At long last, here are our photos from our trip to France.
We hope you enjoy them!
Nick and I are extremely grateful that our dear friends in Paris, Agnès and Jose-Maria, are safe, as are their friends and family. Today all of the citizens of Paris are our friends and family.
Saturday Sep 26
Back at home, we learned that the money owed us by the restaurant in Paris had been credited to our account. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 20
Friday September 25
We, Toni and Rich were the only early birds at breakfast. We thanked them for all they did to make our trip so wonderful. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 19
Thursday September 24
In the morning we had a tour to and through Nice’s Old Town led by a local guide, Agnès. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 18
Wednesday September 23
Our first stop was the town of Les Baux and a visit to the ruins of its 10th century castle. The castle was so much more than a building. It was a walled city of 4000 inhabitants including bakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, cobblers, cooks, herbalists and tailors, minstrels and troubadours, as well as knights, squires, pages, soldiers and serfs. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 17
Tuesday September 22
Late in the morning we met Nina, our local tour guide. She explained that Arles is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning that it has special cultural significance. Its most spectacular attraction is its arena, which was built in 90 AD and was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 16
Monday September 21
Breakfast today consisted of many varieties of croissants. We left Carcassone for a tour of a vineyard that was owned and operated by Serge and Sylvie. The vineyard had been in the family for many generations. The family name traced back to the Knights Hospitaller, who emerged at the same time as the Knights Templar (about 1100 AD). Continue reading Trip to France, Day 15
Sunday September 20
After saying adieu to Sarlat, we left for Arles. At the lunch stop, Nick and I shared a salad, quiche and crème caramel. After crossing two parking lots and a highway to reach the ATM in the gas station, we discovered that the machine wouldn’t take the credit card we had been using all along. It’s a necessity to take more than one card!
We were back on the bus to medieval Carcassone, Continue reading Trip to France, Day 14
Saturday September 19
It was market day in Sarlat. We expected to see merchants selling many types of food, and we saw cheeses, meats, fruit, and veggies. We didn’t expect that the streets would be closed to vehicular traffic and lined with booths selling not only all that food, but many other things including handbags, sweaters, and jewelry. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 13
Friday September 14
Nick’s breakfast was chocolate croissants, while I enjoyed granola with fresh walnuts. We liked the hotel’s nutcracker so much that we bought one for ourselves. Our group’s first morning activity was a trip to Rouffignac Cave, in which a little low-tech train took us through a subterranean riverbed to see 13,000-year-old cave paintings Continue reading Trip to France, Day 12
Thursday September 17
It took six hours for our bus to get from Chinon to Sarlat. During this time, Nick and I considered the differences between our current tour with Rick Steves’ Europe, and the one we took last year with a different company Continue reading Trip to France, Day 11
Wednesday September 16
Chinon is known for its walnuts. I loved my breakfast of homemade walnut bread with homemade jams. Soon we left to visit the Chateau de Villandry, known for its spectacular gardens. The day would have been more enjoyable had there been less rainfall, but with our umbrellas and rain jackets keeping us dry, we wandered through the gardens admiring the plants and their phenomenal landscaping. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 10
Tuesday September 15
We left Chartres after breakfast, at which I enjoyed “do-it-yourself” crèpes: strawberry, apricot and chocolate. In my defense, they were smaller than typical crèpes!
Our next stop was a town called Amboise. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 9
Monday September 14
We were the only early birds who were awake for breakfast at 7 AM. I went French, choosing French bread and camembert. Later our group took a walking tour of the old town. We felt as if we had stepped back in time as we were among buildings that were constructed centuries ago. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 8
Sunday September 13
After packing and a farewell lunch, Jose-Maria drove us to Gare Montparnasse so we could get the train to Chartres. Standing out in the rain for an hour the day before took its toll on Nick, who now had a head cold, but compared to any other medical issue that could have befallen either of us, this was minor. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 7
Saturday September 12
This was our first day that was devoid of glorious sunshine. Rain was pouring down. There were only a few more things on Nick’s Wish List of places to visit— the Catacombs, the Paris Sewer Tour, and the Orsay Museum. I voted for the Orsay, and with encouragement from our friends, my vote won. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 6
Friday September 11
Because the weather was still simply spectacular, we decided to spend as much of it as possible outdoors again. I had never been to Montmartre, so off we went. We were metro experts—changing train lines and taking a funicular. All of this brought us to Sacre Coeur, Continue reading Trip to France, Day 5
Thursday September 10
Today, Jose-Maria planned to drive us to Giverny to visit the home and garden of Claude Monet. We needed an early start because of rush-hour traffic, so we left at 9:15 AM. There was plenty of traffic, and there were plenty of visitors to Giverny. The garden was spectacular! Continue reading Trip to France, Day 4
Wednesday September 9
Agnès was working on another very important assignment for her job. After she left for her office, the three of us opted to go to the Picasso Museum, which had recently reopened after many years. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 3
Tuesday September 8
Agnès left for her office. This was a very busy time for her because Parliament reopens next week, and she works for a senator. J-M had bought fresh croissants for our breakfast, which we enjoyed while talking about what we would like to do that day. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 2
Monday, September 7, A plane, a train, and a bus!
We arrived at Charles DeGaulle Airport at about 8:45 AM, and quickly discovered that we were among many hundreds, if not thousands, of international travelers there. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 1
Before the trip, we focused on Rick Steves’ rules. Continue reading Trip to France, Day 0
Day Minus One
I started my blog when Nick became ill in 2014. His illness has reminded us to celebrate each day by enjoying the things we love to do, together. Continue reading Trip to France, Day -1