Tuesday, 8 January 2013

French fairy-tales

Day 176 06.01.13 Troyes

The aire turned out to be a great, quiet spot in which we both slept soundly and enjoyed a lie in. The drive to Troyes took a little over an hour but having opted for the toll free route we spent almost the entire journey on very quiet ‘A’ roads chugging along at a Van Diesel friendly 90 kph.  We drove for long periods without seeing another car, just cruising along poker straight roads with flat, green fields either side of us.  Perfect conditions for Sunday driving!

We parked up in Troyes at a large car park on the edge of the town centre.  It doesn’t appear to belong to anyone specifically so we’ve assumed it’s just municipal and parked up in the midst of a row of white transit vans into which we blend nicely.  It was early afternoon by the time we arrived, we’re out of food and all the supermarkets are closed.  There’s only one thing for it, McDonald’s!  We’re low on battery power anyway so it’s an ideal choice for battery charging, or so we thought.  The sockets there all had flaps covering them which even when lifted up didn’t allow space for a plug with an adapter attached.  Bugger!  I managed to get the blog updated with the remaining 30% of my battery power, so apologies if the entries were full of typos I hadn’t had the battery life to proof read them!  We spent a little time catching up with friends and researching nearby campsites.

After quashing the hunger we headed out to look around Troyes.  There’s only one word for this town and its ‘charming’.  The wooden fronted buildings are a joy to see.  My first description was that it’s like medieval jenga as so many of the buildings are lopsided and falling over, only to be propped up by slightly more modern ones.  I expected there to be certain areas of wooden fronted buildings mixed in with lots of other different styles but on the most part the city is full of these colourful joist covered houses, they’re everywhere!  All along the main streets there are little, cobbled side alleys with buckled, wonky old houses oozing with charm.  There are also lots of lovely, hidden courtyards with old wells in the centre that remind me of Disney films.  You can’t help but smile to be a part of it all.  So many times I found myself grinning at the sheer adorableness of it all.  It’s truly a very special place.

Unfortunately we are rapidly losing light so most of the exploring will have to be left until tomorrow.  On the way out of town we spot the town hall which is lit up beautifully and has a stunning old carousel outside for Christmas-time.  This town seems to have fallen out of a fairy-tale! 

We manage to find a little bakery owned by a nice old French man named Gerald who sells us what turns out to be the yummiest baguette we’ve ever eaten.  I can see us falling for this place!


  1. We are loving the tales of your latest adventures. Troyes sounds like heaven! We shall be heading in that direction in late Spring, so will definitely stop there.

    We know it means extra work but is there any chance that you could note the GPS co-ordinates of the places where you park overnight and where you park in the towns, please? We're particularly interested in the aire you stayed at before Troyes and also the car park in Troyes.

    Best regards
    Fellow Campers

  2. Troyes is definitely heavenly. Highly recommended!

    We always note all the latitudes and longitudes so its no hassle! The carpark in Troyes was 48.29114, 4.07119. We noticed when we left there that one of the buildings on the edge of the carpark was a police station so handy for security! The aire I don't have GPS for but the address was:
    5 rue de Moulins
    02160 - BOURG-ET-COMIN
    I would only recommend in season though as out of season its pretty rough indeed! 2 people with a camper and electric is 16.80 euros.

    If you want any more co-ordinates just send me an email through the site and I'll pass them on, happy to share!


  3. Thanks so much, Ali. Very much appreciated.

    Fellow Campers