Rally to Alsace

Sep 25, 2009
Rally to the Alsace 2015 - 5th to 18th September​
After the success of our Black Forest Rally to Bad Liebenzell last year, Bill Campbell and I decided to organise another one in 2015.
We are again using Select Sites to organise the rally, but this year we will be visiting the Alsace area of France. Outlined below is what we have arranged and we are sure you will not find better value anywhere else.

The rally cost includes all the following, as set out below...
Dover – Calais Ferry crossing with P & O for 2 people and 7 metre caravan/motorhome
Overnight inward and homecoming stops at Camping Le Vivier aux Carpes, near St. Quentin.
12 nights - staying at Camping de Noirrupt, La Tholy, France. www.jpvacances.com
Welcome and Farewell meals, with a drink, at restaurant near campsite
4 Full day Coach Trips…
1) [Vosges Discovery Tour[/u] of the local area, including visits to a local ‘Confiserie’ and a Lama Wool producer. Lunch in a local hostelry rounded off with a Boat Trip on Gerardmer Lake.
2) Visit to Nancy including a tour of the town, a lunch cruise on the Rhine/Marne Canal followed by Whisky & Liquor Tasting at the Mirabelle Distillers.
3) Visit to Mulhouse visiting the City du Train Rail Museum, followed by Lunch, then a visit to the Cite de l’Automobile museum.
4) Visit to Strasbourg including a tour of the medieval city, boat trip along the River L’lll and lunch near the magnificent Cathedral and free time to discover the city.
Leaving plenty of ‘Free Time’ to do your own thing and explore the area.
The camp site also hopes to arrange a Wine Tasting evening on the site.
The cost for all the above for two people and caravan/motorhome up to 7 metre £930-00
Extra person £310-00 each - We can offer flexible booking of your ferry crossing, if you want to include the rally as part of a longer tour. You can also choose other crossings that suit you better, but price will vary depending on individual final arrangements.
The booking should be made via Select Sites on 0844 406 9876 or general@select-site.com
Hope you will be able to join us. If you have any queries please feel free to contact me on…
01234 772181 or 07971 593802 or gjandm.roberts@gmail.com
Best regards,
George Roberts (BedfordGeorge)
‘ Come and Join Us – You will be warmly welcomed’
Sep 25, 2009
Hi, thought I should update everyone on the rally.

The bookings are going well, but we still have a few places left, if you are interested in joining us. The rally price includes all the main costs involved, for 2 people, including :- Ferry costs - Dover-Calais, 1 nights pitching en-route and 1 night pitching on the way home and 12 nights at the La Tholy Campsite. Full day tours, with meals included on all of them and the entrance fee to all the attractions we are visiting. A welcoming meal on the first full night and a leaving meal at the end in a local restaurant. We are hoping for a wine tasting on site by a local grower. You can extend your visit either before or at the conclusion of the rally to make it part of a longer tour.

The rally offers a good mix of organised events and plenty of free time to do you own thing and explore the local area. Please come and join us, you will be most welcome. If you want any additional information, please contact me on : Tel : 01234 772181 or E-Mail : gjandm.roberts@gmail.com

Best regards,

Sep 25, 2009
Here is my report on this years rally, for all those who have shown interest.

The Alsace & Vosges Mountains Rally 2015
5th September to the 17th September​
Camping Noirrupt –La Tholy - France​
After last year’s rally to Bad Liebenzell in the Black Forest we had a difficult job to come up with a rally that offered so much, however I think it fair to say we got mighty close. The weather was a little in and out, with some really hot sunny days offset by some not so good, however we all made the most of it in true British style. Jean Yves the De Noirrupt site manager made us all extremely welcome, and had arranged some interesting and absorbing visits for our coach trips.
On the arrival night Bill Campbell and I put on a Wine and Nibbles evening in the sites TV room, once everyone had set up. This was a great success with acquaintances renewed and new ones made, with our three first time couples all integrating well with the group. The following night we all made our way to the local restaurant, Le Chaud Costet, where we enjoyed our welcoming meal to the 2015 rally. They put on an excellent 3 course meal from the local area and this was washed down with liberal amounts of wine.
The following day we set off on our first coach journey, a Discovery of the Vosges area, the weather was excellent and the countryside beautiful. Our first visit was to Confiserie Bressaude where we watched how they manufactured boiled sweets. Of course after the demonstration many could not resist the opportunity to buy some in the shop, on the way out. Our coach then made a difficult journey up the side of the hill, with many tricky turns to negotiate, finally arriving on the mountain top outside the Auberge Le Coucetat, where we had magnificent views of the valley and surrounding mountains. Here we were to enjoy an excellent 3 course lunch, again washed down with copious amounts of wine. Whilst the main courses were excellent the profiteroles were generally thought to be the best we had ever tasted. From the Auberge we had a short walk to visit the Llama Farm and this proved to be most successful. The animals are used to visitors and we were all able to get very close, of course the food we had was an attraction to the Lamas. I think we were all surprised how enjoyable this visit turned out to be, and would recommend it if you ever have the opportunity. We then made our way down the hill and continued our journey through the Vosges Mountains before arriving at Gerardmer, where we enjoyed a Boat trip around the lake, followed by a beer in the local hostelry. We then made the short 12 km journey back to our camp site for a well earned rest.
After a free day on the Wednesday, we were all up bright and early for our trip to Nancy, there was not a cloud in the sky and our driver dropped us off in Stanislas Square. For those who have not visited, this is a magnificent square and after a short time to explore it we got on the Le Petit Train. This took us around the old parts of Nancy, and with a running commentary through a headset, which gave us a good insight in to the town. We then enjoyed a coffee in the square before rejoining the coach, for a short drive to the Marne Canal. Here we boarded the la Bergamote, a large canal barge that had been fully restored following a fire a few years ago, for a 3 hour cruise down the canal, whilst eating a really excellent 3 course meal, and yes you guessed it plenty of wine to wash it down. We re-boarded our coach for a drive to the de la Maison de la Mirabelle at Rozelieures, which is a Whiskey and Wine producer using the Mirrabelle grape. Not much tasting but an interesting visit and presentation by the lady of the house, who explained the difference of the Mirabelle grape, which is prevalent in the area. We then joined our coach and made our way back to La Tholy.
We then had 3 free days to enjoy the area in our own way, but Jean Yves had arranged a Wine Tasting evening for us on the Saturday evening. This was given by the daughter of a large family owned producer of Alsace Wine, Meyer-Krumb, based in Sigolsheim. As the daughter she had been brought up with wine running through her veins, and as such was very knowledgeable. She was very clear and precise in her talk and we had the opportunity to taste 9 different wines, with a clear explanation of each one and its properties. Many bottles were purchased at the conclusion of the tasting.
Our next visit was to Mulhouse (pronounced Muloose) and after a 11/2 hour journey over the Vosges mountain, passing the highest the Ballon de Alsace we arrived at the Cite du Train Museum. This is the French National Railway Museum and had examples dating back to the 1840s, some from the UK all the way through to the present day. It is fair to say that the carriages invoked as much interest as the trains. We all made our own way through the Museum and the provided headphones gave you all the information you would need on the main exhibits. We all rejoined at the museums restaurant for lunch and this turned out to be another excellent 3 course meal of local produce, and yes lots of wine. Once we were all refreshed we joined the coach for the short journey to the National Car Museum of France, the Cite de l’Automobile. This was amazing, literally hundreds of classic cars from the earliest days of the motor car all the way through to the Bugatti Veyron. In the main they were of course French cars, but with some Bugatti’s, a Rolls Royce and my own favourite an English Standard Swallow designed by a young (Sir) Michael Lines who went on to design all the classic Jaguar cars. After so much culture I think many of us were happy to get back on the bus and rest our tired legs on the journey home.
After another free day that rained for most of it, our last coach journey was to Strasburg. This had a dramatic start as we expected the coach to arrive at 8-30am, but at 7-50am Jean Yves was knocking at my door to inform me there had been a **** up and the coach was here and we needed to leave immediately. With typical British fortitude we were able to leave at 8-10am, and the driver, upon arrival in Strasburg, apologised for speeding to ensure we arrived in time. We then left the coach and walked to the local Tram stop for the tram to the centre of Strasburg. The weather was not good and it was raining heavily as we made our way by foot to the River L’Ill for our boat journey through Strasburg’s old quarters. This took us passed many fortified towers, low level gun emplacements and old houses but also to the European Assembly that seems to rule our lives these days. When we arrived back we had to walk past the magnificent Cathedral to the Caveau Restaurant Gurtlerhoft, this was an amazing building and had been the cellars for the cathedral in times past. It was like a rabbit warren but we finally arrived at our tables for yet another excellent 3 course meal and even more wine than usual. Finally when we were all well sated we gathered outside the cathedral, where we met an engaging young lady who proceeded to give us a walking tour of the town with very clear and precise information that kept everyone engaged, many though she was the best tour guide they had ever had. We then had one hour of free time to explore, many visited the cathedral, others the shops before we met for the tram journey back to the coach and our journey back to La Tholy.
As our time was coming to an end, many started the inevitable packing up process, before getting ready for our final ‘Leaving Meal’ that was once again in the Restaurant le Chaud Costet. They again gave us a fine 3 course meal, accompanied by the usual bottles of wine. This evening allowed us all to make our final farewells to what was an excellent rally, in which old and new friendships were made, and this is what makes a rally a success.
I believe that Bill and I have once again produced a rally that in terms of value for money was not beaten by any other rally out of the UK in 2015. When you consider the visits made and meals enjoyed and wine drunken, all within the overall price of about £925-00 per couple, including 14 nights pitching, Dover to Calais ferry both ways it was amazing value. However what made it special was that everyone joined in, no one was left out and this has made it easy for us to decide that we will run another rally in 2016.
Rally to Loches – Camping Le Citadelle – France - 2016
We did learn a few lessons from this one, whilst Camping de Noirrupt was a great site, it suffered by only having 6 amps electricity and we have addressed this for next year. Also La Tholy was only a small village and our shopping had to be done in Gerardmer, 12 km away. We have, with Select Sites, looked for a site that is within 1 km of the town centre and that has at least 10amps electricity and have come up with Camping La Citadelle, in Loches, near to Tours in the Loire Valley. This gives us many opportunities for interesting visits to Chateaus, Wine Tasting and I believe possibly a Zoo and we are currently looking at many other possibilities. What I can tell you is that the rally will start on Sunday 4th September 2016 and we hope to keep the pricing similar to this years. Further information will follow, as and when available.
It would be remiss of me not to thank the people who made this year’s rally possible, firstly Bill Campbell who was my go to man when I need reassurance and an honest opinion on a situation. I do hope our friendship will continue for many years. Jean Yves at Camping de Noirrupt in La Tholy, no one could have tried harder to make our stay as comfortable as it was, thank you for your Champagne and Cheese night you put on with your wife Anne at your expense, we all appreciated it and your efforts on our behalf. Lastly Select Sites for all their help and expertise in putting together another excellent rally for us all, in particular Karen Camara who went over and above the call of duty for us, thank you Karen and of course Jonathan Wills who oversees all the rallies they organise.
If you are interested in joining us next year, please send me an e-mail and I will ensure you are kept up to date on next years rally. You can contact me on…..
Tel : 01234 772181 or E-Mail : gjandm.roberts@gmail.com
George Roberts
(Bedford George)


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