France

Part 2: Across the water and into the forest

February 28, 2018 France, Germany, Motorbike, Travel

As I already said, it was a cold start for both me and the bike. The sun beating down on me made it bearable, and gave me some shred of hope for things to come later in the day. I worked my way through what seemed more affluent suburbs of Folkestone, beyond the shuffling hordes of school children, and back onto the motorway heading in the opposite direction. In only a few minutes, I was at the eurotunnel check-in, wavingRead More

Down to Dordogne

January 31, 2016 France, Nex 5N

It’s funny how (some years) every year it seems to take the jolt of thinking about and getting to planning the current years holiday to actually go back and remember that I still haven’t processed nor uploaded any of the previous year. ‘Funny’ probably isn’t the word, I’m sure there’s a word, the meaning of which is a lot closer to ‘procrastination’. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that 2015 was yet another trip to France. A shorter route this timeRead More

En France; Week 3

August 4, 2015 France, Landscape, Motorbike, Nex 5N

With the lavender fields, rolling hills of Provence and daily (hourly) thunderstorms now in the rear view mirror, we were off to spend a few days in the Alps. Nothing really new here, they’re just mountains and in previous trips we’ve pretty well covered this ground here. In the French Alps anyway, anything outside France is still very much unknown territory. We were heading back in the direction of Gorge du Verdon and we’d only be on the road forRead More

En France; Week 2

August 3, 2015 France, Landscape, Motorbike, Nex 5N, People

Leaving Carcassonne, today’s journey was about 350 km. In the name of it not taking all day (and because we had to be at our destination within an hour of a time I’d set with the property owner), today was going to be very much a motorway day. As luck would have it, this also included my favorite piece of French motorway; The ring around/avoiding Montpellier. I’ve sat baking in the heat waiting for the toll in the past soRead More

En France; Week 1

August 24, 2014 France, Landscape, Nex 5N, Travel

All the convenience of getting to France, without the pain in the arse of the 3 hour motorway trip from Dublin. That could be a tag line for Cork tourism and a slogan for Brittany Ferries all in one. Now somewhat freshly married, it was finally time to set off for three whole weeks, touring around the cities & countryside of France on a shiny and almost new motorbike that I somehow managed to sneak into the deal. The firstRead More

The Trek back to Ireland

April 10, 2013 France, Italy, Travel, Video

That would unfortunately make this part three of a European motorcycling trilogy. We were back on the road, heading west toward our next Italian stop not too far from French border; Susa. From what I remember, or rather don’t remember, the road over was pretty uneventful. We had more than our share of motorway miles where the group became disconnected and following anyone was a completely pointless exercise. We had some back roads then some more motorways and well, youRead More

Day 9; Away from everything

November 4, 2011 France, Landscape, X100

One last night in France. No cities, no tours, no nothing. The final night to be spent away from everything in the countryside. At least that’s what we decided when looking around on “Chambre d’Hotes de Charme”. We needed something north of Reims, relatively close to Calais to avoid having to haul ass the next day and above all, something quiet and peaceful. So we found Manoir Francis. If I could choose only one photo that sums up my experienceRead More

Day 8; Reims again. Champagne this time

November 2, 2011 France, Landscape, X100

As you may well imagine, one of the main reasons for stopping off in the Champagne region was to drink some of the locally produced booze. Imagine!?! Not just drink it though, see all the in’s and out’s of it, to do the tour so to speak. Having done some research online before setting off, it seemed Ruinart was one of the best if not the best tour to do in Reims. So I emailed them and enquired about bookingRead More

Day 7; Reims

October 31, 2011 France, Macro, People, X100

Leading with a photo this time, this was taken on the way to Reims when I pulled over to get out of the wind for a minute. I will admit to the two nights in Reims being somewhat of a backup plan, the original plan was to stay a night or two in the nearby town of Épernay and spend much of the time rolling between champagne houses. Having looked at the prices of hotels in the area (and pickingRead More

Day 6; Riquewihr

October 23, 2011 France, Landscape, People, X100

I suppose technically that’s not true, given that we arrived in Riquewihr on the afternoon of day 5. For the sake of continuity, lets imagine all these wonderful events took place on day 6. Riquewihr is a strange place, it didn’t quite match up with the photos and descriptions I’d seen of it before we arrived. It’s as if Disneyland suddenly became a working farm. Or perhaps like a long forgotten set piece from “The Sound of Music” was justRead More

Day 5; Route Des Cretes

October 11, 2011 France, Landscape, People, X100

After getting out of the road works mess that was Dijon (twice – long story), I decided to give the scenic route a miss in favour of getting to the mountains early in the day. So it was a couple of hours on the motorway instead. I’d never been this far east in France before and it was starting to feel more and more like Germany with every passing mile. German, Belgian and Austrian cars, trucks and motor homes outnumberedRead More

Days 3 & 4; In transit to Dijon

September 27, 2011 France, Landscape, People, X100

Given the amount of ground we were covering, there were always going to be a couple of ‘down’ days. Days where the aim of the game was to get to the next 2 night stop and get to places where we’d already researched the area. From Maison Laudiere to Dijon is roughly 580km, not an impossible or outlandish distance to do in a day but for the sake of Julie’s sanity and my aging bones (and that it’s been aRead More

Maison Laudiere

September 25, 2011 France, Landscape, Macro, X100

Before I move on, I need to write a little note on our first two nights stay. I found Maison Laudiere (as many people do) on the UKGSers website. They have a seemingly very loyal following and everyone that posts about them leaves glowing reviews. Their location was put into a google map at an early stage and any route was planned in the understanding that their property would be the first nights stop. In the end we decided onRead More

Day 2; More Normandy!

September 19, 2011 France, Landscape, X100

We must have been another hour and a half on the road from Mont Saint Michel before we reached ‘home’; Maison Laudiere, on the edge of a very large forest full of wildlife that yearns to frighten the piss out of you. More on both the wildlife and the accommodation later. Having received some superb directions and recommendations for where to go and what to see in the area, we set out on a day that looked like it couldRead More

Day 1; Normandy

September 18, 2011 Black and White, France, Landscape, X100

Day 0 began at about 5:30pm on the Friday with loading up the bike for the approx 256km trip to Cork. By the time we were on the road (and a few km beyond the M50 interchange) I already felt like I was on holiday. Julie wasn’t so easy to sway, she had an exact demarcation point of where the holiday would begin. I’d decided some time ago to take the Cork to Roscoff ferry route and although unsure aboutRead More