The 4th December set off from Nr Scotch Corner, with plan to try a stop half way ish in time that is, thanks to this site went to the Lazy Otter at Stretham, Cambridgeshire. good food and lovely service, level car park always helps, as we arrived the leisure battery failed we could cope with a night of flushing the loo with a bucket, and running the engine for a shower in the morning. The only caveat with the Lazy Otter is it is very close to the main Cambridge, Ely road which becomes very busy from around 5 in the morning but that won't put me off staying again. Now ring round find a battery the most positive response came from Choose Leisure Limited, Howfield Lane Chartham Canterbury, yes we can supply that battery when will you be here, we duly arrived around 11:30 spoke to the service manager who measured our battery to be sure set one of his staff to fit the battery and sent into the show room for coffee and mince pies, we discovered that there are a couple Tortoise in residence so had a chat to them. 30 minutes later we were on our way, to meet friends at Canterbury camper stop, which is why we opted for that particular dealer. A bite to eat at the Old Gate Inn and discuss last minute changes, our friends live in Norfolk, face to face is better. We managed an early train and the adventure begins, first stop Reims just a mid journey stop nice place stunning cathedral, but the christmas market is very good indeed; that was a surprise we will go again and wished we had planned to stay an extra night, I've just posted the aire in the relevant section. It's tight doesn't look it's best in winter and is noisy but it's 6 minutes brisk walk into the city and feels secure, Off reasonably early in the morning heading down to Strasbourg, we had booked Camping-Indigo as appeared to be close to the City, a word of caution here I put a camper stop reference in and my sat nav wanted me to go past the site and turn right further on, fortunately my wife spotted the camping sign so in we went "fearfully" the entrance is between blocks of flats then over a cyclepath then narrows to under the railway, single lane and looks tighter than it is. Indigo looks to be going through a large makeover, so the reception area smells of fresh wood and feels a little bare. The pitches room, yes, there must have been an awful lot of rain as some of the pitches were very boggy, tonnes of saw dust and wood chipping everywhere and the young manager was "tearing his hair out", Having been to the Paris Indigo they will get it right I'm sure. Three nights here the showers are fine toilets not so, no the toilets are not as new and modern as the showers. Transport to town is simply out of the site to the road turn left 5 or 6 minutes stroll there is a tram stop, catch Montagne Vert B or F after buying your return ticket. Just outside the camp is a Bakery Au Plaisir du Pain. nice bread and lovely quiche. or order bread from reception. Need I say to any who have been to Strasbourg what a magical place it is but the markets are something special, there are 8 separate markets on the Isle which i must commend the security forces for the way the Isle is protect their attitude is good and basically we felt safe. Now head home Ypres first stop so our friends could experience the ceremony but don't go for the markets there isn't one to speak of although the camper stop is fine for a couple of nights. Brugge, again very dissapointed in the markets and speaking to stall holders is shrinking and obviously as visitors fall off then traders won't return, but it is a great city to be in and just stroll round, the camper stop was only quarter full and over the road was empty but the snow made the walk into the city very romantic.
Stayed with friends near Leeds Castle nice big drive well small farm really then home.