MY HOME IS A CASTLE--the tale of how and why I became a chatelain , four times .This is my present home. If you are visiting for the first time you may care to read the older posts first.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It was Spring and the dates for our first bookings were looming up , so we decided to take a break for the first time and leave the Chateau and animals in the good hands of Archie and my daughter and her boyfriend. Isabelle was coming in now on a daily basis to look after the horses, and Jacqueline was working for a few hours a week doing the cleaning.

But- we had no idea of what to do , or where to go ! We talked about the Camping holidays we always used to enjoy with the freedom they offer, when we struck upon a bright idea!! At that time we had invested in a nearly new car-- so,why not let us trade it in for a camping car ( second hand) and buy a little old run-about for shopping etc? That was the THIRD best decision of our lives! The second one was to buy a Chateau in France! and the first one was to get married to each other!

So that is what we did and here is a picture of our first camping car, with us on our way to Italy, which is where we decided to go. It will eventually become our favourite destination!


What fun they are.... our own little home on wheels, and such a contrast to all that space we had at the Chateau, so , an ideal break! After setting it up with everything one needs, food clothes, scrabble, books ( essential) etc etc , there is no further need to drag suitcases around or unpack and repack. We had a shower , oven, central heating , all mod cons! Each morning you wake up to a new adventure.

This is Alex trying to get to grips with how to put the stabilisers down haha-it didnt take us long to get the hang of it all.

So, YES! we made it to Italy-- Mind Blowing! We went to Rome and camped on the banks of the Tiber at a good campsite which offered a shuttle bus to the train statin in to the centre of Rome. That was fabulous!

We also went to Pompei, and Pisa . I thoroughly recommend Pompeii for a visit , it is just incredible. I am posting two pictures which we took of Pisa below--

the ensemble with the tower peeping out.

The tower on its own-- that's me getting in the way of the shot!

I could have rambled on forever about that first camping car holiday, but suffice to say it is still my favourite way of taking a break to this day!


  1. That's a nice camping car! Here we call them motor homes. We love camping, but not tent camping. I can't do that extent of rustic, not at my advanced age, or an age for that matter. We had pop-up campers when our kids were young and we're going to get another one in the next couple of years so that we can take the grandkids.

    What bliss to go camping in Italy! Or France, or England! That seems like exotic camping to me. Can one rent a camping car in Europe, I wonder?

  2. Dear Delphine,

    What a great adventure! How wonderful that you could get away after all of your hard work...and travel in a mode that you loved!

    I was wondering ... How long did it take to travel from the Chateau to Your first destination in Italy

    and ...

    Why do you recommend Pompeii?

    Many thanks!

  3. To Susan, Italy is bliss, however the camping sites are sometimes cramped, personal space is at a minimum, however it is worth it just to tour the country. I think it is possible to hire a Camping Car in any country, just go to the suppliers - they are usually on trading estates and are obvious with the parade of all sorts of camping cars for sale.

  4. I have never been overseas so hearing your stories and seeing your pictures are a treat for me. I have always wondered about traveling around in a motor home. I think I would like to try it. Have a great day!

  5. Hi Cottage Girl, From Roche Hue, our first stop was in the south France on the Cote d'Azure, as we went for a few weeks, we could afford to take our time. From there our next stop in Italy was on the outskirts of Florence.
    Pompeii is seeing real history as it was before the birth of Christ. A time warp!

  6. Thanks Brenda hope you have a good day too! Go for it! Even with the cost of hiring, it works out quite reasonably compared to Hotels or cruises. You would be as free as a bird, and if it rains - you move on!

  7. You really know how to live in style.. good for you!! we only live once...
    I was just looking the other day for a good deal on a second hand camper van locally but no luck yet... Thanks for letting me hitch a ride with you!!

  8. Ours was second hand too, but we still had to forfeit a super car for an old banger in order to get the camper. But it also turned out to be a great help for picking up all the artefacts we had to buy to decorate the walls and halls etc.

  9. I'm not much for camping, preferring a more pampered trip, but after reading this, perhaps I should reconsider.

  10. Hello Delphine!

    What a delight to have you visit our little farm in Washington. And I must admit, I LOVE your home!!!!

    I truly look forward to checking back in with you as well!


  11. Welcome Rudee, thankyou for visiting my blog, loved you little dog all dressed up today! I agree you do have to do a few chores in the campervan, but we eat out a lot whilst we are on holiday, and so are able to try out different local dishes;

  12. Hello Jan and welcome and thankyou for your compliment. It must be amazing to live in Washington! Perhaps one day I will pluck up enough courage to get on a plane!

  13. I love it, rain in Pisa! Nice photos though Delphine even in the rain. Yes you must have a lot of freedom just packing up and going where the mood takes you.

    Now what puts me off is that you drive on the right hand side of the road in most of Europe. We once went to Brittany and every time we left a car park or garage we had to shout to my husband "Get on the right hand side of the road!". Too stressful so we fly now and take local buses. That's another experience!

  14. I love, love, LOVE Italy! I was in Cortona last fall, and never wanted to leave. I can only imagine how great it would be to travel the way that you and your husband did.

  15. Italy looks like an amazing place. Great story!

  16. Do you know Winifred, I hadn't noticed that it had been raining in that picture! That is probably why my face is in the picture as we would have been sheltering under the canopy of one of the many street traders who line that road.This was our problem when we first holidayed in France, once we lived here we got a left-hand drive- much better.

  17. Thank you for visiting my blog today, Leslie. Yes, Italy is so beautiful, and cheerful too, lots of smiling and cheeky banter goes on. Florence is so worth a visit the architecture is amazing.

  18. Welcome Sandy, and thankyou for your compliment. Telling my story evokes such warm feelings in me.

  19. Okay Delphine, I want the life you have! And all your memories, ha. Can we do a memory transfer so at least I think I did all this.

  20. Sandy, your comments always make me smile! Now, tell me honestly, I bet you wouldn't swap your life for all the tea in China? Everybody's life is special to themselves, each day is an adventure no matter where you are, sometimes there are bad times, that has to be, but they just make the good times better!

  21. Wonderful! Reminds me of my study abroad days: 8 weeks in 10 European countries, traveling by van. We stayed in a campground outside Paris - but I did not fall in love with that city then! Rome was a whirlwind, the Sistine Chapel in just 30 minutes - we were on our rushed way to Jerusalem! But I loved eating peanut butter sandwiches out of the back end of the vans. The camping was the best part, but also sometimes the youth hostels. I'll never forget one night a few of us dragged our sleeping bags from the hostel in Vezelay out to the stone-walled churchyard of the basilica! Waking up in a field of poppies.

    Ahhh, you must have had grand times.