Christmas 2017, I took my family back to France for a family reunion. My Father was French, so we have family in Brittany, the furthest point of Western France.
My Husband Frank, my Children and I were so excited to enjoy the company of Uncle Yves, Aunty Lizette and cousins Yvon & Marc and their families.
Wind back 10 years, a change of circumstances, I decided to follow my dream of discovering Europe, and meet my family in France, Switzerland and the UK. I bought a camper, and travelled with my little Children, Tom was 3 & Sarah and Steve – twins were just 2 years old.
The adventure started in Yverdon les Bains in Switzerland, and after adjusting to right hand drive and a large camper. We drove in Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Czech Rep, and over to the UK.
7 and a half months, of such an amazing journey, just myself and children, with challenges, but as a most, a fantastic experience. The food, architecture, lifestyle, the learning, the people whom we met. I drove 20 000 Klms around Western Europe, so many stories to tell. The best of all I met my family, both on my Father’s side and my Mother’s in the UK.
Quick Facts - Country
- Capital: Paris
- Population: 67.25 million
- Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Area: 643,801
- Climate: Warm and cool oceanic, with alpine regions
- Electricity: In France the power sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
After 10 years of life back in Tasmania, renovating our home, marrying Frank and bringing up children, we decided to rediscover France again.
We flew into Charles des Gaulle -Paris, drove the 600klms to the family village of Le Juch.
My Grandmother was the train station master after the 2nd world war, where she lived and the care taker of the busy Douarnenez train line. This is now my Uncle and Auntie’s bed and breakfast, or as they are known, Gites des France, we stayed here while in Le Juch. The train line has now been converted to a walking and bicycle track.
Christmas Eve we were invited to mass, at a local and very scenic Kerk Saint Anne la Palud, by the coast of Brittany. The church was filled with the local community to celebrate Christmas, with the people truely caring and later we had a lovely meal was had at the home of Yves and Lizette.
We spent a lovely Christmas with my family, but with our limited time wanted to discover an area of France that we had all not been to – Bordeaux.
We once again drove to our accommodation in the Chartrons District, to discover my favourite wine region. The River Garonne where Bordeaux is surrounded as it idles between the vineyards and chateaux’s. A lovely city, with an invigorating repurposed esplanade, from wharf warehouse to upmarket restaurants and retail.
Regrettably, we had to leave Le Juch and Bordeaux. We stayed our last 2 days in Paris, to see the sights of the city. Frank left us in Paris, for him to fly to his family heritage in Northern Italy, in the Dolomites, where he would stay with his Father’s family for two weeks. The children and I flew back to Tasmania.
We love Europe, it is in our soul, the food is delicious, the lifestyle is wonderful, and the diversity between countries is such a learning, exploring experience.