A Travellerspoint blog

Heading North to Paris

sunny 28 °C

Although we are safely back in the UK I am quite behind in the blog after 10 very hot and long days in Paris, so heres an update.
We left Barcelona and headed north back into France and Carcassone. The BnB we had booked was in a very picturesque village famous for bookshops. We arrived early and had a look around, the BnB owner wasnt home so we went into carcassone for a look. A medevil city perched high on a hill it was very touristy but a nice change.
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Back at the B&B we were greeted by a very friendly English woman, we were the only ones staying and had seperate rooms across from each other. The B&B was perfect, in a most perfect village.
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After the best night sleep in 5 weeks we had an even better breakfast. If we hadn't had every night booked we would have happily stayed all week. We reluctantly headed north towards Limoges and our next 1 night B&B. This one too was owned by an English couple and their 7year old daughter Sophie. Sophie and Kenzie immediatly hit it off and went off th play for the rest of the evening. La Traverse is a gorgeous old french home converted into a B&B. I wish we had booked more of this type of accommodation but you don't know until you get here.
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Another great sleep and breakfast and we are ready to tackle Paris...

Posted by schofields 02:58 Archived in France Comments (0)

Barcelona

world of Gaudi

sunny 30 °C

Yay finally in Barcelona, we found our campsite easily we just followed the line of scantily clad prostitutes on the side of the road to the beach. They must of been in for a long night cos it was only 5pm. Camping Barcelona is in Mataro 30ks from Barcelona but the campsite offer a free bus to town. The girls were desperate for a swim so headed to the pool. Topless lady number 1. Everyone in Spain seems so much more relaxed than NZ as we learned from all the naked men on the beach. The first day we just relaxed, went for a walk along the beach and caught up on washing (boring but necessary).

The next day we all headed to Barcelona on the bus. First stop La Rambla, walking down this pedestrian tree lined street, to the sea. The street is lined with flower stalls, mobile pet shops, street performers and hundreds of other tourists. IMG_1488.jpgIMG_1345.jpgIMG_1312.jpg

On the way back up we stopped at the market La Boqueria it was amazing with all the coloured lollies,fruits and chocolates. The girls chose some chocolates and had about 100gm, when we went to pay the lady said 9.60 euro ($20NZ) we put that one down to experiencing the market and really took our time eating the chocolate.IMG_1319.jpgIMG_1322.jpgIMG_1337.jpg

We bought our lunch there for the same price as the chocolate and headed to Park Guel on the metro. The Barcelona metro is really easy to navigate and gets you to where you need to be really quick. Park Guel was high on my list of must dos on my holiday list. Designed by Antoni Guadi it is a gorgeous park on a hill filled with mosaics and gingerbread like houses. We picniced on the wavy mosaic seats that overlook the park and Barcelona. At the park entrance there is a large mosaic lizard which is a tourist symbol of Barcelona with copies everywhere you look.IMG_1385.jpgIMG_1384.jpgIMG_1380.jpgIMG_1365.jpgIMG_1362.jpgIMG_1356.jpgIMG_1353.jpg

Next stop Casa Mila or La Pederer as the spanish call it. we didnt go in because of the queue but the outside was impressive.
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Moving on we went down the road to Casa Batlo which I was going in no matter what the queue, luckily it was only 10 minutes. Casa Batlo is my favourite of Gaudis buildings. the girls and Michael were all impressed by the building and its beauty. The look on Kenzies face when she walked out onto the roof was priceless.
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We had a look around the port and headed home. A great long day out. The next day we relaxed by the pool again, and even I got in this time.
Barcelona is definatly one place I would love to return to...

Posted by schofields 11:58 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Back to France

sunny 28 °C

Leaving Italy was sad but we were heading to Barcelona so very exciting. We had just entered France and we were cruising along on the motorway as you do doing about 125km an hour, another car was sitting in the lane next to us with his indicator on to pull into our lane, Michael waited and waited for him to pull out, after about 30 sec Mike decided to pass him, then he decided it was time to pull out in front of us, so Mike beeped the horn , well for most normal people that would have been the end, but this crazy and I use the word crazy because children will read this blog, decided to try and run us off the road in his anger. He kept swerving at us and Mike tried to slow down so we could get away but he kept up with us. In anger I may have sent him a message and unfortunatly this angered him more and he pulled up beside us and threw a metal object at Kenzies window, and tried to make us crash again. With me freaking out and the girls screaming in the back, Michael calmly drove at 145km to escape this mad man. It took about 2 hours before the girls had stopped looking back to see if he was coming. I have never been so scared in my life but to his credit, Michael kept is calm even though he was really angry and got us out safely, I know if it was me driving we would have probably crashed.

We safely arrived at our stopover hotel in cannes south of France where the girls enjoyed the pool. Next stop Barcelona.

Posted by schofields 13:37 Archived in France Comments (0)

Pisa

sunny 28 °C

Its been over a week since we have had decent internet access to update blog and so much has happened so I hope my memory is up to this much recall.
We left Rome and headed to Saturnia to experience thier natural spa waterfall which is free to swim in but a good hour out of the way. The area is gorgeous and smells a little like Rotorua, the water was warm but not too warm. Briana and Kenzie made their way around the whole area while Michael and I lazed in the upper pools. Really worth the detour.IMG_1230.jpgIMG_1227.jpgIMG_1226.jpgIMG_1222.jpg

We then continued on to Pisa, where we had arranged our visit to coincide with a festival , The San Ranreiri light festival, where the river and buildings are lit with over 100,000 candles. Hiccup number 1 we arrived at our hotel only to discover that Michael had not actually booked it just made an enquiry. after offering us the same room for twice the price we decided to look else where. After 2 hours we found a great apartment/hotel for $100NZ less than the other so that paid for dinner. Things happen for a reason I reckon. We drove to town for the festival with what seemed like most of Italy, parked the car and walked about 2km to town. It was the most amazing sight as we approached the river bank and saw all the buildings lit up. We stayed until about 11pm just taking in all the atmosphere. We all agreed it was worth the stree of the hotel.IMG_1267.jpgIMG_1250.jpgIMG_1241.jpgIMG_1240.jpg

The next morning we decided to go climb the leaning tower of Pisa. (well Micheal and the girls). we got to the field of miracles and Michael went to get the tickets only to find out that only a ertain amount of people can go at one time and we couldnt get in til lunch time. We needed to get going so we took some photos and left a little disappointed.IMG_1294.jpgIMG_1289.jpgIMG_1288.jpgIMG_1286.jpgIMG_1285.jpgIMG_1284.jpg

Posted by schofields 13:13 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Rome

fountains, fountains and more fountains

sunny 29 °C

We have just finished 2 more full on days exploring Roma. I wasn't that keen on Rome the first time on our bus trip 15 years ago bu t thought it was a place the girls needed to see. With 3 days to explore instead of 1 Rome has been a pleasant surprise. The fountains in every piazza are just amazing and refreshing in the near 30 degree heat. Yesterday we headed out to see the colosseum, got a little lost on the bus and finally arrived at lunch. after queing for nearly 1 hour we were in, the views didn't disappoint, and this time round we took the time to explore.IMG_1117.jpg1IMG_1104.jpgIMG_1106.jpg
We then headed off to find the mouth of truth, legend has it if you put your hand in and you lie your hand will be biten off, luckily we left with all hands attached but Michael refused to have a go.4IMG_1122.jpg8IMG_1123.jpg3IMG_1124.jpg
Today we visited the Vatican Museum and Sistene Chappel, Briana was a little un inspired but Kenzie enjoyed looking at the statues and frescoes, as we left Kenzie said "well that was fun". Briana didnt enjoy having to wear tights inside (for religeous reasons) on such a hot day.
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Next stop Piazza Di Spagna and the spanish steps, more fountains for the girls to cool down in. After lunch we walked up the steps to the Villa Borghese a huge park, where we hired a 4 person bike to make our way around the park, great fun.IMG_1178.jpgIMG_1177.jpgIMG_1204.jpgIMG_1182.jpgIMG_1209.jpgIMG_1218.jpgIMG_1207.jpg
We leave the Eternal city tommorrow heading to Pisa.

Posted by schofields 12:30 Archived in Italy Comments (2)

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