We started the day off at 8 am and hit the road for Cathedral de Chartre. The drive was wonderful. Passing through many villages almost too old and small for a tour bus to navigate, we arrived at Chartre and walked to the Castle and touristy downtown. Found a yummy shop with chocolates and baguette sandwiches.
We found several sculptures on our short 2 hour walk.
Then we hopped on the bus for our journey to the Chaumbourg Castle. Unfortunately for these tourists, this is where our journey took a major detour. The rain has been falling so long and hard in Northern France, the water has nowhere to go.
We went along odor a bit, passing through several small villages. At one point the bus stopped in what we thought was our stop. But he got back on the road and went back the direction we came from. riding in the back of the bus, most of us thought the driver was lost. We didn’t realize what was happening – the road we were on had been closed.
As we back tracked through the little villages, the bus started going slower and slower. We looked down the aisle and through the front window we could see all the cars and trucks ahead of us. we sat in that village for probably a half hour before making it onto another larger road.
The bus proceeded slowly down the road in stop and crawl traffic until we finally made it to the next traffic circle. We could see a McDonakds and supermarket to our left. At this point we were on the bus about 3 hours. The bus turned right and no one was in front of us. Then we made a turnaround back into the traffic circle. With nowhere to go, we took a rest stop at McDonalds and the market.
Fortunately for us, emergency personnel were there and our driver was able to find out what roads were open. We noticed they were bringing in military vehicles, and saw others filling multiple gas tanks at the gas station. We figured this was for stranded motorists. If you’ve been following the blog, you know that we would find out the next morning they evacuated residents and put folks up in shelters. The flooding had sealed into some homes as high as as the bottom of first floor windows.
After everyone got back from the break, we started down the road, moving along pretty well. And then up ahead, there were police stopping traffic. The bus pulled off and our tour director hopped off and talked to the police. The road ahead was closed but the police told him alternate paths to high ground. We were on the way again.
Another hour later our tour arrived at the hotel destination. I guess it was good we were already scheduled to eat dinner there. Dinner was interesting, a slice of ham and scoop of rice. There were bowls of ketchup on the table. No one knew why.
We never did figure out the ketchup, but at least we were safely off the bus and had a place to sleep and shower.