Tuesday, December 07, 2010


After our first trip away together we did get a taste for travel, literally - it was about food and wine.
We started late with the travel bug – we’d both did a little before meeting each other. Sue did a whirlwind European trip while I did 3 months on the West Coast of USA as a racing cyclist in my late twenties.

After our 2006 trip to France and Italy by the slow travel method we were hooked. The guided tour with a whole bunch of other tourists was not for us. Travelling in our own leased car and staying a week at a time gave us the thrill of meeting people and absorbing more of each region where we stayed.

I had my long service leave due so this trip was seven weeks long which gave us more time to explore the wonders of France. In Australia, employees are rewarded for loyalty (or laziness) if you are with the same company for 10 years (pro-rata) and 15 years.

Our 2008 trip started with a few days back in Paris at a hotel directly across from Gare de Lyon and on this trip I had my bike neatly packed away in an over the shoulder carry bag. It would be a few days before the bike would come out the bag and be reassembled.

We stayed within easy access of Gare de Lyon. Learning from our previous experience of 2006, we wanted to be within walking distance from the TGV station this time. We had learn't that Parisian taxi drivers are not always punctual.

The plan was to walk across the road to get the TGV for Avignon as we did in 2006. We would then pick up the car and spend a night in Arles before our week in Saint Remy de Provence.

Sue at the market in Arles, stocking up for our week in Saint Remy de Provence.

After that we would revisit Saint Chinian before heading off to Albi, Confolens, Vers and for another whole week at Le Bugue in the Dordogne. The charms of this area was its history, terrain and the food.

We were totally mesmerised by our week in the Dordogne - and I had my bike this time.

We then took off to Normandy via Chinon, and Le Mans in the Loire. The Bayeaux Tapestry was high on Sue’s list of things to see. We did an overnight night stop on the coast at Arromanche to take in the D-Day landings before spending three nights in Honfleur – just a great town.

Chinon, the food, wine and our B&B have a special spot in our memories that will live on forever.

As we traveled further north the weather changed but
 Honfleur still had an amazing allure despite the colder conditions.

The trip finished with the luxury of one whole week in a Paris apartment on the left bank but more about that much later in the trip.

Join us each Wednesday in France.


  1. Great post, I will definately be back next Wednesday. I love seeing parts of the country through other peoples eyes and mostly places I have not been myself. DCiane

  2. When one lives so far away, it is more enjoyable to take few weeks off from work (for non-Americans).
    I love your pictures and your stories Leon (and Sue).

  3. Diane, We travelled much of France and yet still are amazed at what we've missed on each trip. On returning home we will often say, we missed this or that.

    Nadege, I believe that American holidays are shorter than Australia. We have 4 weeks annual paid leave and at 10 years, 8 weeks long service.

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