Giverny and Paris

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December 1st 2011
Published: January 22nd 2012
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Rouen, Paris,Calais

Friday 15th July 2011

Drive to Giverny and the house and gardens of Claude Monet the famous french impessionist painter. Thanks to JF ( who had suggested we book online and print out our tickets ) we avoided the lengthy queue for the ticket office and went straight in.

Here the visitor can see the house, garden, pond and japanese bridge featured in a number of Monet's paintings. The artist lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926 aged 86.

Back on the road to our campsite NW of Paris in the suburb of Maisons Laffitte about 11 miles from the center and with access via a direct rail connection.

Saturday 16th July 2011

Up and out early for a day in Paris.

First on the list L'arc de Triomphe with its Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ( WW1 ) then on to the Eiffel Tower where the queues were long for ascent by lift but much shorter and half the price if you were prepared to climb the steps. So leaving Max firmly rooted to the ground 'the boys' once again climbed to the heights.

Built in 1889 'La dame de Fer' or Iron Lady is the icon of France, built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World Fair and named after its designer Gustave Eiffel it is still the tallest building in Paris at 324 metres ( 1063 feet ). It is also the most visited paid monument in the world as demonstrated by the long queues.

Our ticket gave us access to the second of three levels at 115 metres from here a further ticket can be purchased to take the visitor to the top level at 276m however as the wait was estimated at over an hour we decided to skip it and after admiring the city from every side made our way back to ground level.

After locating Max we made our way towards Les Invalides stopping on the way for lunch at a local Brasserie which turned out to be good value for central Paris.

After lunch we made our way to the Louvre where the long queue for entry was not as bad as it looked moving quickly and giving us entry after about 20 minutes. Inside it was heaving as we made for the Mona Lisa ( an item on Max's 100 things to see or do before I die list ) That seen ( sorry I'm not greatly impressed ) we wandered through the Greek and Roman galleries before making an exit to street level, the metro and home.

Sunday 17th July 2011

Today we head north to St Quentin en Tourmont north of Abbeville, close to the Bay of the Somme and within striking distance of the Calais. The weather was taking a decided turn for the worse however once on site the indoor swimming pool with slides and sauna allow an satisfactory afternoon of amusement. The site was also staging an indoor event with games for children including air rifle target shooting which went down well with B&J.

Monday 18th July 2011

We must be nearly home as the weather is cold, wet and windy - after all its only JULY ! Schoolwork day and a chance to slope off to the sauna and a bit of me time for Dad. Its a shame the weather is poor as there appears to be lots to do in the area but shouldn't complain as for the vast majority of this epic trip the weather has been fantastic. Close to the campsite entrance are a snail farm and seafood shop. Snails - not today but brown shrimps yes please - are they as good as Morecambe Bay potted shrimps ? Yes !

Tuesday 19th July 2011

Short drive to Calais for our ferry back to Blighty.

Mixed feelings as we approach the white cliffs of Dover.

What a fantastic trip. Would we do it again ? YOU BET !

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