Along the Moselle

We leave Ungersheim at 4pm and travel westwards, circumventing most of the Alsace/Vosges mountains until we reach the source of the Moselle, which we follow along until dark, when we reach a little town called Charmes, although it has precious little of it. There is a camperstop, so for a few Euros, we find ourselves surrounded by ‘plastic fantastics’ for the night, as we call the campervans that have all the mod cons that we don’t, such as television, satellite dish, toilet, shower, etc. We catch up on UK news, these days mostly not a very pleasant experience as it tends to be “find out what other outrageous scheme has our darling prime minister cooked up since we looked last”. When will we learn not to do this just before going to bed, I don’t know… it give us nightmares. This night, I have persistent bad dreams, of people shouting at each other, fighting… a war-like situation…

The next morning, Frank tells me, people were indeed shouting until about 3am right outside our Emma, a group of drunks hanging out under the vaults of a little building that houses showers and toilets for the campers. Well, you never know what the nights are going to be like and you have to take the good with the bad when you are travelling. In a van, you are a bit vulnerable to boy racers practising their handbrake turns, or drunks, or people otherwise up to mischief in the car park that you thought you’d have a quiet night in. On the other hand, sometimes you are parked up with the same view that you’d pay hundreds of pounds for in a hotel room.

The next morning, the sun beats on our Emma, so despite a night of broken dreams, we rise early to do our Yoga before it gets too hot. I have a lot of admin to do, so after breakfast, I put a table outside and buckle down to it until 3pm. It’s great to have a portable office, always with a different view!

We set off into the afternoon sun, continuing our travels along the Moselle until Toul, at which point we veer off into the countryside, heading for Lac Madine, following little but straight roads through fields and fields of green and yellow (rape is in full blossom).

About an hour before sunset, we arrive at Lac Madine. There is a huge car park but just a few vans are dotted about the place. A family with three children sits outside one of them and once we have settled in they visit us, curious to see Emma from the inside. They only live a few kilometres down the road, but if the weather is nice, they sling dinner in a bag, pile into the camper and come down to have a meal by the lake. The boy is full of bouncy energy, eager to help with cutting the wood for our stove. There’s a lovely father & son moment, when they saw the logs together..


Thankfully this night’s sleep is accompanied only by nightingales, so we sleep soundly and set off early the next morning, after a quick swim and a yoga session by the lake.


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