Page 9 of Trabern Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Giverny May 20th 2015

We were up early this morning for another big driving day and because we wanted to reach Giverny in time to see Monet's garden. We were down in the dining room by 7.00am, having breakfast with all the business people, checked out and on the road by just after 8.00am. We set the Sat-Nav for Giverny and off we headed up the A6 towards Paris. With our road map of Southern France about to run out at just north of Macon we stopped at the Aire (services) stop at Macon for a toilet break and stretch. Bernie was prepared to just trust the Sat-Nav, but I wanted to buy a map just to be able to see where we were actually travelling. We were able to purchase a map of all of France, but the scale ... read more
Monet's Garden
Monet's studio
Monet's Garden

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Lyon May 19th 2015

We were too late yesterday afternoon to book one of the walking tours of Lyons included with our City Passes. Bernie rang first thing this morning and the only tour available today is at 2.30pm ... in French. Bernie asked if we could book onto the French speaking tour anyway so that we could be guided around some of the traboules - the hidden passages that the silk workers used to use to transport goods - in the old city. We figured that as long as we were guided to some of the secret passages to take some photographs we could manage without the commentary. We were booked onto the tour and asked to call at the Tourist Office before 2.30pm to collect our voucher. We caught the train into the Bellecour Station, found the Tourist ... read more
Ponte Bonaparte
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière mural
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière stained glass

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Lyon May 18th 2015

After 11 days of reasonably leisurely exploration of the south of France it was time to put some serious kilometres on the odometer of the Mercedes. But, before hitting the motorway, we had to try to find somewhere in the Tarn Valley to photograph the Millau Viaduct from a different angle. We tried programming the Sat-Nav, but the only route she could come up with seemed to be an 'as the crow flies' route which was actually impossible for us to drive. Bernie looked at a map last night and decided to see if he could get us to the river working from his memory of the map! Well, we had a few false starts and several U-turns but, eventually, we found a spot where several other cars were pulled up and the tourists were taking ... read more
From the terrace
A bit down the road
Bridge with river

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Millau May 17th 2015

This morning Nicole served another HUGE breakfast. This morning we had strawberries and yoghurt/crème fraîche again which was yummy, but it's still like having dessert for breakfast! Then Nicole presented us with Nutella mousse in martini glasses garnished with cake which she told us is a specialty of hers. OMG we'd already eaten one dessert for breakfast, but felt obliged to eat the Nutella mousse as well. I guess there are worse things that can happen when you are travelling than being served two desserts for breakfast?! We said our farewells to the delightful Nicole and Robert who plied us with gifts as we were paying our bill. Water for our journey, a tin of their home-made pâté (the one we were eating on Friday night) for Bernie and a tea-light candle holder for me. Thank ... read more
Ecluses de Fonseranes
Combined bike run race

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Carcassonne May 16th 2015

I forgot to mention that just after we reached the A9 yesterday afternoon Bernie had an 'Oh no, I left the iPad on the floor beside the bed this morning' moment. Really??!! The more he thought about it the more convinced he was that he just could not remember packing it. I suggested that we pull over to check, but Bernie wanted to get us to the B&B in Béziers before it got any later and then worry about driving back to Avignon for the iPad if necessary. Of course that meant that we both spent the whole trip envisioning a drive back to Avignon. As soon as we pulled up at the B&B Bernie looked for the iPad ... which had been safely packed this morning. All that stress for nothing! We slept well and ... read more
The Porte Narbonnaise
The Comtal Château

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Beziers May 15th 2015

This morning it was cold and windy in Avignon. It was so cold and blustery that Tatiana served breakfast upstairs in the house. We were told when we arrived that the venue for breakfast depends entirely on the forecast! It's hard to know why people act like Melbourne is the only place in the world that experiences highly variable weather; it was 30°C in Avignon yesterday and today the temperature will be lucky to reach 20°C. We are getting better at negotiating our way into the towns that we are visiting! This morning Bernie had picked out a well-located parking garage on a map of Nîmes that he found on the Internet and programmed the address into the Sat-Nav. The Sat-Nav duly guided us straight down the A9 and into the centre of Nîmes without us ... read more
Nîmes Arena from the front
Maison Carrée
Maison Carrée close-up

This morning was mild with a forecast temperature of 30°+ so Tatiana served breakfast in the garden which was lovely. After breakfast we headed over the Pont Daladier ... again ... this time to visit the Palais des Papes (the Papal Palace of Avignon) that was created during the Great Schism - a split within the Roman Catholic Church during the period 1378 to 1417. Effectively there was a true Pope in Rome and an 'antipope' who ruled from Avignon. It's much more complicated than that, but I'm going to look it up again on Google if I want to remind myself of the details. The Palace of the Popes is the biggest building ever built during the Gothic period. Built in less than 20 years, the palace stands in powerful testimony to the presence of ... read more
Palace of the Popes
Palace of the Popes and the Cathédrale
Palace of the Popes courtyard

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles May 13th 2015

This morning we had to pack up our bags again and continue on our way. We are going to miss Le Moulin des Pinchinats and our hosts Anne and Jean-Fraçois! This morning Anne served us dessert again for breakfast this time a delicious rhubarb and strawberry crumble. Bernie followed that with some muesli and yoghurt. I had upended my yoghurt onto my crumble to make sure that I ate my probiotics ... and could justify following up my breakfast dessert with a chocolate croissant. I will absolutely, positively not share an entree with Bernie at tonight for dinner! Since we travelled along the southern outskirts of Arles yesterday we thought that today's journey into Arles would be trouble-free I mean - we did a dry run yesterday, right?? Well, you would think so. We have been ... read more
Les Cryptoportiques
Le Cloitre Saint-Trophine tapestry
Le Cloitre Saint-Trophine Bell Tower

Today's entry starts with a Bird Nerd alert! This morning we set the Sat-Nav for Arles to get us heading in the right direction for the Camargue, a large wetland in the Rhône delta south of Arles known for its pink flamingo breeding grounds. It is also well known for the black bulls and white horses that are bred in the area, but we were more interested in its diverse bird life and especially the possibility of seeing a large flock of flamingoes. Jean-François warned us last night that the mosquitoes would be really bad in the Camargue so we stopped at a pharmacy on our way through Aix and purchased some tropical strength 'moustique' repellant. We reached the outskirts of Arles without any problems and continued on across the Rhône and then turned onto Route ... read more
Yellow irises
Taking flight, La Capelière
Landing in La Capelière

The rain shower this morning was A-MAY-ZING. Bernie dreams of having a walk-in rain shower so, before we came on holiday, I made some enquiries about how much it might cost to convert the standard shower recess in our ensuite into a walk-in rain shower while we were away, as a surprise for Bernie. O-M-G, the quote I was given was ridiculous! Who knew that it would cost around $20,000 to make some changes to the smallest room in the house?! Needless to say, Bernie is going to have to make the most of the rain shower here in Provence for the next three days. So we really enjoyed our showers this morning and then came downstairs to breakfast. There was already heaps of food on the table and then Anne came through from the kitchen ... read more
Saint-Sauveur Cathedral
Saint-Sauveur Cathedral Pulpit
Saint-Sauveur Cathedral Organ

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