(originally posted March/13 on my other blog...I'm reblogging here to have all my trip entries together.)
The time draws near for our trip. This time Mom and I are spending almost three weeks in France, plus a couple days in London and ending with five nights in Barcelona. So exciting!!
We'll be flying direct from Halifax to London, and spending our first three nights at the Arosfa Hotel. Not enough time to do more than get a taste of London, but the things we have on our wish list include: St. Cyprian's (described as "the most joyful church interior in London"), Westminster Abbey, The British Museum, and The National Gallery. We have tickets to Les Miserables, so that is a definite - woot! We plan to end our London leg by going to the choral matins at St. Paul's on Sunday morning, before catching the Eurostar to Paris. (I'm a tad anxious at the thought of being on a train travelling under the Channel, but I'm sure I'll be fine...I just won't focus on the fact that I'm in an underground tunnel with tons and tons of water bearing down on me! lol)
In Paris, we will base ourselves in this apartment for six nights. It's on Quai de la Tournelle, with the Seine right across the street and Notre Dame just a short walk away (be still our hearts!) Even with six days, we will barely scratch the surface of Paris, but our list of "want to see's" includes: the Louvre, Notre Dame, daytrip to Chartres, Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the tapestries at the Medieval Museum (I have a beautiful bone china mug with a scene from The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry, that my sister Lynn got for me when she was in England a couple years ago.) We also want to spend time just wandering around, maybe ride the tourist boat along the river, sit in cafes and people watch, and enjoy some great food!
I scored cheap 1st class upper deck seats on the TGV to Avignon, where we'll pick up a rental car and head to Vaison-la-Romaine for the next week. We're renting this apartment, overlooking the Roman ruins in the lower town. I cannot wait to explore this area of Provence, the Vaucluse. We hope to visit some of these places: Avignon, Arles, Orange, the Pont du Gard, Mont Ventoux, the Cotes du Rhone "wine trail". And, of course, we want to spend time exploring Vaison-la-Romaine itself, and just relax and enjoy the good life in Provence!
Our next week will be spent in Nice, on the Cote d'Azur. (I bet you are getting green with envy by now, right?! I know I would be if this wasn't MY trip! lol) We're going to drive from Vaison-la-Romaine to Nice and drop the rental car there (AutoEurope advised that there is no drop fee for that route.) I read that the drive along the coast from Frejus to Nice is particularly spectacular, so we are anxious to find out for ourselves! We've rented this apartment in the middle of Nice, close to the tram line, the waterfront and the Old City. Hard to know even where to begin with the list of things to see and do along the Riviera!! Will spend time exploring Nice, there are several museums and churches (hoping the Russian Orthodox church is open again when we are there) as well as strolling along the beach, wandering through the Old City, and taking the elevator up to the park atop Mt. Boron. I really hope to take a daytrip to Monaco, perhaps Menton, Cannes and St. Tropez. I hear good things about Saint-Paul-de-Vence, but we won't have a car so I think it is out of our range. From what I have read, we will have no shortage of possibilities by public transportation though!
And to end off this great adventure, we're flying (Easyjet) from Nice to Barcelona, where we'll spend five nights in this apartment. I haven't had a lot of time to investigate Barcelona sights, but the ones we hope to see include: the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, La Sagrada Familia, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, Montserrat. And, as always, we'll ramble around soaking up the atmosphere, sampling the food and drink and enjoying whatever we happen to come across!
The nice thing about being able to travel for a month is that it is long enough to fill our senses with another culture, and then turn our hearts back toward the comforts of home. By the end of this fabulous trip, I imagine we'll feel ready to fly back to Nova Scotia. Not that we will be tired of travelling but we will be missing our beloveds, and wanting to share our experiences with them.
But of course I'm not looking to the end of our trip just yet! Right now, I can't wait for our excellent adventure to begin!!!