Page 3 of TheMcNamaras Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Centre » Azay-le-Rideau June 19th 2013

No biking today. The rain was persistent and heavy all day, so we decided to go looking for a shopping mall as we were all short on something warm to wear! I spent the morning at a local salon as there had been no time for a haircut in the lead-up to our trip, and I was badly in need. It was not so easy describing what I wanted in French, but the hairdresser and I did pretty well in the end, although the term "Feathered" as it applies to hair was one she struggled with! I was able to use pictures and gesture to help her understand, and in return she helped me with a few French phrases. Our trip to the mall was successful and Isabel managed to find jeans and a great jacket ... read more
Hugo was pretty happy with his meal!
A similar view out the window today - rain!
Amuse Bouche at La Chanceliere

Europe » France » Centre » Azay-Le-Rideau June 18th 2013

The drive to Azay-le-Rideau last night was an easy but slightly monotonous one with a detour through Chartre to find a restaurant recommended to us (but sadly closed last night) followed by a stop at the most enormous Carrefour supermarket I have been to. We ended up buying a hot roast chicken and other bits and pieces to consume in the car en route, as it was getting late. A quick phone call to Patric at the lovely Hotel Biencourt reassured us that we would have a room when we got to Azay-le-Rideau and sure enough, when we pulled up outside well after 10pm, he actually came out of the house opposite in pristine blue striped pyjamas to show us where to park, and to help us get settled. He had clearly been asleep yet was ... read more
The Chateau at the end of our street
Family with umbrellas
The famous view of the Chateau at Azay-le-Rideau

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Giverny June 17th 2013

Steady rain greeted us this morning as we woke up gradually, and it combined with the slow sloshing of water over the mill wheel to slow our pace. At breakfast we met a lady who had already been up and out to the gardens as part of a photography course she is doing. We were flat out making it down in time to eat! After breakfast it was time for a trip to the police station, and THAT was a hoot. There was absolutely no-one on duty who spoke English, so I found myself acting out a charade and hanging on to Frank as if I was on the back of a motorbike - sound effects included, much to the children's mortification. Isabel had to leave the room. Unfortunately I didn't have a knife with me ... read more
It looks just like the painting!
On the Bridge
On the way to the museum

Europe » France » Picardy » Somme June 16th 2013

The church bells rang this morning as I ran towards the town of Misery. I waved to a solitary farmer, then made my way down the lane and past the chateau. Here and there, lone poppies poked through the wildflowers, and I think I found those almost as poignant as the rows and rows of white gravestones we saw later in the day at Villers-Bretonneux. 46,000 Australians died on the Western Front, and as I ran along the roads they would have marched, it was as though each poppy represented one of them. Back at Maison Warlop, we had a lovely chat with Neil and Vicky and another couple from England over a very festive breakfast of fresh bread and preserves, brioche with young goat's cheese and great coffee. Hugo was thrilled with his pot of ... read more
Frank among the Graves
L'Ecole Victoria
Les Moulin des Chennevieres Giverny

Europe » France » Picardy » Somme June 15th 2013

Dead people. Lots of them. That was our Paris mission for this morning. We decided that a tour of the Paris catacombs might be fun, as Hugo was a bit little the last time we were here. After a quick but delicious breakfast in our lovely little apartment, we were on our way. Well, sort of. A slight bike lock key issue delayed us (it had fallen out of the lock somewhere on our travels yesterday), so we were an hour or so later than we'd hoped to be as we power-pedalled the 4km or so up the Boulevard St Michel. Luckily Bike-About had a spare key. When we reached the big circle at Place Denfert-Rochereau, it wasn't hard to work out where the entrance to the Catacombs was. Unfortunately, all the reports about the queues ... read more
The Lovely Bones
Sorting out the Velib
Our car for the next 6 weeks or so!

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris June 14th 2013

Finally, Paris. It is so nice to be here. We had a very easy flight overnight, as we had 2 large rows of seats and could really stretch out to sleep. I managed 6 hours! The new cameras on the outside of the plane which captured our take-off and landing were lots of fun. We had a bird's eye view of it all happening, live! One of the co-pilots took Hugo into the cockpit while we were still on the ground so that he could see it. I remember on our honeymoon, Frank and I were invited up into the cockpit as our plane flew over The Olgas at sunset. It was just fantastic, but that was in 1996 - things have changed. I suspect Hugo was very lucky. Anyway, getting back to our current trip, ... read more
On the tarmac, Paris
Sitting outside for lunch
Hugo in his new hat and sunnies

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur June 13th 2013

Well there were macarons, but that's about where the comparisons with Paris needed to stop! Actually, once I got over the fact that we were not going to get to Paris today, and not going to stay in the lovely apartment we had booked, it was quite fun to think about visiting a city that wasn't initially in the plan. By the time we got to Kuala Lumpur we had got over our initial shock , and I have to hand it to the staff at Malaysia Airlines, they were absolutely fantastic - both on the flight and once we arrived. It turns out that the flight cancellation was due to a strike in Paris which they only found out about when we checked in from Melbourne. As we came out of the gate in Malaysia, ... read more
The chair
The kids had a ball
One of the pools at The Pullman

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne June 12th 2013

Our next big adventure to Europe began today as we arrived at Tullamarine airport, having been chauffeured in luxury by mum (Thanks, Mum!). As always, the check-in queue was enormous, but it really did move more slowly than usual and I began to see the lovely lunch that we had planned at Mo Vida in the International departure area slipping away...... I was quite nervous in the line and couldn't quite explain to Frank why. We had passports, wallets and everything else we expected we would need. However, as we checked in our bags and chatted happily with the lovely woman at the counter, I noticed her face suddenly go grave as she tried to seat us together. Multiple phone calls later, she had to tell us that our flight leg from Kuala Lumpur to Paris ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Marne-la-Vallée July 16th 2011

Well we were up bright and early to get on the Metro and head for Disneyland Paris. The kids were excited, but tired - the idea had been to give the trip a big finale, but looking back on our day, I'm wondering how they actually managed it after such a jam-packed week! Hugo slept half the way THERE on the train! A few days ago we were lucky enough to strike a really lovely man on a trip to the tourist information centre off Avenue del'Opera. We asked a couple of questions, and were glad we did, as we found out that he could organise our tickets from the office, and then he also told us he could do the train tickets as well. It saved us ages in queues at Disney and in working ... read more
Isabel and Hugo, Disneyland Paris
Wet but happy!
Loved all the lakes and fountains

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 15th 2011

I can't believe Hugo has managed to get his Auskick footy from Rome to Paris in 5 weeks without kicking it over a cliff somewhere, or losing it in 6 lanes of traffic! It dawned a beautiful sunny day today, and we had not too much to squeeze in, so off we went to the gardens around the Louvre for a kick. Frank thought it was hilarious setting up shots of Hugo marking off the sculptures. I'm not so sure it's something that's encouraged. Having said that, some of the photos are quite funny. I swear one of the statues looks as though she's ducking the ball! Every time we go to the Louvre I notice something different. Today it was the detail on the buildings - I wonder how many hours some artisan spent carving ... read more
Hugo's turn
A lone girl behind a counter
Bikes at the Louvre

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