Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Goodbye England, Bonjour France

Our last few days in England gave little in the way of respite in neither our busy schedule nor the weather unfortunately. Probably the highlight of those final few days so far as sightseeing is concerned was a visit to Hampton Court, somewhere we had meant to visit on many previous occasions, but as with a lot of such things excuses a re easy to find. Had we but known it may have been better to have found one than not on this particular day. You see it was Sandown Races. Not only did this attract a lot of traffic but the rain showed no mercy upon their poor souls as well. We crawled and stopped and stopped and crawled our way to Hampton Court as the rain increased from steady to heavy back to steady, hooray, and then back to heavy. Mercifully we, at last, arrived and what a grand spectacle it turned out to be, probably deserves more than the 3 hours that we were able to give it. The gardens were in particularly fine condition as this was the day before the famous (well it is now) Hampton Court Garden Show started.

The Gardens are Looking Spectacular 

Even This Example of the once Abundant but now rare Henry III Tree

The interior of the palace is not to be intimidated by the gardens however and Henry did quite well when he set out to give the French and Versailles a bit of a bloody nose. 


One of the Magnificent Ceilings 

A Side On View

We made a hasty retreat back into the country and to the sanctuary of an hotel which we had booked in the uninspiring name of Crawley, the hotel prove to be a boppy dazzler though and we settled into it for our penultimate night in England.
Sunday dawned fine, and I think it stayed that way all day, which was good as we had plenty to do, move all our belongings into our hotel over the road from St. Pancras, return the rental car to Heathrow  and meet with our Niece Katie and her partner Cam (I don't know if that's Campbell or Cameron or something completely different, but Cam will do) which was a highlight of our stay. Now those of you who have had the pleasure of traveling with Mrs Currin will attest to the fact that she manages to cram an awful lot into that purple suitcase (mine is not much lighter) and we have managed to acquire a couple of new ones along the way so moving house is not for the faint hearted, but was managed without mishap or hernia or any other mishap. The car was returned and diner date kept with Katie  and Cam. It was great to see them and catch upon all their news. They are getting a bit excited (OK a lot) about the upcoming arrival of Ian and Val next month.

Two Pics for the price of one so we could get everyone in (I don't do Selfies)

This was our last night in England as Monday we needed to get our effects aboard the Eurostar and over to Paris, turned out to be easier than I had feared and by about half past two we and belongings were all in the Gare du Nord and we were of looking for the rental car office, fortunately a lift was provided for the journey down six floors into the very bowels of the earth and it was onto the streets of Paris with us. Driving along, by this time it is getting on for 5pm and so the traffic is building nicely and I spotted the Moulin Rouge, you know the one right in the middle of Paris. Next thing we are heading, you guessed it, the arc de Triomphe, the thing most calculated to strike fear into my heart eight unmarked lanes of uncontrolled chaos. There are no rules governing this beast, have a crash and both drivers are considered to be in the wrong and you pay half each. Anyway we only needed to survive four exits and managed to do so without mishap nor adding to the noise of horns blaring, I don't think any were meant for me. It was really really good to see that sucker disappearing in my rear view mirror I can tell you, five o'clock and all.

We have booked a cottage in Brittany and arrived here last night after spending a night in an hotel along the way. It's a great little cottage and has a spare room should anyone fancy a wee break in France, only here until next Tuesday I'm afraid so you will have to be quick.

Great little Cottage in Brittany

 I should finish now, before I go to sleep on the job, so goodnight to one and all, be careful and all the best


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