On our journey through France down to Spain we stopped at a number of service stations. They are signposted as 'Aire de.....'
The French service stations are great places to stop and relax. They have picnic areas where you can get out your cool box, make up your sandwiches and take a breather. The service stations also provide play areas for children. So they can run around and get rid of a bit of their energy before they have to climb back in the car for the next phase of their journey.
As the next few photos show the children could really let off steam and run about whilst us adults could stretch our legs.
There seemed to be plenty of Motorway service stations as we drove through France. It is worth noting that not all service areas had a shop / petrol station.
If you are going to be travelling with a young baby you need to be aware of this and be prepared.
Those service stations without shops or a restaurant had toilets that were different to what us British are used too!!! Be prepared for toilets with a difference!
I had no idea what they were called but after a bit of research I have discovered that they are called French squatter toilets. They are basically holes in the ground. The only way I can describe them is that they look like the bottom of a shower cubicle with a great big hole. You do get a shock when you open the toilet door and there is no toilet!
There is a bar to hold onto to help you crouch down but I found them extremely difficult to use!
It was no surprise when I came out of the toilet to see a young girl wiping her ankles down!
TIP: On our way home instead of throwing away my £1 flip flops (from Primark) I kept them in the boot of the car to use for wearing into the toilet! I would also suggest taking a roll of your own toilet paper.
Further information on Spainish Motorway Service Stations