Michael and Pam's Travels

Epinal and Chaumont, France. 2016

Travelled : 149 kilometres from Freiburg, Germany to Epinal in the Lorraine Prefecture, France

Visited : Epinal

Stayed : Quay de Dogneville, Municipal Aire Epinal, โ‚ฌ8.50. The usual services including electricity. N 48.18526 ย E6.44528

Travelled : 129 kilometres from Epinal to Chaumont in the Champagne Prefecture.

Visited : Chaumont

Stayed : Port Fluvial, Municipal Aire Chaumont, โ‚ฌ7.40. The usual services including electricity. ย N48.11815 ย E5.15437

 

We say goodbye to Germany as we crossing the Rhein once again, but this time into France. ย Reminiscing over our adventures during the past 8 weeks in Germany. ย Whilst admittedly Germany has lots of rules, its a very motorhome friendly place. ย There are great stellplatz in virtually every city, town and village. ย They nearly all cost, but the price reflects the popularity and time of year and location and generally reasonable. ย Anyway we love Germany and think it’s greatly under rated as a touring country. ย Once where home I’ll do a SWAT and add it to the blog.

Whilst this part of our 2016 journey is a transit to the Chunnel, we have a week in hand to get to Calais. ย So our aim is to drive for 2-3 hours per day, visiting some French town each afternoon. ย Having chosen a different route to our previous travels we will try and keep off the motorways as much as we can.

 

 

Crossing the non-existent frontier from Germany into France. You may notice I haven’t cleaned the windscreen for a week or so.

 

Once across the Rhein we bypass Colmar and continue west. ย We stop in Kaysersberg at a lovely little aire (French Motorhome Stop) for coffee. ย Vineyards line the hills and the tower from some old fortress stands above the town, just giving a hint, that this part of the country has been disputed with Germany for a thousand years. ย Crossing the mountains at Col du Bonhomme its all downhill into the Lorraine from here…

 

 

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Parked up on the canal in Epinal. The sun has come out just in time to provide a welcome. ย There are two aires in Epinal, but the one by the port is closer to the centre-ville, so here we are.

 

 

The Centre de Ville (Town Square) in Epinal had this interesting montage of household furniture set in a garden. ย Not sure about sleeping on the mattress after you water the plants but…

 

 

Finding the Church wasn’t easy. It’s a little maze of laneways in the old centre, then we find it.

 

 

The Basilique Saint-Maurice, inside we find something special. ย Last weekend was the autumn flower festival and the displays were through the church.

 

 

We say goodbye to Epinal but find a laundromat next to a service station car wash as we drive up the street. ย So suddenly its washing day and we have a load on before you know it. ย One of the things we love about France is its relatively easy to find laundromats like this one. ย You can sit in the Hymer have breakfast and a coffee whilst your clothes do a lap. ย However we have already had breakfast so we roll the Hymer into the car wash and I give it a scrub. ย Two jobs completed within the hour.

An easy two hours later we drive into Chaumont. ย Its been an easy drive and no toll-ways which explains why we have passed 20 or more motorhomes this morning. ย Most likely all heading for Italy or Greece and the warmer weather. ย There is only one aire in Chaumont, its down on the canal and about 2 kilometres from town.

 

 

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So we stop and take a quick look at the aire. ย It sits on the Marne Canal (running adjacent the River Saone), so there’s some canal boats and the usual cycle path following the canal. ย We take the easy option and drive the Hymer up into town and park. ย From there we walk around and do some exploring.

 

 

The very French Prefecture building in the centre ville of Chaumont.

 

 

The Basilique Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Doesn’t look particularly loved from here. It’s also squeezed into a maze of laneways.

 

 

Saint-Jean’s was however very interesting. We found this wonderful piece in the crypt. Done in full life size, with so much detail.

 

 

The crypt again, with the most amazing painted ceilings.

 

 

Our last touristy visit for today is Chaumont’s railway viaduct. ย Built in 1857, it spans 600m at a maximum height of 52m.

 

 

The viaduct was built by a workforce of 2,500 men, apparently working 24 hours a day. It was completed in two years. Comprising 50 arches to complete the span. ย It has a walkway on the first level so you can get a really good look as you wander across.

 

 

The viaduct walkway, just an interesting photo.

 

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