Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

We slept well and were woken by the alarm at 8:00am.  We were all tired, but in good spirits.  Phil was still unwell; he tried some orange juice and bread but threw it up again straight away.

We were on the road by 10:30am, a bit later than anticipated.  The traffic leaving Paris was very heavy; I found the driving difficult and wound up with a headache.  After what seemed an excessively long time, we reached the outer (rural) roads.

We drove through Senlis, a lovely town with old streets, a castle, and a fine views from the fortification walls.  We stopped at Soissons, the former capital of the West Franks with a beautiful 13th century cathedral that was damaged in World War I.  Our stop lasted almost two hours for shopping (groceries and nappies) and lunch at a cafeteria.

From Soissons we proceeded to Reims, the city where in the past French kings were crowned in the 13th century cathedral, and then through Châlons to Verdun.  The countryside all comprised greens and yellows, although the rain and mist washed away much of the colour.  We diverted to the war cemetery at Verdun, a sobering memorial to the huge battle in 1916 in which five million men fought, of whom half a million were killed.

We continued our drive to Metz, our destination for the day.  Founded by the Romans, Metz has a beautiful old town with narrow streets and lovely squares.  I had arranged most of our accommodation for this trip in Youth Hostels, and Metz was our first experience of a Youth Hostel on this trip.  Although it took a little searching, we eventually found the Youth Hostel, a modern building at number 6 in the quite well-hidden, narrow cobble-stoned Rue Marchant near the Moselle River, and we were immediately impressed.  The hostel itself was beautiful and modern, and we were allocated a huge room by the friendly staff that even included a cot for Tim.  The floor was carpeted, so Tim really enjoyed crawling around to explore the room.  It was a late night to bed after a lovely dinner of rolls, yogurt and peaches.


Day 4

Paris to Metz

Thursday 16 July 1987