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Pete & Pam's 2007 Cruise & France Travel Page

Welcome to Peter & Pam's 2007 travel's Travel Page. Here is where we will be keeping a record of our journey for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for us. The first stage is to arrive in Instanbul and do a 3 day trip out to the Anzac area and Troy Then to join a Captains Choice tour of the Adriatic and Meditteraen finishing in Nice then to pick up a hire car (Renault) and spend 28 days in France. Then back home for the 'Aussie Rules' finals in late September.
If we have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people one of us will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Still more, here we are in hot, hot Dubai. When we got off the plane yesterday morning at 6am it was 31c and it goes up from there as the day progresses and this is not the really hot time, then the temperature reaches 40+. We were able to book into the Hilton – Dubai Creek and had a shower and went straight to bed and had a wonderful sleep until about 11.30. Whenever you are in a building you are shut off from the heat, but open the door and bang you are in it again. This is the month of Ramadan and Muslims, fast from sunrise to sunset, so there are very few restaurants open until sunset, those that are open are in hotels and shopping centres and if you eat there is curtaining and the blinds are shut, so that the people fasting do not have to see you eating. It is even not done to drink in public. Everything is very quite and there are very few people around the (Antique) Souks. We did go to a shopping centre, but only to see the ski slopes!!! Yes just like an Austrian village and kids throwing snowballs etc. All very surreal in a surreal country. We caught up with friends ( Liz & Brian) from Sydney, in the evening and went with them on a Dune Dinner Safari. We were picked up by a 4wheel drive and taken into the desert about 50km out of the town. They let air out of the tyres as we reached the sand and then we were able to do “wheelies” over the top, down the side and into the valleys of the dunes. All very “thrilling”. Each tour was an individual 4wheel drive and after the fun of the dunes, we all met at a compound where we had our dinner. Because of Ramadan there was no alcohol or belly dancers, but it was a fun night and we rode on camels, had henna tattoos done on our hands (mine is really hard to get off) and saw all the crafts of the desert. Well worth doing. We slept like babies that nights and woke refreshed the next morning to head out to see a Danish friend, who lived in Sydney with her Australian husband who is now living in Dubai and has just given birth to a gorgeous little girl 3 months ago. They live in an ex-pat community about 45 minutes from the centre of Dubai. We had a lovely 24hours with Vibeke and Claire, but unfortunately Bryan was away on business and not back until after we leave. We did see that ALL these buildings that are going up everywhere you look, have people living in them. It is had to believe that with all this development that there is enough people to fill them and also the office buildings and how it can sustain itself?
We came back to Dubai next morning and had intended to go to the museum and gold souk, but found out that they did not open until 5pm. We therefore had a lazy day, as early in the evening Danny & Andrea Bromley, who are now living in Dubai, but were from Ballarat, were picking us up to go to a dinner to break the days fasting at a huge hotel on the beach front. Jenny Haymes and Alice & Kevin had arrived in this morning, so it was great they could come too and we all had a really good night enjoying our dinner in a huge air-conditioned tent. It was great to talk to Danny & Andrea, as they have only been here for 3 months and are living in a villa with their three children. All the things we have wondered about here, we were able to ask them and it helped explain some of differences we were seeing and wondering about. It is so different to anything we are used to, starting with the heat (all the locals say how better is this week than the weeks before when it had been in the high 40’s),together with the heat haze, the sand blowing in from the desert, all the growth and development that goes on and on it is all so different, which will be even more so, when we get back to Ballarat!!
I am sitting at the airport now finishing this off, as will help me stay awake. It’s midnight and we fly out at 2.40am and I don’t want to go to sleep, yet!!
Its been a wonderful trip and we are delighted to now have a record of all our activities and thoughts. It has been a good discipline for me and I’ve enjoyed doing this and am amazed how long it is.
Bye for now. See you all in Oz. xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Location: Our Paris, France


Thursday 13th.September. We were very sad to shut up the house and move on, we have had a wonderful three weeks here and feel attached to Avranches. Life goes on and so do we. We left in good time to travel to Bayeux, which is only a couple of hours away. Booked into our hotel, which is right on the main street and within walking distance of all the things we wanted to see. We decided on lunch and chose a great little place and as it was our last chance ordered cider with our salads. Cider is a speciality of Normandy and we have found that it is an aquired taste and not something we “love”. It was a lovely day and we lunched in the sun. We headed off to the tapestry straight away as we were not sure how long it would take, as it turned out we were there over 2 hours. Even on a non-holiday Thursday, there were crowds waiting at the ticket office. The first exhibition is the history of England and Normandy at that time and the conditions of the people. We thought we were pretty OK with our history, but were glad to learn more. We were then shown a film of the tapestry itself and finally after receiving English headphones, we were into the tapestry. It is amazing to think that it is over 900 years old and we had no idea that it was so long (70m). It is an historic document, telling the tale of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England. The description audio, bought the whole thing to life as we walked along the corridor where it is displayed. Wonderful to see and far exceeded anything we had imagined. We had a great meal at night and all in all enjoyed our stay in Bayeux and it is a very pretty town well worth a visit.
Headed to Paris next day and had no trouble getting to our hotel, Pete is an old hand at driving now and has done a fabulous job, but we both think the French are very courteous drivers and that has helped a lot. The rue Cambon where the hotel is, is only one car wide so when we pulled up, we had to get the luggage out onto the pavement, while cars lined up behind us, but no honking of horns or anything, they just have to put up with the “joys” of Paris traffic. Pete drove off once the luggage was out and the porter came and helped me get it all inside, we now have 4 cases that can’t even fit an extra handkerchief!! I sorted the luggage while had gone and dropped the car off. He arrived back at the hotel about 2 hours later, all well and the car returned. We decided to take an open bus tour that afternoon and enjoyed the round trip looking at what we wanted to do the next day. We had dinner in the bistro, opposite the Hotel Cambon and it was a great meal and very, very busy, as the city is full of rugby fans. One of the facts they told us on the bus is that Paris has as least 26,000,000 visitors a year, that’s 500,000 a week!!! On Saturday got off early, had breakfast out and literally walked Paris, getting on the bus when really needed. The highlight was the Petit Palace that has various exhibitions. It is the most wonderful building with a centre of gardens, where we had lunch, all so uplifting and peaceful. There is no use me go on about Paris as it is just the most wonderful city. Peter and I love everything we see, it is so spectacular and just beautiful and without a doubt our favourite city.
Last night we had booked a special restaurant. When we got there, it was hard to believe it was the very same restaurant where we had had Kizanne’s 15th. birthday, all that time ago! It was still a fish restaurant, but the dining room was now upstairs and it was very up-market. We had the best meal and service of our trip so ended a very special day.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Location: Avranches, France

Success, the lovely man in the camera shop, pushed lots of buttons and we are now looking better. The bad colours were driving me mad and I would not have put them on the blog, but Pete did, so that you could at least see where we had been, even if it looked as though we were under the blue sea and embarrassed!!
Yesterday, one again on Claude’s advise, we headed north in the Normandy area, back up to the English Channel and further west than the D Day beaches. Barfleur is described in one of the guide books as one of the prettiest villages in France, now that is a big statement to two people who have seen some gorgeous villages in their travels!! Nice trip up, very green and lush and the hedges on the sides of the roads were being cut back & trimmed, so looked picturesque. Stopped for some Normandie caramels, they are made with fresh cream, in a little village of Isigny sur Mer. Call in at home when we get back and try some as there is no way we will ever be able to eat all we bought!! Reached Barfleur, it was a pretty seaside village with a grey granite quayside and lots of fishing boats. In our opinion, it did not reach the expectations, BUT we had one of the best lunches there. Pete started with mussels, followed by smoked salmon, caviar and salad, it was wonderful with simple flavours. I had fish soup and the taste was a sensation and followed that with mussels, they were huge, fresh and wonderful, plenty of photos to show you how good it all was. Continued around the Cortentin Peninsula and it is all very wind swept and rugged. Went around Cherbourg, it has one of the largest artificial harbours in the world. It certainly was a remarkable breakwater and you just imagine how necessary it is on such a windswept coast. Continued on right around the top and driving down the west coast, you could see Isle of Jersey it is only a short time away by ferry. We had another different day, it was a long drive for Peter, but worth it to see another variety of countryside, but certainly not as spectacular as the St. Malo side.
This is our last day in Avranches (Wed. 12/9) and we are just tidying up and getting ready for the journey home. We are going to walk around the town and take those photos we have meant to take and generally catch up on things we have still to see. It has been a wonderful 3 weeks and we will find it hard to leave this beautiful area of France, we have just loved it. France is still wonderful to us and we are just staggered at the difference in all the areas you go to. Suppose it is a big country and we have seen a lot this trip and still love is and can hardly wait until we return.
Tomorrow we head off to Bayeux, we want to see the tapestry and will stay the night there, before driving to Paris on Friday. Leave for Dubai on Sunday pm. so have lots to still see in Paris, there is never enough time in Paris, but will return.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Location: Travels around Britany, France


Jenny, David, Alice & Kevin left early on Friday morning (6th.). They had a long drive ahead of them, they were going straight through to Bilboa in Spain (that’s about as far as Melb. to Sydney) It is a very quiet house now, as it is the first time Peter & I have been here on our own, but we had a very restful day and made plans, booking etc of what we will do for our last 5 days, throughout the day we received sms’ on the progress of the drivers, they did well and arrived safely by 7pm. Saturday dawned wonderfully sunny and we took our bag and set off to the market. Alice had been last week and told us how good it was and sure enough it was great with a huge selection of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, jams etc. as well as a little bit of clothing. We had decided that we would head off today to Dinan, it is a little further on from St.Malo, but we had not had time to go when we were in St. Malo and had been told it was well worth going to. Well here we are and what another wonderful surprise. A gorgeous 3 flower village with the most wonderful old buildings, shops and narrow streets, you’d think we would be tired of all that now, but each one seems different and has something that is quite different and really takes our breathe away. Once again we took the Petite Train for a tour to see the town, but this time after seeing the old city we went down a very steep hill to The Port, which was a delightful area, mostly made up of restaurants full of people sitting in the sun, eating beside the Rance River. The river was lined with yachts from all over. After that tour we went to an exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec and had a great time wandering through almost 200 of his drawings, lithographs, illustrated scores, albums and posters. The exhibition was in a newly built building and showed us how the old and the new can blend well. The new building was mainly under a huge paved open area that also covered a car park and all of this was surrounded by old buildings including one the library was in. It all looked great. We had lunch at one of the many creperies in the town and through out was getting the results of the Collingwood v Sydney Swans game from Samantha and joy of joys the Pies were victorious. We are staying in Dinan the night in an older hotel overlooking a huge square, surrounded by beautiful 3 and 4 storey + attic, house and after seeing more sights of beautiful Dinan, will make our way slowly back home
Got off after breakfast and did a walk of ramparts, well what there was still standing and it was a great walk, as we came across lots we had not seen on the train tour yesterday and as it was early Sunday there were very few people around (mainly joggers) so it was all clear and the church bells were ringing so it was great atmosphere. We decided to walk down the very steep, narrow, cobbled street to the port and it was well worth it as once again everything along the river looked wonderful in the morning light. The walk up was a challenge but we made it and felt good that we had stretched ourselves and seen a beautiful area. We left Dinan and headed for Dinard. It is described in the guide book as “The place was launched in about 1850 by a rich American and developed by the British” It’s the only place we have gone to that we didn’t like, so just had a quick look around and headed on our way, there were just too many very tanned, old blokes and many holiday and beach crowds, sorry but we didn’t come to France to see St. Kilda!! We have been very spoilt with all the cute places we have been to. Headed, once again to St. Malo and I walked the ramparts with Peter, as he hadn’t done that when Jenny & I did it the other day and it is certainly worth the walk. We drove home along The Cote d’Emeraude, which is called this because of the emerald colour of the water all the way along to Cancale, where we had lunch, of seafood, once again. This coast is very rugged with stony outcrops and this time the tide was right out and it is spectacular, to see all types of boats nearly on their sides, as there is no water for nearly as far out as you can see. It would be interesting to see the tide coming in, as we think it would be very strong, because of the amount it has to rise. The oysters are famous and flourish in the immense beds in the open sea and an oyster with a particular flavour is grown due to the richness of the plankton of Mont-St-Michel Bays. Oyster beds along the coast cover an area of 890 acres.
Sorry but, until I get my camera fixed, there will not be any more photos. If you had looked you would see how awful and artificial the photos of St. Malo looked, and the town was so beautiful, they were too red & too blue and I can’t stand them. If I can make myself understood here, I hope I can get something done soon, but it has us all stumped.


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Recent Messages

From Lucette
Hi Pam and Peter:
I can't believe your trip is over -- time certainly flies when you are having fun! I hope you had a good flight back to Ballarat. My father passed away at 91 yrs. on August 17th, so it's been a sad time. I went to Saskia/Chris/Georgia that weekend for support and will be spending Canadian Thanksgiving with them Oct. 4 to 10. Once again, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful vacation with everyone.
LOL Lucette
Response: Hi, Sorry about your news am about to send you an e-mail. Yes can't believe how the time has flown since I got back!!P
From Rob & Christine
Hi P&P
Have thoroughly enjoyed your escapades (both reading & photos). Were you able to organise a boat load of French wine from Epernay & Beaune? Will be most interested to hear more detail about the Capt.Choice cruise! Give my regards to Danny Blomley when you get to Dubai. The criticism of Central Highlands Water Board continues to grow (although we have had some good rain in recent days). Entrance building at Sov. Hill progressing well despite a significant disruption to entry - Board meeting Mon. night. Congratulations on an excellent effort recording your trip. See you soon.
Response: Gr8 to hear fr. U. We are now starting our trip back C U in B'rat. xx
From Zanny
Finally caught up with all the goings on. France is so varied and I am glad you have seen so much of it. Winona is dreaming of Paris. Everyone really well at this end. Kids looking forward to seeing you next week.
Love Zanny
Response: Oh, Winona U will luv Paris. We are heading there today & U & I will go one day together.xxxxx
From Peter Eddy
Pete & Pam
Maxine and I have loved following the trip and enjoying the experience with you.
Hope all is well.

Peter
Response: Only 2 weeks today until we are home!!
From Cara Davies
Hi guys!
Are you having good time?!!
I hope so!!!
Well any way...
Love,
Cara xxxxxxxooooooooooo
Response: Hi Darl, How R U. Gr8 2 hear fr. U. Will B home in 2 weeks. Still looking 4 presents!!! LOL to all. G & G xxxxoooxxxx
From Wendy Holgate
Wow, the trip sounds fantastic, You write so well Pam, makes me feel like I'm there with you. Auditons for The Producers went well over the weekend. Can cast it, even though we did not have a lot audition. But good quality people. Weather up and down here, great one day, wet the other, but that's Ballarat. Love to you both Wendy XX
Response: Gr8 to hear from U. xxx
From Robyn
Back from lovely holiday now, just catching up with your busy doings, (need a rest before printing them out for the boys to read). What a lot of trouble you have taken to keep us so well informed. Fathers Day tomorrow, have the boys and Kimie for a roast. Lovely spring here, love, Robyn & Doug
Response: It's a really good record for us to have 2 as the days would all blur, by the time we got home. xxx
From Beve & Tony
Caught up at last, and my questions to you via SMS were answered. We adored the Kimberley trip and the ship was fab, looking forward to our next sea voyage...you are such trail blazers, we will just say to Joan, give us what they're having! xx
Response: You sexy one!!! Pace has slowed down.
From Cam
Wow, you guys deserve a sleep in! I feel tired just reading all that you have been doing. Love the photos Look out for an email
Response: I'm looking out Cam!!! We are off to Paris am 1/9 & not back until pm 2/2. You have until then.xxx
From Daryl & Helen Burt
Just returned from Melbourne amd opened up your blog to see your travels have taken you to Villiers
Bretonneux War Memorial. Helen's great Uncle Robert John McHenry was killed in action at the battle of Poziers on 27 July 1916 and as his body was never recovered. His name is engraved on that memorial. Daryl's Great Grandfather also won the Belgium Croix De Guirre in the Battle of the Somme; hence this area is of great interest to us.
Beefsteak & Burgundy AGM was an excellent occasion at Craigs. Food, wine and presentation was excellent.
Continue to have a fabulous and safe trip.
LOL D&H.
Response: Very interesting 4 U 2 C as you have contacts. Would make it twice as interesting, U must go there it is wonderful.
From Annette (Liz) Perkin
Great Pam! We will book 2 extra from here is that is ok. They collect you from your hotel/accommodation, so will I just put in our hotel or do you have an address.
Love, Liz
Response: That would be gr8 if U would book & leave it to collect us @ yr hotel. P
From Kizanne
Glad to see you are doing a bit of research for me. Kizanne
Response: Always working!!! Your Sunday Girl.xxx
From Cara Davies
Hi having a good time?!
looks like fun is it?
Sending lots and lotts of kiss
Cara
P.S. I'm can go to the tukshop
on friday! 2$
Response: Wow. What a lucky girl. We have been unable to get internet for couple of days so only just got your wonderful message. LOL. (that means Lots Of Love)xxx
From Msnta
Hi Mum and Dad
It's nice to see the photo's of the trip and update myself on where you are at the moment. The trip must seem to be going fast as I cannot believe that you are already half way through your driving trip of France.
Love xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxox
Response: Too true, but we will be ready to stop in one place too. LOL. xx
From Annette (Liz) Perkin
It all sounds wonderful .How do the Silver Cloud and the Mariner compare? We are booking to do Dinner in the Desert while in Dubai. Would you 2 be interested and maybe your friends also? We have booked for the 17th but can easily change the date if the 16th would suit you better. Remind me what dates you will be in Dubai? We will be there the 16th and 17th, flying out 2.30pm on the 18th.
Cheers, Liz and Brian
Response: Yes we would luv 2 do Dinner in Desert. 17th. OK for 2 at the moment. We arrive 6.30AM 17/9 and leave 2.30AM!! 20/9 so fits in well. Thought the Mariner being bigger was better in quite a few ways. Gr8 2 hear fr. U xx
From Lucette
Hi Pam and Peter:

Wonderful to be able to travel with you through this amazing technology. Loved the photos! It is also great to be able to read messages from all your friends. Especially news of Ballarat, it seems like I am still living there eventhough it was such a long time ago. Weather has been hot here in Vancouver, so lots of evenings on my patio and in the pool. Have a great time in France.
LOL Lucette
Response: Wonderful to hear from U. Gl. you are enjoying our news. All fab. here. LOL...xxx
From Wendy Holgate
Hi Peter & Pam,

How is the trip going and where are you at present. Where did you spend your Birthday Pam?
Was thinking of you and how exciting it must be to somewhere exotic for your 21st!!!
I organised a concert for the Riding for the Disabled, and it was held last Sunday at the new
Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts. Very small attendance which was disappointing, around
200 people, but the concert went off without a hitch and all the performers were just great.
I'm doing a play at the moment called "Penelope" a W Somerset Maughan play. Playing the
"Old Girl" again, Oh well, a least I still get asked to do something. I am going to direct
The Producers for Lyric next year, that will be a challenge, hope I stay sane enough to get
thru it all. A BIG task.
Off to Melbourne Friday to have dinner with Paul, Alex and the kids and Nikki, (Jasons wife) and Zac.
at a greek restuarant in Brunswick Street, Richmond. Should be a nice night, we'll stay and Paul's
then come home on Sat.
Weather still bitterly cold here, usually snows on my birthday, but maybe not this year, we'll see.
It snowed at Mt Bunninyong last week, but we didn't get any here in Ballarat, not like a few weeks ago.
I'd imagine you are getting beautiful weather over there, and it should be warmer when you arrive back
home. I wrote the above before I opened your web site. How wonderful the trip sounds, so many beautiful places and memories, as the others have said, you take us there with you. I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since you left, but as they say time flys when you're having fun, and that sounds exactly what you are doing.
Hope you both are well and happy, Love to you both. Wendy XXXX
Response: Wow lots of news. Hope you had HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Off boat and travelling in France now.
From june
Great to read your travel diary, and news of Etna, how close did you get, and how was the 'air' around it? Pretty spectacular scenery too.Just seen the most inspiring report on TV, they have just appointed a new Gov and Deputy Gov in SA, former Rear Admiral fought in Vietnam and a Viet refugee who has been an amazing asset to the country, just "2 boat people" as the new Governor wryly quipped, just a great story of how good things come from adversity and can happen in this country of ours, i felt so proud. New interest rate rise, up .25% as expected, the market didn't react and has corrected a bit, which is encouraging, still a rough ride for a while,politics 24 hours a day, goodness knows what will be promised by the time you return, just write to the PM you might get it!There is a bad flu here, unfortunately 3-4 children have died, hope they can contain it.Supposed to be 20 on friday, hot summer coming. keep well and happy, lol j xx
Response: Gr8 to hear your news. Will be harder to keep blog up to date now I think as we do not have constant access. Thinking of all you are up to. LOL>
From Daryl and Helen
It has been great to receive your very detailed account of your exciting travels. Certainly you give us all a real insight to the places you are visiting.
As Bruce and Beverly mentioned the President's Dinner at Sovereign Hill was an outstanding night last Friday evening.
This Friday we have the RMHC Ball. Apparently >900 people are attending.
Weather in Ballarat is still cold however without much rain. It was announced in the Courier on Monday, Ballarat West will be using ground water distributed through the main supply system. This will occur in progressively in the near future.
All the best,
LOL Daryl and Helen.
Response: Thanx for the news - hope this goes thru - 3rd. try!!!
From Lucia
Dear Mr and Mrs Davies, it was interesting to read about your travel and I am happy that you are having a good time. It's a pity not to have the opportunity to meet you in Pisa/Florence. It would have been great to meet you personally. Regards from Italy - Lucia (Samantha's friend)
Response: Lovely to hear from you Lucia. We have loved Italy and hope to be back.
From Von
Kia Ora,
Belated birthday greetings Pam, and where better to spend it !!
After a busy busy day at SJOG it was great to come home, sit down (with an OJ - of course) and catch up on your trip. Your travelogues are so interesting it's just like being there. Has The Courier made you an offer yet ? You'd make an excellent travel writer.....

The Northerly is blowing a gale tonight, and my furry friend Katie is at her skittish best........what is it about animals and strong winds.........

The All Blacks won and the Cats are still winning, all is right with the world.

Go safely

Response: Gret news (I think)
From Ken & Dawn
Hi Pam & Pete,
W e see you have been having a happy birthday on 29th. Pam.
We are at Coolum Beach with Andrew and Lynette and family for a month or so. Your adventures are exciting us to do likewise sometime but ....?
Reading yours and Lizzie and Michael's accounts are marvellous.
Love to you both. Enjoy !
Dawn & Ken XX
Response: Isn't the world a small place now. Enjoy Coolum & hi to A & L. xxx
From Ellenette & Randy
Hi,
Happy b'day for Sunday Pam. I hope you got your sms's, we had a big cheers for you. Volos is just amazing,we must go there and also get lost in the spice market. As everyone else say's this blog is fantastic however it gives way too many people chances to tell you that the pies lost-don't you worry! have lots of fun talk soon. xxxxx
Response: Sorry it's taken so long BUT hasn't been easy to reply, keeps dropping out. Keepin touch.xxxxx
From Jude
Great to learn all about the places you are visiting. With your news and Liz & MIchael's travelogue, we are "visiting" all these amazing corners of the world! Thanks,
Jude H
Response: Good isn't it? Esp. for us to be in touch with everyone. Luv P & P
From Berthel
Dear Pam,
Have studied all details of yr lovely trip. WISH WE WERE THERE.( Enjoy it , even without our charming company!!!) - and of course: Happy birthday and many happy returns. G.& B.
Response: I'm sure your travel plans are now for Dubai with your new grand-daughter.xxx