Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

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Friday, April 23, 2010


We are beginning to come to terms with the French obsession with lunch but it has taken a while. We keep forgetting and doing things like pulling into a petrol station to buy gazol (diezel ) only to find it closed for lunch till 2:30 !!!!
However we are using this obsession when we visit the chateaux. We get up late ( say 8:00am ) and don't get going till about 10:00 or 10:30. Then we arrive at the chateau around 11ish and by the time we've negotiated parking and entry it is close to lunchtime and there are hardly any people around !!
Good plan ?
On Wednesday we followed this plan and set off for Chenonceau arriving at our usual time. We feared this one might be crowded as it is very famous because of its picturesque building across the Cher river but there were not too many people there at all so once again we breezed our way through this unique building.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This week we are staying in a small village called Gy en Sologne.

The gite is right in the village which is very neat and tidy but without much colour as there is no grassed area or flowers. Athough there are lots of cottages round us it is very quiet.

Of course Tony has made friends with the lady who works in the Boulangerie where he buys his bagette every day!
The gite is very comfortable and well equipped but wait till you see the main bedroom upstairs.

Very lovely and huge.

The area we are staying in is  dotted with small lakes or ponds and little streams link them to eachother so the area is very popular for fishing I am told.
It is also very handy for visiting the chateaux of this area.


On Sunday after an early lunch we visited Chivernay .

 It is beautifully furnished and maintained throughout and one wing is still occupied by the family that owns it.
I really like to hear that as I hate to see these terrific buildings sitting empty.

 Lovely gardens just beginning to bloom.

After that we went on to Blois  where we explored the old part of the town and came upon some fine views of the majestic Loire river.

On Tuesday Chambord was the chateau of choice.

Enormous, imposing, isolated,

surrounded by water, then woods,

topped by lots of decorative chimneys and towers.

You can walk all the way round the huge building along this pretty walkway.

A delightful, decorative spiral staircase with links to Leonardo daVinci to progress from one level to the next
but   empty !
Such a pity to see this vast building without furniture, but it is all long gone.

The vast empty spaces of this chateau were used to store works of art that were hidden from the Germans during WWII.

Not a bad start to the week.
Oh and much warmer - sunny and around 18 degrees.


PS Just edited the name of the last chateau to Chambord. Good thing I reread what I had written this morning !!!


This is a quick post for Foody and Uncle Bernard who have been talking street music performers.
We saw this fellow belting out a tune on his "piano" right near Notre Dame in Paris.

He was singing along too.

His "instrument" doesn't seem to have quite the same finish as Uncle Bernard's but it worked OK !!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


At the risk of boring you to death I'm going to finish our stay in Normandy with what was, for us, a highlight.

On Thursday we set out to visit Honfleur.
My cousin E had told me it was a favourite of hers so we set off through the countryside, passing through a dear little village called Beaumont en Auge on the way.

When we arrived at the lovely little fishing village of Honfleur we knew we had hit the jackpot.

It is just picture post card perfect with very old buildings all along the quay and in front of them a huge number of open air cafes.

We settled ourselves at a table and, in our best French, ordered crepes for lunch.

Later we strolled around doing touristy stuff and I bought these lovely postcards.
They are watercolours - prints of course- but I'm going to frame them and put them in our family room when we get home.
What do you think?

This is the real thing.

This is the real thing. 

You can see why artists love this place can't you?

I think they are delightful and they are quite big - about 30cm x 12cm 

We explored some more and Tony found the old jail.

So we had a very pleasant day and finally toodled off home .

I've had a couple of requests to show you inside our gite, not an easy task to take photos inside such a confined space but here you are.

See the old bread over behind the fireplace.

Upstairs main bedroom.

Well that's it for our week in Normandy. Next week we are off to the Loire Valley.
See you there!


Monday, April 19, 2010


Nothing much happens in the French countryside on a Sunday.
That is unless you do lunch!
So we set of to this little town called Bagnoles de l'Orne for a three course lunch for 16 euro (about$25) which was lovely.

 After that we walked it off a bit around the pretty town which has lots of holiday accommodation and a lovely lake. 

On Monday we set off for Mont Saint Michel, the second most popular tourist attraction in France ( after the Eiffel Tower ).

It was a cold day with a freezing wind blowing off the North Sea but we set off for a drive of about an hour and suddenly it was there.

We both had about four layers on (including singlets !) and set off from the parking area. 
The tide was out so according to the board at the entrance where we had our car, it would be safe till after 6 that night.

Unlike Mount St Michael in Cornwall, this one has a raised causeway that looks like it gives permanent access but the parking areas either side are at the mercy of the tides.
Inside you wind your way along narrow alleys lined with shops and restaurants till you finally enter the abbey.

 It is an enormously imposing structure, huge and solid and altogether amazing  and you climb up and up and up to the chapel at the top.

The abbey is illuminated by natural light and very imposing.

The view to the sand banks below makes you realise how isolated and impregnable it has remained through the centuries.

Bayeux was on the agenda for Tuesday mainly to see the tapestry and we were not disappointed though I'm sorry to say I have no photos for you.

It is a truly impressive piece of work ( 70 meters long !), perfectly preserved and beautifully displayed. 
The town itself is a very pretty medieval town largely undamaged in WWII and has a very impressive church.

We moved on to the DDay beaches at Omaha where the US forces landed ....


and on to the US Memorial Cemetery.

 It is a beautifully kept memorial containing an enormous number of headstones all lined up perfectly and overlooking that wide expanse of beach below. Very moving.

Wednesday saw us head off to a market in St Hilaire du Harcouet then on to the town of Domfront which sits on top of one of the only hills around. 

The old town is lovely though these towns seem to have been badly affected by the world financial troubles with lots of businesses closed up.

Well as you can see we've been very busy trying to get around and see as much as we can before we move on to the next stop.
More about Normandy later.