When you arrive home everyone asks you
“How was your holiday?”
I figure that most people fall into one of the following categories when they ask this question:
1 They actually care and are interested (3%).
2.They want you to tell them so that they can see into your soul and take pleasure in how badly you are suffering because you are no longer enjoying said holiday (46%).
3.They notice that you are back and only ask to be polite (51%).
So in order to answer that age old question
“How was your holiday?” I have decided to write this Travel BLOG for the 3% mentioned above. Ideally this blog should have been written whilst on the road but gee that is a hard thing to do if you don't have good reliable www access. So this is written several months after our trip but will be written in a diary style as though we are still there!
May 27th 2007
Senlis to Charles De Gaulle 27th May 2007 - Sunday Overcast and Cool We wake up for our last day in France. We arrived in Paris on 26th April 2007 and a month later we are set to depart. What a great month it has been. It has been a wonderful trip and I am sure that all of you that have read the blog will agree that we have been very lucky with the weather, the experiences and the people that we have encountered along the way. We check out of the Hostellerie de la Porte Bellon (which we highly recommend to anyone) and discover that just around the corner there is a large Flea Market in progress - one last chance to talk to some locals and an opportunity to offload the last of ... read more
May 26th 2007
Chateau Thierry to Senlis (Chantilly) 26th May 2007 (Saturday 20º Sunshine with some cloud). About 70 kilometres from Châteaux de Thierry we find a little gem, a haven for weary travellers. It is called Senlis. After some recent disappointments, which have only been made possible by our complete lack of planning, Senlis offers a big pick-me-up for both of us. It is quaint but not twee, urbane but not pretentious, happening yet peaceful. It is full of cafes and bars, good shopping and has a wonderful Cathedral. Straight out of the LPG we chose a Hotel. It is a converted 18th Century Mansion called Hostellerie de la Porte Bellon and we score the last available room - Room 11. We check in and also book a table at the Hotel Restaurant for that very evening. A ... read more
May 25th 2007
Epernay to Chateau Thierry 25th May 2007 (Friday 22º Fog, 25º Sunshine and 20º Rain). Some days are diamonds and we have been lucky enough to have had many of these. Some days are stone. Today will be our first of the trip. We lunge out of bed full of “La joie de vie” and after a hearty IBIS breakfast of Bacon, Eggs and OJ (no croissants thank God) we hit the road in search of a Chambre D’Hotes and the Champagne Trail. You are probably sick of me banging on about the French and their Public Holidays, well guess what. Yup - this week-end is a long week-end with a PH on the Monday. This means of course that anywhere remotely near to Paris (as is Epernay) is booked solid for the next two or ... read more
May 24th 2007
Monestier de Clermont to Epernay 24th May 2007 (Thursday 30º Sunshine followed by Storms) We wake up in the grand old house feeling like Royalty. This special feeling is diminished somewhat during breakfast where we are joined, unbeknown to us, by the house Labrador. He sneaks under the breakfast table and proceeds to leak bad air for the duration of our brekkie. Bonjour Monsieur et Madam - would you care for a dog fart with your croissant this morning? He is cute however and does lend the place a certain homeliness. The views to Needle Mountain are more spectacular in the clear morning air and I take the opportunity to walk around the house until it is time to hit the road again. Today will be a short diary as most of the day is spent ... read more
May 23rd 2007
NICE to Monestier de Clermont 23rd May 2007 (Wednesday Sunshine 25º to 30º) Today we leave Nice and head North. We have enjoyed Nice and like it a lot…dare I say that Nice is nice! It certainly is not as pretentious as Cannes or as spoilt as Monaco - I suppose both these places could be forgiven as we did arrive in the midst of their annual festivities. Our drive towards Digne is filled with jaw dropping scenery as a stupendous vista appears around each corner we turn. The road cuts its way through a part of the French Alps and in some places the mountains have been hacked through to allow cars to pass through tunnels and under huge overhangs. We stop at a little Medieval Village called Entre Veau and cross a drawbridge over ... read more
May 22nd 2007
NICE (Cannes) 22nd May 2007 (Tuesday Sunshine and 29º) Today we hit the breakfast tables at Hotel de Kent with a spring in our step. You see today is the day that we could be discovered as the next big thing! After a robust breakfast of croissants and jam we bundle into the Focus and head in the opposite direction to yesterday’s action - we are heading south to Cannes and the Film Festival. After a beautiful drive we park about 2 kilometres from the centre of things and catch a bus into the zone. The ticketing equipment on the bus is AES Prodata, which will not mean anything to most of you, but for us ticketing junkies it is notable for it is the same brand as we have in Sydney on our STA buses ... read more
May 21st 2007
NICE (Monaco) 21st May 2007 (Monday Sunshine and 26º) Today is our 15th anniversary - good on us! We wake at 6:30am - what the hell? The early wake up may be due to the thought of moving out and it has got us sleeping lightly - you see we cannot stay at la Hotel La Fayette tonight, as it is fully booked in anticipation of the Film Fest and the Grand Prix. We have a nice brekky and cart our bags across the street to the Hotel de Kent. Once safely ensconced we jump into the Ford Focus Ferrari and head towards Monaco. This is where, in a few days from now, 35 man made rockets on wheels will perform in what is known as the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. We take the high road ... read more
May 20th 2007
AVIGNON to NICE 20th May 2007 (Sunday Sunshine and 26º) We check out of the Central Hotel. I go and pick the car up form the long-term car park and do three laps of Avignon trying to find my way back to the Hotel to pick up Deb and our bags. Onto the Auto Route and heading SE following signs to Marseilles. We veer towards Nice and are gob smacked by the traffic heading the other way. Where are they all going? (It is only later that we realise that it is Sunday and that this is the only major road between Avignon and Marseille, Nice etc.) We slip off the big road at St Raphael as this is the start of the Cote D’Azur. The drive is memorable for the views of little bays and ... read more
May 19th 2007
AVIGNON 19th May 2007 (Saturday Sunshine and 29º) Today we jump into the FFF and cruise a few of the local attractions. First on our list is the town of Orange (pronounced Or-arn-je), which is 30 kilometres north of Avignon. There are two reasons why we are visiting: 1. I grew up in Orange (NSW Australia) and I want to hang out on the City outskirts and have my picture taken with the Orange city limits sign. This will be matched with a similar photo from my hometown - I don’t fully understand my reasoning here either. 2. Orange is home to one of the best-preserved Roman Amphitheatres in the world. Or-arn-je is much like its’ Australian namesake - it is peaceful and pretty on this sunny day in spring. The locals are out having brunch ... read more
May 18th 2007
AVIGNON 18th May 2007 (Friday Sunshine and 27º) A lovely day is on the cards if the sunshine sneaking through our shutters is any indication. Today we are staying out of the car (which is parked some blocks away in a long stay car park). We enjoy a continental breakfast in the leafy courtyard with one eye on our croissant and the other on the pigeons cooing softly above. We visit a shoe shop around the corner where the shopkeeper teaches me the difference between saying ‘just looking’ as opposed to ‘searching’ or ‘looking’ for something. I want to make sure that when we next walk into a shop and are browsing that I don’t say that I am searching for my wife’s shoes. We wander around the streets and get our bearings. The old cite ... read more