Page 8 of tonywilsonslo Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 4th 2014

Day 18 - PARIS in the Rain A bit of rain and a late start to the day had us missing breakfast all together this morning. We ventured into the city around lunchtime and found a cafe to eat at just as the next round of rain started. By the time we finished, so had the rain. We started toward Notre Dame Cathedral but by the time we got there the crowds were so big we just looked at the outside. There was a man who had coaxed a flock of sparrows to each from his hand and would set up tourists so that the birds would come to them too. We tried to get them to eat from us too but failed. From Notre Dame we tried to find the catacombs but got lost and ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 3rd 2014

Day 17 - PARIS in the Sun After a bit of a sleep in, we headed to Paris. The trip to the Eiffel Tower took a bit longer due to some temporary closures of the underground lines servicing the Eiffel Tower area (Summer seems a terrible time to close some of the busiest tourist stations, but C'est la vie). We were able to score tickets to the top of the tower only a few days in advance, which was very lucky. You really should buy them as soon as you can. All of us were very excited about the structure and mechanics of the various parts of the tower, especially the lifts. In case you didn't know... the Eiffel Tower is very tall. With nothing else around it nearly as tall, the impact of the ascent ... read more
Anne's Great Pic
Obligitory Post
We are going up THAT!

D-Day 16 - 70 years later For our last day in Normandy, we decided to visit the Bayeaux Tapestry and D-day invasion beaches. The tapestry was very interesting. It holds a lot of historical significance, and it is interesting to see the story from the point of view of the French (Anne and Tony learned a more English version of the story). One of the most striking impressions was the exhibit which runs the story of William the Conquerer and the battle of Hastings in parallel with the D-Day invasion of France in 1944. It is very interesting to look at these two events, as they bear striking resemblance, and really drives home the fact that history repeats itself. After the Tapestry viewing, we ate at a fantastic Creperie by an old mill. The riverside terrace ... read more
Cool old Mill
Hamster's Artistic Side
Yummy Crepes

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Giverny July 1st 2014

Day 15 - Art Appreciation We planned a less ambitious day today. Northern France was the home of Claude Monet, the leader of the Impressionist Art Movement. His home and gardens in Giverny were turned into a museum open for public tours in the 1970s. Monet painted some of his most recognizable works while living there, including Waterlilies. We were able to walk through his home and see reproductions of the many works he painted while living there. We were also able to see the lily pond where he painted many famous works. Anne really enjoyed the visit. She took many pictures of the flowers, landscapes, and Tony and Michelle. Tony took many pictures of Anne taking pictures. We had lunch at the restaurant across from the museum with some French dishes. Afterwards we headed back ... read more
Worth a picture
Historic View
Worth a picture

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles June 30th 2014

Day 14 - Underground in Normandy Today was our first real day out as tourists in France. Since we like to visit caves we started by looking for caves sites in France. Funny thing is, most caves are found in mountains. Not a lot of those in Northern France. We did find some man-made caves that had been turned into a hide away for local villagers during WWI. The caves started out as a quarry for chalk and were expanded to house over 2000 people and their animals. It was over 33 meters below ground and very extensive (300 chambers). They even managed to find ways to heat it without the smoke giving away the existence of the caves. They piped the underground chimneys to fake (and/or real) tradesmen locations, like a mill house. After the ... read more
Going Down?
Underground Chapel
Audio Tour

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles June 29th 2014

Day 13 - Nothing is open on Sunday In France, Sunday is a day to spend with your family. This is not compatible with our tourist schedules. Time to kick back, eat some freshly delivered croissants, watch the rain, take a walk by the river, go to the pool, and attempt to find an open restaurant or grocery store. That's pretty much what we did today. The resort has bread delivered each morning at 8AM. Orders have to be in by 7:30 the night before. We ordered 6 croissants (hey, they could have been small) and a baguette, all quite tasty. Michelle and Tony gobbled theirs up but Anne saved her second croissant for an afternoon snack. After breakfast we all went for a walk around the grounds. There is a small island across the bridge ... read more
Really Big Castle
How Low Does It Go?
View From the Top

Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Connelles June 28th 2014

Day 12 - Driving Again, or Don't Buy A Citron Automatic 4AM is really very early. Topping it off with a 2+ hour drive in a jerky car with poor GPS through Paris, trying to shop in a grocery store in a language only one of you kinda understands, and a late check in time makes for a very long day. We survived all of that with some good humor (except for Michelle, she just fell asleep as soon as we left the airport) and some good music. We can now say we've driven in Paris, not that we know where we were or what we saw but we did drive there. We have no desire to do it ever again :). The speed limits in France seem to be much slower compared to England, which ... read more
Pressing Need?
Hamster Porter
Make Energy When You Can

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Wiltshire » Salisbury June 27th 2014

Day 11 - And You Thought the Alamo Was Old After a fine breakfast provided by our B&B hosts we scuttled off to Stonehenge just up the road from Salisbury. The rain that had been hovering about 3 days off the whole time we have been here finally caught up with us and we hoped to see Stonehenge before the real rain started. The site was closed off several years ago to prevent damage that was being done by the hordes of visitors every year. The last time Tony was there you were not able to get very close and had to look at the site through a wooden fence. The new arrangements are much better. While you can not walk among the stones unless you have a special tour time, you can get very close ... read more
Audio Tours are cool
A bit windy

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Warwickshire » Warwick June 26th 2014

Day 10 - The Royal Road Today we have another long trip planned. It would normally take us about 3 hours to get from Wychnor to Salisbury. On the way, we planned to spend a couple of hours at Warwick Castle and maybe stop at a few other locations. Just before Warwick we stopped at a ruined castle complex called Kenilworth Castle. The original buildings were built in the 1100s and addtions were made until the 1600s. After the English Civil War the castle wall was torn down so that it couldn't be used as a stonghold again. Many of the buildings had areas that were still accessible. Michelle enjoyed climbing through the halls and finding small dark nooks to explore. The Castle was one of the English Heritage sites. We bought a pass that lets ... read more
I saw the Light
One Lane
Castle Ruins

Day 9 - Golf? Aye, Golf! After yesterday's road trip we all needed some time out of the car. Michelle and Anne spent the morning playing Crazy Golf (Minigolf). Michelle tried to get the ball to go the wrong way through the dinosaur. After crazy golf we all ate lunch and then Michelle and Tony played 9 holes of REAL golf. The resort had clubs for Michelle, but they had to go down into the "haunted cellar" to grab them. Michelle got the hang of it rather quickly (except for the sand traps) but they both spent quality time looking for lost balls. After golf it was time for a dip in the pool. We rounded out the day with a driving tour of Barton-under-Needwood and dinner at a local tavern. Tomorrow we checkout and head ... read more
Thumbs up, wrists together...
(quiet applause)
In the Rough

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