Grant Stinson


Grant Stinson

Trip of europe

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 9th 2016

Paris - Day 4 Decided to split up today… A girl’s day and a boy’s day. Grant left at 8 am to beat the cue for the Eiffel Tower and I stayed in bed, for a slow start. By all accounts he had a great day. Buddied up with a guy from Cincinnati Ohio at the top whose wife had also gone awal and they had coffee together. He then went to the Musee of Maritime. Meanwhile I walked down the Boulevard Haussmann to the Printemps and Lafayette Galleries. I did a couple of rounds of both but total concept shops, a bit intimidating with beautiful assistants standing around looking totally bored. As I had been sent out with my escorts credit card, I felt a small Julia Roberts moment. Not really my scene so off ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 8th 2016

Paris – Day 3 Left early for Versailles. Pick up was late due to traffic jam at the end of the street. Large truck just stops in the middle of the road of unload about 5 pellets of beverage. All converging streets come to a halt… tooting, yelling etc. Seemed to be of no concern the truck driver who just went about his business. Picked up two other couples, one couple from Phoenix, who were staying at an AirB (i.e no second B) on a boat on the Seine. I don’t think they were that pleased with their quality of accommodation but had the best view of anyone, straight onto the Eiffel Tower! Finally get onto motorway into a traffic jam due to accident. This was stressing the guide out as they have their slots booked ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 7th 2016

Paris Day 2 Needn’t have worried about the fat tyre bike tour! It was great fun. We took a taxi to the Dupress station area to make sure we were in the right place then had something to eat in a café (really nice duck). A little disconcerting having the meeting place directly outside the pharmacy promoting braces and bandages etc. Anyway lovely tour guide Tony, measured us up for our bikes and don’t forget the high viz vest. Helmet never mentioned! (Crazy Paris traffic would be interesting to know stats on Car vs bike) Of we went at about 7.20 18 little yellow ducklings following behind Orange Mother duck (Tony). As we left the drizzle became quite heavy but no time to stop for poncho – must keep up. According to Tony’s instructions there were ... read more
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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 6th 2016

Lyon to Paris Vacated our stateroom by 8.30 and enjoyed our last breakfast on ss Catherine. Very sad to say goodbye and psyching up for getting back to looking after ourselves. Filled in the morning doing blog photos admin and then got the taxi with a couple of our Uniworld buddies to Lyon train station. We were both on the TGV to Paris but had to split up on boarding as our seats were at opposite ends of the train (Two trains joined together). The trip was two hours and we arrived by taxi from the station at our hotel by 3 pm. Fortunately, we looked over our itinerary on the train to find we were booked into a restaurant for dinner. Being kiwis and not knowing where we were going we left early and we ... read more

Europe » France » Burgundy » Beaune September 4th 2016

ss Catherine – Burgundy Woke up this morning in the village of Macon. On the bus at 8.30 for the beautiful trip through the Burgundy countryside to the village of Beaune. We passed on a detour through the lovely little village of Torne half way between the North and the South of France – a good place to stop for lunch (sort of like Hamilton only nothing like Hamilton)with a Michelin star restaurant. I never knew before Michelin star = 1 star for food, 2 stars food and service, 3 stars for hotel; too. So in future go for the one star Michelin its cheaper and you still get the best food. We passed the little village of Dijon (this is appellation AOC) heartland. Arrived and the village of Beaune. Very lovely and we arrived on ... read more

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Lyon September 4th 2016

Lyon Last night we arrived in Lyon after dark. It is an exceptional pretty town to sail into by night. There are new unusual buildings fully lit up in different colours. Also as you look up to the hills all the old buildings are beautifully lit with the cathedral at the top being the crowning glory. Lyon lays at the point where the Rhone river and the Soane river converge or as the say confluence. It has a long and distinguished history for silk and textile making and is known as the world’s leading centre of textile design. We went on the usual walking tour with a guide for an overview and to hear a brief history. First stop in the morning was the famous food market Le Halles who famous patron is Paul Bacuse the ... read more
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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Tournon-sur-Rhône September 4th 2016

ss Catherine – Rhone River – Burgundy Woke up this morning to the twin towns of Turnon-sur-Rhone and Tain l' Heritage. They are across the river from each other but connected by the two first suspension bridges built in Europe and before the Golden Gate Bridge. The twisting wire process was developed for these. We were guided through the small town of Turnon sur Rhone a cute medieval village. With castle cathedral and the cobbled streets. Funny thing on our walk we came across large windows looking into a spotless high tech workshop with mostly Asian people making dentures and bridges etc. It looked weirdly out of place in the old villages but obviously was making work for the locals. The guides like to talk about their socialist country. They are proud of the free health ... read more

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes September 1st 2016

SS Catherine – Rhone River – Provence Well, today is Wednesday, day three, and I’ve just sat down in the Leopard bar with a glass of Rose’ about the hundredth glass of Rose. When in Rome! The French seem to drink Rose’ for breakfast. We are enjoying our little bit of luxury very much. The boat is beautiful; it exceeds the photos. The service is amazing, nothing is too much trouble. The food is better than ever. We were well pleased to have covered the Popes Palace and Avignon before boarding as we were able to take advantage of other options for our excursions. On Monday after lunch we went with 15 others on the bus for an hour and arrived at the river Gardon. After the safety briefing we were all into Kayaks for the ... read more

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur August 29th 2016

Avignon à ss Catherine We braved the heat again this morning to do the tour of the papal palace. But first stop was the Les Halles (food market) for breakfast. Fabulous food market selling fresh as well as precooked food. You could take home to heat, or one of the bars/coffee shops would cook for you. Very colourful and noisy. The Popes palace was started 1335 by the popes when they moved to Avignon for political reasons. There were nine popes to live here in all before they moved back to Rome. It remained in the hands of the popes until the 1700’s. The castle suffered sieges, a fire, a revolution and being turned into an army barracks for a hundred years until 1900 when the army moved out and they started restoration. Avignon is a ... read more
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Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon August 28th 2016

Provence in a Day Left at 9am in the minivan for the grand tour of “Provence in a Day”. If Peter Maylehad known Julien and his van he could have done it in a day also. But I guess there would have been no movie. We were accompanied by a nice Asian family from New Jersey. “Where were you from before New Jersey” my escort asked? “New York!” they answered… So first stop. Le Pont du Gard. A magnificent looking Roman Bridge and aqueduct dating from around….. oh you know….about 40AD. The stones were all cut by hand and placed together – no mortar. It took 5 years to build the bridge and 15 years for 50km of aqueduct. Amazing construction engineers those Romans but then they had a lot of slaves… Beautiful clear cold water ... read more

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