Page 2 of Debra and Dana Travel Blog Posts

Europe May 17th 2018

A must do while in Paris is an evening boat cruise on the Seine River. It took us about 1 hour and although the temperature was brisk, it was well worth a shiver or two. We did have to snuggle up a bit to keep warm and when we passed under the Mary bridge (there are 37 bridges that cross the Seine), we kissed as is the tradition on all the boat cruises. It was so romantic!!! With the lights reflecting off the water and the Eiffel Tower fully illuminated, the city becomes magical and shows why Paris is called the “city of lights” There is also a dinner river cruise, however, Debra’s research indicated the food is “iffy” so we took a pass. Our plan next day was to take a guided tour of the ... read more
Garnier Opera House
The Polaine Bakery
The Pantheon

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 17th 2018

The Musee d’Orsay is smaller than the Louvre, however, has just as much splendor. It contains works of art from many of the world’s masters, Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, etc. I’m sure art historians would be able to answer the question as to why so many French artist seemed to flourish during the mid-late 19th century. Probably there were social, economic and politic conditions that brought out all this creativity and genius? Close by is the Rodin Museum primarily containing the works of Auguste Rodin, the French Sculpture. Two of his more famous pieces were on display, the “Thinker” and ”The Gates of Hell”. It is interesting to note, that in both of these museums many school children were visiting with their teachers being indoctrinated to classical art which is a very important part of French ... read more
Starry Night
The Rodin Museum
Rodin’s “The Thinker”

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 14th 2018

SORRY, This was overlooked and should have been sent before the last blog published The Saturday night knife attack happened about a 15 minute walk from where we are staying and across the street from the Garnier Opera House. The randomness of these attacks have to be unnerving, however, we were at the Sacre-Coeur Basillica the next day which was also close by and there were lots of people touring and enjoying the day. Security was certainly heightened with numerous army personnel patrolling the streets carrying automatic weapons. In a sense, the attacks might becoming a way of life in France as people carry on in spite of the threats. We took a boat cruise up the Saint Martin Canal which showed us a different area in Paris. The 2 1/2 hour cruise started on the ... read more
Refugee tents
View from Sacre-Coeur
Cathedral Notre-Dame

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 13th 2018

There is a health ”app” that provides a number of measurements. On Saturday, we discovered it took 21,845 steps, 13.5 km and 25 floors to walk from our apartment to the Champs d’Elysees, climb the Arc de Triomphe, tour the Louvre and head back around 6:00 PM. It explained our fatigue at the end of the day!! Debra visited the Champs d’Elysees many years ago and she opined that it has lost much of it’s earlier charm. Along the Boulevard there are numerous high end stores selling global brands, some restaurants, including McDonalds, and it was quite similar to many of the exclusive streets in cities around the world, (Barcelona, Shanghai, London, New York, etc.) Adding to the “commoness” was a giant Ferris Wheel which distracted from the more enjoyable aesthetics areas. The tree lined promenade ... read more
Rental Car
Arc de Triomphe
Champ d’Elysees

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 10th 2018

We’re off to France for a month arriving May 11th on an overnight Air Canada flight to Paris. Our plan is to spend 1 week in Paris then begin a 2 week self driving tour of the West, Central and Southern part of the country and capping the trip off with a 1 week stay at a Villa in AIX En Provence. We are meeting up at the Villa with 4 other couples who are long term friends. This group has held a reunion every two years since retirement at various locations and it’s the first time we’ve congregated outside of Canada. Everyone is looking forward to the enjoyable experiences Provence provides and it will be great to have the gang together again. Our apartment rental is very central and close to numerous attractions. The owner, ... read more
Oysters from Cancale

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay March 5th 2018

In previous blogs of our last trips to South Africa, we wrote about an evening at the Starlight Concert on the bucolic grounds of Vergelegan Winery. It has been a tradition for us when staying in Gordon's Bay. This years event was very enjoyable with a wide variety of musical genre featuring mainly South African entertainers. Before the concert, our group sat under the shade of a magnificent Camphor tree and shared food, drink and conversation. What a civilized evening! If you drive by open fields or parks on Sunday, you will often see groups of people dressed in white conducting an open air church service. They are Zionist!! It is estimated about 40% of South Africans belong to this religion. The South African Zionist religion began as an “off shoot” of Catholic Christian Church which ... read more
Cerviche at Terroir
Yummy dinner at Rita and Phillip’s
Hidden Valley Winery

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape February 10th 2018

There is little to update on the drought conditions, other than “day zero” has been moved back to May 11th from April 12th, mostly a result of the conservation efforts and release of some additional water into the reserves. Restrictions have been reduced to 50 litres/day/person which is manageable, but not easy! It has been a busy week beginning with lunch at Delaire Graff winery with Susan and Harry. Delaire Graff is owned by luxury jeweller, Laurence Graff the founder of the high end Graff jewellry stores out of London. The complex includes a hotel, 2 restaurants and the winery which overlooks one of the most picturesque part of the Western Cape!! It is difficult to get a reservation and Susan booked our table at least 6 weeks in advance. Laurence Graff is quite an art ... read more
Yummy Sardines at Dias Tavern
Pasta, Prawns and Mussels at Delaire Graff
View from Delaire Graff

Africa January 29th 2018

You have probably read about the severe drought in Cape Town and the ensuing water shortage which has not improved since our last blog. In fact, effective Feb 1st, water rationing will be reduced further to 50 litres/day/person (25 litres per person for us as we are in a guesthouse of 8). For perspective, on average, water use in all of South Africa has been 237litres/day/person and in Canada, which is one of the highest in the world, usage is about 329 litres/person/day. So the restrictions will require significant behaviourial changes by all. The government has set up provisions on their website that allows everyone to monitor water usage of their neighbours. This seems drastic but is symptomatic of the action required. It has been reported that 60% of residents are not following the established water ... read more
Thees Waterkloof Dam
Franschoek Country House
Southern Right Winery

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape January 15th 2018

Greetings everyone from South Africa!! Once again we are enjoying the beautiful weather and countryside of Gordon’s Bay, about 1 hours drive from Capetown. Our hosts Jane and Jim of Highcliffe House welcomed us on January 12th at around midnight! The trip was uneventful with a KLM flight from Toronto to Amsterdam, a 2 hour wait at Schiphol Airport, then a direct KLM flight from Amsterdam to Capetown. This is the best route to take, although, it’s still requires a few days of adjustment to the 7 hour time difference and the long flying time. Our plan is to return home on March 20th and given our winter experience in December, we feel some despair in not staying away longer!!! (Although it was a beautiful Christmas season this year with all the white background In Niagara ... read more
View from Highcliffe house

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay October 14th 2017

Hello Everyone: We'll be returning from January - March 2018 to South Africa, Gordon's Bay(about 1 hours drive outside of Capetown. We will be staying once again at Highcliffe House, hosted by Jane and Jim Yeomans. We spoke with Jane and Jim recently and they had a last minute cancellation on their Reisling Suite which has a beautiful view of Gordon's Bay etc. It's available from January 24th. If anyone has an interest they can contact Jane and Jim directly (contact info below) and or course we'd be happy to help with any information as well. Look forward to sharing our travel experiences in South Africa. Best Regards Debra and Dana Contact info: Highcliffe House, Gordon's Bay Cape Town Western Cape 7140 South Africa Jane and Jim Yeomans... read more

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