France

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
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Trip End Jul 20, 2008


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Arrived in Paris to yet another language and an International airport with NO English signage. But that only slowed us down a little. Off we went by bus to the railway to find a train to Dijon in the heart of the Bugundy region. The TGV fast train should have been impressive but the aircon was busted on the hottest day of the year and we had to slow down for a hail storm just when I was getting used to travelling at 280km/h.
Met up with Brenda's cousin Jane and husband Norm who were travelling Burgundy to celebrate Janes 50th. As winemakers they took the opportunity to compare their South Aussie vintages with the best of the French wines.
Spent a great day cycling a canal to a couple of small villages outside Dijon, great to escape the cities for half a day and have lunch and coffee by the locks.
M
Dijon was a gorgeous old town/city with lots of cobbled lanes and huge piazzas to explore, only problem - not enough time, as usual.
Trained to Fontainebleu via Paris (again).  Explored the vast Fontainebleu Chateau with lots of Napoleonic history plus Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV furniture, decor etc - very impressive!
Our host Philippe collected us and after a welcome drink, drove to Sens for a typical French dinner of Fondue.  Merci, Philippe! Home to the tiny village of Vallery to our whitewashed cottage for 2 nights with mezzanine bedroom with ladder entry.
Our hosts Philippe and Antonie were fabulous and looked after us with much generosity.  We felt very much at home.  Our commiserations to Philippe over the sad loss of the French soccer game that night!
Major drama at this point - got to the remote village to find M's backpack with EVERY photo from our trip on CD was MISSING!!!  Plus lots of other good stuff.
After a stressful night (for Michael mostly), I was very restrained and didn't kill him immediately, we returned to the tourist office, where someone had handed it in, intact!  So we dashed to the fabulous Fontainebleu food and flower markets and bought a huge bunch of roses for the girls who locked it up for us overnight!
On to Paris and once again Michael mastered the Metro (he is good with a map!) and followed the precise instructions of our next host - Christian and found our next home in Passage Delessert in the ethnic quarter of central Paris.  Our home here was an apartment on 2 levels connected by a tiny spiral staircase.  Here we spent 3 nights with our generous host and by day explored every corner of Paris including the most obvious - Eiffel Tower, Jardins Tuilerie, Musee d'Orsay, Arc d'Triomph, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre etc etc
Next drama - got to Charles de Gaulle Airport only to find our flight had been booked for a week hence.  After much screaming and crying, we managed to get on the flight for another $500!  So the short trip cost nearly $1000!!!!!!!!!  M is currently battling that one with MyAir, via email and phone, challenging the terms and conditions. B
Update - MyAir have now contacted us 10 months after our initial email enquiry. (thats Italian efficiency for u). After several emails back and forward and a complete waste of my time, and an initial offer to refund the airport taxes, they refuse to make any refund at all. Seems totally unreasonable, some folks were travelling that day for 19.99euro, it cost us 291euro each for a 1 hour flight. To anyone travelling in Italy and all those people who have emailed us about our amazing accommmodation in Vernazza - DON"T CONSIDER MYAIR AT ANY COST. The trains are a better option. Hell, we were even OFFERED a refund by Trenitalia when the airconditioning didnt work on one of our train trips (and a cheque arrived in Australia months later). A far cry from the way Myair treats its foreign passengers.
M
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