We've been on the move for the last 10 days and have covered some ground and seen some beautiful scenery. The good news is we have figured out how to resize pics on our camera so can now load more pics on the site as they tell the best story.
After enjoying the touristic side of Paris we met up with one of Elise's friends Lisa, who has just moved to Paris with her French husband and has just had a baby. They say the best way to get to know a culture is from the locals and for French cuisine/culture Jean Philippe certainly did a great job at that.
Elise and I had only been on the road for 5 weeks but we certainly did enjoy the comforts of their wonderful hospitality and some delicious home cooked meals. Jean Phillippe cooked up a storm each night giving us some authentic French cuisine including boudin (specially prepared pig sausages), potatoes (specially cooked in Fois Gras fat) and lots of other food which the names I cannot pronounce nor remember except that they were yummy.
After spending some relaxing days in Paris which included pushing little one month baby Oscar around the parks of Saint Mande in Paris, we headed through the French-Italian-Swiss alps via a stopover in Dijon. For anyone planning a trip to Dijon can I suggest a quick stop rather than an extended stay as although it is quite famous for mustard there was not a huge amount going on there.
Next stop was Lake Como a really picture postcard place. Elise thought it would be nice to walk around the lake but after checking out the map and seeing it was over 50km long I thought it would be best to take the boat trip, which was amazing with some of the most beautiful lake views we've ever seen.
The drive to Como was fantastic as we saw some amazing scenery with the snow capped Alps and amazing mountain views, however we did pay for the privalege. On one day it cost us over 80 euro in tolls!!
From Como we did a day trip to Milano which was only 1 hour by train. This is the fashionista capitol of Italy. Every second person has a Louis Vuitton handbag (even the boys) and it is luxury brand paradise. We bought a few things, but had to be restricted by the fact we have to carry everything we buy and of course would be home next week if we bought a few LV handbags!!
Arriving in the Cinque Terre was an interesting experience as those of you whom have been there will know that having a car in this place can be a little difficult as it such a small and isolated place. We both did not know what to expect as we normally dump the car somewhere when we get to a city and go and hunt for some accomodation. After driving along the very windey Italian coast we arrived at Monterosso which is the last of the 5 towns and we hit a dead end in the road with a boom gate to the Town. Anyway a little old Italian lady tapped on our car window and starting speaking to us. We did not really understand her at all but we assumed she wanted us to come and stay at her place which has a private room. With nothing to lose she jumped in the back of the car and we went back up the hill about 100 metres and dodgy parked the car... I'm getting good at that and went down about 10 flights of stairs and got to the place which was a really nice little flat, and only a 3 minute walk to the town centre. Lady luck was smiling on us and we did not have to do any leg work that day.
Next day we planned to do the walk through the 5 towns. This is one of the most remarkable and beautiful walks I have ever done. The track is constructed on the side of the mountain with stones that have been laid over thousands of years by generations of Italians. The path is no more that 3/4 of a metre wide for the most part and there are thousands of stairs along the way. The trek is about 9 km from the start to finish and we really did earn our drinkies at the end of that day. We completed the walk in 3.5hrs and it takes the oldies with hiking apparatus/walking sticks 4.5hrs. My heart rate hit over 160 beats per minute heading up some of the stairs. ( I wore my heart rate monitor).
I will let the photos do the talking about this place......
After a marathon 10 hour drive we are now in Lake Bled in Slovenia, an equally beautiful place where we have booked a Kayak trip for tomorrow.
So, as you can see we've had an action-packed couple of weeks, hence no update for a while!
We have loaded lots of pictures but haven't added them all to this blog, so click on our names under Author, and from there you can click on more images to see them all (i think! I'm sure you'll find it)