Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 20th 2019

Intended to sleep in today but for some reason- the high volume, high noise traffic through the night - we were both awake, reading, at 5.30 this morning. Enjoying an open window and fresh air does have its drawbacks. Our aim today was to catch up with the Eiffel Tower, take a river cruise up the Seine, and visit the Arc de Triomphe, leaving the smallest footprint possible. We achieved that by leaving the greatest carbon footprint possible; we caught the bus both ways. It was a five minute walk from here, the driver never took the money for the first trip, but it was packed; just a sign of things to come. There were at least 30 buses parked at the crossroads just near the Eiffel Tower, and that was a quick count. The crowds ... read more
A house boat
Poor Notre - Dame de Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 19th 2019

As a concession for the blister on Sue’s toe from being led around Paris all day yesterday, we caught the Number 38 at the bus stop near our hotel this morning. I’m all heart. We walked everywhere yesterday, and Sue didn’t complain once; and that’s the problem with walking with Sue. She is so stoic it borders on foolhardy. I’m not going to get into the Camino we did; ask Tim. No one likes a whinger, but I’d love to hear about someone I’m with suffering in silence. I don’t bite. Anyway, I bought some bandages, taped up the toe, and we bussed the longest trips today. It did the trip. Our first destination was the famously extravagant and expensive Galeríes Lafayette, a department store known for stocking high end, exclusive brands. I saw a watch ... read more
The interior

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 18th 2019

Convert ! Convert ! Convert ! These words of Brigham Young, the founder of the Mormons, to the missionaries as they ventured out into the world to spread the Word of God, are as relevant today as ever. As I mentioned yesterday, conversion is an important tool in the travellers survival guide. Everywhere we travel, if the currency is foreign to you, learn the approximate conversion . The Australian dollar rates a little better than tissue paper at the moment and, at about a 60 cents in the dollar exchange, anything costing €6 is $10 at the till. And that’s without accounting for any price difference. My only ever encounter with a pair of Mormons - there’s safety in numbers - was in 1978. I was a fresh faced 23 year old in need of a ... read more
Musée des Arts et Métiers
A plane developed on the design of a bat.

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 17th 2019

How good is Paris? Well, if the assessment is linked to rainfall, today was excellent. After a long uneventful flight from Hong Kong to Paris, we arrived weary, sore, but ready to make the most of a 3 day break in Paris, with a wish list of stuff to do. Hopefully we can cram plenty into 2 days now, because after queuing for what seemed forever in a line of people who treated the train ticket office at the airport as a tourist information office - I’m definitely becoming less tolerant as I get older - we rose from the bowels of the Paris Metro, only to be greeted with cool, wet conditions. No matter, we are wet, but we are wet in Paris. Our hotel is only a short walk from the station, and I ... read more
That Rain Didn’t Let Up At All

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island » Stanley August 16th 2019

Mild turbulence and a thunderstorm welcomes us as we descend into Hong Kong. The ‘refreshment meal’ has been and gone, and it’s dawned on me that airline food is a bit like my old school lunches. Different food of course, but a filler just the same. We ate curried beef brisket earlier, and the chef has just dished out something described as cottage beef pie. What a wild imagination he has. It was OK, served a purpose, but it was like the old school lunches. You know, the sandwiches dad made the night before, wrapped in wax paper, and as dry as the Lake Eyre salt pans by the time lunch came around 15 hours later. It was usually honey, completely absorbed by the bread, or good old vegemite. White bread was the popular choice, which ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Bacchus Marsh August 14th 2019

Hi. It’s come time to venture out on a trip to Europe again, the main objective being to attend our son Tim’s wedding ( hi Natalia). We fly out in a few days, providing things have settled down in Hong Kong long enough for our Cathay Pacific plane to touch down, and the onward flight to take off. We’re hopeful. After a few nights in Paris, we are travelling to Dijon for 2 nights, Ribeauville - I have to look that word up every time I use it - for 4 nights, before driving ( did I mention Tim joins us in Dijon with a car ) to Luxembourg for a night. On 28th of August, we fly to Wroclaw, Poland for the wedding, and to spend some time taking in the local attractions. On 3rd ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris November 6th 2018

Paris is like an new friend who you want to spend more time with, but there’s others you know you need to go and be with. I want to go home, but it would be nice to stay. I think it’s called escapism. It’s mid afternoon in the Shakespeare and Co. Cafe, at Rue de la Bucherie on the bank of the Seine. My window faces Notre Dame Cathedral, and tours led by yellow umbrellas, mysterious looking men I presume to be French, walking in slow motion, and the constant sound of motorcycles , ambulance sirens, and car horns, are all overshadowed by this church. The cafe is warm from the smell of savoury snacks and sweets, and berry crumble that you can get with a coffee for €7; don’t ask how I know. It feels ... read more
The Louvre
My Last Crossing Of The Seine
Lovely Hanging Autumn Vines

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris November 5th 2018

It’s a sad day today. Tim’s gone back to Luxembourg, as he has to, so I have the last 2 nights to myself before flying home to Australia. Today we slept in, Tim cooked a filling breakfast of delicate French mushrooms, spanish iberico chorizo, and semi cured cheese, followed by cereal and 2 cups of coffee. But I still can’t wait to go out and have a pastry. It’s going to stop soon, so I need to top up. It’s all about shopping, relaxing and a boat ride today. The first stop was Galeríes Lafayette, an up market store located near us, and it was just for a look at the interior, and a trip to the cafe observation deck at the roof level. Shopping’s not my thing and department stores are too confusing with their ... read more
Historical Shopping Arcade
The Front Entrance

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris November 4th 2018

Paris is slowly crawling into winter. It’s still a month away, but the cool chill in the wind, and the turning of the leaves to red and amber, tells me that winter is close. The leaves are holding onto branches for as long as they can, before floating to the ground, only to be trod into the damp paths, kicked around and played with by children, or scooped up by the many workers vacuuming the streets and parks, keeping Paris clean. Like Spaniards, the French love a cigarette, and happily drop the still burning butts at random, continuing an age old French tradition. You are never far from the smell of cigarettes or diesel fumes in Paris. Even the smallest cars are often diesel powered, adding to that fragrant, toxic cocktail of Paris. On a brighter ... read more
An Environmental Garden On The Side Of Appartments
Another Day, Another Market.

Europe » France » Île-de-France November 3rd 2018

Hi. I’m writing very little today as the photos track our movements and frankly, I’m tired. The weather gods have smiled on Paris today and the sun was shining for the first time in ages. Tim and I caught the Metro train to near the Bastille and spent the day walking, walking. The Marais,is a district oozing with character, and we often wandered towards a destination, turning up random streets, happy as long as we were headed in a particular direction. I’ve done this in Rome, and it can produce the nicest surprises at the turn of a corner. The streets were vibrant, and locals and tourists were out in force. Falafels are the food to eat here, and the many food shops had queues stretching up the street. We just had to be patient. There ... read more
Our Appartment
Home Maintenance Man Starts The Day
The Bottomless Pit

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