France Adventure, Part 11

9-28-08 – Verdun, by Jodi

We are both getting very tired. We’ve had a lot of consecutive one-night stays and are on the go constantly. We are looking forward to changing gears and moving into Belgium and Netherlands for a change of scenery and some multiple night stays in nice B&Bs.

This morning we eat the hotel breakfast, not wanting to even try to find anything open on Sunday morning. Everything in France is closed on Sunday except restaurants for dinner and the churches, which is the way it should be.

Verdun road monument

Verdun road monument

The 3-½ drive is a mix of small roads and some AutoRoute. The landscape is changing to rolling wheat fields, more cows and lots of big wind turbines that power the small towns; it is good to see alternative power sources at work. The tiny villages are quaint and are typical farm towns. Other than the food they grow, where do they shop for other incidentals? All the sizable towns worth any kind of market, are not close by, they must stock up on 1-2 week runs. But, just about every town has a patisserie – shame on them if they don’t!

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France Adventure, Part 10

9-27-08  –  Dijon, by Jodi

Got ready this morning and opted for the corner patisserie for bread, croissants, and milk for breakfast, the hotel breakfast didn’t look like it was worth the E8 each for basically the same darn thing we got at the local patisserie. We ate and left Avignon early on Saturday so we lucked out with no traffic and it was pretty easy, except through Lyon. The 4-hour drive to Dijon was all on the AutoRoute, France’s toll system, and boy is it expensive. To drive 4 hours cost us E30, our only other alternative would have been about an 8 hour drive on tiny village, farm roads . . . um, let’s see . . . no.

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France Adventure, Part 9

9-26-08 – Avignon by Jodi

I slept a solid 11 hours – I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that! We actually had CNN news in English on our TV so we were able to catch up on home news last night. Still no internet to upload this, hopefully soon. We may stop at another McD’s tomorrow to use theirs. We walk downstairs to the nice buffet breakfast, fill up and head to our first stop of Pont du Gard.

Pont du Gard is a huge, 3 story section of Roman aqueduct which serviced Nimes. It is the 2nd tallest Roman ruin other than the coliseum in Rome. It was built between AD38 – AD 62.

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France Adventure, Part 8

9-25-08 – Arles, by Jodi

We decide to pass on the hotel breakfast at 8 euro each and instead stopped at a patisserie for fresh croissants to eat on the road, mmmmmm. We travel on more country roads for about 2 hours until we reach the Mediterranean. We have now driven the whole country from north to south.

day 8-4We stop at a deserted beach for a short walk to stretch our legs and a short rest. The sand is very fine and white, with seashells in abundance. Of course, I have to stop and collect a few.

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France Adventure, Part 7

9-24-08 – Carcassonne, by Jodi

This morning Alain gave us yogurt, fresh croissants, homemade spice breads and jam, coffee and hot chocolate. Francois pulled out his maps and wanted to see our intended route and made some recommendations of things to see along the way as we sat and had a wonderful breakfast at the family table. Unfortunately, we knew we wouldn’t have time, but he was a wealth of information and we appreciated his time. We thanked them both for being wonderful hosts and kept his notes for our next visit. We left with them both waving goodbye to us, just like a Mom & Dad, he he!

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France Adventure, Part 5

9-20-08 Amboise and the Loire Valley, by Jodi

Drive to Fougers

Drive to Fougers

We eat breakfast 8am and greeted by not only Max but also Luna, his female counter part who was not friendly and very prissy & hissy. The drive to Amboise took us on some pretty small, one-lane country roads. They are big enough for one car with no centerlines. If another car approaches, you both pull over into the gravel and grass to pass each other. We kept seeing McDonalds signs but never saw one, they boast WIFI, so we were tempted to pull into one just for that, we may still do that in the future if we continue to have access problems. The drive was pleasant and about 4 hours long, but we were not in a big hurry. We enjoyed the scenery on our drive south trying to stay off the main toll highways.

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France Adventure, Part 4

9-19-08  –  Mont Saint Michel, by Jodi

B&B

B&B

Our drive from Bayeux to Mont St Michel was an easy 1-½ hours, so we take our time packing and finally leaving our room at 10am. We arrive at our B&B greeted by a brown tabby named Max who wanted pets every time we see him and we were happy to oblige. Our B&B is beautiful, just 1 mile from Mont St Michel in the little town of Bouviere. We settle in and decide to have lunch before venturing for the 2-3 hour visit of the Mont. We found a pizza place and had a salad each and split a pizza. The pizza crust is made from a crepe, wood fire grilled in an oven and topped with tons of toppings, it was delicious and very filling yet still very light, exactly what we needed.

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France Adventure, Part 3 – By Jodi

9-18-08

This is our free day. We take our time getting ready and eating breakfast round the large table with 3 other French couples, not understanding a word they said, but fun anyway.

Longes Sur Mer German Battery gun

Longes Sur Mer German Battery

We head out to the town of Longes Sur Mer to visit the German battery high above the beaches on the cliffs. The four concrete gun buildings were set in a semi circle for the maximum shooting range. This is the only German battery with the guns still intact, one bombed to bits on the ground. Ahead of the 4 guns was a concrete lookout at the edge of the cliff to give the gunners instructions where to fire along Utah and Omaha beaches.

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France Adventure, Part 2

9-17-08 Battlebus Tour of the Normandy D-Day Beaches and sites (photo heavy post), by Jodi

We both slept great until 6:00 am. We got ready and had our breakfast in the large dining room- baguettes, soft cheeses, homemade jams, yogurt, cereals, apple coffee cake, coffee, and OJ. Delicious!

BattleBus Tour Bus

BattleBus Tour Bus

We left the B&B and head to Bayeux city center to meet our Battle Bus tour guide and the 3 other couples sharing the full day tour. Our tour guide Allan, was a knowledgeable Brit, who has studied the Normandy invasions for 25 years and is a historical author. During the drive between stops Allan told us of local history and sites we passed relating to WWII and prior history of the area, he certainly made the drive interesting.

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Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Part 14

This trip was taken between May 22, 2014 to June 10, 2014.

Our last full day on this adventure, Monday June 9.

Well again it was not a rush to get up and we again enjoy the last of our pastries for breakfast. As it has become a wonderful habit, we jump on the S-Train to the Main Copenhagen Station.

Copenhagen-115

Main Gate to Christianborg Slot

Today we are heading to Christianborg Slot, a palace built between 1907 and 1928. This was the third palace built on this site, the first being built by Absalon in 1167. The Neo-baroque tower is 106 meters tall and is still the tallest in Copenhagen. This building now the Seat of the Danish Parliament, houses the Prime Ministers Office, and also The Supreme Court; this being the only building in the world to house all 3 branches of government (executive, legislature and judicial) and the reception rooms are still in use today by the Danish Royal Family. This building must have a lot of secrets it could tell if only the walls could speak.

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