Saturday, July 23, 2016

Home Again, Home Again....

As we are now back in Palmerston North enjoying a midwinter storm, I thought it time to round off my narrative with a final posting.
We were still in Guemene sur Skorff on last writing and enjoying one last and enjoyable day in this delightful little town. Our landlady, should she be called such, had recommended to us a small local hotel come restaurant in the village which, she assured us, would provide us with that authentic French experience one seeks on a holiday such as ours. We determined to sample it's fare on this, our last day, and so at slightly after midday made our way up to the said establishment. The number of cars parked nearby should have given us a clue but we were nevertheless astonished to find the place packed. Non! it would not help to return later the place was booked out and so that was the end of our authentic French experience to which we had looked forward. We took ourselves back down the street and on passing a Boulangerie succumbed to the temptation of a Cornish Pasty type of pastry before setting off once again munching as I went. Soon Mme. Landlady and friend passed us walking up the street. "They were fully booked"  we said  by way off excusing my bad lunch habits. Exchanges about what a shame followed and on we went towards the Media-tech shop where we hoped they would print our emended Air New Zealand tickets and allow us an extra bag on the Auckland- Palmerston North leg of our homeward flight. Before we could enter said shop however Mme. Landlady and friend reappeared with the news that we should take their booking as they could go back  another time and "Oh one of you will need to be a vegetarian" as that is what had been booked and it is a fixed menu and couldn't be changed.. After token resistance on our part we gratefully accepted, deciding we could share the Vegi. thing and made our way, together with Mme. Landlady and friend once more to the Very Authentic French french Hotel and after an explanation by our benefactor were soon seated and  enjoying a great experience. The lunch, four courses with wine cost 11 Euro. each and would have to be one of the best lunch experiences we have had. And we got our printing done on the way home.
Next morning and we departed quite early, France is a large country  and it was something like 500km back to Paris and although we intended to break the journey still had a long way to travel and places to see. Our main  stopover was to a town named Fourgeres, another of the  Medieval towns that dot the countryside around here. I  would recommend Fourgeres to anyone travelling in this area, it is quite lovely and has great cafes etc. in which the weary traveler may recharge themselves.

The Day A Little Dismal, But There Is Always A Damsel To Brighten It

The Castle Wall

We have noticed throughout Brittany some beautiful gardens and Fourgeres didn't disappoint. The town, particularly the old section is bright with colour. 

The Medieval Communal Laundry Alongside The Stream

Maybe They Were Shorter Then

There's That Kiwi Rose Again, The Public Footpath Alongside The Stream

I Peeked Over Someone's Fence

Even The Cathedral Has Lovely Gardens

A Novel Use For Old Jeans

All In All A Most Beautiful Town

There comes a time when the carnival is over and this was it as far as finding the beauty of the towns that the area has to offer. Next stop was in Dreux where we had stopped on the way over to Brittany and we had booked a Camponile Hotel, a budget but comfortable hotel chain in Europe before the final push into the capital itself the next morning. An uneventful night and the drive into Paris offered none of the Arc de Triomphe horrors of last week, altogether quite tame. Dropped of the car at Charles de Gaulle, booked into our hotel and caught the metro into Paris where we wandered up a street dedicated to supplying everything needed for Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and a lot besides, had a coffee in your typical Parisian Cafe, decided that as it was the day of the Bastille that we should avoid potential terrorist targets such as a busy market street and caught the metro back to the hotel. We had both thought that the other had a burning desire to go into the city but it turned out that neither of us in fact did, so a bit of a waste of money actually. What else we could have done that afternoon I  am not at all sure as we are not ones to have "A lie down" so there you have it.
Into the airport early next day and enjoyed the facilities in the Air France lounge before the flight home, must say their food and facilities were very good.
We has a stopover of eight hours in Guangzhou and as a consequence were given a room in the Pullman Hotel at the airport, a rather swanky affair where we were able to shower, breakfast and have a wee  nap in preparation for the leg to Auckland. I must say China Southern looked after us very well with the on-board  meals, service, stopover and the lie flat beds all of an excellent quality. The only complaint was having to pass through security and customs etc in Guangzhou, very hot and grumpy with all the queues even though we could go through VIP lanes. We would certainly fly with them should we go again which we are not so that's of academic interest only.
We have been home for a week now and only just recovering from jet lag and the climate change coming back to mid winter and 14, 15 degree highs.

That's it then we are home and I shall bore you no longer with my rambling.

Take care and all the best 

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