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France


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A little bit more than two Weeks to go...

Chartres, France


Hello everyone...!

We are in France driving around everywhere seeing friends and Agnes Family, it's great to see everyone and I spend a lot of time sleeping in cars :). France is a beautiful country and I spend some time seeing the countryside when I am out running, next saturday in Sweden I am running against my brother, it's gonna be a struggle!

It is only 2 and a half week left until we leave for Brazil!!!!!!! and our adventure.

Here in France Agnes' sister, Delphine and Husband Manu have started another little adventure, her name is Clélie and now they are a little family!

5 days left until Sweden, elk and lingonberrys...mmmmmm...nice. can't wait to see everyone there!

Love, Ola

Hi.....!!!!

As you can imagine our excitement grows day after day and we can't wait to leave, first for Sweden and then for the big trip!!!
But i am extremely happy that I could see my lovely Clélie, my niece, before the travel.... she is the cutie on the pictures and she is a little angel... I already miss her!!!

lots of kisses to all of you guys...

Agnes

Salut les gars!!!

Allez un petit texte en Francais juste comme ca... alors la on est encore en France, on decolle dans quelques jours pour la Suede et apres nous partons vraiment pour la grande aventure... le stress et l'excitement commencent a monter!!!
En attendant, on a bien profité de notre petite nièce Clélie qui est née il y a un peu plus de deux semaines et qui est un ange, une petite beauté...

Allez j'embrasse tout le monde... (et surtout Manu et Delphine!!)

Agnes




permalink written by  agnesola on June 7, 2007 from Chartres, France
from the travel blog: Baby and Baby's around the world travel...
tagged France and ClLie

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music appreciation n age

Luynes, France


went to a live band performance with our host's homestay exchange student. he is a 17-yr-old thai (still a kid!) and his friends here are playing in the band. he asked if we are interested to go see his friends' band n we said yes.

it was held at this little pub in Aix-en-Provence. d band wasnt a good band to my standard. d drummer was always in his own world n not with d band n d singer doesnt sing very well. they seem to have d "i play in a band so i am cool" attitude. Youngsters... that seem so far away to me. hahah... all d Young kids there seem to think d band is good n had great fun. i m beginning to think that as u get older, u have higher expectations for live music... or just music in general. u dont enjoy just loud music n u learn to appreciate good musicians a lot better... gosh i'm definitely getting old!!

d thai kid had 1 pint of beer. he got a headache from that, couldnt walk straight (but insist he is fine) n later passed out during d ride home (our host came to pick us up). it was quite funny but cute! reminds me of my 1st few drinking experiences. i wasnt as bad as to passed out but i turned red pretty quickly n had allergies reactions all over my body d next day! ahhhhh youth! how far away that seems from me!

permalink written by  wangyng on June 10, 2008 from Luynes, France
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged France and AixEnProvence

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Lyon has realy nice night views!

Lyon, France


our host Cyril brought us to watch d EURO2008 in a pub/bar. it's an important match between Netherlands n France. France was beaten flat (4-1)!!! as u guessed, Cyril wasnt too happy with d match or d result! but he still brought us out to another pub. anyone can pick out music from their vinyl collections n play it. it was pretty cool!

o yes, we saw some really nice night views during d drive! it was pretty unexpected! d city looks really different when it's lighted. i cant describe it in words. i am guessing this is juz an appetizer for night sceneries... Paris will be even better i heard!! looking forward to Paris!

permalink written by  wangyng on June 13, 2008 from Lyon, France
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged France and Lyon

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my host in Paris ...

Paris, France


... is almost a 'lao beng'!! he is 38 years old n only listens to electronic euro dance music (which in singapore is referred to as euro trash music)! he loves MTV (still) is very happy with anything MTV (i m really surprised by this to be honest)! all that is lacking is modifications in his car n he would be a perfect 'lao beng'!! ---LOL--- i think only d true singaporeans would understand me in this one!!



permalink written by  wangyng on June 17, 2008 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Paris, France and Host

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Finding Jacques Lassaigne

Montgueux, France


The day I eventually got to Montgueux started one very hot morning at my sisters place in a tiny hamlet called Outines. Although Outines is in the Champagne region it's actually ni where near the Champagne vineyards, mainly located to the north around Epernay and Reims. So this is where I headed for to go and meet Pierre Larmendier the winemaker at Larmandier Bernier at Vertus. Pierre is a really friendly guy and welcoming, within 5 mintues of meeting up we were in his kanckered Renault 5 on the way up to his Grand Cru vineyards on a perfect southern slope. Great Champagnes but the only snag to buying is that they are already sold in the UK. My approach to buying is to find what I call the undiscovered "gems" of the wineworld, they are out there but they aren't easy to find. This makes it a tougher job for me but all the more rewarding. Following the visit to Vertus I head into Epernay for some lunch. Next stop is off to see David Leclapart in Trepail who rents a small piece of grand cru land just outside the village. I really liked the approach that David takes to wine, very small amouts and all done by hand. The Champagne's were very good. As a buyer it's really easy to get caught up in the moment and think that all the stuff you taste is great but it's when you get home you have to ask the same question. If it still tastes great back home you know you've got a winner. I manged to hold off placing an order as there were a couple of other winemakers that I was going to see that day, including Jaques Lassaigne in Montgeuex, and Jacques Beaufort in Ambonnay. Ambonnay was the next stop en route to Montgueux, in fact it's not far from Trepail. Calling into see Jacques Beaufort was an interesting one, I had called beforehand to say I would be visiting but when I turned up it was, I think, his missus that answered the door and pretty much said that he wasn't around and that was that. A shame as I had heard really good things about this champagne and I knew it wasn't being sold in the UK. I did ask if I could just try a little of the Champagne but that didn't work either so I left, if I had a tail it would have been firmly between my legs.
So having dropped my sister off back at Outines I got on the way to Montgeuex, I was so glad I had aircon the temp was over 30 degress for sure and really dry heat. Although it didn't take that long to get to Troyes finding the right turning for Montgueux was a nightmare and seemed to take ages, in fact it did take ages. Just as I was getting anoyed with the map and about to throw it out the window I got pulled over by the traffic police, I didn't think I was speeding but I probably was. My french wasn't good enough to make a decent excuse and the policeman was telling me what I had done wrong but it didn't sink in. I did take this change to ask him about where Montgeuex was and the guy pointed to a turning that I had just passed. To my amazement he let me go with no ticket and I was on the right road to finding Jacques Lassaigne!

The Jacques Lassaigne vineyards are located right at the tip of the hill of Montgeuex, it's a perfect spot, in fact this place is older then the soils of the grand cru sites around Epernay. The other thing is that it's real low key, none of the other big names around just a very peaceful village.



permalink written by  SIPWine on November 3, 2008 from Montgueux, France
from the travel blog: Wine buying across France
tagged France, Champagne, JacquesLassaigneChampagne and Montgueux

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Bonne Voyage

Paris, France


The journey by Eurostar to Paris was bliss - gliding through the flat vernal fields of northern France. The weather that day in Paris itself was fantastic, so I took the Metro to Chatelet and endeavored to walk down the river to the next point of my journey: Paris Bercy Station.

I've never been overly keen on Paris, but this day was exceptional. The heat was the kind you can only take in small doses, and so, after about 4 hours of mostly walking around with my backpack on, I was expiring; I hurried on to the station. This was, in many respects, a bad move. Bercy Station has all the charm of a Soviet prison, and about as much entertainment. Luckily I had my reader (which I would advise for any traveller in my situation), and so I managed to get a lot of reading done.

Eventually we were allowed to board the train. I had anticipated that most of those travelling on a sleeper train out of the holiday season would be young people backpacking like myself. There were certainly some, but many were single business people, or groups of older friends. Unfortunately in my carriage there was what seemed like a whole primary school. After several hours of almost unbearable shrieking, laughing and chattering, several members of the public volunteered to stand outside the doors of their couchettes to keep them quiet and this seemed to work. Despite a snorer (there's always one!) next to me, I managed to get to sleep, helped no doubt by the gentle rocking of the train as we passed through the Alps.

permalink written by  BenWH on April 1, 2009 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Gap Year Odyssey
tagged France

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Intro

Austerlitz, Netherlands


I've not jet left, just planning the whole thing. But.. in a couple of months I wil be heading to france with an old Fent Farmer 102 (tractor). The new way of backpacking!

1500 km at a speed of 30/35 km/h...
Austerlitz (NL) to Puylaroque (FR)..
2 girls..
1 tractor...
loads of fun...

permalink written by  Liekele on April 14, 2009 from Austerlitz, Netherlands
from the travel blog: Fendt to France
tagged France, Introduction and Fendt

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French Fried

Nantes, France


So it's not actually a myth. The French do speak French. It's now become a matter of pointing, smiling and hoping someone takes pity on me. Oh, and some highly comical hand signals.

But I'm managing - if by 'managing' I mean reserving my train ticket by pointing at Nantes on the map, then Tarbes on the map, waving my Eurail ticket around and saying, 'Oui', to everything even slightly pitched as a question.

I just hope there haven't been any marriage proposals... then I'd be in trouble.

I arrived in Nantes with very little trouble, even managed to smuggle out some Irish sand for someone special back home, and was met by Antoine, my couchsurfing host for the night.

Antoine and Virginie. Wonderful people. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay with them in the countryside on the outskirts of Nantes. I went for a walk through the forest, along the river, saw a chateau - a proper one - for the first time, and was chased around by a guy on a lawnmower (no, seriously, I was).

Then, Antoine, Virginie, the moon and I, sat outside in the French evening air. :)



permalink written by  Brigid Jelsma on April 16, 2011 from Nantes, France
from the travel blog: Walk a little further to another plan
tagged France

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I found paradise

Marciac, France


Tips for travellers: What to pack?

- Essentials (clothes, shoes, passports, tickets, cash, etc)
- Hand wipes (no, honestly, these are ridiculously handy for everything from sticky hands to no access to a shower/bath)
- Water
- Pen and paper
- Nail clippers
- Lots of socks
- Plastic bags
- Music
- Deodorant

The toughest things about travelling:

- You meet so many amazing people, but most of them you will never see again. It's exhausting putting in the effort to get to know each and every single person. But the worst is meeting someone and knowing that if you had more time you'd become really great friends.
- One of the hardest questions to answer was asked by a little boy whose family I stayed with for a while. "Do you love us?"
- Getting sick in a foreign place.


Best bits about travelling:

- Sitting on a bus or train, setting off for somewhere completely new and having no idea what to expect.
- I get to see the most amazing places. Honestly, each and every time I move I'm sad to leave, but as soon as I'm in the new spot, I love it. Everywhere seems to be special in its own way.
- I get to meet the most amazing people and keep some of them in my life (hopefully forever).
- I get exposed to so many new ideas and opinions, while my own get challenged, and it's absolutely fascinating.
- I get to choose where I want to go, what I want to do, and when I want to do it.
- Everything is exciting, even the smallest of things.
- Calling home (friends, family, kitten).


For the past three weeks, I have been absolutely awful at updating. I don't really know why. Maybe it's because I've had some stability during that time? Anyway. I have been staying in the most amazing place imaginable (and, yes, I know I said that about numerous places in Ireland and other countries, but each time I say it, I really do mean it!).


Saint Justin. A tiny village of six houses, situated on a hill in the middle of the rolling French countryside. Curling along the horizon, serving as the breakfast, lunch and dinner view, is the Pyrenees mountain range. The nearest town is Marciac, a town renowned for it's jazz.

Wisteria now symbolises France in my mind as it grows along the rafters of the patio.

How on earth did I end up in this paradise? Well, a site called WorkAway is the answer. In exchange for bed and board, I work 25 hours a week. Let me put it this way: I work from 8 until one, get a delicious breakfast, a mouthwatering lunch and a delectable supper, I get wine, I get a comfortable bedroom with its own bathroom and shower, I get afternoons and weekends off, I get to stay in the most beautiful part of the world and experience its culture. We even got the chance to go up the mountains!

No one needs to tell me how fortunate I am, honestly.

Oh, don't get me wrong, the work has sometimes been tough. Clearing ivy (damn that ivy) from walls, getting showered by bugs as you snip branches from below and try to balance on ladders that sag in the middle; painstakingly raking your fingers through hard soil to find straggling roots of couch grass (a demonic weed); sanding stairs until the dust nearly suffocates everyone around you; and so much more.

But, with music and good company, even the work hasn't been bad.

I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

But, moving onwards, with a minor blip thanks to an unforeseen cold, and I am leaving tomorrow, heading for San Sebastian.

How on earth is Spain going to compete with this haven?

permalink written by  Brigid Jelsma on May 8, 2011 from Marciac, France
from the travel blog: Walk a little further to another plan
tagged France

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Back to France

Montpellier, France


Going to Montpelier was quite a spontaneous decision. I was fortunate enough to get a few last-minute hosts, one of them being Pat, a wonderful guy who met me at the train station. I was rather exhausted the first evening, so an early bed was apt.

The following day I met up with another couchsurfer who showed me around the city, the touristy and the not-so-touristy spots – one of which included a trip up an elevator coated in graffiti to the roof of a dilapidated apartment with the best view of the city imaginable.

I then had the comical experience of ordering a baguette in a garble of Spanish and French: “Ola! erm, uh. Bonjour. Uno... baguette, por favour - uh, merci. Uh, s'il vous plaît. Uh...” Oh, dear.... The man then proceeded to respond in perfect English.

Moving swiftly along. Montpelier was beautiful. Rue Foch in particular, with the beautiful triumphal arch and garden (although I could only see the botanical garden from the outside as it was closed).

I then finally accepted the fact that my shoes were a lost cause, gave in and bought some new ones from a cheap thrift store.



permalink written by  Brigid Jelsma on June 13, 2011 from Montpellier, France
from the travel blog: Walk a little further to another plan
tagged France

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