Monday, July 26, 2010

Well hello again. So since we last signed off, we have visited many a place. After Guernsey our next port was Le Havre, our gateway to Paris. The day started early and the drive long, but seeing the Eiffel tour and the Parisian skyline made it all worth it. Our guide Monique was lovely but not quite as lovely as our driver MoMo (So we had Momo the driver, Meme aka me , Emily, and MooMoo my affectionate name for Monique aka mum ) It was indeed funny having two Moniques!. Our time in Paris was limited so we made sure we saw as much as we could. Our first stop , L'arc de Triumpth, then we did a city tour on the coach seeing some of the splendid architecture that Paris is famous for. We stopped for lunch by the Notre Dame cathedral, you may of heard of it. Despite the heat, we all enjoyed a cruise along the Seine before we made it back to Le HAVRE . Our second day in Le Havre had us visiting the Normanday beaches. An emotionally day as we visited a cemetery where some kiwis were buried, the silver fern standing proud against the white gravestones.

Our next port was the Dutch town of Vlissingen /Flushing. Not too mcuh to see but lots of shopping.

Belguim was our next stop. We visited the beautiful city of Brussels with its spectacular square . Here we stopped for lunch, for the Wilsons it was a waffle each, Ewan was beyond devastated when his last mouthful fell to the ground. Monique kindly suggested that the 3 second rule applied... the waffle was good but not that good to be pick up off the street.

Brugge was lovely and we all enjoyed a canal ride .

Next port was the beyond depressing town of Tilbury! Luckily the town across the river was much more lively, and had a but more history to it. Pocahontus was buried here.

So then onto the big bustling city of London. That afternoon the group was free to explore. Some choose the Hop on Hop off bus. This would have been wonderful had it not been for the London traffic! Our second day in London , again everyone was free to explore.

Day three in London was day one of our 8 day 7 night tour of the Uk and Ireland. Day one we drove to Stratford upon avon to visit the house of Anne Hathaway and Shakespears birthplace . Our guide Gwen was lovely and the author of two delightful books explaining the origins of many phrases we use today.

From Stratford to Leeds . A quick tour of Leeds before visiting the Armoury museum and Harewood house. The drive from Leeds to Glasgow was long but the scenery lovely as we crossed over into Scotland. We made a lovely stop at Gretna Green to stretch our legs and refuel our bellys before continuing to Glasgow, which is where we are now. I am typing from bed , looking forward to tomorrow where we will visit Edinburgh.

Until next time , take care

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Enchanting France

Well here we are in Guernsey. It has been a wonderful journey so far! Our apologies for not posting anything sooner we have simply been having too much fun ( that and difficult Internet access )

Kuala Lumpur was humid and had the typical mid day down pour which luckily didn't dampen our spirits as we toured the city in the afternoon.Kuala Lumpur is really a modern city, with many amazing shopping malls, but really not as many bargains as you would think .

After a long flight we reached Amsterdam . A city that everyone fell in love with. It was great for Ewan and Monique to return to the Victoria hotel, as the staff recognised them!We were all warmly welcomed. To keep us all awake we visited the quaint villages of Volendam and Edam ( yes where the cheese comes from! )
We then had a lovely dinner at a favorite Turkish restaurant, the Ankara. Followed by the obligatory tour of the red light district.It is a worry that Ewan knows that area so well.
The following day we all enjoyed a canal cruise , which showed off some of the incredible architecture that the city has to offer. Then we boarded our home for the next 14 days the Prisindam. This is Ewan and Monique's favorite ship as it is a classic , small and intimate ship, while offering many facilities and activities.

Our first port was Lorient, Britany. Despite rain in the morning we all enjoyed the typical french market of Lamor Plage, many good bargains, with successful shopping.

Bordeaux was an amazing day. Our guide Sybill was wonderful! She brought the history of the area alive and of course we enjoyed the wines of Bordeaux and some typical French fare.

Off to Spain and the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela. Amazing to see so many there who had actually participated in a pilgrimage to this sacred town.

Bilboa impressed us all and our guide Yolanda was wonderful. It is a city of contrast where the old meets creative new. It is a city that embraces the arts and the "Puppy" ( pronounced poopy by the locals ) was a highlight , as well as the amazing architecture of the Guggenheim.

Goes to show the importance of a great guide.

Yesterday was a day at sea and as Ross said a day of recuperation!The bay of Biscay was a bit rocky but not as bad as it is know for.

Today we are on the quaint island of Guernsey, in the town of St Peters Port.

Most of the boys have gone to the military museum and the lady's are no doubt enjoying the many sales!

Tomorrow , PARIS! Monique and myself are just a little bit excited!

We hope to be able to post again soon!