Peter and Dianne Wilson

ToBeContinued

Peter and Dianne Wilson

In July 2011, Dianne and I returned from three fabulous years in China where Dianne was an administrator for Maple Leaf International Schools. To read about our China adventures, click WilsonsInChina. Dianne spent the next 4 years as an administrator in three elementary schools in B.C. In September, 2015 she officially retired. So what happens now? The nickname of this blog is ToBeContinued for a reason...



Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels May 19th 2019

Okay, I know we have been home for almost three weeks and this latest (and last) blog entry is long overdue. We had many things waiting for our attention when we arrived, not to mention volunteer shifts at the library and local thrift store. Dale and Pat (Dianne’s brother and sister-in-law) arrived for a week of fun and games (and a chance to update some of my spreadsheets for scoring our card games). But now to the blog. Flight to Brussels Getting to Toulouse to catch the plane was fairly straightforward. The flight was RyanAir which went into Brussels Charleroi rather than the main Brussels airport. Mistake. The flight was what you would expect from RyanAir and the airport itself was OK. It was looking a little dark as we got ready to leave the plane. ... read more
The view from Vimy
Memorial up close
Lawn mowers

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Toulouse May 6th 2019

Leaving Toulouse Back to the train station to rent the car. The staff was very friendly and helpful giving us directions on how to get out of town. We only made one small mistake which was amazing considering the road works at the station and the narrow, winding streets. Luckily, the drive out of town went along streets we had walked the day before. This was helpful because there were a couple of unusual intersections and I am glad I didn’t have to drive through them unprepared. The drive was only just over an hour and we were heading towards the Pyrenees which made for great views. Aurignac The couple we were house sitting for were a lot of fun. They introduced us to Caramelle, the cat, and the three chickens. Wait a minute, I thought ... read more
Caramelle
Lettuce be friends
Meal time

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Toulouse May 5th 2019

Here we are again, travelling in France on a Saturday. The day started well with our trip to the market in Arles (see last blog). It got even better as we approached Toulouse on the train and I noticed we didn’t have to cross the river; it was the Canal du Midi we had to cross. Frequent blog readers will know the only thing I like better than churches and aqueducts are canals, especially the Canal du Midi. Toulouse The not so good news was that they are doing a bunch of road work right outside the station where the canal passes and it was quite an ordeal getting away from the station. But that was nothing. What we hadn’t realized was that Toulouse was the city that had been selected as the main target of ... read more
Gilets Jaune protests
Aftermath of Gilets Jaune protests
Marathon


The Apartment Airbnb has been getting a lot of negative press lately about its shift to corporate listings and away from its owner-operated roots. Well, this apartment was probably the best place we have stayed in all our European trips. Roomy, well equipped, bright, quiet. Tastefully decorated and run by the nicest couple who met us on arrival and explained everything about the apartment and discussed opportunities in Arles. Made us feel like we should have stayed longer. There are many sites to visit in the area if you have a car (and time), The Pont du Gard and Avignon are two places within easy reach from Arles (we had been to both from Montpellier) but there are lots of smaller attractions we couldn’t get to because of not having time or a car. The closest ... read more
The Rhône
Locks
Les Alyscamps

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Périgueux April 28th 2019

Dianne says I decided we should go to Périgueux, one of the cities mentioned in the Bruno, Chief of Policeseries, but I am not sure why that it was chosen. It is the smallest centre we have stayed in. When we arrived, we had our first day of rain this whole trip. We had a few sprinkles before but this was actual rain. Luckily, the walk to the Airbnb was pretty straightforward and we weren’t that wet upon our arrival. Walkabouts were in order and we found our usual supply of churches, city hall and government buildings, as well as lots of old buildings. The cathedral was a lot bigger that we would have expected in a town of only 25,000 or so people. Interesting styling too. One of the first things I noticed ... read more
Cathedral
Conjoined buildings
Inspiring?

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 22nd 2019

We were rapidly coming to the end of our Paris stay. Funny how long a week seems when you’re waiting for it and how fast it goes when you are having fun. The Louvre Anyone who has been to the Louvre knows you can’t possibly see everything in one visit. Luckily we had been there before so we were able to concentrate on one area of interest: Egyptian antiquities. We hadn’t booked tickets for a particular time so we got there half an hour early and were near the front of the line. Of course, they let in those who had tickets for opening time but we were in in no time. Again, it is so big the people spread out pretty fast. We headed off to the Egyptian section but made a slightly wrong turn ... read more
Pop-up restaurant
Calm before the storm
Footings of the old fortress

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 21st 2019

After two days of long walks, we decided to try something a little different: the D’Orsay Museum. We got a bit of a late start so, by the time we had walked to the D’Orsay, the lineup to get in was very long. Hmmmmm. Maybe we should come back the next day and make a point of being there before the opening bell. Good idea. But what shall we do instead? How about going to the Louvre? Hmmmmm. The lineup there is probably even longer. Hmmmmm. How about going for a walk? Third day of long walks The other monument we wanted to walk by was the Arc de Triomphe. Last time we were in Paris we went to the top to see the fabulous views of the city. This time, just walking around the base ... read more
Architecture
Another Park
Another sign

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 17th 2019

It is sad to sit down to write this blog just after reading about the devastating fire at Notre Dame. It is indeed a sad time for Parisians, the French and, indeed, all of us. It’s hard to believe we were just there being amazed at the beauty of this incredible structure. Luckily we have our memories. Our trip to France was planned around our two cat-sit opportunities rather than anything else. We planned to end up in Belgium to visit the friends we met in Italy in 2016. So, what to do in the other days? Well, you can’t go to France without spending at least a week in Paris (we thought), and we also had a couple of other places in mind. After shuffling the dates around we came up with a plan. Not ... read more
St Sulpice
Moving day
Sorbonne

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Montpellier April 11th 2019

Montpellier is well situated for taking day trips to nearby (and sometimes not so nearby) towns. But, we have discovered there are lots of neat places to walk in Montpellier. The trips described in this blog entry were taken on random days over the period we were there. The pictures are grouped by location rather than chronologically as sometimes the destinations overlapped. Tram station to tram station The tram that runs by our apartment heads south towards the Mediterranean but splits before it gets there into Lattes Centre and Perols. You can walk from either to the sea or take a local bus. We decided to be daring and walk from Lattes to Palavas-Les-Flots, the resort town right on the beach, along the beach and back up to Perols. It’s only 12 or 13 kilometres and ... read more
Le Lez
Old Bridge
Flamingos

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Castries April 7th 2019

The Castries adventure began on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We were entering the last week of our five week stay with Mr. Darcy and wanted to make sure we had seen all we wanted to see of the region. Our tools were a glass of Rosé, a baguette, some cheeses and the tourist map of Montpellier. What caught our eye wasn’t the town of Castries just outside the metropolitan area; it was the Tourist Information symbol beside the town’s name. If it has a tourist office, there must be something to see, right? Further examination led us to the quote “carrying water a distance of 6,822 metres to the Gardens of the Châteaux, it is considered to be the largest hydraulic system in France”. Having just seen the 55 kilometre aqueduct including the Pont du Gard, ... read more
Le Château
Old doors
Stairs




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