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Working my way through the alphabet, one country at a time

Rothenburg ob Der Tauber

My companions picked me up at my Frankfurt hotel in style: driving an Alfa Romeo SUV. I’m traveling with my sister Cindy and her husband John, and their granddaughter Eden who has taken three years of German. John was tickled the rental company upgraded the car because he refused a standard transmission. We jetted to […]

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France

I had yet to experience my first French brocante, or secondhand market, and I was itching to get my hands on some old stuff!  So when someone mentioned that L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a repository of antiques I was figuring out how to get there!  It was simply a train ride to the “Capital City of Antiques” […]

Salon de Provence

Another travel day.  I left from Albi while it was still dark.  I’d grown accustomed to the rolling river valleys of central France that are thickly forested.  The landscape morphed through the day until I was gazing upon quintessential Provencal views: vineyards, massive rocky outcroppings, and scrubbier trees–oak and cedar.  When I stepped onto the […]

Puycelsi, France

Puycelsi sits majestically upon a hill, high above the Vere river, surrounded by ancient forest.   Built on an outcropping of limestone rising 100 meters high, the name comes from a Celtic word meaning a “wooden fortress built on a hill”.  Benedictine monks built the stronghold during the 10th century.  It became known as an […]

Gargilesse-Dampierre

When I decided to go to France, I determined to see some “charming” villages.  I may have been influenced by Pinterest and the following lists: 15 of the Most Beautiful and Charming Small Towns in France; the 25 Most Beautiful Villages to Holiday in France; 13 Most Charming Small Towns in France, etc.  You get […]

The Cliffs of Etretat

Good news and bad news.  The good news is I’m successfully navigating the trains, subways, and buses.  The bad news is taxis aren’t readily available in small villages where I’m staying.  One morning I checked out and asked for a taxi to my first bus connection.  An unwitting employee directed me to an ambulance!  The […]

Mont Saint Michele

Mont Saint Michele looks ethereal when it dramatically appears above the horizon. Almost disturbing from miles away. This impression seems to be in harmony with its origins. Bishop Saint Aubert dreamt that Saint Michael appeared to him. Saint Michael directed Aubert to build a chapel in his name. But Aubert was reluctant. Saint Michael appeared […]

PARIS: One Big Museum

Leaving Paris was painful. Literally. We broke our record for steps in one day!  Our new personal best is 22,231. We crammed everything else we wanted to do into that final day. Rochelle, our friend living in Paris, quotes her father-in-law as saying “Paris is one big museum.”  So true–whether you’re in a museum or […]

Word of the Day in Paris: Vigilance

  What a relief to have someone posted at our metro entrance on the day we needed help getting to Versailles!  She approached us and showed us what to select on the screen to get our tickets.  Kyle questioned her, saying “$72 is too much for the train to Versailles.  It’s only supposed to be […]

PARIS: A Gastronomical, Olfactory, and Optical Feast

I feel like a glutton.  But Jasmine has been tracking our steps each day.  They’ve ranged between a low of 15,787 steps to a high of 20,376 steps.  That said, we’ve decided to make a lifestyle change.  We’ve come to the conclusion that we’re not eating enough cheese.  Large quantities of cheese make everything better. […]

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