery beside is now a bank. The restaurant that alfo did kebabs is now a but more upmarket, the electrical shop is now a restaurant and there is a new Spar. The shop that used arel cheap toys is now a beauty parlour and all this is a radius of 100m !
We went to Cap Frehel on Sunday - the weather was great and the views were brilliant. Unlike a few years ago the lighthouse was open so we could get elevated views. As usual a number of cars turned back when they saw the €2 for parking just like in Arromanches.
On the way home through Ploubalay we saw a roadside stand selling galettes saucisse so we stopped. They were excellent with really meaty, ungreasy sausages. Entertainment was provided by the local motorcycle Gendarmes who pulled some guy and have him a ticket. Seeing as they parked blocking our car we had to stay and watch.
Went to the grand aquarium in St Malo yesterday and as usual the boys had a great time. Also finished off the bulk of our wine shopin g in Carrefour where we got 2 packs of coffee for 6.98 but for buying it got 7.02 reduced off our bill !
Read an article in Ouest France which was discussing speed traps - 16% of those flashed were foreigners and only the Luxembergers will get fined as there aren't any arrangements with other countries. The article also have the speeds which apply -95 for a 90 zone and 117 for a 110.
Anyway now we're off to Dinard..
Oh and for any family reading this - Joe took a good few steps last night on the beach.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Today we went to St Malo by bus. It stops outside the residence so we thought it might be a good way to avoid the nightmare parking in St Malo.
The bus arrived on time, cost 4.50 for the lot of us and had seatbelts for everybody. 8ice clean bus. 3t tok around a hour and the car would have taken around half that. However it gave me a break from driving and allowed good views.
Lunch was at the Hotel France Chateaubriand and was excellent - my starter of oysters was followed by lovely grilled sardines. Jane had marinated salmon, salt lamb and an excellent selection of cheese. The boys had chips and fresh unnamed fish which was like haddock. All in all it was an excellent lunch !
Thursday, August 18, 2005
On the way to St Malo today after crossing the Barrage De Rance I was flashed doing 68 in a 70 zone - now I'm wondering how this will turn out. The cars near me wee all doing under the limit as well thanks to the warning sign. It appears that the french use fixed cameras as safety devices rather than revenue generators - they are signposted and the ones I've seen are all at dangerous spots.
Later on diarmuid and I went for a walk around the headland and into St Briac - it took around two hours and I hope we will both sleep well after all the fresh air.
Oh - for anyone travelling to St Malo Cora has a wide range of bag in box wine, much better than any other year.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Went to the fireworks in St Briac lastnight. We sat on the rocks overlooking the small fort which was the launch area. They were excellent - much better than the city of culture ones and this was just from a small village. The highlight had to be the masice one with a corkscrew trail. The finale covered the fort with loads of small fireworks. The walk home by torchlight added to the adventure for diarmuid.
Today we drove to ikea in Nantes. Didn't take all that long seeing as it was dual carriageway . The place was mad busy. We bougt some lights and toys including a lovely cuddly dragon for Kevin. Lunch was in their restaurant - can't beay a menu enfant for €2 !!! And that included a small toy. I had some smoked reindeer and it was tasty but I had to deny that it was Rudolph !
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Market day in St lunaire today. Got the usual poulet roti and spuds. Also got five beef tomatoes and 750g of apricots for 2.33 ! You wouldn't get the stems for that st home. Another stall had apricots for 3.30 per kg.
Joe had his first session in the pool today and he loved it - looks like another water baby.
Yesterday (Saturday) we finished in Dives and moved to St Lunaire. On the way we took in the Normandy beaches and had lunch in Arromanches. It was amazing seeing the beaches and imagining the carnage that took place there 61 years ago.
After visiting the Batteries de Longues - one of the few emplacements which still has its guns - we headed for St Malo via Bayeux. Traffic after Avranches was very heavy and the St Malo road was very congested so much so that we took the coast road in order to make some progress. In one of the villages on the way there was an extremely large carboot sale which would have been interresting if we had more time.
We arrived in St Lunaire St at 5 and were happy to check in. Later on we went to the local Fest Noz which was enjoyabld and Joe loved the sausages !
Petrol in Super U was 1.24 a liter but we saw it at an even more exhorbitant 1.38 in Total !
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Tonigt - along with half the world - we went to the trotting races in Cabourg. It promised a big wheel which turned out to be small. It also had free coupons for rides and games but the queues made it impossible.
What was interesting was seeing the sport of sulkie racing - at home this sport is practiced on public roads at obscur times but here it was on its own track...
People were lining up to be almost as if everyone had a surefire yup which was guaranteed to win. The food stall had a great smell but a massive queue.
So off home we went safe in the knowledge that our fee tickets were well spent. Along the way thre were still hordes on the long walk in.
Coming back through Dives we came up to two squad cars with lights flashing. One policeman was walking towards his car but seemed to be looking at us with intent so I slowed down. He told me that I had my fog lamps on (which I did because I don't have beam benders so I didn't want to use my dipped beams) so withns sort of "oops" I turned off my fogs and put on my dips fully expecting to be reminded about my beam benders. But no, all I got was a thumbs up and a "merci monsieur".
Of course herself thinks all that happened was that he saw a Cork registration and was thinking how he didn't are many of them usually. And then gobdaw here goes off and stops !
After that all that was left was to pack the car....
Today is our last full day here - we will be heading on to St Lunaire in the morning.
On Wednesday we went up towards Le Havre and got to travel over the Pont De Normandie which is the highest bridge in France. It is well worth seeing as it is magnificent. The truly adventerpis can walk it if they want. Earlier we had crossed through pegasus bridge for a quick look.
Yesterday was a car free day for us - the lads went swimming and we took the train to Deauville and had our yes in a creperie - Joe loved the boudin noir ! The place was heaving with visitors and business seemed to be good. Its only 2 hours to Paris by train and I have to admit that it was tempting but resisted it.
Today is cloudy but the sun is doing its best to break throug so we'll will head to the beach for a while. Bye
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Its evening time now and its got a good but cooler in the shade here on the 3rd floor. Joe and I had perch for our tea - I don't know about him but it was my first time. Tasty fish a little bit like a meaty plaice.....
The museum in clecy was very good. And quite reasonable - the model railway was extensive and the guided tour was informative. Crepes and orangina rounded off the visit nicely.
We went to the market in Dives this morning -it was poor enough but took place in a real old Halles.
Its another beautiful morning - there is a slight must over the port and the sun is slowly burning it off. Joe had yet another restless night so we are both a but tired.
Vodafone were having network problems yesterday so only voice calls were possible for around 6 hours.
I went shoping yesterday morning and the suppermarket was like someone had declared that everyone had to go and stock up -I had never seen a Monday so busy. Still I manged to get the essentials.
Yesterday evening we walked to Cabourg and it was nice - the promenade is exceptionally long and with the tide out it gave a real sense of space unlike Sunday when it all looked a but cramped. Main street looked a but tacky in the way it was lined with tourist shops and restaurants in fact it reminded me of parts of Paris.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Well here we are after a long day . Boy much joy in being able to bomb along the motorway when you know you have a long wait at the far end.
We arrived in dives sur mer after 1.00 and immediately located the residence followed by the beach which was quite full and long. Lunch was mussels which were tasty. When we finally checked in the wait was worth it - the apartment is duplex with one bedroom and toilet upstairs which the boys took as their private apartment. Thankfully a parking space was included - parking seems in short supply. However we had to take off the roofbox ( and store it in our parking space) in order to fit into the underground carpark. Praise be to norauto and their quick release roofboxes !
Evening agenda is to relax after our sleepless night ..
Saturday, August 06, 2005
As it turned out our wait was very short and within a few minutes we were on deck 3. Loads of space as we were between caravans which made getting the boys out much easier.
The deluxe cabin is nice and we have the television showing the view from a camera near the bridge - right now we can see a grimaldi ship and there looks to be a liner in cobh.
Woke up this morning to the sound of rain. Believe it or not this will be the first ferry day that has been wet. The boys are downstairs contenting themselves with cbeebies.
One problem with living only 20 mins from the ferry port is what to do for the day - its boy as if we can head off and take a leisurely drive stoping for lunch on the way !