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 FRANCE

FRANCE

 

We entered France near Lille where we bought some camping supplies, then headed toward Cambrai to quickly meet an Internet friend.  Near there we saw the first of a few white on blue direction signs that caught our interest.  After our meeting we proceeded to Bony, France.

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It is the Bells

It's always the Bells.

Not the senseless clatter of little bells clamoring for attention like a mindless wind chime.  No, but rather the deep basso profundo of a large bell of substance.  And the cadence is important also.  Not a competing peel, one upon the other, but the solitary gong intoning at 5 to 10 seconds intervals the loss of another hero.

It is always the bells that get me very misty eyed.  Especially in a soldiers cemetery.  And here they came every 10 seconds, on the hour, for the fallen of the Great War, the war to end all wars.  And if you must know, I really fall to pieces at a Wall in D.C. where I can reach out to the black stone and touch the names of people I knew.

Damn the Politicians, Damn the Statesmen!

All Honor to the Soldiers!

 

 

Amiens

 

Its not all glamour and glitz!

 

There are chores to do, like laundry, and Euro dryers are expensive and inefficient.

And you have to fetch provisions, such as fresh  Baguettes in the morning and pedaling to the Charcuterie for meat and pates.

It can really tough out here on the road.

Honest!

 

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Arrival in Paris

Sunday Morning

Arriving in Paris is always special, and driving into Paris on a Friday afternoon and transiting the Champs Elysees is a thrill of the first magnitude.

No fear.

My husband has no fear.  I knew this, but once again he reinforced it while driving the Champs on this Friday afternoon.    The Champs is 8 to 10 lanes of chaos with cars moving in every direction.  I asked him how he could do this.  He replied, "You have to understand the rules".  "What are the rules?" I asked.  His reply.  "There are none."   And while I was grasping the door handle with white knuckles, he was relishing the challenge of vehicle competition with the Parisians.

We drove around early Sunday morning to get some Papillon in Paris photos but at the Arc we encountered 10,000 marathoners who blocked a lot of streets this day.

 

Friday afternoon

 

Its all about the Segway!

We elected to take a Tour of Paris on a Segway.

In our research, more than once we saw statements that it was more about the Segway than a tour of Paris.

That is correct.  Nothing wrong with the tour or the tour guide.  It was just that the Segway was such a blast to drive.

After the first couple of minutes of training jitters one begins to gain confidence in yourself and the machine.  A few more moments of practice time in a small courtyard and then you are off to the sidewalks and streets of Paris.

And yes, you draw a lot of attention.

At one point our group filled a small street with our formation and we felt like a scene from a Star Wars movie as we levitated down the street at speed.

70 Euros each, ya gotta do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

We sure aren't 57 anymore

After standing 4 hours on the Segway tour and 3 more inside the Louvre we were exhausted.  You would think that we could keep up the pace like we were still 57.

We spent Saturday night back in the campground were we had a visit from Fern and Mary A. from Victoria, B.C. Canada who were here for 3 months.  They had arranged a motorhome swap with a couple from Manchester, England.  

 

Slow Travel mini GTG

The Slow Travel website is a superb travel resource site with an information exchange and numerous resource pages.  An impromptu mini Get Together occurred Sunday night when we went to visit Paris based "hero" Dave and his wife Aralynn and were joined by site Moderator Amy and her husband Larry from Boston.  A really great evening with lots of good stories.  Thanks guys.

Amy, Larry, Aralynn, Dave, Tom and Judy

 

Heading South

It is our desire to follow the sun on this journey.  Thus we will head south before the summer heat makes southern European travel unbearable.  But first a visit to an Insurance Man in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Mustard Fields

For almost the entire distance from Paris to eastern Lorraine the countryside was covered with a patchwork of colorful yellow mustard fields.  It made for a most attractive passage.

Next - Germany

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