Page 4 of Omentide Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne July 2nd 2009

Last night was too hot to sleep. This is a paradox as we have been in places far hotter - it is probably the humidity that makes the heat unpleasant. We opened the windows at 4 a.m. and turned on the fan. This meant we could hear the trains as they ran by (including TGV's going very fast) but it was easier to sleep. We got a good breakfast with lots of coffee then set off for Forêt D'Orient. We were expecting to find more hotels but there were very few (quite a lot of camping places but we don't have the equipment). So we ended up at the Hôtel Relais Paris - Bâle which is where we stayed last year. We thought then that there were better choices round here but it seems there are ... read more

Europe » France » Burgundy July 1st 2009

Today began with breakfast of croissants, bread, cheese, jam and coffee. We then attempted to leave the hotel but the bike got stuck in deep gravel in the car park. The hotel was unable to assist. Hilary and two passing frenchmen were unable to push it out of the hole. In the end, it got reversed back onto the pavement and then powered its way out. But, for a few moments, we thought we would be stuck until picked up by the recovery service. Well Hilary might have thought that, but I had other plans. There were quite a lot of roadworks on the way out of the alps but this may have helped Ashley to appreciate some of the wonderful scenery we passed through. We saw quantities of raptors, probably including some eagles. Another yellow ... read more
Saone at Tournus
Shaved Ashley

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 30th 2009

After a pretty decent French breakfast, coffee, croissants, cheese, jam, and more coffee, we decided to make more use of the cablecar passes to access some good walking. Not as high as yesterday, but yesterday we were well above the snow line and we do not have the gear for walking on ice. Equally neither of us have acclimatised to altitude so staying below 3,000 metres was probably a very good idea if we were going to be taking potentially tough exercise. Two connecting cable cars took us up to Brevent at just over 2,500 metres. A little below the snow line though there were some large patches of ice and snow in places. Initially there were some lichens on the rocks but not much else. We dropped back on foot to Planpraz (which is where ... read more
Ashley on ice
Hilary on ice
Mont Blanc framed

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Mont Blanc June 29th 2009

The hotel gave us coffee but was not set up for breakfast, so we drank coffee, tried to get online (failed as the hotel connection was down), packed up and left. We stopped at a motorway services where we had the breakfast deal (espresso, orange juice and a chocolate croissant each) then headed for Mont Blanc through a series of tunnels, culminating in the Mont Blanc tunnel itself. This tunnel is long and, unlike the tunnels on the way does not have separate bores for each carriageway. It is, however, really well lit and disciplined. Not really very exciting and none of the tunnels were magic today. The weather stayed glorious throughout - still mid - twenties now at 18:00. Chamonix, as predicted, is expensive. Our hotel (Pointe Isabel) is really nice and we have a ... read more
Ashley up a mountain
Hilary up a mountain

Europe » Italy » Aosta Valley » Aosta June 28th 2009

Nothing much happened on the ferry. We chatted to people. Hilary read the other two books she bought for the reader (Fury and Interworld). Eventually we got to Ancona, left straight away and rode 80 km straight into the sun, ending up back at the Ferrara hotel in Cattolica. They seemed pleased to see us. Ashley demanded new eyes but settled for beer goggles - we found a place opposite the Ritter hotel where they sold beer in litre glasses. This was followed by a pizza and a salad at the Pirate restaurant with half a litre of house white (very nice - all of it - and not expensive) and beer on the hotel balcony. We didn't get to Cattolica till after nine so there wasn't time to do a great deal. We also managed ... read more
Guide cat
Castle and Roman Bridge

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Cesme June 26th 2009

Sadly the time came to say our goodbyes and leave Selcuk, at least for a time. The first part of the journey along the coast road was pretty and very enjoyable. Soon though, the coast turned into resort after resort with very little way of telling where one ended and the next one started. When the road went up the mountains away from the coast it did get pretty again, and the air full of the scent of thyme and oregano. After a while we linked with the Izmir - Cesme motorway which is a good motorway although it was very, very windy. Almost windy enough to blow Hilary off the back of the bike. Cesme is pretty and not nearly as crazy hectic as we had feared. We booked into the Ridvan Hotel - air ... read more
Harbour from Cesme balcony
Leaving Cesme
Storm at sea

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk June 23rd 2009

After the usual excellent breakfast we took the minibus to Sirince. They run every half hour and it is not far - not far as the crows fly (and there are a whole lot of crows here) but it's a steep and winding road up a mountain. Sirince is pretty - and takes advantage of this. It's full of little stalls selling honey, fruit wine and olive oil soap. There are also a load of restaurants and pansiyonlar and we were addressed in nothing but French. It's famous for being pretty, Greek and producing wine. A lot of the houses have been brought up and beautifully restored. Needless to say it is expensive to buy a restored place there are the best prospects have already been snapped up. Some attractive wrecks remain, but the atmosphere is ... read more
Our hostess

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk June 22nd 2009

Today has been a blast of fun. Went riding, through Kusadasi and some smaller villages to the Millipark, (National Park). The ride there and back was pretty good, then we got to the park. A small winding paved road, with mountains on one side and the sea on the other, the whole area heavily forested with pines, oak, plane, fig, olive and various other trees, frequently with vines growing between them. It really was vastly beautiful. We stopped a couple of times so I could better take in the scenery, difficult when riding. One stop was near a small beach backed by pine forest, the other at a walking trail heading into the mountains up what becomes a narrow gorge. Got a couple of photos, one of Hilary with the bike, and one in the gorge ... read more
Canyon - walking trail
Dirty bike

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Didyma June 21st 2009

Today has been fantastic. We went out riding. There were some great roads, wide and winding through mountains, able to go fast enough to stay cool. I got stung by a wasp through my t-shirt, my leather was open, but that is no big deal. We managed to visit 4 ancient sites. Magnesia which we came to by chance, and the three planned for, Didim because of the fantastic Apollo oracle, Miletus because it is there and interesting, and Pirene to take in the stunning views and position, and the proper theatre. Needless to say we took lots of pictures. More words on each below. Magnesia: We didn't know it was there but when we saw it flash past we decided to visit. The man on the gate promised to watch the jackets and helmets so ... read more
Tall columns at Didyma
Didyma sanctuary
Gryphon at Didyma

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus June 20th 2009

Today there was excellent breakfast followed by a trip to the local weekly market. The market here is not all that large (compared to, say, Ayvalik) but we did find all one would reasonably expect. Seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs, cheese, honey, clothes, houseware and spices. We bought paprika and pul biber. We picked up the rucksack and dropped off the spices before catching the minibus to Ephesus. The site was extremely crowded - we think a large cruise ship had docked in Kusadasi was taking people around, one give away being the crew members in naval whites. Many from the ship seemed more interested in taking photos than trying to understand the site and Ephesus is not a difficult site to understand. Others turned the place into a fashion show, stumbling around in heels or complaining ... read more
Theatre at Ephesus
Library at Ephesus
view down street - Ephesus

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