Jenny & Gerard Wells

Wells Tour de France

Jenny & Gerard Wells

Europe » France July 23rd 2011

We continue our travels and are now in Pont Aven Brittany, we arrived on Monday 11 July. To cover off what we have seen since my last post, we have stayed in St Genies-de-Fontedit (where we also travel to other main centres by train), we stayed with Adele in Bourdeilles (Dordogne region) and then to Pont Aven. St Genies (close to Beziers) we stayed at for 4 weeks, with Alison (Jennys friend) staying with us for the first week. Having a car for this time meant that we could travel around the region which is what we did. While Alison was with us we travelled to Carcassonne to view the historic town centre and the new town centre. It always amazes me the history that is here, that we don't have and how these buildings were ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Bayeux July 23rd 2011

Our last stop off in France before returning home was to visit the D-day landing beaches in Normandy. We based ourselves in Bayeux for three nights doing the war tour one day, and a day trip to Mont St Michel a second day. Bayeux was a lovely little town with a massive cathedral, and well set up to cater for the American tourists. We arrived at the little train station and found no taxis around so started to walk towards our hotel (less than one kilometre away – but we now have numerous heavy bags). Before we got far we noticed a small pub with the Tour de France playing so we stopped to have a drink and watch it. We’d been following progress live via internet on the train and it was in the last ... read more
Mont St Michel
Mont St Michel
Side of island with people playing in quicksand

Europe » France July 22nd 2011

As we’re nearing the end of our time we are all starting to look forward to home. What I’m most looking forward to is: • Seeing friends and family and being part of the everyday happenings of life. • My own bed, bathroom, kitchen (with all the bits and pieces I need and use and know where to find), and wardrobe (I’m over living out of a suitcase). • Carpet – we haven’t stayed in a single house or hotel that had carpet. I’m looking forward to the end of the creaks, noise, and cold hardness, and being able to comfortably walk bare feet around the house. The girls have even invested in a pair of slippers each here. • Some alone time – even just 10 minutes driving in the car alone. We have all ... read more
Travelling by train
Enjoying the food
market food

Europe » France » Brittany » Pont-Aven July 21st 2011

Pont Aven is an attractive town of artists. It was the home of Gauguin and a lot of his paintings are of the area. The town is now full of art studios – and tourists. It has a pretty little harbour and river with water wheels. A lot of the houses are white plaster with large grey stone window and door surrounds, and a few thatched roof houses like the one we’re staying in. (Ours is a bit more modern and up to date on the inside thankfully) The weather has not been the best for us, but I like to think it’s acclimatising us for home. We suspected it may be a bit wet here, as were warned by Adeles family, saw how green if was here, and every second stall at the market was ... read more
even our car matches
Pont Aven port
In the old village of Concarneau

Europe » France July 9th 2011

The first night we went out to watch the end of year dance show that Adele and Helene were both in. It was a fun little community gathering in the local school hall. All ages do the contemporary style dance classes, and were represented in the show, from four year olds to adults. The half time refreshments were crepes (much to Sophia’s delight) and coffee. The next day, Sunday, Francoise had planned a garden party to celebrate the end of the school year, and our arrival. There were 16 adults and about 10 teenagers. They came for lunch, then the afternoon was spent chatting, playing petanque, and the teenagers kayaked along the river. It was so hot (around 30 deg) we all went for a swim at Joelle and Freds house nearby with a pool. Most ... read more
Canoeing from Bordeille
Dinner at Josiane & Jean-Guys
caves at St christophe

Europe » France July 9th 2011

Finally we get to meet Adeles family, and see Adele again after two years. I got to the station first and the whole family were there to meet me. It was quite emotional. We had a drink while waiting for Gerard, Olivia and Sophia who arrived 45 minutes later. Adele had said her parents didn’t speak English, but they certainly knew quite a bit and we didn’t have too much trouble communicating. Adele hasn’t changed a bit, apart from now being able to drive which seemed weird. The week has been amazing. Francoise and Thierry are lovely lovely people and we get on so well. Thierry has a dry witty sense of humour that I love, and Francoise is so caring and enthusiastic. They are both so generous and welcoming. We have so much in common ... read more
Lunch at Charbonnel
buying essential supplies
Tea with Carole & Bernard

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 1st 2011

As we were winding down in our last week in the South I had a text from Rhonda who was in the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery having some pretty nasty tests for some potentially serious problems. So I caught the first available train back to London (nine hours by train). It was nice to be in a position to be able to get there relatively quickly unlike Mum and Dad being stuck in New Zealand and unable to do much except wait and worry. The days in hospital consisted of waiting for the next test or visit from the doctors. Following each activity we’d spend hours analysing each development and coming to our own conclusions and speculations (along with a bit of googling). We also spent ages discussing every little medical thing in our ... read more

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon June 24th 2011

To make full use of our remaining time in the South we selected a few key cities/towns/villages to daytrip to before we leave. First up was Nimes which was well known for it’s roman architecture and history. It had the worlds (apparently) best preserved roman arena built in 2AD. It was really impressive and mostly intact – a lot more so than Rome’s colluseum. The best part about it was the audio guide and displays throughout. They did such a good job of telling us of, and getting us to imagine being there throughout its history of gladiator fights, circus’s, slave killings, military base, and bull fights. There were sound effects setting the scene on the audio guide, video displays, and costumes and weapons on display. They still use the arena today for two annual bull ... read more
town hall
Nimes town hall

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » La Rambla June 21st 2011

We all loved Barcelona. The shopping, the architecture and the culture! We decided to visit as a mini break from our four week stay in St Genies, as it was only a four hour train trip away. We booked an apartment right on La Rambla for three nights. Great location and atmosphere, but unfortunately that atmosphere and noise never switched off giving us very little sleep. We made sure we had somewhere with Wifi so we could catch up on some internet usage and skyping. We certainly hang out for contact with everyone at home after being away for so long. We started our visit with the ultra touristy open topped bus circuit. The commentary was very lacking but it was good to get a feel for the main areas and see a relatively big area ... read more
Thirsty work
La Ramblas at night
La Sagrada Familia

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Herault June 18th 2011

Our days are now spent reading, writing and school work, planning meals, shopping for food for meals, cooking and walking through the vineyards either early morning or evening or both (its too hot during the day). We go out every second day or so to look at the sights, shop, or just to the pub in the next village, which is our closest wifi access, to do our internet stuff. I’ve been enjoying cooking here. After eating out at restaurants for two months it’s nice to have home cooked food. I’ve been trying out lots of French recipes from an excellent recipe book that was in the house. The weather has been in the high twenties to thirty this week with no rain, so very pleasant. It can get quite breezy at times, which is welcome ... read more
St Geneis de Fontedit
our house
Market day in St Geneis

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