1998 France +
View 1998 France + in a larger map with points of interest table of contents
In 1998 we did our last trip in the blue Westfalia. Heading down into Belgium, we did back roads around Namur, acquiring a patio table umbrella form maredsous, before heading over to the Koln/Rhine area, where we had the cooling fan replaced (not necessary). Next we headed through Alsace, where we stayed at a cool municipal camping next to a brook (fresh baguettes delivered in the morn!).
Traveling through grenoble, we freecamped at the side of the road, to be woken by the grinding engine of a combine harvester. Next we headed down to the Gorge du verdon region, where we traveled along the Gorge ( arranging a new roof for a rental property in Toronto en route!) & revisited Mandarom.
Cutting across to Aix, we ditched the con-artist tourist trap restaurant for the small " Bistro Latin " & bought a case of wine at Chateau du Seuil. Then travelled to Isle sur les Sorgue o explore the antique shops.
Next it was Avignon for the festival d'Avignon, where took in a spectacle about Salvador Dali, before heading over to Sommieres, where we witnessed a French Bull Run (much less dramatic than Pamplona!). Toured the countryside looking for Durrell's Pic St. Barbe wine - no luck- but we did visit Pic St. Loup, which it turns out is the wine referenced in the Avignon Quintet.
From Sommieres we headed through the desolate northern gard & stumbled upon the Château de Cordès with spectacular Boxwood gardens. Driving straight north via Millau, we stopped for lunch at a Relais de Routiers, witnessed boat going over the Pont Canal at Briare,before traveling up the Loire to Paris for a few days.
We then looped back over to the Koln/Rhine region to double-check the earlier VW service, then looped through Tongeren (bought a skull-headed walking stick) & Brussels antique areas, before heading back through Antwerp to spend a few days in Amsterdam, before flying back out of Schiphol.
Pics below are from video.