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Friday, September 4th we put the car outside in Gierle, top down off course, but before it was loaded we quickly had put the top op. Though we had started early, and had planned to avoid highways we took quite some highways in the end: if driving isn't nice we thought we might as well make quicker progress. It was quite near to the hotel that we could put the top down, and it stayed down until December. Quite a job to get it up again as when folded down wet, the tissue shrinks (not yet sanforised) so it's not easy to put the top up again.
Wonderfull hotel - above our normal financial standards - but this was the tenth jubileum meeting and if we compare price-quality it was cheap.
And with the champagne flowing in large volumes ...Participants:
Bev & John
Carine & André
Els & Jef
Jaki & Tony
Linda & Tony
Magda & Jacques
Mariette & Peter
Monique & Luc
Sylvia & Vin
Val & Malcolm.
Welcoming, greeting, chatting, kissing, for many people it was a year since we met. And zooming on the cars, John's Sabra was back on the continent for the first time, and also for Jaki & Tony it was their first trip on the continent in this car. Had a nice dinner and then it was time to recover of the fatigues of the trip through the rain.
Saturday we had a short drive in the surroundings, stopped at several spots to admire the panorama. Stopped in a small restaurant on the banks of the Marne, and then headed for a boat trip on the Marne. Hadn't I just finished my report of the Trier-meeting and praised the boat trip on the Mosel? Afterwards back to the hotel to have the important Saturday dinner. We're in France so it's bettter, more surprising, inventive, than expected.
we drove to Luc of Champagnehouse "Dérouillat" in Monthélon. After the obligatory - and interesting - visit of the production hall we were offered a small lunch with five breads of champagne, five sorts of bread and five excellent cheeses. Now I consider myself as rather intellectual, cerebral, but I must admit that the combination of (restriction to) only five cheeses-breads-champagnes was terrific. The restrictive combination and selection made it special. Me and my senses still have a lot to learn about tastes but the presentation by Gaston, of the tastes, odours, was very important. Very special for me was the Marc de Champagne -suggested it for my Christmas present - as a special Champagne-taste-brandy.
Shocking experience on our way back to the hotel: Jacky stopped the convoy and ordered the pilots to switch position with the co-drivers.
The distance was too big to walk back (would have been a good solution to prevent heart attacks) so (we) had to pass controll of our beloved car. Didn't know whether I'd best kept my eyes open
or just shut them. Anyway (don't know how) but we arrived at the hotel, complete - all of us. No pictures of this last part of the trip, the stablilizer of my camera evidently couldn't deal whith my trembling hands I presume.
The cold sweat was washed off in the swimming pool.
The hardliners stayed a little longer so on Monday we had a walk to the Great War Monument, evidently the German invasion was stopped at the Marne and some Irish regiments must have been involved there. The evening we had BBQ at the pool.
Some pictures show a colibri-butterfly; had never seen them in real, but recently found an article (that I 'd cut out)of a paper in 2005 where the author finds "proof" of the global warming because they showed up in Belgium.
Tuesday the group splitted: Els and me and Luc made a drive to Sézanne and Esternay, we bought some bread and pie on a small market and had a picnic in the sun.Luc had (again) problems with his clutch (missing nut). But when we drove back we found the nut where the clutch started to fail and Luc could get his car ready for the road again.
Wednesday was the time to drive home, with Jaki & Tony we payed a (second) visit to the racing circuit of Rheims. We had been there in 2001 on the Sunday second day of that meeting, but then we had left the group in order to get home by daylight. In those ten years we've learned to trust the car better.
On our way back North we (Els & me) dropped by in Binche where we tried to locate the owner of lost Sabra FBU-737 but in vain.
Got home Wednesday evening, nice trip, nice meeting
Hostellerie de Montgivroux.
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