Dienstag, August 25, 2009

Everything comes to an End

August 25/09......9:44 a.m.

....good things, bad things and also my little report about our pleasure trip aboard the "Arosa "Stella" - river Rhone cruise. On the way back the boat speeds up and there had been only a small stop at Tournon. By then Landfrau was tempted to say "same procedure as every time, James" as far as those little provincial villages go. In a way they are interchangeable, one or two small cafes, a fort or castle, narrow little streets and oldfashioned little shops. Oh yes, this little village had a pretty pedestrian bridge, crossing over to the other shore. Well....-

The last day took us into Lyon again and there I had orders from son-in-law to hunt for "Florentiner", very tasty cookies, which he claimes he never tasted better ones than from Lyon. And imagine, I think I even found the confiserie he had pointed out. They are still sitting in my fridge now, nicely giftwraped and we will take them to Hessen when we meet end of next week. Good, that they are wrapped, they would be gone by now otherwise, I think, because Herr Husband is also a "Florentiner" lover! -

Then I took that sightseeing tour again atop that open bus, where you can get on and off at your liking. This ride is really great and it is a guided tour, where you can listen in your own language over headphones, which you get wrapped and sealed at the beginning of the tour. At night we had the last get together with our "boat friends", we had lots of laughs.-

The flight back next day had been o.k. and first time in our lives we took advantage of the invalid service, so Herr Husband had the pleasure of being pushed around in a wheelchair.Landfrau pushed the bags.

And this is now


of my little travel report. Hope you enjoyed it.

Samstag, August 22, 2009

And what is next?

August 22/09.....3:06 p.m.

It's Marseille, such a grand city, have been told that you either love it or hate it, there is no inbetween. Landfrau fell in love with it right away and if I could have, I would have sneaked away from the bus crowd and might be still roaming the streets of Marseille. We went there by bus from Arles and after the sightseeing tour were driven to Port St. Louis, where our ship had arrived in the meantime.

But Marseille overwhelmed me and I did not regret having taken part in the excursion, inspite of my dislike of bus tours. Unfortunately there was a shortage of time, so we did get off the bus only 3 times, once up on the hill of the Basilika, where you had a terrific view all around all over the city. Then I walked around for a bit at the old harbour side where the fisherwomen sell the fish caught fresh in the morning and we had a stop at a place where you had a good view upon the Île d'If , where the legendary Count of Monte Christo had been imprisoned. Only the truth is, that he is just a fictionary person , invented by Alexandre Dumas, he never excisted. - We did see a lot by bus, we were lucky, our guide had been a French woman who had lived in Marseille for quite a while.

We then had quite a long drive back to the boat and there a shuttle bus had been organized, that you could drive to a nature beach and have a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Herr Husband wanted to try his luck and come along, but when he saw the distance you had to walk through hot sand he drove back with the bus right away. Good choice for him but a shame as such, that he could not take that refreshing swim in the sea. But boy, it had been very hot and no shade and just sitting on the little beach towel was not such a comfort, so I went in for a swim, let myselft dry off ,went in again and then walked back to the busstop. The French people of course drove with their cars as far as it had been possible and then unloaded complete households of picnic baskets,cool bags,sunumbrellas, beach towels and what have you. Only thing I did not spy were portable toilets . -

At night our boat left Port St. Louis (not much to see there) for the trip back home and there had been only one more minor stop, before we reached Lyon again.

To be continued...

Freitag, August 21, 2009

Creepers, I can smell the Camargue!

August 21/09......7:06 p.m.

....and I start singing: memories are made of this! We are in Arles, very old and very picturesque and close to the Camargue, where we have spent two times our vaccation. Did a lot of horsebackriding, one day -ride took us to the seaside and we galopped in the surf. Since we always have to produce our small catastrophy, daughter No. 2, who at this time must have been around 10 years old, got something into her eye at the beginning of the ride and it got worse and worse, of course rubbing did not help. So we had to cope with a bawling kid, and since it had been a group ride, we could not run back and daughter and myself would never have found the way back. The horses, maybe. At that time it still had been the cell phone less aera (good old times), so we had to live through the dilema. At the beach the guide organized some water from a picnic jeep group, but it did not help a bit to rinse the eye. When we finally came to our hotel we were lucky, one of the guests had been an eye doctor who looked at her and had the proper medication and equipment along. There was fortunately nothing seriously wrong, only an irritation. But the ride as such had been spoiled for both of us. But the little hotel we stayed at had been a gem, it was called Mangio Fango, which means "turning winds" and the owner cooked the most delicious meals at night. On one of our frequent sightseeing tours I bought a most adorable long,very comfortable dress, made out of that wonderful provencal fabric. Have been wearing it for ages till it was so threadworn that it fell apart. Well, memories...

Now Arles, on our this years tour, I took the little sightseeing train again, they are so nice, you get sights to see without having to walk around too much in the heat. Found out that the train passed the place where our ship had its mooring place and organized, that the guide would stop there on one of the next runs, so Herr Husband could get aboard ,take the tour around and then get off at the same place. The French people are so easygoing in this respect, in Germany you could never have done a thing like that, rules and regulations. So Herr Husband was quite happy again to have seen some sights not only in the display of my camera.

To be continued..

I killed my Housemouse

August 21/09....4:30 p.m.

For three evenings Landfrau had been laying in her lounge chair on our porch, on and off watching a tiny mouse running back and forth, very busy and very fast. It had been a little field mouse, brown, about the size of a big prune. When I came home from shopping today, Herr Husband claimed I was a murderess. He found my little mouse in the driveway, all flat and there even was a tiny puddle of blood. Apparently I had run over it with my car. He gave it a garbage can funeral. Now I only hope, that there isn't a nest of even tinier little mice, waiting desperatey for their mouse mom. If I discover them, I will have to find very tiny bottles, to feed them, would be like snow white with the seven dwarfs.-
So, no more mouse show at night, what a pity.

Mittwoch, August 19, 2009

Sur le Pont d'Avignon....


August 19/09....3:15 p.m.

l'on y danse, l'on y danse, sur le pont d'Avignon l'on y danse tout en rond.....

is an old childrens ' song and playing the music our ship approached the bridge and the passengers toasted it from the deck with a glass of champagne, very stylish. The bridge had been destroyed by a flood in the year of 1669. A chapel is sitting on it and you can visit the remaining part. Since Herr Husband can not walk such long distances, like from the ship to the town, I had the brilliant idea to order a taxi and we drove right up to the Palais of the Pope, a gothic building dating back to the 14th century. From the square in front of the palais runs a tourist train and this way Herr Husband could also see some of the sights without having to walk. After the ride he went back to the ship by taxi and Landfrau took delight in roaming the little streets in the old part of town, buying some cute gifts and was passed by a taxi in which Herr Husband sat in the fond like royalty, not taking notice of pedestrian Landfrau. Getting back aboard on a hot day always had been a pleasure. Having a dip into the little pool and a cool drink at the poolside has been quite delightful. - Starting from Avignon Herr H. managed to slip from the pool ladder every time he tried to climb in and by the end of the trip we just counted the bruises, funny kind of record keeping how often he had tried his luck. If I saw some other passenger run, it was for sure to save Herr H., who did his slipping number again. We called it his daily performance by then.

To be continued

Dienstag, August 18, 2009

Cobbled Streets and 3 old Men

August 18/09.....1:43 p.m.

That is what had to be seen at Viviers/Ardeche. Besides the street were pretty steep, some of them and the 3 old men were sitting on a bench looking at the tourists and the tourists looked at them, both having nothing better to do. Quite a contrast, after having been in bustling Lyon for almost two days. O yes, there had been a castle sitting on top of the hill, which I decided not to visit,too steep- too hot. After all, I was on holiday,or?
To be continued.

Montag, August 17, 2009

He deserves a post for sure

August 17/09 ....9:27 p.m.

Wo does? Monsieur Bocuse of course, although I do not think he cooked for us personally, but he has a welltrained crew. Look at the menu, it speaks for itself, what is left to say is that we really were unable to taste all the goodies offered to us. Landfrau even got a birthday cake with a candle,which I blew out with all the waiters applauding and a boy in livree playing happy birthday on a street organ, to my regret there had been no monkey sitting on top of the organ. We dined for hours and it had been a great birthday present from my daugthers. Girls, you are gems!

To be continued..

Sonntag, August 16, 2009

The Day I almost drowned myself and lost my Ticket

August 16/09...10:37 p.m.

This is all about our pleasure cruise aboard a vessel on the river Rhone in France. - Since we did not want to be under pressure to reach the ship for boarding at 3:00 p.m. we decided to fly into Lyon the previous day. Also there had been that Bocuse birthday dinner the night before our departure. But that is another story. So we arrived pretty early in the morning at Lyon. We had an amazing small plane, and it had been occupied about 1/3rd, gave you the feeling "daddy is going to take you flying" very relaxing. - We had booked for a night into a hotel "Cour des Loges" situated right in the old part of town, very charming and unique - but that is another story. We were lucky to have our room right away, had a leisurely breakfast and then Herr Husband decideded to take a nap and curious Landfrau decided to roam the old part of the town of Lyon. We had been in Lyon before, so I knew a bit about the whereabouts. Decided to take the "furniculaire" (rack railway) up to the hill, where the Basilica" is situated. You have a marvellous view from up there all over Lyon. Tickets you buy at the bottom and you only can enter after having devaluated your ticket. After having visited the Basilica, enjoyed the view and walked around for a bit, I decided to take the trip back down. Looked into my purse - no ticket - . Looked again and again, no ticket. Decided then that I must have lost it while taking out my camera. Started to look around on the ground where I had been walking around, found a lot of tickets, none looked familiar. By then people must have thougt there was a nut walking around collecting cast away tickets. Problem is, you can not buy a new ticket at the upper station and you can not enter without a ticket. Had a last checkup into my handbag, and what grinned at my..my ticket. Had been hiding in a side pocket. So I had been quite happy that I did not have to decend on foot in the mid day heat. - by the time I arrived back at the hotel I decided to hava a swim in the tiny pool at the roof. A nice, little wellness center, but not a soul around. Dipped into the pool, which had been extremely tiny, and found out it was equipped with a device, which you could adjust to swim against. It gave a warning that one should put it to lowest level afer usage. Well, the idiot having used it before me had left it on the highest level and idiot me pushed the button and was thrown around like in a terrific surf, thought I really would not get out . Finally managed to reach the button and adjust it. From then on it had been great and I made a mess using lot of towels and walking dripping all over the place. Punishment! And at night we dined at Bocuse, but that is another story, as I said before.

To be continued.

Sonntag, August 02, 2009

About Life and Death

August 2/09 ....6:30 a.m.

Now we are into the month of August already, the vacation of daughter No.2 and family is over and it is the last day for mad Max as our houseguest. Have been awakened by a horrendous flash and thunder and outside we have one of those "green winter" days again. The smell of fall is in the air. Found a death anouncement in the daily paper, my teenage crush, who so long ago broke my heart, has died. It is always sad, to find the obituary of people one has known, even in the far away past. Carpe diem, that's what Landfrau sighs very often nowadays.