The Cat Herder and His Wife

The Cat Herder Gold Rush

The Cat Herder and His Wife

The Cat Herder and his wife are a retired couple residing most of the year in Northeastern USA. Since retirement we have taken a liking to traveling, sometimes with a large group of our friends, other times with our long time friends and travel companions, John and Diane. The term "Cat herder and his wife" originated from our first Med cruise. There was a group of 12 on that trip, all retired. Watching us try to keep everyone on schedule and in the right place, one member stated it looked like herding cats. The name stuck. We plan on traveling until it becomes physically impossible or we run out of our children's inheritance.

Europe » France » Île-de-France September 23rd 2018

Woke up today to the sound of rain pelting the windows. This is the first day of bad weather on the trip, so can't really complain. After a great breakfast, we decided to cancel our plans to go to the Cemetary in Luxembourg, and go to the 101st Airborne museum here in town. Turns out its right around the corner, so we walked over. They really do a great job over here of memorializing the great battles fought here, and the brave men and women who fought them. This museum was no exception. Besides having an unbelievable display of war memorabilia and prodcuts from the period, the many dioramas depicting soldiers were unbelievable. The mannequins were so life like you half expected them to speak. All in all, a very worthwhile excursion. We then packed the ... read more
Artifacts from the war

Europe » Belgium » Luxembourg » Bastogne September 22nd 2018

After a good nights sleep was had by all, we were ready to start in on another day. We all loved this hotel. It was very unique, with it's interior and Exterior walls made of stone. We discovered that during the war, the Germans had occupied the fort and the section where the hotel is now located was a concentration camp. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, then headed to Bastogne, Belgium, where we would learn more about the battle of the Bulge, and WW 2. Following directions from "Giselle", our GPS, we found ourselves on a tiny dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Diane and I insisted we were on the wrong road, and to turn around. Naturally Ray ignored us and pressed on. A short while later we rounded a bend and there before ... read more
Sedan hotel entrance
Tank Museum at Bastogne
Belgian soldier tour guide

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Sedan September 21st 2018

About 2 months before our trip, we booked a private tour of the Marginot Line from Sedan, France. We had no idea what to expect. Well, we certainly got our monies worth. Our guide, Richard Tucker, met us at the hotel at 9:00am. We piled into his car and off we went. This was the first day on our trip where it was raining. Richard began telling us about the defensive line, what it was, and what it was supposed to do. He explained there were many different structures comprising the line; small bunkers housing light machine guns, larger bunkers housing anti-tank guns with machine guns, Casemates, which were much larger concrete structures housing artillery pieces, anti tank guns and machine guns, and finally, Ouvrage's which were underground complexes with large Artillery, pop up turrets with ... read more
Fort de Sedan
Battalion Bunker
Casemate-3 light machine guns, 1 20mm Anti-tank gun, and 1 47mm artillery piece

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Sedan September 20th 2018

We hated to leave Hotel D this morning As it was fabulous. The breakfast was the best so far with all of the usual European items, but scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon as well. We decided to walk to the Cathedral area to do some shopping before hitting the road. The roads were a lot busier this morning as we headed to Verdun, France, to see some of the World War 1 sites. The Verdun area was the location of some of the bloodiest battles of the war. The memorials are not visited nearly as much as Normandy, and after driving through the area we quickly realized one of the reasons why. Sites are spread far apart and accessible only by small, narrow roads and very small villages. The American Memorial at Montfaucon, recognizing the US ... read more
France's WW1 Memorial
Early French artillery
French Cemetary

Europe » France » Alsace » Strasbourg September 19th 2018

After leaving picturesque Grindelwald and heading back to France we passed by Thunnet See, one of the huge lakes surrounding Interlaken. From there it was pretty much non-descript highways. The big difference we observed driving during this trip is the great condition of all the roads and bridges. Everything looks new and all are free from litter. Our first stop today was Colmar, France. The old town of Colmar is called "Le Petite Venice". It was a gorgeous district crammed with camera ready buildings decked with flowers. The houses wander down the calm canal that wind through the area. We stopped for lunch at a small Brasserie which sold our favorite baquette sandwiches. Leaving Colmar, we arrived at our destination, Strasbourg, mid afternoon, and checked into the hotel. The front desk said they were upgrading our ... read more
Leaving Interlaken
Colmar, France

Europe » Switzerland » South-East September 18th 2018

It was an early wake up for Ray and I today, as w were planning on taking the first train to Jungfrau, also known as The Top of Europe. The train takes you to the Jungfraujoch, site of the highest rail station in Europe. As he cog grinds steeply up the wooded mountain side, you are treated with spectacular views of the valleys and villages below, and the towering mountain tops. The train stops briefly for passengers to take in the icy views, through windows cut in the mountain. It continues upward until you reach the Jungfraujoch terminus At 11,333 ft. After exiting the train, we took a high speed elevator up another 364 ft to the Sphinx terrace. From there the Eiger, Aletsch glacier, and Monch seemed almost close enough to touch. I'm not sure ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald September 17th 2018

Wow, what a day this was. After breakfast in Montreaux, we hit the road again, first stop, the famous ski/climbers destination, Zermatt, Switzerland. The first part of the leg was through rolling hills at the foot of some beautiful mountains. This was wine country, with Vineyards placed in every available piece of land. There were. Vineyards planted on steep hills that made you wonder how they tended and harvested the grapes. After the turn at Visp, the scenery changed significantly. We began our climb into Zermatt, with steep, switchbacked roads, and gorgeous scenery beyond each turn. One has to stop in Tasch, the town prior to Zermatt, and take a train the rest of the way In, as cars are not allowed in town. Our first impression of Zermatt was a little disappointing, as it is ... read more
On the road o Zermatt
Swiss Alps
Train to Zermatt

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Montreux September 16th 2018

Despite the church bells ringing every 15 minutes outside our window, we managed to have a good nights sleep. We were both up early to catch the sunrise over the mountain range, and to see Mont Blanc, which had been shrouded by clouds. It was very beautiful, and well worth the loss of a little sleep. Breakfast was interesting. There was a machine that prepared hard boiled eggs. Ray seemed to be the only one that could get it right. John had 1/2 an egg by the time he finished peeling it, Diane could drink hers, and mine was just passable. We did however manage to fill our tummies with all the remaining great offerings. After gassing up in the next town, at about $7.00 per gallon, we headed off towards Chamonix, France. The roadway Is ... read more
Sunrise in Chambloux, France
Road to Matigny

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Combloux September 15th 2018

Finally, we have a relaxing day. After we enjoyed a great breakfast, we relaxed in Michelle's beautiful garden, catching up on the blog, emails, and reading. It is great to just hang back for awhile before heading to today's destination, Megeve, France. The landscape now turned from vineyards to agricultural, and before long we could see the Alps in the distance. France certainly is a beautiful country, with something for everyone. Along our route, we passed through several long tunnels, carved through the mountains that stood in our way. Exiting the last of these we were treated by white capped mountains, as we entered the French Alps. Entering one of the small villages, we stopped at a bakery for a quick lunch. Their bagettes are to die for. We then headed for the B & B ... read more
Typical rural road
View from the B & B

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes September 15th 2018

Firstly, for those who got on early to yesterday's blog, and saw it incomplete, you can now go back and read it if you wish. We started today with a lovely breakfast on the patio, overlooking the valley. Our hosts, Frederick and Laurent, were gracious enough to make reservations for us for tonight at Les Tilleuls in Lucenay, near Lyon. Our first stop was at Rocamadour. This medieval village seems to defy the laws of gravity, as it juts out of a cliff 1500 ft above the Alzou river gorge. Rocamadour got it's name when the body of St. Amadour was discovered "quite whole" in 1166. Vehicles are not allowed in the city (nor would it be possible with the narrow walkways), so we took a tram from a lower parking area into the city. There ... read more
Breakfast view
Inside Rocamadour

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