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Showing posts from August, 2016

Thursday August 18

I woke up and took a shower around 9:30 this morning, and put some roller in my hair.  I got dressed in the long dress I had brought from home, and put on my slip on croc sandals.  After an entire day of shopping yesterday, I didn't even wear anything I bought. It was very humid and it was raining. I didn't have an umbrella, and didn't want to buy one and have to haul it around with me.  My airbnb had a bunch of umbrellas, but my hostess was still asleep and I didn't want to ask to borrow one. The restaurant was about 20 minutes outside of town by taxi, and I still had maybe an hour or so to kill before I needed to head out, so I went back to the coffee bar I went to across from the tourist office and got a café au lait and what looked like a wheat or multi grain croissant.  I knew I should eat something before lunch and wine.  I finished that and had another coffee. It was still raining, but it wasn't the least bit cold.  Most people had a jacket or sweater on an

Wednesday August 17

This morning I got up around 10 and my hostess offered me a coffee before I left the house.  I decided today I would walk around the city of San Sebastian.  I walked across the street into the old town part of San Sebastian and into the Brexta building which faced the boulevard where the tourist office was.  I had read in some literature that it was actually a shopping center so I thought i'd check it out.  I walked into one ladie's clothing store but didn't find anything I liked.  I was looking for some sort of cool lightweight jacket that I would wear again, or a dressier top  (for the skirt I had brought with me) to wear to Mugaritz, the 2 Michelin starred restaurant I was going to the next day.  I walked across the walkway into another shop that was a local Spanish designer, and tried on a dress and two tops, one a tunic and more casual, and another one that was too small.  The dress was Ok but it was thin material and my few (ha ha) bulges screamed at me, so I eliminat

Saturday August 20

Friday August 19

Tuesday August 16

I woke up, got dressed and headed out to find the Orange store to find out why my French sim card wouldn't work.  It was about a 5 minute walk, and because I had downloaded an offline map with GPS it was a breeze to find.  After 15 minutes and a new sim card purchased for one week in spain I was back in business. I headed to the tourist office to find out about how and where I can get to Bilbao this week to go to the Guggenheim Museum. I had wanted to visit the Guggenheim for years, and it was only an hour and a half away.  I looked through all the brochures on the walls, then went up to a vacant customer service person and she printed out the bus schedules for tomorrow and gave me a great map of San Sebastian which helped me orient myself.  It is really easy to get around once you have a map in your head.  I went across the street to get a coffee and a couple croissants, by that time it was about 12:30 and I decided I would go today, because the museum stays open until 8:00pm.

Monday Aug 15, 2016

I woke up and opened all the window and the skylights in the room.  It was about 8 I believe.  I could tell it was going to be another warm day but it was still cool.  I took a shower and got dressed-  I'm thinking I wore the same clothes from yesterday for the journey to save a clean outfit for arrival.  I had a couple pieces of toast with jam, and coffee, packed up and locked the room. I made it down the few stairs to the hosts apartment/room and knocked on the door to return the key.  She offered to let me leave my bags outside her door, but I didn't want to have to go up and down those narrow stairs again, so I thanked her and left.  I decided to take the tram back to the train station which only involved finding the stop, buying a ticket, getting on the tram A, getting off and changing to tram C right across from the station. I managed to do this with only a little confusion, and the help of a rasta guy and his girlfriend who were also on the first tram and had lots of b

Sunday August 14

Woke up this morning about 8, took a shower then packed my bags trying not to wake anyone.  Anne was going to get up early to go to the market with me at 9am for my 8 hour bus journey today to Bordeaux. I went into the kitchen and she came in shortly and started the coffee. Carole appeared a few minutes later and we all left the apartment with Didier still sleeping soundly. Their apartment is in a great location for me.  There is a market just across the boulevard, a boulangerie a few steps away from that, and my bus departure point, on a Sunday, is literally right across the street since Sunday is street fair day and they can't use the normal departure point.  I bought a chicken baguette sandwich, a small bag of cashews, some sliced cheese, one banana, and a lemon mint water.  We left the market and walked to the petrol station and waited for Carol to come from the boulangerie.  She appeared in a few moments and we headed back across the street. By this time Didier was up, and

Saturday August 13

So we (Anne & I) woke up this morning, and decided to go up to the top of a volcano, the Puy Dome this morning.  We had some coffee and breakfast, and were on the road.  It took about a half hour to get to the parking lot, and it was already filling up.  There is a train/tram that circles the mountain all the way to the top.  It has only been open a year or so, and is a beautiful ride.  Once we got to the top, we got out and took a walk around, watching people take off in hang gliders, and just looking at the amazing views from that vantage point. We stayed up there I think for about 2 hours, then went and got a drink (and I got an ice cream cone). We took the tram back down to the bottom of the volcano, and then tried to find the car.  Neither of us were paying attention when we parked, and we guessed which row we were in, unsuccessfully. It was pretty hot, and the parking lot was not paved, just had gravel so it was a pain to walk on.  We split up and I couldn't see Anne fo

Thursday August 11

This morning we all got up and packed to go to Clermont Ferrand where my friends are living. We had a bite to eat, and then helped Didier fit a desk into his car, and we headed to their apartment in separate cars.  Anne and I stopped by the supermarket and did some shopping for her oldest son Mateo who is moving away from home, in with some friends, today.  I bought some soap for my trip to Bordeaux and San Sebastian, as most of the airbnb's I've stayed in over here do not provide it.  We got to their apartment and Didier was there.  Mateo and his friends had moved most of the stuff to his new place, but there were still a few things to go.  We loaded up both cars and drove over to the new apartment.  The father of one roommate was helping the kids take stuff way up many stairs, so fortunately Anne and I took off and took a little walk around the neighborhood, stopping at a little café for a beer.  It was pretty hot today.  We came back to Mateo's new place and found our

Wednesday August 10

Awaking this morning, we headed out relatively early after our showers and breakfast of bread, jam, juice and coffee.  We had a reservation for 1:30 at Le Cercle- a Michelin 1 star restaurant 2016 in Bourge. We arrived in the city around 12:30 and found a place to park near the cathedrale after locating Le Cercle which was nearby but not on a retail street. We got out and walked around this beautiful city until it was time to return to the car and head for Le Cercle.  We parked the car and took some pictures of the restaurant from the street, then into the courtyard and through the front door into the restaurant.  We had booked a table on the terrace, and we shortly seated. The server provided us with menus and we decided on the Le Certcle Goumand at $55 euros each before wine and coffee. We ordered the Chateldoc 1650- mineral water to start.  The server brought out the amuse bouche, /There were 3 items - a cherry tomato with a tomato basil cream inside, a cracker with a fish mousse

Tuesday August 9

Waking up this morning in our Chateau near Salbris, as usual I was the first one downstairs because my friends like to sleep in.  I am still getting used to staying up past 9pm when I am with friends and have not ben successful at sleeping past 9:00am except for one day.  That one day, I was really awake but just laid in bed. So I tidied up my bedroom, and took my luggage downstairs since the bathrooms were downstairs anyway and the  stairs were so steep there was no reason to take anything but the adaptor up there, and maybe my phone.  With my friends we all spent many hours on facebook, and Didier is very good at doing research on the Internet. I took my shower and got dressed after loading up the coffee machine and turning it on so it would be ready when I was dressed.  I think this morning I worked on my blog, but maybe not since we were leaving pretty early for Chateau Chambord.  Yesterday after we arrived here, and got the tour from the father of our host, Didier and Anne too

Friday August 12

I know, I know, I skipped a few days.  I am working backwards in my spare time.  Waking up in Clermont Ferrand in the apartment of my friends.  It was just the three of us this morning since Mateo moved out into his own apartment yesterday and Ewan spent the night there as well.  I have Ewan's old bedroom (as of yesterday) as my room for a few days until I leave them for Spain on Sunday. I went into the kitchen and had coffee, bread with jam, and we all spent a while checking our phones lol.  After an hour or so, the boys reappeared, Mateo coming in through the window, and Ewan using the door, the more traditional route.  we all sat around and chatted and checked on our emails and social media.  Mateo sat on the floor and began to draw. Anne got a phone call from Leonie in Lyon who had cut her hand in the kitchen and had to go to the hospital to get stitches, she thought.  The timing is bad because the two boys, and Leonie are going to Amsterdam on vacation tomorrow so we are

Monday August 8

We woke up this morning, had breakfast, packed up the house and headed in the direction of our Chateau near Chambord.  We got on the highway through Montmarault, Saint-Bonnet-de-Four, ZAC Aeroport, and finally reached Bourges.  Didier hade selected several restaurants for lunch, but we found that the one who used to have 1 star but lost it, was closed today.  We parked the car under some trees and walked towards the giant cathedral near a park.  There were lovely flowers and fountains and a statue of a woman with the words Resistance.  Didier took off for the tourist office, and Anne and I walked into the park which had a small carousel, a band pavilion, and some beautiful gardens.  We walked around taking pictures and waiting for Didier to reappear.  I thought it was interesting that the landscape person had used swiss chard in the flower garden.  It looked awesome. When we saw him coming we walked out of the park and gardens and looked at the details on the Bourges Cathedral which

Sunday August 7

I woke up this morning when I heard Camille moving around.  I went downstairs to say goodbye and to wish her a happy holiday camping with her family on an island just off the Atlantic. Didier and Anne were still sleeping, and Camille was having breakfast.  She is going to a private campground originally owned by her family and they go every year. Her parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins.  After saying goodbye I went back up to my bedroom and am trying to catch up with the daily posts I haven't kept up with.  We stay up so late every night so that I don't have the energy to write. When we were all awake and had breakfast, Anne suggested that she and I go to a small village nearby so we headed out in the car to St. Hilaire la Croix, and historic church in a small village.  It has a small lake in the village next to the church with a statue of a woman (we don't know who but it looks cool.) It is a 12th century church and had many wonderful details.  There was one alc

Saturday August 6

I awoke, took a shower and went downstairs into the kitchen where Anne was eating breakfast of bread and honey, coffee.  I had some breakfast and went into the living room to check email.  Didier, Anne and Camille had stayed up late last night, and both Didier and Camille had hangovers this morning and did not wish to go with us to the Saturday market in Riom. So Anne and I headed off in her car through the countryside past fields bursting with sunflowers, corn and wheat fields mowed with the wheat in giant cylinders scattered across the pastures.  We passed through many small villages on our way, all charming with vintage buildings, and little gardens and hanging baskets decorating the streets we travelled on our way to the markets. We arrived in Riom and found a good parking space.  We crossed the main drag and walked up a small street to pass by the mansion that Didier and Anne had bought several years ago and renovated, then sold.  It was a 4 story building with large windows o

Friday August 5

I slept well last night.  The bed and the room are very comfortable.  I think I woke up around 7:30am  but I am not sure because too many days have passed since this particular morning.  I took my shower and dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast of bread and jam and coffee.  Our routine has been awake, shower/dress, eat breakfast, take coffee into living room, check email and hang out.  Today Anne and I drove to a local olive oil manufacturer and retail store Huilerie de Bloit .  It is located in Blot l'Eglise (sp?). We walked around the back room and watched the boy filling the bottles.  The husband and wife are young, I think maybe in their 30s.  They have a young son of maybe 9 or 10 helping to stock the retail shelves.  They make 12 types of olive oil, and also sell local honey, and other local items.  I asked if they could ship some bottles home, as there were small bottles I could give to my friends, but they do not know how, and it is too much of a hassle to do myself

Thursday August 4

This morning began as the others.  I was up first, took my shower and coffee, then repacked my suitcase and bags as we were moving on today, headed for their country home in a small village /place called Villeneuve.  We had our croissant breakfast then headed out of Lyon around 10:45am. Today our first destination was a small village called Malleval - a medieval village on top of a mountain with vineyards.  We were running a little late as we knew that they were closing around noon but we arrived at 11:45 and they were happy to see us and did not rush us at all.  We tried several wines, I'm guessing around 6 although Anne stopped before Didier and I did.  There was a couple there with a private guide from Melbourne Australia so we did chat with them briefly and the man said "Good Day Mate" to me as we left.  We headed down the hill to a restaurant called Le Reche du Rilat which was attached to what I think was the only lodging in the village.  It was almost one and time

Wednesday, August 3rd

I woke up early this morning and took a shower, and took my coffee into the bedroom.  I need to catch up on my blog, but my eyes are itchy and I am too tired.  I checked email and looked at facebook.  I heard Leonie come in and she brought croissants and little brioche for us, and so Didier and Anne got up and we had breakfast.  I forgot to mention that Leonie and Didier had rearranged the apartment while Anne and I explored yesterday morning, so after Didier put their mattress back in the sofa, we all sat at the dining table and ate. I think it was around 9:30 or 10:00 when we left the apartment for today's adventure. We left Lyon and travelled through Maillat, St. Martin du Frene, Condamine, Foret de Concise, to Brenod and into a small fromagerie,.  We had headed to this village in search of 3 year old comte.  This Fromagerie was very small and they only sold younger cheese.  We went upstairs and they had display boards with the process of cheese making, and you could look into

Tuesday August 2, 2016

This morning I was prepared and had my glasses close by, so after taking a shower and making coffee, I sat down and looked at emails and face book on my phone.  By the time I finished, Leonie was up and out again to buy croissants for breakfast.  By the time she returned Anne & Didier had awoken and we all got ready for the day, ate breakfast and then talked for a while. Didier was going to stay with Leonie this morning to help her buy curtains for her apartment and get the rod hung on the high windows in the living area and in her bedroom.  Anne and I headed out by foot and walked into the city of Lyon.  We first went to look for an engraver so that Leonie could get a christening gift engraved.  The holidays have begun in France and many places/businesses are closed for at least a month.  The first engraver was closed for the holidays, the second one on the same street was open but was not able to do the job.  Anne called Leonie and she said that we had gone to the wrong ones, s

Monday August 1

To remind you, it is 8/5 in late afternoon and I am trying to reconstruct the last few days. I woke up (this I know for sure) on Monday August 1st and decided to update this blog about my day yesterday.  I had taken my computer and my phone out of my shoulder messenger bag last night so I thought I was all set.  This bag was very cool, I bought it a few days before I left at REI with a 20% off coupon.  It was just the right size for my phone, money, some toiletries, and had hidden pocket for my passport etc.  On the front flap itself and on the body of the bag is Velcro strip and clasps .  This makes the bag doubly secure because the Velcro makes a loud noise when you open it.  It was about 7:30am and my friends were sound asleep, and our hostess, the darling young 32 year old Leonie were still sound asleep.  I did not remember last night to get my glasses out of the bag, so I was unable to retrieve them without ripping open the Velcro and making a loud noise, so I got up, got a cu

Sunday July 31

It is now Thursday August 5th at 4:30 in the afternoon. I will try to remember what I have done since I awoke last Sunday morning in Paris through today.  Fortunately I have photos, and can also have my friends Didier & Anne to help me remember.  So I woke up at around 8:00am on the Sunday, took my shower and tidied up the airbnb in Boulevard Saint Martin.  My metro pass expired yesterday and I had to drag my luggage with me to the Gare du Lyon where I will catch the train to Lyon later today.  I have not yet used uber in  Paris so decided to give it a try.  I opened the app and was given the choice of ride, and I chose "pool" which could be share ride with others heading in the same direction.  I saw that an uber was nearby in a Peugeot and he arrived in no time.  The driver was very charming, and kept apologizing for not speaking fluent English.  I told him it is I that should be apologizing as I am in France and should be speaking French.  During our drive, we cont