Off to a flying start, we had a really good drive to Dover arriving 2 hours ahead of our booked ferry time, straight through check-in and into our lane for boarding where the man asked if we wanted to go straight away and waved us straight on to the boat and by the time we were upstairs we were sailing out of the port! So arrival in Calais was 2 hours ahead of schedule and I then had to override my autopilot which wanted to get straight onto the peage to drive south to Morzine as fast as possible! Instead we turned right and drove through some surprisingly pleasant countryside, I thought it would all be fairly flat but instead it was quite rolling. We stopped off in Songeons to stretch our legs and then continued on to Gerberoy, our first Beau Village of the tour. It was a delightful little village with old halftimbered houses and lots of artists' studios, some with some rather odd sculptures!! We found a very pleasant courtyard cafe to have a refreshing glass of cidre before finishing our tour of the village, including a garden made by an artist friend of Monet which was on terrasses and had various nooks and crannies around the church, with some lovely views over the village rooftops. We drove on to our first overnight stop at the Chateau de Fleury la Foret, a lovely chateau with only a few B&B rooms, where we were warmly welcomed by the owner who chattered away giving us a guided tour and all the information we needed (all in French of course which made my head ache a bit by trying to keep up with understanding all she was telling us!!), but she did book us a table in a restaurant nearby and also complimeted us on our nice car, which she said was like the Batmobile because of how the roof closed when we arrived!! We drove into Lyon la Foret, another Beau Village on our list, where we had a very nice dinner (rognons de veau for me - yummy!) followed by a quick wander around the village before returning to the Chateau for a glass of cidre from the free bottle which was presented to us on arrival by the owner of the chateau!