Oh thank goodness. The fog has finally lifted: we have blue skies again. It’s still cold mind, but it’s so much nicer with the sun on your face. My morning buddies agree, wholeheartedly. But then again, they might just have been saying that to get more bread…
We’ve planned to travel through an area of natural beauty, which pays off with gorgeous forests, yet more pheasant sightings and two separate deer sightings. I was really hoping to see wild piggies, but it wasn’t to be.
We do spot French protestors in the wild, blocking a series of roundabouts in a key thoroughfare, protesting fuel prices. There’s 30 minutes of my life I’m not getting back.
To keep us on a specific road we’re programmed to the village of Nogent le Roi, where we stop for lunch and discover a wee gem.
Nogent le Roi, set on the banks of the river le Roulebois, is full of half timbered houses dating back to the 1500s.
It’s such a pretty spot, marked in no special way on the map. I love that about traveling through Europe – the random gems, miles off the tourist trail that feel very much like your own very special discovery.
We lap the town and I take the opportunity to pick up a warm scarf and jumper. Whilst my wardrobe will cover spring, summer and autumn, I struggle to cover temperatures below 5 degrees.
After lunch, we continue north towards Versailles. Traffic increases steadily, the closer we get, but the scenery is still delight. Especially lovely are the tree lined avenues, the first time we’ve seen them bare of leaves.
Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while will know that whilst in Sweden’s Gotland a few years ago, I came across a village with my name: Sanda. Late this afternoon, I stumble upon a place with my father’s nickname, Buc (pronounced Butch), just outside of Versailles. Given that they’re both unusual names, I couldn’t be more pleased. My Buc – he would have been chuffed.
We arrive at Versailles just on sunset. We were hoping that this close to winter it might be quiet, but it’s just as busy as ever.
On first pass, it doesn’t look as if we’ll be able to stop, but a second pass proves successful. Just as well. Imagine coming all this way and having to pass it by.