France

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Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Paris In Spring

Not so much in spring, as in an Antarctic winter.

Eifel Tower

Eifel Tower

Packing For Paris

We're packing our suitcase for tomorrow. We're going to Paris, where I will attend a seminar on organisational development from Wednessday until Friday. So that gave us the opportunity to add two days for ourselves. Mrs.B will stay until Tuesday evening, so we'll have (almost) two days to stroll around in the big city under the Eiffel tower.

We've both been in Paris before, when we were students. So that's a long time ago, but Paris will be Paris. I expect the Seine will still be there, and the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe and of course the Champs Elysées. And there will be real french croissants with the truck load all for Mrs.B, and French cuisine and cafés and...

Ooooh, I can't wait!

Feel Like A Wreck

Aaah, la Picardie...

Derelict fishing boats at the end of the harbour of Le CrotoyDerelict fishing boats at the end of the harbour of Le Crotoy

Dingy

Dingy

Cabin of a ship wreck

Cabin of a ship wreck

Ship wreck

Ship wreck

Choo Choo

On the second day of our holiday, we tooka historical train ride around part of the Bay of the Somme. There are two main lines, from Saint-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (to the south at the coast) and back and the other one from Saint-Valéry (on the South side of the bay) to Le Crotoy (on the North side), with a stop at Noyelles-sur-Mer. We opted for that second tour, because it's with a real steam train whereas the trip to Cayeux is with an old Diesel locomotive.

However, when we'd bought our tickets we only found the Diesel train. So thinking that it replaced the normal steam train ride, we boarded. It was only when we left the train station that we say the steam train leave from another station, just 500 meters from where we hopped on our Diesel train.

I blame the French for being absolutely incapable of giving clear indications. They put one arrow in the general direction, then another and then you're left to your own devises, until you see an arrow pointing completely in the opposite direction (so at least you know you're too far).

My wife blames me, of course.

So it was with red cheeks that I handed over the tickets to the train conductor, who claimed again that their directions were perfectly clear. Luckily, he didn't kick us off the train. And besides, that old diesel locomotive was at least as charming as the steam train, wasn't it?

You can't take pictures like these on a steam train, you knowYou can't take pictures like these on a steam train, you know

Arrival at Cayeux. Forty-five minutes later the train returned to Saint-Valéry sur Somme.

And we're off again!And we're off again!

We smuggled Booh, Wolf's favourite cuddle, into the passenger compartment. She really didn't want to travel with the cargo because there were no windows.

It was very hot that day (28°C!), so Wolf made sure that Booh drank regularly.

That's what you get for trying to scare me and my cuddly cow!That's what you get for trying to scare me and my cuddly cow!

When we got back to Saint-Valéry, we heard a steam whistle. This is the train to Crotoy and Noyelles (where we were supposed to go). See, it's not half as nice as our little diesel train!

Although I admit that the cars do look more comfortable than the ones we travelled in. But then again, we could see the tracks through the cracks between the floor boards.

Ok, it IS a nice train.

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