David Webster

dwebster

David Webster




Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony » Hannover July 9th 2009

Day 18: Thursday, July 9, 2009BRUSSELS, BELGIUMAs mentioned in my last blog, I had wanted to head north to Hannover, Germany from France, but couldn't get on the train I wanted. So last night I headed to Brussels instead. So that's where I find myself this morning. I'd been to Brussels before (twice), so had no desire to explore. My objective now was to get to Hannover, Germany.I stayed at the Capital Brussels (EC Hotel) last night. Nice hotel. If taking train to Brussels, it's a good place to stay. I mainly picked it for it's proximity to the train station (it's right across the street).Got an early start and was at the train station by 6:49 am. Wanted to make sure I got to Hannover, Germany today. In the train station there were displays of ... read more
Hannover
Hannover
Hannover

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Bayeux July 8th 2009

Day 17: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 BAYEUX, FRANCE Bayeux is one of the closest towns to the Normandy D-Day beach landings and was the first town liberated. While most Normandy towns suffered great damage during WWII, Bayeux is one of the few to sustain none. This is due in part to how quickly it was liberated, but also I read somewhere that the mayor got word to the allies that the town was of no strategic importance and germans weren't there. As a result, a bombing mission planned for the town was cancelled. Alarm 7:00am, but I rolled over. Breakfast wouldn't be served until 7:45-8:00 am anyway. I got up around 7:20 am. I'd already packed most of my things last night, so not much to do there. Took breakfast in Cafe at about 8:10 am. ... read more
Market in Bayeux
Market in Bayeux
Market in Bayeux

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Bayeux July 7th 2009

Day 16: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 SAINT MALO, FRANCE Slept pretty well, but woke up a couple times. I think I first woke about 5 am, perhaps earlier. When I noticed the sun wasn't up yet, I went back to sleep. I think some part of my brain was trying to tell me something because I awoke again at 6 am and roughly every 15 minutes there after. Had I listened to my brain, I would have caught an earlier train. I finally got up around 7:30 am. Showered, dressed, then spent some time trying to formulate a plan. I'd done just about everything I wanted in St. Malo last night, so I'd already made decision to move on and try to get to Bayeux before returning to Paris. Unfortunately, if I was serious about doing ... read more
Bayeux
Bayeux
Mill in Bayeux

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel July 6th 2009

Day 15: Monday, July 6, 2009 MONT-ST. MICHEL, FRANCE Alarm went off at 6:00 am, but no point in getting up that early. Not only was I tired, but it was very overcast outside. Went back to bed. Decided to get moving around 7 am or so. Today the plan is to tour Mont. Saint Michel. This UNESCO listed site was a former abbey built on a rocky island mount. Around the base of the mound were built protective walls within which a town and the abbey were built. Everything spirals up to the abbey, which sits at the apex. Previously it was connected to land via a thin natural bridge that would be covered during high tide. However, now days there is a raised causeway on which cars (and many tourist buses) can pass safely. ... read more
Mont-St Michel
Mont-St Michel
Mont-St Michel

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen July 5th 2009

Day 14: Sunday, July 5, 2009 CAEN, FRANCE Awoke 7:00 am. Paid the 6 euro (8.40 USD) to have breakfast at my hotel. The breakfast was ok. I thought it pricey for what I got. They offer the following: Cereals (3 kinds), Yogart (fruit or plain), orange juice, coffee / tea / hot chocolate, and 3 kinds of bread (croisant, roll, sliced bread). Maybe I'm just cheap. Today's plan is to tour Normandy. As many will know, Normandy has become synonymous with the WWII Allied D-Day landings that occurred there on June 6, 1944. The allies entered fortress europe by bombing the coast, dropping paratroopers, and assaulting the beaches code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Many lives were lost, but it gave the allies a foothold in France that ultimately led to victory. Today, ... read more
Sculpture at Memorial
Normandy Beaches
Gun Emplacement

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen July 4th 2009

Day 13: Saturday, July 4, 2009 PARIS, FRANCE 4th of July, Independance Day in the United States. Yet, I'm in France. Doesn't mean a thing here. Having completed my research yesterday, I am ready to travel south to Normandy. Aside from it's other attractions, many would know that the Normandy area is where the D-Day landings took place during WWII. After checking out of my hotel, it took about half an hour to travel via metro to St. Lazare train station. Note: Paris is a large city with several train stations. So when you are taking a train from Paris, you must know from which station it is travelling. For today's trip, my train left from St. Lazare station. At St. Lazare train station, I had my 2-month Eurorail Global Pass validated. This is necessary with ... read more
Eglise Saint Jean
Retro Festival in Caen, France
Retro Festival in Caen, France

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 3rd 2009

Day 12: Friday, July 3, 2009 PARIS, FRANCE I'd set the alarm to awake at 7:00 am, but didn't really get up until a bit later. Was scheduled to check out today and had intended to go to Normandy, but that didn't happen. I spent morning gathering information and planning, but it became evident at 10:00 am that I really wasn't ready to go to Normandy yet. So I opted to stay in Paris another day to rest, catch up on my Blog, and better prepare for Normandy. Gorgeous sunny day. Haven't had rain since reaching Paris. Didn't want to waste the entire day sitting in my room, so looked for things I could see or do. Decided on the following: Visit Le Pere Lachaise cemetery on northeast side of Paris. Go by Arc de Triumphe, ... read more
Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 2nd 2009

Day 11: Thursday, July 2, 2009 PARIS, FRANCE Decided today I would visit The Château de Versailles (or Palace of Versailles). According to the Versailles website, it "is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful." (1) Versailles is located just south of Paris, and is easily accessable via the RER train system, making it a popular destination for many visiting Paris. 7:55 am - Left hotel headed to St. Michel metro station to catch RER train to Versailles. From the book "Ri... read more
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 1st 2009

Day 10: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 PARIS, FRANCE New day, my first full day in Paris for this trip. Paris holds so many opportunities, there is so much to see and do. However, as I said in my last blog, I'd been to Paris before and wasn't interrested in doing the same things I've done before. Three objectives for this trip were Château de Versailles, Musée d'Orsay, and Musée Rodin. My friend and I had agreed that today we'd visit Musée Rodin. About Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917): Rodin was a French artist most famous as a sculptor. According to Wikipedia: "Many of Rodin's most notable sculptures were roundly criticized during his lifetime. They clashed with the predominant... read more
Rodin Museum
Rodin Museum
Rodin Museum Cafe

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris June 30th 2009

Day 9: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 LONDON, ENGLAND Woke around 8:00 am. Was still tired as I'd stayed up late last night cruising the Internet using the Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby. Unfortunately, that was a waste of time as I didn't find what I was looking for. Today taking the EuroStar to Paris. A friend decided to come along, so we agreed to meet at St. Pancras station at 11:45 am. That should give us plenty of time to catch our 12:29 am train. Got up, dressed at 8:30 am. Went downstairs to eat breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee). Coffee was terrible as usual. Afterwards, headed over to Queensway Street to see if I could get Underground ticket for less at discount ticket shop. No. Nothing less than the 4.00 pounds (5.64 USD) for ... read more
St. Pancras Station
EuroStar Train
Lourvre Museum




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