I should add a little to the report on the Cinque Terre. Beautiful as it was it also afforded us some people viewing that we had not expected. Several people just stripped off in order to get into or out of their swimming gear. Europeans are less modest than Australians!!
So now that we have been going for a month it is perhaps time to review. We started with a few lovely days in Paris where the extraordinary weather we have had for the whole time (except for half a day) started. We saw all the main tourist sites and some wonderful museums. The eating of pastries commenced and is yet to cease. Then off to Normandy starting with the beautiful gardens of Monet in Giverny then onto the stunning coastline of Etretat. Some nice days in the lovely countryside seeing some quaint villages followed by visits to the very moving war cemetries filled with those killed in the D Day landings. A somewhat dissappointing visit to Mont St Michel (choc-a block with tourists) was followed by some more beautiful villages especially Dinard.
Onto Tours and the Loire Valley. Here we saw the lavish lifestyle lived by the weathy French of history. Keith was cured of his chest infection and all was looking good. Across the country we went (toll cost Euro38!) to the mustard mecca of Dijon where we enjoyed the guided owl walk and the people notably the very helpful Sofie. After the ridiculously beautiful Annecy we then turned south to the iconic Tour de France mountain climb at Alpe d'Huez.
A week of recuperation followed in a delightful little cottage in Buis, Provence. We saw some cute villages perched on the side of hills, some dramatic gorges, a 2000 year old Roman aqueduct and lots of windy roads. We went up another Tour de France icon - Mont Ventoux a stark and barren place. After a brief stop in the very upmarket Monaco we left France for Italy.
It is odd for an Australian to just drive through a tunnel and find all the road signs are in another language. But we were not phased until we had to cope with the nutty way Italians sell food. But we made it. On the ridiculously gorgeous Cinque Terre where (along with the afore mentioned undressing) we saw some spectacular views and did some serious climbing. After a brief sojourn in the village of Sirmione we came to Venice which we are currently enjoying along with the 50,000 other tourists who come here each day.
I want to give you an insight into the process of the creation of this blog. Each day (after a long day of sightseeing and driving/walking and a leisurely dinner) we - well mainly Kathy and Meryl - sit down to download all the days photos. This is 3 cameras worth. All photos are then reviewed and discussed. Early on Glenn and Keith participated in this activity but we don't have the commitment or staying power of K and M, so we have gradually abrogated responsiblity to the women. They (the women) will after considerable discussion, chose the right photos give them captions, upload them and then write the blog. I (Keith) have found this process somewhat tiring as my sleeping habits are a bit different to my sisters but the computer is generally in my room. The process will often finish well after 11 at night. I hope you are enjoying it all given the work put into creating it.
All comments are eagerly received and enjoyed. Please keep them coming. I like to know that my sleep deprivation is giving pleasure to some.