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Aujourd'hui nous sommes le lundi 16 décembre 2019. C'est la fête de Sainte Alice


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Bonjour de la Vallee de la Loire

Greetings from Ouida

We are now in France and the rugby features a lot in conversations and I guess you are all also following the matches.

We left England in our motor caravan on 23 August and made our way through Belgium to Holland. We had always wanted to see the barrages and all the flood defences across the delta of the Rhine and the Meuse and we duly crossed four of them and it was most impressive. During our travels through Holland we did not see many traditional windmills but the countryside was littered with wind turbines. We stayed near The Hague and went to various museums. Then after conquering the Dutch timetables we managed to get a train to Delft which we found really lovely – we went on the canals and to a Vermeer museum. I think I am going to stick to French as a foreign language we found Dutch quite impossible. We stayed at a place called Kijkduin and it is pronounced 'cakedine'.

We then travelled to France though the Belgian Ardennes and ended up in Alsace. There we visited cousins (my grandmother came from there) who still farm in the same village. They seem very keen on the production of organic fruit and vegetables or 'bio' as they call them here. We drove all through the cherry and apple orchards and then went to see a field of tobacco and the tobacco drying plant. Naturally we had to eat local specialities – like the plate of different pork meats with cabbage in white wine vinegar, a 'tarte flambee' – rather like a very thin pizza coverened in 'fromage blanc', thin strips of ham and onion and then a 'kougelopf' - almost unpronouncable but quite delicious – a cake made from some sort of sweet dough with almonds and raisins.

We drove all through the wineyards of Alsace with really pretty little villages, then across some hills to the vineyards of Burgundy, across more hills to the Loire Valley and its vineyards. There are some signs of the beginning of autumn with trees dropping their leaves and the start of the grape harvest. I have more cousins in the Loire valley area (this time on my grandfather's side) and we ended up having some quite wonderful meals with them – it's a good job we are doing quite a bit of walking with all this food we are eating.

At the moment we are on a lovely camp site beside a little river and just close to the small town of Loches. Its a lovely medieval town with an old castle, town walls and lots of narrow cobbled streets. Many of the old houses are set in the side of the rocks – lovely white limestone.

This is the first camp site we have found for quite a while which has good WiFi so we are managing to contact people at last

Best wishes to everyone - Ouida

Click here for more info on Loches.

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