Friday 17 May 2019
Rouen was my destination today but I had a couple of stops to make so had an early start, not helped by having to jump start the van for the third time. Despite the charging lights on the solar panel running like a wedding disco, I’d watched the power drop over 36 hours as before. The battery was clearly Rouen’d, so my second task was to find a new one.
My first task was to find Val Ygot. It wasn’t easy, Hitler didn’t want it to be. Val Ygot is a V1 rocket site.
The remains of all the buildings enable the visitor to follow the process of preparing and launching the rockets. The launchpad is aligned on a compass bearing for London.
These boards tell of the V1 program
and how many sites came to be destroyed.
The site is deep within the woods and is open and free to visit once you find it, though it was a lovely drive through the countryside to get there. I had it to myself at first, but a coach party arrived soon after.
I’d lined up four motorhome places around Rouen in my SatNav but the first one had a battery. As nobody spoke English I was very pleased my French was sufficient to get my batterie de moteur.
I had to fit it myself in a bit of a hurry as I wanted to leave the old battery with them to dispose of and, like many businesses I’ve come across, they closed between 12:00 and 14:00. Job done though.
I don’t know about this two hour lunch break. When I got to the site in the middle of Rouen (and as a reviewer of the site had commented) it was a place where trades had lunch, and there were liveried vans and staff on their break. After 13:30, they began getting into their vans and were all gone by 14:00. The working day for many ends at 18:00
I suppose it’s what you’re used to. If lunch was a hot meal, a couple of vins, a siesta or un peu d’amour, then that’s two hours well spent, but hanging around killing time?
As in Paris, an isle splits the Seine in Rouen. I am parked on that isle, so am truly in Seine. Rouen’s rowers from the nearby clubhouse have been going up and down the river in front of me all evening.
This afternoon, I wandered into the city to get a feel for the place. The Cathedral dominates,
as you’d expect from the tallest in France, though it looks like they added a bit to the spire to make it so.
I’ll spend the weekend here. There’s plenty to see, but it’ll also allow me to ensure the battery issue is resolved. So more about the city tomorrow, I won’t Rouen it for you.
The European Elections have been prominent everywhere I’ve been. No doubt it’s the same at home! It’ll be interesting to see how this party does.
Same shit, different language.
And, having started with Hitler, it was good to see someone had the measure of this woman.
Give power to the people, or only the ones like us? Fascism in the guise of a cheesy Eurovision duo.
This time next week we’ll know how Europe’s shifting. For now, as the Seine drifts lazily by, memories of Paris fading with the rising expectation of the sea, adieu.