Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back from France.

Been a little quiet here because we packed up and headed to France for a few days.  Never been to Europe before so I was due, plus: Katie always looking for new experiences.

Stairway at the Hotel Voltaire.  The second floor is marked as the first.  We were on the fourth so it was the fifth.  Nice climb.

View up the Seine from the 5th floor balcony.

Windows all opened.  Rent-a-bikes.

Katie soaking it in on a bridge over the Seine.

Aux!  I'd have a hard time not hunting pickpockets for fun if I was there much.  

Guy making a bad copy of a painting in the Louvre.

Dead guy carved on stone.  This must be the equivalent of being buried with your boots on.

Chairs in a church.  The big cathedrals are full of chairs.  No pews bolted down.

Louvre art.  Minerva, I would think.

Church sacked by Vikings that rowed up the Seine.  Way back.

Paris Metro in a split second without people.

It's always day of the dead in the Paris Catacombs.  The French resistance operated out of some of the old underground quarries and tunnels.  You certainly wouldn't want to show the Germans this stuff.....just sayin.

The French.  Planking.

Folks walking into Mont St Michele after the blizzard.

Man in the rock at MStM.

MSt M, Chapel on the North shore.

French TV crew in the Saint Mere D'Eglise Musee.  Many mannequins dressed in uniforms, all with female heads.  The French solve this by magic-markering beards on them.  Only partially effective.  Nice museum though the manniquins are a little disturbing.  C47 sitting right behind me with jeeps, equipment, aircrew, paratroopers, et.  10 Thompson .45 submachine guns laid out in a row on a blanket.

Explaining large format cameras in Tarzan French to a passer-by.  French pretty wonderful all around.

Iciny.  This was a real working church.

Omaha Beach.

Blizzard conditions as MStM.

His house in Honfleur.

French Petroglyph

Katie going native.

Les Pouchard.

Honfleur anchorage.

  We started off at the Quai Hotel Voltaire, overlooking the Seine, saw some local art, rented a car and drove out to the coast for four days at Mont St. Michele, over to the Normandy Beaches, over a little more to Honfleur for a couple days, back to Paris and got delayed three days getting out.  Quite a tour.

Morning near the Irish coast.

  Nobody had ever described in detail the experience of 8-10 hours in a jet over the North Atlantic.  I was a newbie.  Going over we left Chicago pretty late and flew through the night.  Katie and I sat together next to a guy who never spoke.  I watched a movie or two, tried to read a little and suffered through the awful meals, almost-decent seat they put you in, background roar of technology and overnight catnapping.  Pretty awful.  They do the best they can and part of that was a screenshot showing where we were on a map, altitude, ground speed, outside time, miles flown, time of arrival, et, et.  It's a technological miracle but still not an experience one could recommend or describe as a "good time."  It IS a miracle in the hard-won catagory to make this kind of thing routine.  These aircraft are awfully good.  I got up and walked a few times and kept hydrated, necessitating trips to the closet-sized bathrooms.  The rear galley has an odd thrill-ride tremor to it.  Walking back was like a tour of chair-bound zombies with the saggers, the leaners, the hangers, the open-mouthed sleepers and here and there a light on over a book.  What craziness.  I was happy to see the light begin to come up as we closed in on Ireland.  It wasn't a terrible experience, just never comfortable.

  Coming back, the the daytime was better.  Since we volunteered to come back a day later on an overbooked flight, they gave us each 800.00 vouchers so we can do something like this again.

  Never saw water coming or going.  Just cloud cover from 28-38,000 feet.

  Great food.  I liked the French almost to a man.  Incredible art, cities,  public spaces, history.  Beautiful countryside.  We drove in and Tyler was having a contest painting port-a-johns.  There it is.

One of the Dr. Sneeds and an advertisement.


Bob said...

Looks like it was a great trip!

Old NFO said...

Great pics, and I'm glad y'all had a good time (and yes, flying sucks)...

Robert Langham said...

We heard not a disturbing word. Great trip.

Anonymous said...

The cathedrals have chairs now because at the time they were built all the worshipers would stand.
Glad you had a great trip.

Lazarus Long

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