Travelled: 71 kilometres from Mesnil-Saint-Pere to Brienne-Le-Chateau, France.
Visited: Troyes MacArthur DFO and Brienne-Le-Château
Stayed: Brienne-Le-Château Aire, free. The usual services, water €3
We say goodbye to Mesnil-Saint-Pére rejoin the D619 and continue on to Troyes. Having visited Troyes a few times now it has become a pilgrimage. The MacArthur DFO co-ordinates are in the GPS, so there is no getting lost or taking the wrong turn, its an in then out job. The GPS takes us to the best spot to park to use their free wifi as a bonus.
So I do some updates and catch up another blog whilst Pam has a wander. After a coffee I join her and hit my favourite the Ralph Lauren, coming away with a couple of very reasonable priced polos.
A couple of hours later we are done and on the road north-east.
It’s a lovely autumn afternoon and the French farmland just adds to the drive.
We drive into Piney some 15 minutes later. Whilst it looks a little unloved in spots, it has a charm. It also has a service point, so we stop and give the Hymer the once over.
We continue on to Brienne-Le-Château. Less than half an hour from Piney, its a much larger town. The aire is situated in front of the old disused railway station. We never heard any trains ? What we did hear is a couple of trucks changing trailers at 5am, so we have had better nights.
Our plans for a morning walk up to the Chateau are looking shaky as we can hear rain on the Hymer’s roof about 7am. The drizzle continues over coffee and fruit, so we decide to drive up as close as we can and hope for the best.
Mind you getting there had its challenges…
Just outside the gates we find the market square. Which has lots of parking and the drizzle stops just in time.
We don’t know anything about the Chateau, other than its sits on a hill overlooking Brienne-Le-Château. So we get to the gate, there is a security barrier with a little office. In the office a nurse. Who strangely enough, looked like Nurse Ratchit. I ask if we can visit the chateau ? Tourist ? Yes, she hands us a list of rules. Question 7 asked if we had ever recieved electro-shock-therapy ? I nod and in we go.
For the next hour we wander about the grounds and gardens of the Chateau, unsure how the criminally insane may react to Pam’s scarf ?
The view from the Chateau looking back towards Brienne-Le-Château. We find that the Chateau was used as a military academy for many years and Napoleon Bonaparte was a student here for 5 years.
Looking back at the Chateau from the estate. Apparently there was a formal garden here at some stage, but now its just lawn.
Our visit to the Chateau concludes and we walk back to the Hymer. Thankfully the rain has held off during our visit and we climb back into the Hymer and continue our track north for Verdun.