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Driving Tip


Some motorways are not only costly but give you the stress of paying by putting coins or cards in the right slots at unfamiliar ‘peages.’

A queue builds up and you worry about holding up the other cars as you struggle to get the barrier to rise using the unfamiliar controls.

These are of course  on the ‘wrong side’ of your vehicle.

I found that it used to be a concern until I got a chip device that fits at the top of your windscreen and enables you to whiz through.

The barrier rises as it detects an electronic signal. (Look on line for www.tolltickets.com)  

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Allan Rogers checks out the attractions at France's popular theme park.

There are many other things to attract visitors to the department of La Vienne.

Poitiers is nearby  as is the Chateau Dissay and the lake at the Parc de Loisirs at St-Sur  which can be directly accessed from a campsite.


Most of the commentaries or sound tracks are in French but you can get translation sets. Basic ear phones can be purchased for 1 euro, but if you have your own comfortable ones it might be best to bring them with you.

Futuroscope have an excellent web site that includes short  films visit http://www.futuroscope.com/ 

and Brittany Ferries , who sail from Portsmouth can also feature hotel and park information;


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50 minutes away  you can be in the company of 350 free roaming monkeys and  baboons ain La Vallee des Singes.


Websites:  www.tourisme-vienne.com              and             www.campinglacdessaintcyr.com

Just outside Poitiers in the department of La Vienne futuristic shapes puncture the skyline. These are the pavilions of Futuroscope and what goes on inside them can be breathtaking.   Using 3D glasses you are enveloped by films on screens as big as tennis courts.  The thrust of moving seats and other effects combine to fool your senses and you become involved in the most unlikely adventures.

The architecture and planning of the park is particularly impressive.  The Kinemnax building, which looks like enormous rock crystals thrusting out of the ground, took some 20,000 hours to design.  The whole affair is set in landscaped gardens with an artificial lake, where in the evening you can enjoy a laser and light show.

Each year there are new attractions and the latest addition is called  'Raving Rabbids'  in which the world is taken over by giant rabbits. These comic characters take you for a ride in a 'time machine' from prehistoric times to the Wild West.  


The Hubble Mission, is an immersive 3D show that takes you on a journey beyond the stars on a rescue mission to save the Hubble Telescope. You see millions of stars and galaxies as you have never viewed them before.


Dynamic Vienne is a production of ‘view and shake’ variety where we not only ‘viewed’ but  ‘felt’ the experience.   I was glad to have the restraining bar to hang on to as the hydraulic rams under the seats persuaded my tummy what my eyes were seeing was really happening. The action and the effects have you jumping from a train, falling through the sky, hurtling round a race track in an old 2CV, and in the same vehicle, speeding through the narrow lanes of medieval Chauvigny.


'Wings of Courage'

Three dimensional viewing and ultra large screen technology is also used to great effect in the screening of the fiction movie.  In the 'Wings of Courage' you really feel as though you are  right beside Henri Guillaumet the 1930's mail pilot when his plane crashes in the icy peaks of the Andes.


Arthur the 4D adventure is a fast moving simulator ride that had us zooming fast through a fantastic world of flying insect like creatures.  Wearing 3D glasses that pumped quadraphonic sound into our ears we appeared to dive and swoop as we avoided the jaws giant bugs. It was all very effective and exciting.

Almost shaken by the experience we emerged, blinking, into the sunlight, much of which was reflected from the glass panels of Kinemax building.


Other shows are ‘The Little Prince,’ ‘Dances with Robots,’ ‘The Magic show’ and ‘Virus Attack’  Quieter attractions include La Gyrotour, a revolving tower, radio controlled models, bumper boats and a children’s corner where you can generate music by jumping on squares, play computer games or battle in boats with guns that fire water jets.


The park is becoming very popular, which means that you need to think about when you go. If you want to avoid queues then plan your visit for times other than Saturdays or French public holidays.


Outside Futuroscope there are many other things to attract visitors to the department of La Vienne.  Poitiers is nearby as is the Chateau Dissay and the lake at the Parc de Loisirs at  St-Sur  which can be directly accessed from a campsite . Should you want to roam further, fifty minutes away you can be in the company of 350 free roaming monkeys and  baboons in La Vallee des Singes