We haven't travelled this route or with this company for many years; a very good crossing on a very nice ship. As the crossing was just four hours we didn't book a cabin but spent nearly an hour watching the white cliffs disappear before enjoying fish and chips in the restaurant. Before we knew it we could see Dieppe; it is certainly a skill to get the ship in the small port and turn it round before docking.
|On board the Seven Sister's with a lovely glass|
of my favourite wine Sancerre.
|The Seven Sisters|
Thursday morning we were up fairly early and off to Auchan. One of France's largest supermarkets we enjoy shopping for many food/wine items to bring home. But first was breakfast in one of the bar/cafe's just inside the shopping complex.
It was lovely to wander round looking at the many promotions and french goods we love, especially as we were not doing a holiday food shop and trying to plan meals as we do in the summer. Our trolley had quite a variety of goods; wine (of course), beer, sirops (cordials), hand wash, toothpaste, vanilla sugar, biscuits, sweets - all the good things.
We have travelled through Dieppe in the past but never stayed to look around - in fact neither of us had realised their was a castle. We drove and parked just above it and wandered along expecting to pay to enter but to look around was free, payment was just for the museum which we didn't visit. The views were amazing, looking right across the town and watching the other DFDS ship set sail for England.
|A double drawbridge|
|Cannons and firing holes|
|Inside the grounds|
|View across Dieppe|
|DFDS ferry sailing back to England|
The town itself had a couple of pedestrian streets with a mix of buildings - we found a Leffe bar which had we seen earlier would have been our lunch stop. The church in the centre made me feel quite sad - it was in such poor state of repair. Inside the once beautiful painted walls were covered in damp and beginning to crumble, as was the roof, so badly that across the nave was a large net to catch falling masonry. The carving had weathered to be unrecognisable - it will cost a lot of euros to repair and renovate this ancient building.
The cashier gives you a voucher for your chosen main meal and after settling at your table you take the voucher to the grill area where your meat is cooked just for you. You can then help yourself to an array of hot vegetables, chips, rice, pasta or potatoes.
To my delight is was 'moules a la volonte' which means I had a bowl of mussels and once eaten returned to the grill with my bowl of empty shells for it to be refilled ! You can do this as often as you like - some people went up three or four times. Of course you can also have as many chips or other hot veg as you like as with the other meats !
|My amazing dessert at Flunch|
Unusually for us we stayed in a guest house as opposed to a hotel chain. The journey took quite a while due to Friday night traffic and many roundabouts on the A27. Our host was there to greet us although she doesn't live in the guest house. Our rooms were very spacious and nicely decorated.
After a little stroll round and a glass of wine at a water side pub to watch the Wright Link and Brittany Ferries sailing in and our of port we returned to the guest house to share a bottle of red wine from France. It was a very cosy lounge where we could see the ferries from the window.
|Relaxing in the cosy guest house lounge|
|Brittany Ferries Normandie - my favourite boat that we|
sail to France on each summer - lovely to see her at night
|Stunning view from the Spinnaker Tower|
|Family photo up high|
|Busy port traffic|
|The Spinnaker Tower|
Saturday night we returned to Gunwharf Quays for dinner although I thought I was back in Dieppe as we dined in Cafe Rouge and I had mussels ! Portsmouth is a lovely place to stay, so much to see whatever your interests.
The breakfast in our guest house was lovely, a great start to Sunday as before travelling home we visited Porchester Castle. It was lovely walking along the shore in the early morning looking back across to Portsmouth.
|Looking back to Portsmouth|