Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

27 May, 2010

French Doudou...

Whilst we were away, we stumbled across a little market area on the way down to Notre Dame, Paris. It was quite a nice little market, and one that L would have been at for some time! Now it's no surprise at all to the regular readers (and to those of the old blog we shared), that she liked to collect handmade toys. See what I mean:

L's Crafty Toys, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Anyway, in keeping with this 'tradition' I thought it best that as we found these "Doudou's" from "Sweet Millie" that perhaps I will get a pair for the angle babies...

French Doudou (Crafty Toys), originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Also, after a few weeks prior to leaving for the trip, of technical difficulties with Skype and the modem (long story), my new modem arrived the other day, so now I am just waiting to make a call on Skype to test it out! But so far, it seems to be going OK (shhhh....)

New Modem, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
And whilst I have been laid up for a couple of days now, in the rain (boring), I have been trying to update a lot of stuff on the blog, files at home etc... I am hoping to hear of news any day now for another research trip, this time to Germany and Denmark. This trip should only be for a week to ten day total, famous last words, right!
Hoo roo for now...

20 April, 2010

Day 13 ~18 Wrap up thanks to travelling and NO Internet!

Man, it seems ages since I did a post... But it was not my fault, HONSET!!!

Fitrstly our last day in Paris consisted of a bus tour of central paris and a trip Up the Eiffel Tour and the a trip up the Sein in a ferry (both were great!).

Champs Elysees, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Arc de Triomphe, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Eiffel Tour, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Paris Sein, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
River Cruise Sein Paris, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After this, we then caught the metro back to a station near the hotel, and guess what, there was an Antique Market... Both Michael and Julie were in heaven (me too, just quietly...). but it was all stuff I/we could not get back home very easily!

We ended up with a few small things, and headed back to the hotel to collect the bags and head to the train station, Paris Bercy. MAN, am I glad we had everything pre-booked, it was chaos! People everywhere, and trains running late... AND, to top it all off, the train (special) to Rome was running late which meant when ours came, all of the Rome people were blocking our passage and it was a HUGE crush! We got through in the end, but we left around 15 mins late...

It was an interesting trip, dinner in the coach car had the waiter balancing meals and serving, whilst we travelled through at a very brisk rate. We headed back to our cabin and adjusted the beds. I think I had the best nights sleep out of all of us! I must try and find what route we took, but when it was daylight (and an hour or so out of Venice) there was vinyards as far as the eye could see!

We quickly found our hotel and had showers etc and hit the city, although we were all very tired...

Now today, we were given a free trip across to the Murano factory... A water taxi arrived for us and it was a most enjoyable trip. And once across, we were taken into the blowing room, the showroom, both were amazing! I could not take any photos of the showroom, but rest assured, it was great!

Venice Water Taxi, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Murano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Murano Purchases, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Michael and Julie made some purchases, and when I got to the last showroom area, I found what I wanted, and made mine. So much for the 'free' trip hey!

Rialto Bridge, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice rand Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Anyways, we are now up to date (sort of). Tomorrow we enter dangerous territory, when I pick up the car!!!! Driving on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong side of the car... Wish us luck!

Florence, here we come!


14 April, 2010

Days 11 & 12: - Conference Angers

Apologies for not doing a post last night, but after the Conference dinner, it was 1 am and I had an early start for the Technical Trip (Day 1)! So here is a wrap up the last couple of days...

Firstly, the 'Grey Brigade' have been busy touring the city, so I can not really update you to much on them. I last saw them all properly on Sunday night as I had an early morning start for the conference. Here is the Conference Venue (see the banner they had done!)

Conference Venue, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
2nd ETS Conference, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

The presentations were all excellent, some were in French, and as my year 9/10 French is a bit rusty, I got an interprator's headset and listened to them! Lunch was AMAZING to say the least...

The afternoon sessions were also very good, and apart from technical difficulties with the laptop they were using, all was done by late afternoon.

For the Conference Dinner, I had to race back to the Hotel to get changed, and then race back up (20min walk each way) to get the bus out to the Chateaux de Brissac. This was a very grand Chateaux, and a stunning place to have a dinner!

Chateaux de Brissac, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
2nd ETS Chateaux de Brissac, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Dinner Chateaux de Brissac, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Today, the morning started with the technical tours, and mine went to the Geves, which is a seed testing facility, before heading out to the CTPS Turf Trials.

CTPS Turf Trials, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Turf Trials, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Upon returning to the Conference venue, we were once again treated to a bounty supply of food and wines... YUMM!!!

Lunch Canapes Cured Leg Ham, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Lunch Canapes, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Lunch Canapes, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Lunch Canapes, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So that is where I am at today. I am, as with Julie I suspect, very low at the moment, and finding it hard to concentrate at the conference. However, keeping busy is keeping my mind active and not dwelling on what is to come... I will be reposting a tribute slideshow I did for Louise tomorrow, and we will also be travelling to Paris...


12 April, 2010

Day 10: - London to Angers

WOW, we finally made it...

After a bus, and then 6 trains we are finally checked into our hotel in Angers France. It took a bit (thanks to engineering works on the London Underground) though to get here! We awoke at 5.30am to get ready (pre-packed the night before) and head down to breakfast at 6am. After breakfast, it was the bus into Heathrow for the Heathrow Express to Paddington. We did this as the Piccadilly line had the works. BUT, in Heathrow, we just missed the train and had to wait some 10 mins. Once in Paddington, it was onto the Circle Line to Oxford Circus, (change) to the Bakerloo Line to Kings Cross St Pancras. Now, as our train had long gone, I went to the ticket office expecting to have to buy new tickets. But, Frederique was such a lovely lady and must have seen my angst, reissued the tickets and waived the fee! By this stage though, we were all very SICK AND TIRED of the stairs and escalators! We boarded the train and were on our way...

Buffet Car Eurostar, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Eurostar Coach, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Once in Paris Nord, this is where the 'fun' began... As we had (again) missed the connecting train, again I stood on the ticket office where again, tickets were reissued. And we were directed to the 'Metro' for the train to Gare Montparnasse. When we got to the platform, the train came in and it was full and the platform was fuller! We ended up literally pushing our way onto the train! Soon though, we arrived (more of those blasted stairs...) and we found our train on platform 1 & 2. Our car, though, was No. 20 and the cars started at 1 so we had a LONG walk to ours!We got in, a couple followed and there was a loud beep (twice about a second apart) and the doors closed. The couple, the guy was seeing his girlfriend off, was stuck! But the ticket inspector understood the dilema and was not issued an ingringement notice NOR did he have to pay for the ride! Nice!! We managed to fill a section of the carriage of about 12 or so seats with our luggage and us, and was excellent!

We arrive some 90 mins later, the Hotel is opposite the station, with a full belly of a fantastic dinner. Beef casserol in a red wine sauce for me, YUMM! I am now about to go to bed as I am totally exhausted and the coference is tomorrow! I need a clear head!

Hotel De France, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Michael 1664, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
French Dinner and tired souls, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.