Thursday, May 06, 2010

History Camp

Camping le Soleil
Next week there will be millions of people shifting themselves from one place to another over the long Ascension weekend, having taken the pont, natch. How do I know? Because every time I try to book a room in a stunning place or a large mobile home in a swish and comfy campsite, there's nothing available. Everywhere is full.

Which makes me think that the roads are going to be heaving next Thursday. Do I want to be in the midst of such a throng too? Could it be worth it? Seeing as we're having winter temperatures and a howling gale for the next 5 days, I'm none too sure.

These are some of the places I tried which are full:

Hôtel**** Restaurant Château de la Caze  near Ste Enemie (this was actually just wishful thinking) 
Hotel La Remise on the RL Stevenson route at Le Bleymard, near Bagnols-les-Bains, note the motobike tours link...
Les Criques de Porteils, near Racou beach and Collioure, voted one of the most beautiful campsites in France. I wanted to rent a mobile home here. No chance.

Never mind, I think we might have found a cosy spot in a 'pieds dans l'eau' campsite at Argeles-sur-Mer where, in the summer, 50K people crowd into a bonanza of sites crammed with tents, mobile homes and camper-vans. However bad it gets next weekend, it could never reach mid-July levels. There will be room in the heated pool, the walk to the beach won't be a queue, and the discos will be silent. 

I will be contemplating the 350th anniversary of the return of the British monarchy, the Brits having got fed up with a killjoy who cancelled Christmas and closed the theatres, and celebrate the fact that "The people of Britain chose pleasure over godliness; they chose the King whom they understood over the Republic that they didn’t". Frankly, looking at your average republic, one can but marvel at their judgement and foresight.

They got a monarch as head of state but with parliament retaining the legal mandate of the people. It established the constitutional monarchy we have today and did away with the 'divine right of kings'. No wonder they were ringing the church bells, drinking themselves silly, setting up maypoles and lighting bonfires all over the place. Maybe we should be emulating them and recreating the Restoration in street parties up and down the queendom.

The message then as now was 'religious nutters, we don't want you, go away' and of course many did, to the US where they could be as radical as they like, cancel Christmas all they wanted, and no one else had to take any notice. There is a message there, for today's religious nutters I feel - the rest of us are not interested, please do not disturb.


  1. I think you will be safe next week. It seems the whole of France has decamped to Brittany for this weekend and the next one. I couldn't even get into the carpark at the supermarket today - and none of cars were local. I felt like an aggrieved Breton woman bemoaning tourists invading her patch.

  2. Seems as if everyone round here has cleared off too...I could get into the Post Office without a hand to hand struggle with pensioners.

  3. It sounds like Fly's neighbours have all gone to crowd out FF.

  4. I think that the Château de la Caze looks rather nice.
    I have driven past it lots of times but somehow not noticed it.


  5. Me too, Nick, I think it looks pretty fab. Not a place to take the boys though. They will prefer the mobile home, heated pool, beach à deux pas, and running wild over the campsite. You can't run wild in a posh hotel.

  6. The Gorges du Tarn and the Causses make up one of my favourite bits of France.

    Have you ever been here: Bambouseraie?


  7. Oh, yes, we live an hour away from the Bambouseraie and have visited it many times over the years. We usually combine it with a trip on the steam train.


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