Apr 19, 2009

Boat, Rain, Wet Clothes, and a Big Ham

Just a few more pics from early last week on the canal.

10 Days on the river

We are currently in Toulouse, where we will spend a couple of days before heading home on Tuesday. We had a great time on the Canal du Midi. Yes we had rain for a couple of days. Yes certain things on the boat didn't work correctly, but.... we had a great time. Most evenings we simply tied up along shore. No fancy marinas. We generally ate out only once a day. Breakfast was usually fresh croissants from the village boulangerie, coffee, and fruit. Lunch was usually on the boat while waiting for a lock to open. Local cheese, local meat and local wine, and of course bread from the morning boulangerie. We would usually go out for dinner at the local tavern, pub or whatever. The only rule was no white table cloths. The only disappointments were with the fancier places. When we stayed local and simple it was all good. I'll write more when we get back but just wanted to post a few pictures to keep everyone up to date.

Apr 8, 2009

More Pictures

More from Barcelona and Girona

Trip Update

We had a great start to our trip in Barcelona. While our room was quite basic, it was ideally located on the Ramblas. We walked every where. We were blessed with sunny skies and mild temps. We would usually have a breakfast at the hotel which was buffet style with lots of mystery foods. Lunch was around 2, and dinner never before 9:00. For a big city Barcelona was very clean and very pedestrian friendly. Lots of walkers, scooters and small cars. Some tour buses, but very few large trucks.

We left Monday morning by train to Girona. About an 1.5 hour trip north of Barcelona. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment with Bob and Linda for 2 nights. The apartment was very modern but was in a 800 year old building. We had late lunches, and then went to market and bought bread, cheese, and meat. Then on to the wine store where we bought wine from the barrel. We bought 1.5 liters each of a red and a white, along with 500 ml. of port all for less than 7 euro. We got to see the locals practicing being roman soldiers at 10:00 at night by the cathedral. This was for the upcoming pageant for Easter. We walked the city walls, and visited their art museum on Tuesday.

This morning we hiked back to the train station to head north to Beziers France. After an 1.5 hour train ride we arrived at the Spanish,French border. We had to change trains, then 1 hour north to Narbonne. We then had a 45 minute wait, (time for coffee) and on a different train for a 15 minute ride to Beziers, where we currently are. We are across from the train station at the Hotel Terminus, for one night before catching a cab to the marina where we pick up our boat.

Apr 3, 2009

Judy, John, Barcelona

Friday morning, we dropped Mollie off at Camp Bow Wow, and then headed to the airport. We were plenty early. Our flight was to leave at 10:30 arriving in Newark at 12:15. We knew we would have a 7 hour layover since our flight to Barcelona wasn'scheduled to leave until 7:15 in the evening. Now the adventure begins.....

First our flight to Newark was delayed by an hour. No problem we've got all day. Then they asked for volunteers to give up their seats. 10 minutes later we were in a Limo going to Detroit. They gave us 2 three hundred dollar travel vouchers plus paid 270.00 to get us to Detroit to catch a 1:50 flight to Newark. We got to Detroit to find out that our flight has been delayed by 1 hour. Well we made it to Newark with almost 2 hours to spare, only to find our flight to Barcelona had been delayed. We finally left the ground at 9:00 and arrived in Barcelona this morning at 9:50 local time or 3:50 in the morning Grand Rapids time. We found our bus to head to our hotel area, dropped our bags off and went out for lunch. By the time we got back to the hotel, our room was ready so we took a 4 hour nap.

Dinner is a late night deal here, so we didn't even go out until 8:00. After a dinner of Tapas and some desert at the gelato stand we headed back in for the evening. Bob and Linda arrive on the train in the morning. We will meet them at the station and head out for a little sight seeing. All for now.