A Travellerspoint blog

Our Final Fling in France

More food, sights, and queue jumping

all seasons in one day 21 °C

After a brief interlude while Simon popped over to London for Live Earth,

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and Clare popped over to Switzerland to visit Jen one last time,

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we rendez-voused in Paris.

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As far as destinations on our trip went, we really enjoyed Paris. The city has heaps to offer in terms of galleries and landmarks, but the highlights were often just exploring the little nooks and crannies and various neighbourhoods and gardens on offer. Though it was rather tiring – things just looked so much closer together on the map!

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Ev and Nat – this one’s for you – cool little bee sanctuary in the Luxembourg Gardens.
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Some strange building with plants growing all over it…
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Clare even managed to squeeze in some shopping, while Simon lived up to his reputation as ‘destructo’ in this shop…

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We did the usual tourist things, museums, Eiffel Tower, etc, but we did it in style, never waiting in a single queue or paying full entry fees (in fact, getting free entry to most places!). The tourists who had to queue 4 hours for each sight must have loved us. There have to be some perks to the wheelchair.

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And no trip to Paris would be complete without a night out at the Moulin Rouge, along with a double Absinth aperitif for Simon.

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Our original plan was to stay just 4 nights, but we were enjoying ourselves so much, that when we realised it was Bastille day the day after we were due to leave, we chose to stay on two more nights to partake in the celebrations.

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We were lucky enough to meet up with Clare’s school friend Prue and her friends Lara and Fleur for a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, to watch the 14th July fireworks.

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What a perfect end to an amazing 3 months in Europe.
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After 24 brief hours in London and 24 hours in Hong Kong, we’re almost home. We look forward to seeing all of you soon!

We hope you've enjoyed following our adventures almost as much as we've enjoyed living them!

Posted by fishitaly 17.07.2007 23:26 Archived in France Comments (0)

Why French Tourists Get Fat

Indulging in Provence

sunny 25 °C

When you are staying in a place like this what more do you need to say really?

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Clearly Provence was beautiful.

We spent most of our time touring around like a middle aged couple taking pictures of nice villages and pretty flowers. A quick photo diary should tell the story…

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Perhaps we had seen too many Roman ruins by this stage;

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Whilst not desecrating graves and taking photos of pretty things we (get ready for it) ate. Hence the title of this blog.

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One evening the hosts of the guest house put on a superb four course meal for all of the guests. The best of local wine and produce was in abundant supply and it was a great chance to chat with fellow travellers as well as some of the locals.

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After stuffing our bellies there was also time to laze by the pool for a day and burn them.

As for why French women don’t get fat;

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Not too appetising.

Posted by fishitaly 17.07.2007 23:17 Archived in France Comments (1)

Sightseeing from Verona to Provence

Taking in Portofino, San Remo, and Monaco

sunny 29 °C

We have been on the go for the past few weeks, cramming as much in as possible before our imminent departure. So apologies for the lack of blogging. These are the highlights of our three day journey from Verona to Provence, back in the first week of July.

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This is us outside Monte Carlo Casino. The whole place was a bit rich for us.

Q. Where do you park your boat when you’re out at sea?

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A. Your boat.

And your helicopter?

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And your car?

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A. In the nearest disabled spot you can find.

Clare smuggling a cannonball?

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We also drove through Portofino.

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My advice – don’t bother.

Back in San Remo we headed out for dinner. To our surprise, dad was on the menu:

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Upon deciding the gambling was too rich in Monaco, we headed out to the salubrious San Remo casino. We did quite well. Managed to win our money back in no time. (Clare quickly confiscated the necessary chips.) As dinner had now been free we decided to play on with our left over stack. After a little while we thought we’d cut and run. We asked the dealer to cash us in for a $50 euro chip please. He counted it up and did the noble thing and gave us $100.

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Next stop Provence…

Posted by fishitaly 16.07.2007 10:49 Archived in Monaco Comments (0)

Hola! Thnap happy in Barthelona

Tasty tapas, amazing architecture, and way too many photos!

sunny 26 °C

Excited to be getting a taste of another European culture and country, we set off for Verona airport. Once again (as was the case when Simon went to Prague, and when Shane and Sara visited), Verona airport was running late. The Italian passengers were not happy.

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Nevertheless, they got us all on the plane, and after we had sat there for an hour and twenty minutes, and listened to a few explanations of the delay being a problem with the airport (not the Spanish airline, of course), we were finally told our delay was caused by a sciopero. Ah Italia. We finally got clearance to take off and we were on our way to Spain.

It didn’t take us long to figure out that to be understood in Barcelona, we just had to speak Italian with a lisp. “Grathiath!” It is so fun to hear Spanish being spoken, always so animatedly. Although it is a little confusing when it’s your taxi driver speaking it as if you should be able to understand, and you have no idea where he’s taking you or what he’s talking about!

We spent our first day exploring the city on foot, checking out the amazing food on offer in the markets.

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We headed down to the beach where it was blowing a bit of a gale, but that didn’t stop the tourists packing it out and soaking up the rays (topless!). They even had a wheelchair ramp all the way to the water, pretty cool.

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After exploring some funky shops and me even splurging on a new handbag we felt we’d earned ourselves a decent feed and headed to an authentic looking tapas restaurant.

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The tapas and sangria was, of course, fantastic.

The next day both of us were pretty exhausted from the first day’s walking and pushing so we joined a bus tour.

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This made it possible for us to see some of Gaudi’s amazing architectural designs across the city, including the cathedral which is still being built.

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When the bus dropped us off at the stop for Gaudi’s park, we were met with a 350m walk up a very steep hill to the entrance. So much for taking a bus to be lazy! Under doctor’s orders to take it easy, I am not much help to Simon with hills, so I left him to it and he impressively powered up the hill. The park was nice, though after the marathon climb to get there, the next 3 levels of hill climbing were met with groans.

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(another bad photo by a fellow traveller)

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We were pretty happy to go back down the hill and hop on another bus to continue our sightseeing.

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On our last night we followed TJ’s advice and went to see a fountain. Not really knowing what to expect we were blown away by the grandeur and the detail that had gone into this area called Montjuic and its ‘magic fountain’. The fountain does a light show display to music in the evenings which is truly mesmerising! Thanks TJ!

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Before heading off for the airport, we thought we’d try and visit a cathedral we’d read was really nice, but had tried on 2 occasions to visit unsuccessfully because of siesta closing time from 12.45 to 5! The main entrance had a big flight of stairs so we were let in a side entrance which they promptly locked behind us.

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After wandering through the beautiful building and gardens and taking our photos, we were ready to leave… but no one was to be found to let us out! So we had to sit and wait for about 10 minutes to be let out of the place…

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How bizarre being imprisoned in a house of God.

We headed back to Barcelona airport, where our flight was delayed by an hour (guess why...) because of its late arrival from Verona.

Back in Verona for one night only, we filled ourselves with an amazing meal, said goodbye to our lovely landlord, packed up the car, and set off on the long drive to Provence.

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And for those belly fans out there, here’s how it’s looking at 6 months… definitely not just gelato!

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Posted by fishitaly 04.07.2007 11:05 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Farewell to Verona

Shane and Sara help us say goodbye to our Italian home

sunny 32 °C

With our time in Italy coming close to an end, we spent the last week making the most of the beautiful city of Verona and its surrounds.

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We were lucky enough to have our friends from Northside, Shane and Sara, come over for a visit from London.

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Unlike our other London visitors, they brought great weather with them, perfect for taking in the sights, even the opera in the arena, and a trip to Lake Garda.

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Of course no visit to Italy would be complete without trying out the local cuisine...

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(Simon insists the wedges at McDonalds in Verona are the best in the world!)

We said goodbye to Shane and Sara, and goodbye to Verona, and are currently in Barcelona for 5 days. After that we'll be visiting France before heading home via London and HK again. More updates soon!

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Posted by fishitaly 25.06.2007 15:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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