October 12, 2011
Best-laid plans often go astray and are most unwelcome when they happen on vacation.
Here is a brief synopsis of our September trip to France and England.
What we expected to see in France and on a river boat through six locks on the Seine:
The charming French village of Les Andelys, the city of Rouen and the harbor town of Honfleur.
The beaches of Normandy where Allied forces landed during WWII’s D-Day Invasion, and the site where Joan of Arc was martyred.
Monet’s home in his beloved village of Giverny, with the familiar Japanese bridge and water lily-covered pond that inspired his great works of art.
One of the world’s grandest cities, Paris, the “City of Light” — with its iconic Eiffel Tower, famed Champs-Élysées, grand Notre Dame Cathedral, and incomparable Moulin Rouge.
Normandy countryside along Eurostar chunnel train to London
What we saw in France:
We saw everything we expected to see.
Three quick impressions:
- The fashion for three out of five men, women and children is a scarf tied around the neck.
- Paris is thin! The overweight all appear to be tourists.
- They light the Eiffel tower at night with spotlights and bright lights. We thought the lights were was gilding the lily and detracted from the spectacle.
What we expected to see in England:
Countryside along chunnel train route from Paris to St. Pancras International Station
London City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Tour of Coventry Street, Piccadilly Circus, Baker Street by Madam Tussards, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and wherever else the bus would take us
Thames river cruise
Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge
Billy Elliot at Victoria Palace Theater with dinner beforehand
London Eye Millennium Wheel
HOWEVER, there was a slight glitch when I got a virus (possibly on the ship) that made its presence known when we arrived in London.
So what did we see in England?
Countryside from channel to St. Pancras train terminal
Streets along taxi ride from terminal to hotel
Ambulance ride from hotel to hospital.
Taxi ride from hospital to hotel
Taxi ride from hotel to Heathrow Airport
Three quick impressions:
- London has lots of wrought-iron fences.
- The menus at the airport restaurant gave us a chance to figure out what in the heck it meant when they offered something like “bangers and mash.” (Sausage and mashed potatoes)
- Had to ask the nurses several times what they said and agree with Churchill that we are two countries divided by a common language and a very big pond.
Unfortunately, according to the doctor, I will be laid low for several more weeks. Also, unfortunately, my husband developed pneumonia at the same time I got the virus, which has created a very slow-moving household.
Fortunately, he is getting better and now able to work. And I am managing to crawl out of bed for brief periods of time. Doing some reading just for fun while my body recoups its energy.
Actually, moving slowly from one day to the next is a nice change of pace. And it allows me to continue my experiment with time — in which I accept that whatever I do from day to day is, as I said in my newsletter of Sept. 12, “enough.”
Hope this post is enough to satisfy you until the end of November. By then I hope to have a brand new website and more energy.
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