Mary and Gary


Mary and Gary

We are headed to Europe on our bi-annual trip. We will first travel in Iceland driving the Ring Road (Hwy 1) around the island and then staying a few days in the capital for the annual jazz festival and some lobster soup. On 8/28 we head for Heathrow and end our day in Bath. The next morning we will begin exploring Great Britain. Join us on our adventure as we continue to meet new people and see many new and OLD places.

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Conwy September 4th 2012

We arrived in Conwy to a great older house B&B up on the hill looking over at the walled city. Our room is at the front of the house with a view of a park, the city wall and the castle. The home's gardens terraced down to the road are a wonderful addition. It is just a couple of blocks walk to the entry to the village. Conwy is on the coast. The next morning we woke to drizzle and decided to drive down toward the slate mine to visit the slate museum. This museum is free and is really worth the time to visit. It has a well done video presentation and a live demonstration of splitting the slate. They have brought in 4 cottages each decorated in the 50 year increments to show how ... read more
Driving into Conwy
Conwy wall
Conwy castle courtyard

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Gloucestershire » Blockley September 1st 2012

The Cotswolds are beautiful and full of people who take the time to stop and chat, answer questions and share opinions. We had an adventure of road directions but finally made it to our B&B. When you Google Moreton in Marsh and check out the surrounding area there is no Blockley unless you zoom in. Then this town shows up. Surprise... this is a wonderful small village complete with a couple of B&Bs, a great pub with an attached restaurant and a history. It is great what is around the next corner on the little back roads. Blockley has several newer homes built just after the war through the generosity of Winston Churchill's cousin. He made sure that this area was brought back to life. As you all know we had a camera misadventure... our B&B ... read more
Rose Tea Room Cafe
Great Western Arms Blockley
Outside an old school

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Somerset » Bath September 1st 2012

Landing at Heathrow was a little late since they sent us round a couple of times before we could land. But eventually we found our luggage. Now on to our rental car; Advantage rentals doesn't have a desk at the airport and no sign telling us how to find them. The helpful person at the tourist information desk made a phone call. We made our way to a lot at the back of Hertz finding a used trailer and about 6 cars. We were able to rent a Vauxhall that isn't as small as we had ordered but it is OK. Our next adventure was driving on the other side of the road... at 60+mph... during Monday late afternoon traffic... As a good friend of mine says, HOLY CROW... It was scary as a passenger at ... read more
raven ales ciders
Raven food menu
Raven food 2

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 26th 2012

On August 22 we drove around a peninsula in the north today visiting a VERY old church, seeing the Iceland Emigration museum, and then seeing the Aukeryeri Cathedral. The old church, Holar, was originally a Catholic Bishopric from 1061. In the mid-1500's the last Catholic was replaced by the Lutheran/Episcopal Bishop. In other words, this location has been the heart of the Icelandic Cee since 1061.... The church was rehabilitated in the 1990's but was kept as true to the original as possible with the several bishops' tombs in the floor of the alter area. There is a museum in a northern Iceland town that details the l800's emigration of several thousand Icelanders to the US and Canada. In fact one of the stories was about a woman that ended up in Point Roberts and Bellingham... ... read more
roadside sheep taking a rest
Skogarfoss waterfall

Europe » Iceland » North August 21st 2012

Good Afternoon from Iceland. We are sitting in the kitchen of an older farm house (Solvanes farm) that is 21 km south of Varmahlid, the last 6 km on a gravel road. There is a river running through the back yard with a small bridge. Today has been an adventure. We left the hostel this morning and headed north on the ring road (Highway 1). To be honest the weather isn't great... pretty foggy in parts this morning but some sun this afternoon. As we went along we stopped for a few photo ops. We saw three separate waterfalls just peeking through the hills. We were so impressed with the hills we stopped and low and behold as we stopped there was a waterfall in our sights... I have included one of those shots here. After ... read more
Solvanes Farm Holiday
Waterfall Surprise3
N1 travel center

Europe » Iceland » Northwest » Borgarnes August 21st 2012

We made it to Borgarnes yesterday after landing at Keflavik airport and renting a used car... Gary found a company that rents used cars. The one we have been assigned is a 10+ year old Nissan. It will definitely do the trip and costs about 1/2 of a regular rental car. On the way here we saw some great scenery especially as we went around Hvalfjordur with one way bridges and almost no traffic. The folks that are out and about are mostly interested in the beauty and probably taking a few hikes. We arrived in Borgarnes, found our hostel and did some exploring. We found a great little museum, The Settlement Center, that discusses the settlement of Iceland. It had an audio guide that walked you through the various small rooms. But by then jet ... read more

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles October 21st 2010

Next door to our time-share is a highly rated, gourmet restaurant in a country hotel. Last night we celebrated our trip and my birthday with a special night out. The restaurant-hotel is set in a restored 1600's mill over the Seine River. It is considered one of the true treats of France. We began with a walk beside the Seine River on a clear evening with stars and a bright moon. We were greeted by Pierre and seated in easy chairs in front of the fireplace for our appertifs. I ordered a kir royale and Gary had a martini; they were delivered with a tray of cheese puff-pastry. After deciding on our dinner choice, we were shown to our table in the dining room. This room seats 20 to 30 people and is decorated with crystal ... read more
Restaurant over the river Seine
Restaurant font over the Seine

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris October 20th 2010

Louvre Ahhhh! As we stood in the main entry of the the Louvre I am sure that my mouth just hung open. It is a shock to the system to know that you are in one of the largest museums in the world. As we went up the escalator, I knew that we would see only a fraction of the whole. Of course this first visit needed to include the famous three women... Mona Lisa, Venus, and Winged Victory. Yes, the Mona Lisa is smaller than I thought but it is beautiful. Venus is perfect and Winged Victory invokes the imagination of times of battles past. As we moved through the statues at the end of our visit, there were medallions from the Roman times. Gary found one that peaked his interest. d'Orsay As Rick Steves ... read more
Gary and the classics Louvre
the gates outside Versailles
a part of the gardens

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles October 19th 2010

With a husband who loves WWII history, of course our trip has had several visits to World War II locations. One of our first days in Europe was to visit the Anne Frank House. While in Berlin we spent time at the Reichstadt, Brandenburg Gate, Check-point Charlie, and the many memorials. Later we visited Terezin in Czech Republic and the Jewish Ghetto. Of course while we were in the Munich area, we spent time at Dachau. Later that week we were in southern Bavaria and saw Eagle's Nest (Hitler's country getaway and the documentation center at Ober-Salzburg. A week or so later we were in south Belgium and stayed in Bastogne, learning more about the Battle of the Bulge. This Monday was spent at the Beach (D-Day Beaches to be exact). We headed out to the ... read more
Cemetery memorial
Cemetery 1
Cemetery 2

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles October 19th 2010

A strike in France can put a damper on one's plans. The strike is mostly affecting the national fuel supply and the delivery system. Therefore, there is very little fuel at the gas stations. It is only a good idea to conserve in order to be sure to make it out of France at the end of the week. Yesterday, we were able to fill up and decided to visit the D-day Beaches. As we drove on the freeway, we saw the smoke from strikers burning tires in Caen and the 45+ minute lines to buy fuel at the few stations that still had some petrol. Gary remembers that his late brother Frank was in Paris during 1968 when there were student protests and national strikes that lead to the fall of the DeGaulle government. The ... read more
Time-share 2
Time-share 3

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