Monday, 21 September 2015

Annual group trip to France

This year our trip was to near Bleury at a Chateau called Esclimont, a faded grandeur style chateau near Versailles.

7 cars, 7 couples, 14 people were planned to go although at the last minute one partner had to back out leaving its driver alone and another couple had to back out for work reasons. With bad weather forecast for the first time in all of our many many trips, we all left home at an ungodly hour last Friday to get to the Channel Tunnel.

A bad accident however closed the Dartford Bridge in the early hours leaving three cars stranded there for a while, two eventually got through via the services and joined us at the lunch stop but one got stuck for hours and hours and hours with nothing moving and eventually caught up with us on Fri night just as dinner was being served, the longest time he or as a couple, they had ever spent in the car (which is a plus surely on a driving weekend!).

The weather on Friday thereafter was horrendous with thunder storms and almost zero visibility at times on the motorways, so our post lunch convoy fell to pieces with different routes and arrival times being used but eventually we (well 5 cars) did meet in time for a pre dinner drink. Jon and Kati arrived as we were tucking into our second one. Day one proved to be the most adventurous we had experienced as a group.

The sun greeted us on Saturday am so with roofs down as appropriate we headed to Versailles and parked our cars at Hotel Triannon right by the front door where we were having lunch later and then walked into the gardens to see the fountains displayed against a musical backdrop. After an amazing lunch our trip around the Palace was over turned and out voted by the opportunity to take 6 cars in convoy around the streets of Paris, around Place de Concorde and other famous sights in the afternoon sun and traffic. Of course that was challenging with too many moments to recall in a short note, but great fun. No bumps or scratches or conversations with the French Police though.

Sunday the weather improved again and with departing friends at various times during the day we took a later crossing ourselves and a more relaxed journey home savouring a great expereince with amazing cars and great company, already contemplating the 2016 trip.



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