France

Nice (April 26 - 30)

After an uneventful flight from Leeds/Bradford we arrived in Nice around mid day and took a taxi  to our rented apartment which was conveniently located close to the main shopping area, the old town and the railway station.

The Cote d'Azur has a wonderful public transportation system making it easy to get to almost anywhere in the area. As we only had three full days we decided to spend our first day in Nice and the other two days in St. Paul de Vence and Antibes.


Dinner in Nice, Old Town


                                                          
                                                






Paris (April 30 - May 2)

We took the TGV from Nice to Paris, a 6 hour journey. Just outside Marseilles, we measured our speed at 200 mph, which was very cool. 

Paris is one of our favorite cities, we lived there in 1991/2 and have visited the city many times. This time we were there for just two nights and only had one full day for sightseeing so we decided to visit Montmartre and then to take a boat ride on the Seine. 


John & Shelly on the steps of Sacre Coeur







The Eiffel Tower from the Seine boat ride


So sad to see the fire damage to Notre Dame



Paris to Bayeaux with a stop at Giverny (May 2)



Unfortunately the weather was not good for our drive to Bayeaux, but we decided to stick with our plan to break our journey in Girverny.  Even with the light rain the gardens that inspired Claude Monet's water lily paintings were beautiful.




Claude Monet lived in his home in Giverny from 1883 - 1926.  The photos on the left and center with reproductions of Monet's works are evocative of the atmosphere of his studio during his lifetime. 
To the right is Monet's bedroom where he died on the 5th December 1926.




There are two parts to Monet's garden: a flower garden called Clos Normand in the front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road.



The house and gardens were well worth the stop and on a sunny day would be really spectacular. After a quick lunch we headed to Bayeaux our base for the next two days.

The Normandy Beaches (May 3)

Our reason for visiting Normandy was to see the D-Day landing sites and the American Cemetery. We booked an all day tour which included all of the major points of interest and were fortunate to be blessed with an excellent driver/guide and sunny skies.

Sainte-Mere Eglise - the first French town to be liberated by the Allies






Bayeaux to Paris (May 4)

We set off early in gloomy weather for Charles De Gaulle Airport with John again at the wheel of our rental car. At the airport we parted ways with Kristine and Paul heading to Malaga to visit old friends Ken and Jenny, Shelley to London to meet up with friends and John to Orlando.