Chris & Marilyn

Miltonrabbit

Chris & Marilyn

The happy travellers.



Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Alexandra August 8th 2017

The first of three flights lands safely, albeit with a big bump. The hazy early morning sun is starting to burn up the Dubai desert. For some reason beyond mere passengers there is no air bridge available. Instead we will leave the aircraft (A380) parked on the apron and be transported to the terminal by a fleet of special people-mover buses. Emerging from the plane we are greeted by the already 36 degree heat. Just as well we haven’t yet changed into our New Zealand winter clothes. Once in the terminal we have a couple of hours to kill. This vast modern terminal was designed only a few years ago to cater for the increase in passengers numbers. The queues at the toilets and food outlets demonstrates the need for a rethink on the available facilities. ... read more
Spring is coming to our garden
Spring is coming to our garden
Spring is coming to our garden

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 6th 2017

We’re going home. Hard to believe this day has arrived. What a wonderful trip. We have our last sightseeing visit of Paris before that dreaded long haul flight. The day is fine and just the right temperature for wandering the streets of Paris. But first we have to close our bags and check out. Once the bags are closed we check the weight. Amazing. Both bags are under 20 kgs. As we close the door of another hotel room for the final time we don’t feel sad, we feel excited about our home coming. We look forward to seeing our garden wake up with the arrival of spring. Dragging wheeled bags over paving is rather laborious but the trip to the railway station doesn’t seem to take that long. Perhaps there is a spring in our ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 5th 2017

Our last full day in Paris, it is Saturday, it is fine, and we have things to do. First up a lunch date. We walk to our local railway station and buy a one day rail pass. Today we’ll use it to the max. We have things to do and places to see. We have decided to have lunch somewhere on the Left Bank. There is a cooling breeze so we look for a sheltered restaurant that offers a menu to fit our appetite and wallet. We choose a restaurant that looks across the Seine to Notre Dame. A very friendly waiter assists us to our table and leaves English language menus. A nearby diner lights the first of many cigarettes so we move down wind of him. The waiter returns and realizes we have moved. ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 4th 2017

Our stay in Paris is being blessed by perfect sightseeing weather. It is fine with comfortable temperatures. Other parts of Europe are into very high temperatures while in the United Kingdom wave upon wave of cold fronts is sweeping through. We’ll start the day by trying out the hotel laundry system. The machines are similiar to those in the Troyes laundromat so it all looks straight forward. We need to exchange money for tokens. Easy. We insert the coins and get the tokens, one for washing, one for drying. Twenty minutes later the wash is finished. Problem. Our other token won’t fit the dryer. These companies have it all their own way. We need more tokens, this time with a groove across them, similar to the car wash tokens in Italy. We know what you’re thinking. ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 3rd 2017

We sleep in. We have a late breakfast. We publish a blog or two, hope you are enjoying them. We Skype. We plan what to do with the rest of the day. We’re in Paris and we can’t spend the day in a hotel room surrounded by bags of clothes, breakfast items, small appliances, purchases, and an accumulation of debris to be disposed of. Just hope we can open and shut the studio apartment door. A decision has been made. We’ll take the RER train into Paris and wander around some gardens. We choose Jardin des Plantes. It is only a short walk to the railway station and already the day is warming up. We decide on single fare tickets today. Hopefully that will get us to our destination and safely back again. Chatelet is a ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Troyes August 2nd 2017

It is with mixed emotions that we wake today. The excitement of driving to Paris and our final destination before we fly home. The sadness of dropping our car off at Orly Airport means our adventure is nearly at an end. We pack the car for the last time and prepare for one final look at Troyes. While checking out, the receptionist asks if we had seen the fire the other night. No we hadn’t, but smelt smoke in the morning. She told us a house and the Cathedral had been hit by lightning and had caught fire. We were quite shocked because we had been there that morning. The young woman at reception said it was sad because the Cathedral had undergone some restoration recently. We had to go and see for ourselves. We parked ... read more
Troyes
Troyes
En route to Paris

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Troyes August 1st 2017

What a night of thunderstorms, and it is still raining this morning. We open the window for some fresh air only to have a smoky smell waft in. Who would have a fire going on a warm, wet, sticky day like today? We’ll just shut the window and suffocate. Better to suffocate with fresh air than smoky air. The Seine looks decidedly dirty and flowing higher than the previous day. There must have been some rain overnight. The programme today might just work out. Breakfast, laundromat, sightseeing. That will fit the weather forecast of rain, drizzle, sun. Here’s hoping. With bags of dirty laundry we head off in light rain in search of a laundromat. We think we know where there is a car park close by. Sure enough we start to follow a sign, only ... read more
Troyes
Troyes
Troyes

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Troyes July 31st 2017

Last night we had a few adventures before bedtime. We hope it is not a sign of what could happen during the rest of our stay. We decided to have a light meal in the city. For the first time on this trip we decided on a McDonald’s meal. Horrors you might say. By the end of the evening we wished we had chosen somewhere different. It started with a visit to a car park. The machine wouldn’t give us a ticket. We then realized it was free on Sunday nights. We purchased our meal and enjoyed the peaceful upstairs surroundings. The drinks were too much for us. Unbeknown to one team member the couch seat he was sitting on wasn’t as long as he thought. A delicate slide to the right with cup in hand ... read more
Troyes
Troyes
Troyes

Europe » France » Picardy July 30th 2017

Over breakfast we have a wonderful chat with our hosts, Ric and Fer. We cover a wide range of topics such as wildlife, travels, education, weather, and the local history. Maria’s eggs were delivered for breakfast, what a delight. We say our goodbyes and explore the local town. The 1914-18 war was unkind to the château and surrounding town. Much of it was destroyed. Ric and Fer’s house was built in the 1920s. On the recommendation of our hosts we detour to the small town of Blerancourt about 15 kms away. There use to be a large château in the town but over time, especially during the French Revolution, much of it was destroyed. In the 1920s what was left was purchased by an American woman, Anne Morgan, who set up a trust and museum to ... read more
Coucy-le-Chateau
Coucy-le-Chateau
Coucy-le-Chateau

Europe » France » Nord-Pas de Calais July 29th 2017

It is raining. Not the sort of weather we had ordered. We get a text from our daughter in England informing us the roads in France will be very busy. The French are heading north and the British are heading south for the summer holidays. Hopefully we’ll be ahead of the rush. The hotel car park is emptying out. People are on the move. We programme Jane to take us to Steenwerck, a small town close to the Belgium border. It was here during the 1914-18 war that hundreds of thousands of young men battled each other and the elements. Today the surrounding countryside is peaceful and productive. The only sounds are from the occasional tractor or birds. An occasional car drives by, otherwise the country roads are deserted. A hundred years ago men were dying ... read more
Trois Arbres
Trois Arbres
Armentieres




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