Travels through Barcelona and France

Trip Start Dec 10, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of France  ,
Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wong & Gem's European Vacation - Diary Update 18

Gem sick, Mum and Dad and Wong went to Granada, got ripped for parking and saw cathedral. Supposed to see Alhambra but Wayne got internet booking wrong. New Years Eve watched from balcony with people letting off firecrackers on the beach.
Day 308 -Monday 1st January 2007...New Years Day
Everything was shut today so we spent a lazy day swimming and on the beach. We also packed up all our belongings that we have to post home...we thought we may have 2 or 3 turned out to be 5 boxes weighing 50 kilos...
Day 309 - Tuesday 2nd January...Marbella and Peurto Banus
Slept in...took boxes to post office... cost us 353 euro to post...ouch!!  Beats paying pound though if we posted them from London or had to pay excess baggage. Drove back to Peurto Banus and we all had a great lunch at the same Chinese restaurant...O.K we have had our fix of Chinese food now. Walked around the port which is sort of like a mini south of France with quite a few super yachts and flashy cars, but not as nice as France. Very posh shops and lots of black boys selling rip off handbags, watches, sunnies and DVD's.
Day 310 - Wednesday 3rd January - Marbella Marriot
Had to take back the car today so the rest of the day was spent enjoying the Marriot. Another Air hockey match and ping pong. Took in a Paella making class where we all learnt to cook Paella on the biggest pan you have ever seen. Wayne was in heaven because he got to eat Gem's as well as it had seafood in it. More lazing around the pool and on the beach.
Day 311 - Thursday 3rd January - Marbella Marriot
Last day of luxury in the Marriot...we could kind of get used to having our own made come in every day and clean the unit and make our beds... we may get a bit depressed when we have to go back to living in Misty!!. Gem's goal today was not to get dressed apart from swimmers and the big fluffy bath robe that they give you in the hotel... she succeeded and so did Wong...we spent the entire day on the beach, in the spa and in the pool. We ate yummy food at the hotel restaurant and then regrettably tonight we had to pack our bags!! Boy are we going to miss this place.
Day 312 - Friday 5th January - Granada and Sierra Nevada
Goodbye to the wonderful Marriot...all four of us were sad to say goodbye. We loaded up Misty and drove to Granada to return to the Alhambra palace. This time no problem, we had the tickets right but nearly got into a fight with some rude German's who pushed into line when getting the audio guides.  The Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in the world and it sits on a hill overlooking Granada. We took in everything and got to visit the palace as well which was very beautiful. The entire place has the most awesome water features everywhere as apparently water played a very important part in Muslim culture as it was quite scarce in the dessert. We then drove to find camping ground on top of Sierra Nevada where it was snowing, but the first placed was shut for renovation, the second one was booked out so next we pulled into a hotel on top of the mountain. During the night mum and dad got to sample some of the Spanish customs, that is they (including their children) stay up all night and are very very noisy... needless to say they did not get a very good nights sleep because heaps of people rock up to check in at 1.00am in the morning and then yell and scream as they go past your room. That's EUROPE for you!!
Day 314 - Saturday 6th January - Sierra Nevada to Peniscola
Up bright and early and after some breaky at the hotel we gave Misty a big workout and drove 750kms to Peniscola where we found a hotel for the night then had a great dinner at a local restaurant. We were going to go and stay in the aires we had previously stayed in here but the hotel said we could park Misty in the secured car park so that was good.
Day 315 - Sunday 7th January - Peniscola to Barcelona
HAPPY 59th BIRTHDAY RONNY !! We stocked up on some groceries and birthday cake before leaving Peniscola and then it was another big drive to Barcelona. We finally arrived late in the afternoon to El Masnou camping where we had stayed previously. We really don't like this place but we don't know of anywhere else that has such good access to the train to get into the city. It also had rooms for Mum and Dad but this place is such a rip off and the owner is an old cow. We had some New Zealanders pull up and talk to us (they were not staying as they refused to pay 30 euro a night for the place) and the owner came up and interrupted our conversation and told them that if they were not staying they had to leave immediately. Very rude!! Anyway Gem whipped up a birthday meal of chicken cashew (the only thing she can cook) and we had a uno competition...Ronny beat everyone.
Day 316 - Monday 8th January - Barcelona
We had a full day of sightseeing today on top of the double decker tourist bus. It really gave us a fell for just how big this place is. We took in all the sights and all the beautiful architecture of this city. Then we had dinner at a tapas bar. The weather was good so there were heaps of street performers out on Las Rambles and they were rather amazing to watch. We also took Mum and Dad to Café Zurich were last time Gem had the best hot chocolate she had ever tasted... it was just as awesome again. After more than 12 hours of being on the go we retired for the night...but Ronny wanted to play cards...this time Gem whipped everyone. We also found at the tourist information office, a better place to stay. There is a massive big car park near the Olympic port that is set up for motor homes and only cost 18 euro a night...dam it we wish we would have found this place earlier as not only could we have saved a fair chunk of money but we would not have been getting ripped of by the old cow at the camping ground!! So Gem took a heap of leaflets and when we got back we gave them to all the other motor homers in the camp ground...naughty we know but they appreciated it...we just had to make sure the old cow did not see us and kick us out!!
Day 317 - Tuesday 9th January - Barcelona
Up bright and early again to have some breaky and blow this camp site. We noticed a few others were also moving so maybe we will see them at the one in town. We found the parking place in town no problem and noticed that a few of the Italian campers from El Masnou had also packed up and come into this spot. Mum and Dad also found a lovely hotel about 500 meters was very funky and offered an awesome view of the city!! We found our way back into the city and got back onto the tourist bus. First stop was to take in the Sagria Familia which is the massive Catholic Cathedral in the city which was designed by Gaudi and first started construction in 1881 and it is estimated it will take yet another 20 years to finish building. It was rather amazing and very very different. Wayne and I want to come back in 20 years and see it completed. Next we got back on the bus and went to Park Guell which was also designed by Guadi. Again this park with all its mosaic works and weird and wonderful architecture was awesome and it had an amazing view of city. Gem went shopping here as she found the most awesome artistic shirts. Next we ventured back into town and got one last yummy hot chocolate before catching the metro back and working out how to get Mum and Dad to the airport on the train. Bit of an early night tonight as we are all rather tired and we have to leave early in the morning.
Day 318 - Wednesday 10th January - Back to France... yeh!!
Up early again (this is really killing us) to say goodbye to Mum and Dad. We managed to find out way out of Barcelona and onto the highway straight to France. We decided to skip going to Andorra as it would mean driving up through the Pyrenees Mountains and it would be a hard drive as the roads could be icy. So we drove through Toulouse and onto Ville Franche de-Rouergue where we found an aires for the night. We went for a walk around town and found the massive cathedral which again was just beautiful. We just love France so much, it is so pretty with all the old streets, the pretty stone houses with shutters and the people have been so nice and patient given that we can't speak any French, they just continue to laugh at us and speak English or have a conversation with us in sign language. We got a bit stressed tonight trying to work out the English registration system as with the MOT (Safety certificate), TAX and registration as none of them seem to match up and we are not exactly sure when it all needs to be done. The problem we have is that we don't think Misty will pass the MOT with her back bumper bar being broken and stuck on with tape!! But getting somewhere to fix it before we have to go back to England to get the MOT done is a bit of a nightmare!! That is where our Swiss friend Fraenzi  (who we met in Finland) has been able to rescue us, she can speak French and we have asked her to ring around some motor home places in Paris to see if they could fix Misty!!  We also rang Mike in England (who lives in Sandgate but we met them in Dubrovnik) to see if he could clarify the English rules for us and book Misty in for a MOT. We are so thankful we have met all these wonderful people that are so willing to help us out.
Day 319 - Thursday 11th January - Ville Franche de-Rouergue to Milly La Foret
We were woken up at 5am this morning by the village coming alive for it's market which is held all through the streets and the square in front of the cathedral. We had a great chat with Mike and sorted out a few things and he managed to get us booked in for an MOT at the end of the month. We just love France, the markets here and the food is just great and we had some croissants for breaky! The young girl in the tourist office was so friendly and so excited to be able to practice her English. We walked around the town and took in all the streets and the sites that she told us to see. We were not sure what to do about getting Misty fixed, whether we should rely on getting a message across to them through Fraenzi on the phone or to just go there ourselves and try and sort out the issue. We decided it would be easier to try and get there and show them what we needed. So at 12.30 (after eating a yummy roast chicken baguette from our purchases at the market) we set in for the huge drive to Paris which was about 550kms. Well we drove and drove and we knew we would not make it in time so we decided to stop about 90kms outside at a private aires but getting there was a nightmare as we could not use the GPS as we need to save the battery (because our 12 volt charger broke!! Aaagghhh) for tomorrow to get around Paris. We got a bit lost and were both very tired and grumpy!! We finally found the private aires which in Milly la Foret (which looked like a gorgeous town) and thankfully the lady spoke great English and she was very nice... but a bit surprised to see anyone driving around in the cold. Oh did we mention that the weather had dropped to about 7 degrees and then last night it began to rain!!!  Gem dropped to sleep instantly and Wayne was able to amuse himself as we could get free wireless!! We had the most blissful sleep!!
Day 320 - Friday 12th January - Paris
We were both so exhausted that we had a bit of a sleep in to 10am today. Having free wireless we also managed to get all the things done that we needed to do on the internet like pay rates, phone bills etc!! We found out the motor home place would not re-open until about 2.00pm after they have their long lunch so we did not leave Milly la Forest until about 12.00. We could not believe how cheap the aires was as it only cost us 4.50 to stay and for electricity as well!! We said goodbye to the lovely French lady and managed to get to the motor home dealer and had to wait for them to re-open post lunch!! Fraenzi had called them and they knew who we were, problem was that it was the wrong section and they only dealt with new motor homes and we had to go down the street to the repairers....who did not know who we were!! The next 2.5 hours was spent trying to converse with the guys here...who again were very patient and understanding and were able to laugh themselves silly at our attempt at French and their attempts at English. Thankfully we were able to use our French phrase book and sign language to convey our message across. They were also ringing another office where a lady had translation software and was typing things into her computer and reading them to us!! It was bloody hilarious!! But we managed to get a quote and get Misty booked in for the 23rd of January to get this is great as we will be staying at the Marriot then in Paris Disneyland. It is a tad expensive to replace the bumper bars though as everything is going to cost us 2750.00 euro!! Let's hope the insurance kicks in!! They also fixed a few small things like the sink plug while we were there which was very nice of them. The only confusing thing was when we went to leave they asked us for the keys and if we had our turned out they thought we were leaving the car with them today!! So the next ten minutes we spent explaining that we would drop it off on the 23rd when they could fix it!! It was very very funny and all seven staff were in the room trying to translate to us and all were thankfully seeing the funny side of it!!  As we left we gave them some hats and beanies with Australia on it and they were all trying them on saying ooohhh "Australie" because we thing they thought we were British!! Next we found our way into the heart of Paris (through a series of tunnels and we were wondering which one it was that Princess Di was killed in!!!) and to the camping site at Bois de Bolougne which is not far from the Arch de Triumph and we can also see the Eiffel tower from where Misty is parked along the Seine.
Day 321 - Saturday 13th January - Paris
Yeh we get to see Paris. First we had to find a doctor though to get Wong some medicine for his eye as it is red and bloody and he has been getting migraines from it!! We managed to work out the bus and metro system and go to Hotel De Ville (town hall) which is a very gay area with lots of pretty boys walking around holding hands and prancing in their fancy clothes. The doctor was also rather funky and was dressed in cool clothes and was a cool guy. Next it felt like we walked all over Paris. Again Wayne was freezing and Gem was loving the 10 degrees. We just wondered around for a while taking in the magnificent buildings, the awesome shops, the cafes and we had a few yummy crepes. We walked along the Seine and enjoyed looking at all the little stalls that they have set up that are full of interesting items and tacky souvenirs! We took in all the sites from the over side of the river such as the Louvre, the Grand Palace and we finally got to the Eiffel Tower...we were so excited we did a happy dance!! It was very beautiful all lit up and then it would occasionally twinkle all over as hundreds of lights went off!! Wayne took about a million pictures of it!! We did not go up as we wanted to wait for Garth and Helen. So we kept walking around the streets trying to find the metro station. We stumbled across the Australian consulate which is basically next door to the Eiffel tower and has the most awesome view of it. We found the metro along the Australian Promenade and then had the fun job of trying to work out how to get back... it turned out this was not the metro but the above ground train that would take us to the metro stop...we got there O.K but we then spent an hour walking around underground in the metro station trying to find the right exit for the bus....very frustrating... we could not find it and we ended up having to do a big dash for our life across 5 lanes of traffic at a major round a bout!! Don't think we have ever run so fast!! Finally got back to Misty and crashed after Wayne cooked a sumptuous meal!!
Day 322 - Sunday 14th January - Paris
We were so exhausted that we woke up at 11am, but it was a stunning day as the sun had actually come out. We walked to the bus through the park and watched all the guys practicing their fly fishing throws in the lake. This time we walked from the bus up the road to the Arch de Triumph which was rather spectacular. We will wait to go up until Garth and Helen get here. Next we walked along the Champs-Elysees and took in all the posh shops. We walked past the Grand and Petite Palaces, through Concorde Place with all the amazing fountains and then through the amazing Jardin des tuileries and up to the Louvre. The Louvre was rather amazing and we liked the controversial pyramid buildings that mark the entrance. We went inside the Louvre and walked around the shops and checked out some great books. We managed to find our way back to the metro and to the camp site without getting lost. We tried to make ourselves go to sleep early as we have to leave at 5am to pick up Garth and Helen in the morning. We are so excited to have them coming over.
Day 323 - Monday 15th January - OPERATION BAGUETTE BEGINS!!
Neither of us got a good nights sleep as we were both worried we would not hear the alarm and Garth and Helen would be stranded at the airport!! We managed to get up and leave on time and find our way to Charles De Gual airport...except it is bloody huge and we could not work out which one of the four terminals we had to go to...the airport is also not that friendly for vehicles over 2 meters high so it was difficult to get around and find somewhere to park. We got to Terminal 1 and they told us to go to Terminal 2 (which after getting very lost for 30 minutes and then they told us the plane was delayed and it was going into Terminal back we went and found a great illegal parking spot  as we could not fit Misty anywhere else. We panicking that we had missed the plane but it turned out to be 2 hours late so Wayne had to go back and stand with Misty to make sure she did not get wheel clamped or towed (good luck finding a tow truck big enough!!). Gem stood at the entrance gates with a big sign that said "Operation Baguette" and she got all kinds of strange looks and laughs and one police man came up and was laughing his head off!! Yeh Garth and Helen finally got here and we introduced them to Misty!! We took off on the maze of highways to Chartes which is famous for its magnificent 13th century Cathedral with dominates the town...we could see it miles away looming above the landscape. It was so cold today and the town was covered in fog that for ages we could not even see the top of it. Garth was rather awestruck with it, and we must admit that even Wayne and I thought it was rather impressive especially given we have been "churched out" but seeing so many amazing ones. We walked around the little streets and shops and Garth had fun trying to order his tobacco in French. We found a place to stay for the night and then walked back through the park to one of the local restaurants. Funny thing was when we were walking through the park we saw two dogs, the first one was an Airedale (like our beloved Ruphus) and the second one was a golden lab (Like Garth and Helen's beloved Oscar)!!. We tried to find a French cuisine restaurant but did not succeed but had a good meal anyway and then crashed for the night.
Day 324 - Tuesday 16th January - The Loire Valley & Amboise
Up early for coffee and croissants and were on our way to Chateau country. Next stop was the spectacular Chateau de Chambord, which Francois I had built from 1519 as a base for hunting game in the surrounding forests. The outside and the grounds were all rather amazing but we had been given a tip by a couple of people not to pay to go inside as the inside was not furnished and rather bland in comparison to the other Chateau's we are going to see. Next it was off down the road to Chateau de Cheverny but not before making a detour to a little shop in someone's house to buy some Foi Gras where the boys had fun talking to the gorgeous little French man who sold them some very expensive Foi Gras, Duo de canard and some cured duck breast....we aptly named him Duck na na na na DUCK MAN!!! We tasted these little delicacies later tonight and we were happy to say that it was rather yummy!! We arrived at Cheverny and took in what is the regions most magnificently furnished chateau that was built in 1625 to 1634. This is something out of Sense and Sensibility and was just stunning, inside and out!! They also have kennels here with over 50 hunting dogs which were all rather cute but a bit stinky! Next we drove to the gorgeous town of Amboise which is nestled under its fortified chateau on the Loire. We walked around the gorgeous little streets where Helen and Gem popped into some cute little shops. We found a gorgeous Best Western called Le Davinci (as this is where De Vinci spent the last 3 years of his life) which had just been restored into a very funky modern hotel and they were happy for Misty to be parked in the car park. So Wong cooked some great soup and nibblies and the boys had a poker game.
Day 325 - Wednesday 17th January - More Chateau's and Chinon
Up bright and early and off to walk around Amboise and visit the castle of Leonard De Vinci called Le Clos Luce. Leonardo came to Amboise in 1516 at the invitation of Francoise and died 3 years later. We got to walk through his lovely castle and see his inventions and gardens. Next it was back into Misty and off to see Château de Chenonceau which we were all really looking forward to as in the pictures we have seen it looked awesome as it is built over the river Cher. Guess was awesome...and everything a fairy tale castle should be with amazing gardens, a stunning interior and the most awesome floral decorations Helen and Gem have ever seen. We spent ages here but finally got moving along to the next town of Azay le Rideau which was rather pretty but we decided to keep moving onto the next town of Chinon. We are wanting to try some regional food and checked out a few restaurants we can come back to. We went and found a hotel for Helen and Garth and were happy to find out that the owners (one who was a chef for 15 years) recommended the restaurant we had chosen. Tonight we had a fantastic meal of Coq au vin de Chinon (chicken cooked in red wine) and of course some crème brulee and crème caramel. We also had a 15 year old bottle of local red wine which went down very smoothly with the fantastic food. Our waiter was a French version of Mr Bean who rather fancied Helen and had fun laughing at our very poor French.
Day 326 - Thursday 18th January - Mont St Michel
We woke up to the Thursday morning market being set up in the car park around Misty so we quickly moved her up a bit further and Wayne cooked a great breakfast for everyone for the big drive ahead. We drove for about 4 hours to the region of Normandy to go to one of France's biggest tourist attraction...Mont St Michel. We were all totally overwhelmed by this place, it was so amazing and beautiful. This place is basically a massive abbey and little town that is built on a little rocky island in the middle of a bay that you can only reach via a causeway. At times is completely cut off when the high tides comes in. The boys took a million photos and then it was off to the next town of Dinan...which was a very pretty little town made up of cobble stone streets and half timbered houses. We found a hotel, parking spot and a very funky bar to have some drinks, then it was off to the hotel restaurant where we had a great meal...Garth and Helen tried escargot which they did not fancy too much but no one took the dare to eat frogs legs!!
Day 327 - Friday 19th January - Dinan, Normandy, D Day Beaches to Bayeaux
Dinan is the home of the crepe so we just had to go and find some for breakfast...however the French don't consider it a breakfast food so we had to wait a while until 11.00 to get a place open. We had some yummy crepes and then Wayne went into a food shop and did a little happy dance as he got some very yummy sweet and savory French foods. Next on the agenda was a drive to Normandy where we took in several sites of the D Day beaches.
Point Du Hoc - massive craters had been left in the ground from where the Allied battle ships had shelled the entire coast line. After 50 years these craters were still huge and Wong went for a walk down one and then could not get out as it was wet and muddy from the rain. Garth nearly wet himself laughing at Wayne's attempts to get out. We also saw the battery that battered Omaha and Utah beach. Omaha beach is where the bloodiest battle of the D Day landing took place and over 1000 men were killed in one day. Unfortunately, this site is rather unimpressive as nothing has really been set up as a memorial and all the shore front as been sold of to private houses. We found a hotel for the night in Bayeaux and poor Helen has been suffering from motion sickness fell asleep instantly. Garth, Wayne and Gem had a UNO tournament and boys also had a big beer fest of their own inside Misty.
Day 328 - Saturday 20th January - Bayeax, Arromanches, Caen, Deauville & Trouville &Honfleur
For some unknown reason Wayne is sick today with a very bad hangover and has spewed his guts up into a plastic bag...he is lucky he was prepared as there is a strict no chucking in Misty rule!!! He is a bit sore and sorry!! Lucky Gem can drive and is not suffering from the Vodka! We headed out to Arromanches which is where Port Winston and the allied troops towed in artificial harbor from the UK, sunk it into the bay and used it to of load 30,000 vehicles in 7 days. Very crappy rainy, windy cold weather so it was a bit hard to enjoy!! Next we drove to Caen where we were looking forward to seeing the memorial to Peace. Not much of the original city is left of Caen as it was destroyed during the bombings, so it is quite a modern town. After getting lost we finally found the memorial, but unfortunately it was closed!! Bugger. So we stopped at the big Carrefours shopping centre and made our roasted chicken baguettes for lunch before heading off on a drive up the coast line. We took in the two coastal town resorts of Deauville and Trouville which were just stunning...full of gorgeous half timbered houses, harbors and lots of shops. It is a very popular destination and heaps of Frenchies had come here for the weekend in their motor homes. We also saw a gorgeous Airedale terrier taking himself for a little walk along the main street....Gem wanted to jump out and dog nap him!! We drove to the next gorgeous town of Honfleur... reminded us a bit of Hobart but obviously much older. It was totally gorgeous and has fantastic art shops everywhere with amazing paintings. We had a great dinner at a local restaurant and the two waiters were very funny and very was fantastic Crème brulee we have ever tasted. Garth and Helen are amazed at how much the French love their dogs and how well behaved they are in the restaurants. When we got up to go, Gem was trying to find a little parcel she had put under the table...but it had disappeared...all of a sudden the owner realized what we were looking for and bought it out from behind the counter...turns out the little miniature schnauzer at the table next to us had thought it was a toy for him and had taken it...his owner did not know where he had got it so she had given it to the owner!! Very funny and cute. Gem and Wayne parked Misty with a heap of other motor homes across from the hotel and then we spent the night having a uno tournament. We also officially placed an add for Misty today in the UK Motor homing magazine...bit sad.
Day 329 - Sunday 21st  January - Honfleur, Rouen, Versailles to Paris
We woke up bright and early and explored more of Honfleur tonight in the daylight...yeah the sun has come out for a while and the sky is blue!! Next we drove to the town of Rouen and found the spot in the very pretty old town where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake for heresy. Rouen had so many impressive churches and a very imposing cathedral in its main square. Next we drove to Versailles which is about 23 km outside of Paris. This is where King Louis and Maree Antoinette built their massive palace and lived in luxury whilst everyone else starved. This place was unbelievable, the sheer size of it was overwhelming and the gardens were stunning. We went through the main apartments which were very lush and quite overwhelming. Next it was off to get stuck in the Parisian traffic and find our way to the Marriot Village at Disneyland...we eventually found it and crashed for the night.
Day 330 - Monday 22nd January - Paris
Wayne, Garth and Helen headed into Paris today and explored. Gem had a rather unexciting day sleeping in, cleaning Misty for when she goes in to get repaired tomorrow and documenting everything in her and taking pictures for when we go to sell her. Garth and Helen found Paris just as amazing as we did the first time and were rather overwhelmed by its beauty.
Day 331 - Tuesday 23rd January - Paris
We had to be up bright and early to get Misty over the other side of Paris so that she could go in for her repairs. We trugged our way through the crazy Parisian traffic and got told to move Misty's big ass over by some motor bikers...we soon learnt that you are supposed to drive as far over as possible because all the bikes drive down the middle of the traffic!! We dropped her off and crossed our fingers that they understood everything we want fixed up on her!! We managed to find our way back into the centre of Paris and Gem did a spot of shopping whilst Wong read his book in a coffee to love shopping at present in Paris as it is sale time...and a genuine sale as apparently the sales are highly regulated and they only happen 4 times a year....yippee it may be cold but shopping will help us get over it !!! After having gotten up so early we were rather exhausted so decided to go back to the resort and relax for the afternoon. We stopped off at the big shopping centre "Val de Europe" and stocked up on food so Wayne could make some great French food for all of us for dinner. Garth and Helen returned later that night and they had spent the day shopping and had gone on a massive shopping spree. Lots of bundy rum drinking tonight!!
Day 332 - Wednesday 24th January - Paris
Everyone was a bit tired today and poor Helen sounds like Minnie Mouse as she has laryngitis!! Not to worry she can always get a job next door at Disneyland!!
We managed to relax most of the day and then head out later this afternoon to the massive shopping centre "Val D Europe" where we all went a bit nuts shopping!! Back home tonight for a UNO tournament.
Day 333 - Thursday 25th January - Paris
Up bright and early today for a full day of sight seeing. We found our way to the Catacombs which is described as the most macabre place in Paris. In 1785, it was decided tat to solve the hygiene problem in Paris caused by the overflowing cemeteries all the bodies would be exhumed and the bones would be stored in the tunnels of threes disused quarries. Well we walked down a spiral staircase that took us well underground and well beneath the metro stations...and then we checked out all of the tunnels that were used by the resistance during WWII and are now filled with millions of bones and skulls... it rather reminded us of our adventures into the Bone Church in Czech Republic!! Next we headed towards the Louvre and went and checked out "Mona Lisa" and some of the other major corridors of art work...all a bit overwhelming!! We walked along the Siene and down to the Eiffel Tower where we took a million photos of each other in front of it!!!
Day 334 - Friday 26th January - Paris
Poor Helen and Garth are a bit sick again while they rested Wayne and I ventured off to Val de Europe to go shopping!! Gem went wild and bought some very posh Parisian clothes, Wayne also went wild and went shoe shopping yet again and bought a nice big warm sexy jacket!!! Rather please with the purchases we went back and got ready to head out for our big night at the Moulin Rouge. Garth and Helen were shouting us to see the show tonight as a "thank you" lovely!! Sporting our new outfits we ventured out into the cold night and found our way to the big red windmill!! We had a great Italian dinner and then into the Moulin Rouge to watch the act with lots of yelping and can canning, flying boobies, feather costumes and gay male dancers!! It was great fun!!
Day 335 - Saturday 27th January - Paris
Wayne and I got up early and took the train out to pick up Misty!! Yeh she is looking rather glamorous with her new rear end!! We made our way into Paris again and met Garth and Helen at the Pantheon. We walked around the streets of the Latin Quarter and also took in Notre Damm, however we could not get inside as there was some massive rally going instead we walked the streets of the fabulous St Germain precinct...and wait ...Helen and I went shopping!!! How unusual!!
Day 336 - Sunday 28th January - Paris
Off to Sacre Cour this morning. Wayne led the way on the metro and we would our way through the streets and climbed up the million and one stairs to Sacre Cour...this is a massive white Catholic church perched on top of a big hill. It has the most amazing view all over Paris. As it was Sunday it was rather packed, but it was great to look around and also hear all the nuns belting our some hymns. Next we tried to find the Antique Markets but managed not to locate them!!! Bugger. We did walk around Montmarte and found the rather amazingly beautiful opera house though. We also went back to the Eiffel tower and took more pictures during the day and also had a great lunch at a local café with a fantastic view of the tower!! Back home to spend the night packing our bags for tomorrow!!
Day 337 - Monday 29th January - Paris to UK - END OF OPERATION BAGUETTE
Up bright and early to take operatives Foi Garth and Helen to the airport. We thought we would have no trouble finding the correct terminal given our last visit here where we got to tour nearly the entire airport after one wrong turn...however we did it again and we managed to go around the same wrong turn 3 times...Déjà vu...anyway... the operatives still got to the airport with plenty of time. Very sad to say goodbye and finish Operation Baguette. Next we drove the 250kms to Calais where we stopped first to stock up on fuel and food before hitting UK or pound territory where everything costs a fortune!! The pound really is insulting to the aussie dollar!! We got to the tunnel about 3 hours before our scheduled time but it was no problem we checked straight in and got on the next train to Folkstone. We found our way no problems to Sandgate where Caroline and Mike live. It was very funny to see the English town of Sandgate which also has a Shorncliffe next door...just like OZ!! It was so good to see Mike and Caroline and Cassy the black lab and they had kindly set up a room for us in their Wayne and I were so grateful as we have been suffering a bit of cabin fever in the last few months and finding it increasing difficult to live with each other in such a small space
Day 338 - Tuesday 30th January - Sandgate
Up bright and early to find the MOT centre in Canterbury. Gem unfortunately forgot to bring NAVMAN with us but Mike had kindly printed out directions anyway...we made a few wrong turns but found it in the end. Unfortunately, this guy was not as easy going as the one in the North who did it last time and he said we had to get the back light's changed to meet the UK standards (stupid given that we drive it most of the time on the continent)...anyway we managed to get it booked in for Thursday so he could do the work, get the TAX done and we will still be able to get back to France on Friday night. On the way home we stopped into a big "Asda" supermarket to stock up on some food so Wayne can make Mike some "Aussie" hamburgers...he has been craving them since he went to Australia 13 years ago!!! They were awesome!!!
Day 339 - Wednesday 31st January - Sandgate
Gem went for a walk today with Casey through Sandgate and along the beach was so nice to have a dog to go walking with but made her rather homesick for Ruphus. Today Caroline took us back to Dover. Gem was keen to go back as all our photos from last time got wiped when the computer had a spac attack!! We went up into the hills and had a nice lunch and then set of for a walk along the cliffs. Casey was very excited as this was her third walk for the day!! Tonight we fulfilled one of Wayne's eat Indian food whilst in the UK.. and it was fantastic!
Day 340 - Thursday 1st February - Sandgate
The boys got up early and dropped Misty off at the mechanics so she could get the things fixed to pass the MOT. The rest of the day we just spent reading and was nice to be able to appreciate someone's home and watch a bit of TV as well. Gem also wanted to stay close to home in case the Indian from last night erupted (commonly referred to in these parts as an ass like a squeezed orange!!). Tonight we went for a drink at a groovy little bar down the road and then out for traditional English Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas!! Cracking!!  We went home and laughed our heads off watching a 'Little Britain" DVD.
Day 341 - Friday 2nd February - UK to France
Caroline was kind enough to drive us to pick up Misty this morning. We picked her up and took off to one of the local dealers to see how much they would give us for Misty...but the guy was not there. We noticed that our indicators were not working and the front fog light had fallen out...great we just paid $300 to get everything fixed for the MOT and they have stuffed up...we took Misty back and got them to fix everything properly...except the front fog light was not their was obviously not put in properly when the bumper was will have to go back and talk to those Frenchies about that and the rusty grill!!! We found our way into Canterbury which was a very cute walled town with some gorgeous streets and got to the Post Office to pay the TAX for the car. We took every bit of paper we thought we needed but of was not easy...Wayne and I are nearly going into break down mode by now from the trauma of the last time we had to deal with the English registration process (I seriously thought Wayne as going to hide in the corner and get in the fetal position!!)....we went away and went back through the paperwork and the piece of paper the stupid women was after was amidst all the paperwork to start with!!! We finally got our TAX disc and we were happy.  Gem also noticed a motor home dealer in the same industrial estate as the MOT she went over to have a chat with the guy. He was very nice and actually specialized in selling motor homes to Aussies and New Zealanders. He told us that he was happy to put our motor home on his website and would guarantee us a minimum of what we wanted and he would put his margin on top...the only problem being though that most Aussies and New Zealanders usually buy a cheaper one as the only insurance company we can get to cover us will insure to 20,000 pound and most people don't want to risk it...but he told us the B584 model was popular and he had just sold an older one to some Aussies last week!! We are a bit confused as to which option we should take...but we have a few weeks to sort it out.
Back to Sandgate to have dinner with Caroline and Mike...Chinese...Yum!!! Mike was also telling us stories about the fires that have happened in the tunnel...he worked as an engineer there for 3 years....that was comforting!! At 7.30 we had to leave for the drive to the it was sad to say goodbye to these guys as they are so much fun and have been so kind to us...but we will see them again when we cross back over to the UK in a couple of weeks. No problems going through the tunnel. We kill ourselves laughing at French customs as it is so different to the UK customs...we just pulled up to the passport window...the guy looked at us and said "What Nationality are you?"...we said "Australian" and he said "OK" and waved us on... no passports no nothing!! We got through the tunnel without catching on fire and we found a great spot to park for the night up on Cape Blanc-mez overlooking the English Channel. Of course Mike and Caroline had told us about this awesome spot and it was rather tranquil watching all the lit up boats and ferries floating past at night. We even had 5 other motor homers to park with.
Day 342 - Saturday 3rd February - Cap Blanc-mer to Paris
Woke up late this morning after a nice sleep in. Went for a walk up the cape made of chalk and looked out over the French coast line and over to England where we could clearly see the white cliffs of Dover. At the top of Cap Blanc there were German bunkers and anti aircraft placements everywhere and the hillside was also covered in huge craters were bombs had obviously tried to destroy them. The scenery was stunning. We took off into Calais to get some diesel and for Wayne to go food shopping. We pulled up with a heap of motor homes (it's nice to see we are not the only ones out in winter) and there was an older hymer across from us with Aussie stickers. We got talking to this couple and they were from Chapel Hill in Brisbane...funny thing is they were the ones that the dealer I spoke to yesterday had sold the B584 to 10 days ago. They were lovely and full of nervous excitement as they are just beginning a 9 month trip and we were able to give them lots of tips on motor homing throughout Europe. Next it was off for the 250km drive back to wonderful Paris.
Day 343 - Sunday 4th February - Paris
Our mission today was to find the antique Markets at St Ouen!!! We did and they were huge and rather made us so sad that we just can't buy up and take home some of the awesome stuff that they have over here....we particularly liked a Parisian street lamp (now that would not fit in the suitcase) We spent the entire day roaming around taking in all of the weird and wonderful stuff on offer.
Day 344 - Monday 5th February - Paris
We went back to St Ouen today to finish checking out the antique markets. We had fun but certainly not as much stuff is open on a Monday as it was on the weekend.
Day 345 - Tuesday 6th February - Paris
Gem is sick today so Wayne ventured out on his own into town and spent the day wandering around the streets around Hotel De Ville and Chatelet...taking a million pictures, read his book in a café and watched the Parisian's go by. Came home to get his arse whipped at UNO!!
Day 346 - Wednesday 7th February - Paris
Gem still sick but that is not going to stop her...the goal today was to spend the day wandering around the streets of St Germain. We walked for about 8 hours and checked out Chatelet, Hotel De Ville, through St Germain and Luxembourg. We had a great time finding all these quirky little shops and checking our some amazing book stores.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: