Jersey to Germany – Day 1 – Saint Malo to Villers-Cotterêts

Jersey to Germany!

Up late chatting to Poppy before an early rising to get ready for our morning boat.

Having had a lovely smooth crossing on the ferry from Jersey to St Malo (1h 20m),

and setting off at lunchtime, our arrival time into France, we stopped for mini breaks en-route and arrived at 9pm. Tired, but not too tired, I cooked us up some pasta, and we sat outside to eat it in the diminishing light.

Driving through Normandy, we passed by some of our stops from last trip (Ducey, Domfront, etc)

Ducey

Domfront (rather unflattering photo really! – just the outskirts showing here of this superb historical scenic town as we skirted past)

Oh, and early on in Normandy, my paternal Granny’s maiden name, Bree. Perhaps this seemingly inconsequential little drive through place, of again, seemingly just a handful of properties, is the origin of that family surname! I wonder!

We also took a few minutes off our route to drive through a couple of places new to us. Bagnoles-de-l’ Orne, a thermal spa town full of character and buzzing with an event on.

We also called in briefly at Verneuil-sur-Avre, somewhere also deserving of a better visit another time.

Along that road further, we passed yet another place name, also a family name ‘Luce’, and again I curiously wondered if indeed there is that same possible connection! I have no idea if ‘Lucé’ was where family in Jersey originated from or if indeed that is a red herring! However, I am inclined to want to think that perhaps my Luce ancestors (on Mum’s side of the family) may perhaps have been French Protestants (Huguenots), who again, perhaps left France for British shores where they could follow their faith in freedom. I wonder! So much I sadly do not know of my family’s past, and so much sadly undoubtedly to remain a mystery, and yet a chance to speculate! – as well as a place I would like to visit one day!

As we drove in our Paris direction the landscape had changed from Normandy’s tree dotted meadows, to open landscapes of prairie land, illuminated in the evening sun.

We saw the Eiffel Tower at a distance as we drove on the North Paris Peripherique.

Pretty windmill scene beyond Paris

Taking the North Peripherique (Charles de Gaulle), we finally stopped at an aire about 1 hour (roughly) beyond Paris towards Reims. We’re in Aisne within Picardie.

It had been a pretty comfortable drive with windows part way down for a welcome breeze, but not so low as to have too much motion noise from the combination of speed and road etc. I did get a bit achey here and there, hence the periodic breaks to get moving!

At our night stop here (Villers Cotteret) we had one neighbour only – a free stay, and slept very well. There’s the municipal swimming pool next door for anyone who wants a dip or a shower!

I decided to keep my bedside window open (something you don’t do just anywhere without thought to vulnerability), but here it seemed to be perfectly safe to do, and next morning, having had a good sleep at a great temperature, and with no intruders, it clearly had been a good decision!

My cough/cold hasn’t yet gone, so plenty of snorting and throat clearing, but c’est la vie! It’s heading in a finishing direction is the main thing!

My weight loss is still going well – beyond the stone mark now, and a diet of M&S butter mints on our long drive here has hopefully not malnourished me unduly!!! – not exactly oozing in healthy goodness!!!😉

2 packets on board, one en-route, and one for homeward journey, and depleting fast! – and only by me! – Michael knows this is my precious limited supply! – and saves himself a few unwanted calories in the process!

We’re up washed and dressed and I’m doing this while Michael is looking at his maps and aires book. No breakfast for us – we don’t do breakfast anymore (contrary to traditional advice), but eat at lunchtime when our bodies request fuelling. It works for us so we keep with it.

A fine day! and I shall be delighted if it refrains from being a hot day!

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