Page 23 of Steve Corin Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Toulouse May 29th 2012

Day 17 After a feast called breakfast we are off into the outer towns around Toulouse with Alain and Josette as tour guides (and drivers). First stop is Gaillac where we get tourist information and look at the river which is sort of dammed to move water through the hydro system - lots of water rushing over the edge of the dam. Great sight. This is also the name of the wine area (Gaillac) that we are about to explore. Then on to Castelnaud de Montmirail, a fortified village that is built again on a hill with the main town centre found via a maze of little streets. Very medieval in appearance. Another church - seen and been in more in the 17 days than for a very long time....... This one not so well maintained ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Toulouse May 29th 2012

Day 16 On our way to Toulouse today. Spoke to Alain this morning and he suggested a stopover in a little town called Cahors. Decide to stop earlier to get a bite to eat and pull off the motorway at a random exit and head for that village. We wind our way through the back roads (with Stella telling us to turn around all the way) and find the village of Uzerche. The village sits in the bowl of the valley with a little river running through it. Spectacular views of houses, palaces, etc. as we look upyin to the hills. Find a bar that is open (today is a public holiday) and as we walk in the lady asks if we want some food. Realizes we speak English and proceeds to tell us what is ... read more

Europe » France » Limousin » Limoges May 27th 2012

Day 15 Another day another chateau. This time into the country side to Chateau de Concrecheaux (I think).... Stop in the little village for brunch - fresh sandwiches of half baguette filled with jambon et frommage for moi and similar with salad for Chris. Super crispy and fresh and nice. Into the chateau and must have lust had a train arrive -guessed it, lots of people and queues. Parked the car and got organised and by the time we got to the ticket office all the crowd had gone - and our sandwiches as well. Yum. Great gardens and off we go again. This castle has a chequers history, wife, mistress who took over and lots of illegitimate and legitimate bastard children - sounds like Home and Away...... After 2 hours we call it quits and ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Tours May 26th 2012

Day 14 and this is 2 weeks away....... A day in the Loire valley doing the castles here. But first things first - washing. Find a coin laundry very close tot the hotel we are staying and all systems go, until we can't read the instructions..... Luckily the man in the adjoining laundry (think he runs both) gives us change for the machines and smiles - most of the time. While we wait, we drive to a little village not too far away and get a coffee and drink for me from a bar (at 1100) - no beer but tempting. This with some nice chocolate croissant and other pastry thing for Chris and we are back to the washing. After many requests for change to fill the machines, the washing is completed and we are ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 25th 2012

Day 13 Out of our B&B and off to Mont Saint-Michel. Well organized tourist site - big car park with Free bus transport to the island. And better still - no queues. Just lots of steps up to the Abbey. Finally in and with our Audiologues we walk the abbey. Beautiful day (28 degrees) so the steps have got the sweat happening. In the Abbey it is much cooler. We sand outside and then the bells start to peel - Mass is about to start. 4 or 5 monks and 7 nuns start the mass with lots of singing - really impressive sounds - sorry Mike Mc, but they can really make the singing in this huge abbey sound fantastic.... The tour takes us through big halls, little rooms that are built to hold up walls ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 24th 2012

Day 12 Starts well with a hearty breakfast at our B & B but then it turns not so good. Finally get Stella (or is it Sylvia) -our GPS voice back. That is the good news, bad news is that I suff up the location and don't quite follow Stella's instructions and end up a long way in the wrong direction and have to do a U turn to get back on track. Finally back where we wanted to be and have a very nice time by the beach and the English Channel (very warm and sunny day). Lots of really old buildings to see, along with a few castles/forts built on rock outcrops guarding the entry to the port. Also see some guys getting trucks onto the beach to cross a low tide road to ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 23rd 2012

Day 11 Early start for the train to Paris, along with all the workers who commute (just like the Geelong train I reckon). We got good seats and the train only stopped at 1 other station so we reckoned we were good - haha - not to be - the carriage was full after the 1st stop. Ticket inspectors got another one so we have been good by buying and stamping our tickets appropriately.... Into Paris and then onto Charles de Gaulle airpor to pick up our new car. Off without a hitch and we are now proud owners (albeit for a fixed time) of a brand new Renualt Megane 2 door Sports Coupe... Really slick looking unit and even got a hot bum from the heated seats while being given the run through.... Had to ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens May 22nd 2012

Day 10 2nd day in Amiens and the WW1 battlefields. A really nice night at a fine hotel the night before with a cheap dinner - think they forgot the wine..... Off to the Somme and then to Bullecourt where there were too many Oz soldiers killed - something like over 13,000 along with 7/8 of the Newfoundlanders (now a country swallowed up by Canada) and lots of British and NZ soldiers. Then we went to the South African memorial. There were so many men killed that they decided to leave them where they lie in the wood and have bought the land and allowed the wood to regenerate in its natural form as the memorial to those killed. The day finished and we went to our next hotel, a tad different to last night - ... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens May 21st 2012

Day 9 We leave Paris this morning. Our apartment check I'd some at 0600 so we can get the bond back and have time to get to the station for a 0728 train to Amiens where we then go on a 2 day tour of the Western front WW1 battlefields (Somme, Poziers, Villers Bretenoux, etc.). We get to Amiens without a hitthe wait outside Subway (sandwichery as they call it here) for our 0930 pickup. 0945 and start to wonder - 0955 and making calls to tour group - bugger, that is 1800 in Sydney. Try again and they offer an emergency line but as I am about to hit the buttons, a man that Chris had noticed standing on the corner comes over - our contact who had been on the corner he usually meets ... read more

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims May 20th 2012

Day 8 No queues. Champagne, champagne........ On the TGV should be TGVF - Train goes very fast..... Wow what a trip. Super smooth, super fast and very comfortable - probably coz we were in 1st class, but hey, the fare difference was minimal. Not sure how fast wenweregoing but the cars on the motorway were being swallowed up by the train and they normally sit on over 130 kmh so whatever it was, it was fast...... Got to Reims at 0945 and walked down the semi deserted main street to the tourist bureau. They were very helpful and next thing we are off in a cab to our first champagne tour, to be followed by a self walk audiologue of 2 old churches (Basilique de Reims) and the Cathedral de Notre Dame (Reims version). Add tthat ... read more

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