Memory Lane

25 Nov 2013 by Olga Brighton

Travellers Stories

I am no longer a good traveller when it comes to the sea. Keen to cement the ties of a significantly depleted family, my cousin and I embarked on a trip to her house in French village. We had unfortunately chosen the day when the super storm created havoc in the English Channel!

Eventually, after our morning boat had been cancelled and a tree from her garden had fallen and completely blocked the road where she lives, we caught the overnight Newhaven to Dieppe crossing, only to arrive in Dieppe at 4.20 am and then be faced with a 350 mile journey down to the Vendee. As this followed a crossing where any attempts at movement around the boat had left me looking like the drunken sailor and any hopes of sleep were dashed by the events of the previous twelve hours, we were not on the best of form!

French trip

Despite our difficult journey and a catalogue of challenges on our arrival, all of which seemed infinitely worse prior to a good night's sleep, our visit was pleasant and worthwhile. French village life even in late October has its charms with log fires and aperitifs around kitchen tables and when you speak the language locals are quick to respond.

  • A delightful visit to the attractive village of Vouvan;
  • an adventure into La Rochelle to meet up with an old University friend I had not seen more than once in the last forty plus years and who had put on a spread fit for a 5* restaurant;
  • Sunday lunch and magnificent views at a luxury lakeside restaurant where I experienced kangaroo steak for the first time in my life;
  • visits to the local hypermarkets to purchase numerous bottles of wine and other beautifully presented delicacies;
  • gaining an insight into the process involved in taking your pet across the Channel and back;
  • the excellent motorways which allow you to swallow up the miles which would otherwise seem interminable;
  • seeing signposts to old, familiar haunts;
  • drinking hot chocolate in a cafe in a chilly, rain drenched Dieppe.
Travel in French

Everything added colour and interest to this brief return visit down memory lane after an interlude of many years.

Read also: 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Travelling to France

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