This blog started when I owned and MZ Skorpion Traveller and a bike magazine dismissed it with the phrase 'you can't tour on a single'. The Skorpion's gone and I now have a Triumph Bonneville, but I can't be bothered changing the title of the blog!
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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
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
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
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
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. ***