I had planned to blog from France and Italy using my iPod but it just wasn't to be. Blogger turned everything into Italian and then refused to recognise my log in etc. It might have been easier had I taken my iPad but I didn't want the burden of carrying that around for two weeks; we stayed in various different places rather than one base and on occasion the parked car temperature reached 47 degrees!
We set off from the UK in my much checked over jeep. A top box was borrowed and fitted. Blankets and travel cushions packed. It's entirely possible to drive from the UK to Italy in one go but we felt that would be a tiring way to start the trip and the whole point was to see things on the way.
After a small drama at Dover (one grumpy driver had a hissy fit because the children were a little excited in the back and couldn't sleep, children eh?) we finally boarded at 6.30am. If we ever did this again we would choose a different ferry time and sleep over in Kent to start afresh. We lost a whole nights sleep by leaving home at midnight and arriving at Dover two hours before the boat sailed.
We stopped in Reims, in France on day one. We found a small cafe and the young girl was clearly enjoying trying out her English. She stopped to ask us lot of questions, 'how you say this?' In return she pointed out all the food choices in English, and also suggested we pop round the corner to see the smiling angel. We weren't sure what to expect but there she was by the door of the cathedral, clearly smiling. Slightly creepy we thought. We popped inside and although I'm not a religious person I made a donation to light a candle for Nan. She'd have liked the cathedral.
I spotted the giant crochet fruits and bears on the way back to the car from the cathedral. How cool are they? Just as well the shop was closed for the long midday break; I may have come home with a giant crochet strawberry! As it is, I'll just have to make one!
We stayed over night in Dijon. Not far from the hotel was a branch of Leclerc, the kids were able to stock up on some of their previously discovered French favourites including hazelnut chocolate wafer biscuits. These were scoffed steadily through the first evening of many spent playing UNO.