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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

France - Day 6

And then there was one.....

We were up early this morning, packed all of our luggage, settled out bill at the hotel, and we
were on the road by about 08:00.
mr combo and Gareth were heading north on their journey home, whilst I was heading south. I had intended at stopping at a supermarket to fill up with petrol and buy some breakfast, but all the shops and supermarkets were shut. I found out later that this is the Pentecost holiday, but at the time I worried that I would end up hungry with an empty tank!
I tried the filling station an an E. Leclerc supermarket, and found that it was open but only accepting bank cards. Some years ago, I had tried one of these without luck, but this time it accepted my 'ordinary' Royal Bank of Scotland debit card. Tank filled, but finding food was a bit more difficult, and I didn't find anything until about 15:00!
My first stop was the Château de Savigny-les-Beaune, which had promised a number of museums on its website. I'd set my Satellite Navigator to 'avoid motorways', so I had a very pleasant ride through lots of very pretty wine producing villages.

I arrived at the Château to find it shut, despite then advertising that they were open every day and it being half an hour after their opening time. There was a note on the door saying 'back in a few minutes' so I went for a wander about the very nice, but almost completely deserted village. Back at the Château , paid my 10 Euros, and went in.
The website had promised restored Château rooms, a motorcycle museum, an Abarth car collection, an aircraft museum, fire engines, the very high tractors that can be driven between lines of vines, plus model bikes and planes. You get all of this, but in a wonderfully ramshackle way!
At the entrance building there are a few rooms with old wine making equipment, etc.
You are then led by signs to an out building that contains the Abarth collection. Lots of exotic sports and racing cars, with memorabilia, housed in what looks like the attic of a barn!

In one side room there are rows of motorcycles waiting to be restored, and there are bicycles and mopeds hung on walls and stuck in corners.

Outside again and you are led along a path between fields of grape vines where you can see dozens of jet aircraft in the distance.

There are also bits of aircraft awaiting being restored just lying about.
Eventually you come to a large shed full of 'high' tractors, with assorted aircraft parts and horse drawn carriages.

Outside there was this wonderful aircraft part. I couldn't work out what it was, perhaps it hung below an airship at one time? Imagine making a holiday cottage out of one of these!

On the way round to the aircraft, I saw red squirrels, and this one antlered guy was keeping an eye on me!

Eventually I made it round to the aircraft, and they are just sitting in lines, so restored, some undergoing restoration, and some just collections of parts lying in piles. I don't know much about military jets, but most were French, with some British, Soviet and American. Thing that struck me was that they were a lot smaller and more flimsy than I thought they'd be.

I was particularly pleased to see a Sabre, all I knew about them was that they are mentioned in the lyrics of Chuck Berry's 'Run Rudolph Run'

'Said Santa to a girl child "What would you like most to get?"
"I want a little baby doll that can cry, scream and wet"
And away went Rudolph a-whizzing like a Sabre jet '

Next is a tent full of fire engines,

Then past another couple of planes, until you get to the Château itself.

The ground floor is restored back to what it would have been like in the past.

On an upper floor is the bike museum – rows of all sorts of old bikes in varying degrees of restoration. At one end there's a round 'tower room' of Vincents and at the other a room of Nortons.
On the walls, what would have been bookcases are full of assorted engines and other bits and pieces.

The Château is in need of some repair (imagine how much the maintenance of a building like this would cost!), but this just adds to the ramshackle air of the place. There's also a couple of rooms of model aircraft and assorted aircraft themed objects.
Well worth a visit if you're in the area.
Back on the road and I headed to Grenoble avoiding motorways. This means you travel through lots of small villages and country side and see the 'real' France you don't see from the autoroute. Still didn't see any shops open, until fairly late in the day when I spotted a boulangerie. A quick u turn and I had enough for lunch and dinner!
I arrived in Grenoble and after a bit of running about, found an Formule 1 hotel. I've stayed in these many times before, and although fairly basic, they are clean and cheap. This one had the added advantage of a view like this from the window. Unfortunately, the wi-fi was hopeless, so this is why you've had to wait a couple of days for this.

Today's mileage was 181 miles/290km, and this is the approximate route.
Today's pictures will be uploaded to Flickr when I get home as the wi-fi connection, although better than at the last place, can't manage such big files.
One thing I hadn't really planned for was travelling on my own. Terry was supposed to be coming with me for the rest of the trip, but his bike problems put paid to that. I had planned on coming back to France (and Spain) later in the year by myself, so this has just brought my 'solo holiday' forward a bit. I've been living on my own for a year now and often work away from home by myself, so being on my own isn't a problem for me, it's just that this is the first time abroad alone. To be honest, it isn't that different than being at home, and nobody has to put up with me!
Anyway, Gilbert's going to sing 'song of the day' now:

*** UPDATE - Flickr wouldn't let me upload the photos, so they are posted here. ***

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