Travel in France

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May 1998. A WEEK at CENTER PARCS, about 160 Km south of PARIS.

A friend, on reading this, said where are the images. Much belatedly, May 2004 update -

This CenterParcs logo type image is the current logo on their site. That same friend found a recent information sheet, published by netplus, giving lots of information, including some good graphics ;-))

It was a (short) week - Monday to Friday - at a French, sort of Hotel-in-the-Woods; called CENTER PARCS, cottage. The controlled grounds of the park we were at was about 200 acres, perhaps 3-5 Km around the outer roads ...

We were three, Mum (ma belle mare), Annie, et moi, so we took a cottage group that were serviced each day - VIP, that is beds made, cleaning, etc., so were paying one of their higher rates ... but not too bad for the services provided

view of our accomodation.

We had a 3 roomed semi-detached cottage, No 145, next to a nice, but perhaps not fully natural river. But perhaps some of bank reinforcement was also to assist in reducing changes by erosion.

It was natural enough for it to be the spring home for quite a number of mating pairs of wild ducks. We saw only 3 or 4 families, 8 to 10 plus members each, in our particular top left quadrant, but I enjoyed giving them food each day.

It would be hard to guess what the total population was for the region, but it would easily be more than 10 times what we saw, and fed a little. There was actually quite good duck food growing in the near stagnant water, so I think they also liked the contact ...

plan view of the center parc complex

At the sort of centre of this perhaps total 1000 plus cottages, there is a Hotel if you want that sort of room, and a very large aqua-complex. It is a big glass covered area where a spiral pathway leads you past some restaurants, bars, etc, and takes you down to the Wave Pool - about a 30 meter swimming pool. At certain times they also generate about 1 meter waves, which adds a nice effect.

By climbing a few stairs back up to near the top of this enclosure, you could ride a small, fast flowing river over some very SMOOTH rocks, around some corners, under flows and sprays, which meandered back down to the main central pool.

It is not wide enough to do it in say a canoe, where it would be called white watering, and despite a few hazards where they had to be a little careful and brave, this water slide could be safely done by quite small children unattended ...

view of one of the restaurants in the center parc.

We drove, and on the way back stopped for a Friday lunch at a very nice restaurant down near Etampes, about 60 Km south of home, ANTONY ...

A nice visit, but should it be repeated?

End of a week at CENTER PARCS - about 160Km south of PARIS May, 1998

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I was quite impressed by the pool, housed in the central glass building. It had a wave generator that ran now and again, and lots of channels to explore, including some that went out into the open, as you slid down this long winding water filled gradient.

image of the main swimming, wave pool from up in the roof ...

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