15. Apr, 2016


FRIDAY 12-6-15

We were up quite early this morning as we were making our way across country to Chartres as Rosina wanted to visit the cathedral there. This will be our third attempt as previously we've passed through but failed to find somewhere to park. This time thanks to Google Maps we've found a Municipal campsite on the edge of town. Originally the Satnav choked a bit on the address, but accepted it eventually. The journey began with a short trip on the nearby toll road in order to get around Tours. I bet we weren't on it more than 20-25 minutes - €6.40, about a fiver. The cross country drive was very pleasant, a 'B' road again, though better than many 'A''s with a number of new bypasses, so the Satnav thought we were back to driving in fields again.

The campground (GPS:N48.434183º E1.499265º) isn't too special, we're parked on grass, but I made a point of choosing a pitch where I could get the front wheels close to the tarmac road, and backed the rear wheels on to strips of painted three-ply hardwood I keep for such events. Hopefully this will prevent us from sinking in to wet ground as there was a lot of rain here last night with more forecast.

Once settled, we walked the 3km in to town along the narrow river bank. Fortunately it was warm with cloud which made the walk more comfortable.

Our first stop was the cathedral; I thought it was best to get it over with. Most of the time this sort of thing is wasted on me and today was no exception. I set the video camera on 'record' walked the camera up the steps and in to the building. It was then that I thought I'd walked in to somebody's coal shed, a big one I grant you, but a coal shed. It was so dark and dingy in there. To be fair they had made a start at sandblasting the interior, and where they had done so it looked fine. But fancy letting the stone interior of such a building get so disgustingly dirty, it was black. After a few video shots, I was done, and told The Chef she should feel free to carry on wandering whilst I took a seat and waited. Sitting there I also noticed just how filthy the stained glass windows were. You can't tell me they can't get a little man with a big ladder round to clean them, even if it's only once a year.

After the visit we had a wander around town a bit then found ourselves at the back of the cathedral. There I could clearly see the neglect of the outside stonework as well as weeds and plants growing out of it in places. Then I saw a sign saying they were receiving UNESCO funding to put right their neglect. I have to say the building looks much nicer from a distance, like on the previous occasions. Perhaps we should request UNESCO funding for the proposed major revamp of the Houses of Parliament back home, rather than stinging the poor old taxpayer the astronomical cost of the work (I think it's measured in billions, which would be about right for a taxpayer-funded government contract).

We managed to walk back 'home' just before a rain shower, so that was good timing. Later this afternoon we were joined next door by 'Hyacinth Bucket' and her husband. They've parked the wrong way round thus we look out of our open door looking at them sat under their rolled out porch drinking tea from a real teapot. Still at least they haven't bought a yapping dog with them. We're only here for the night so I'm not too worried.