Matterhorn and beyond
Well look where we were today… we, being my friend Shauna and I. We got up really early and drove to Nyon near Shauna’s house in Switzerland and caught a train. The train took us along the forshore of Lake Geneva all the way to Visp where we changed trains to the Glasier Express (which is a rack n pinion) up the mountain to Zerrmatt and the Matterhorn. The entire train ride minus a couple of noisy talkers was fabulous – the scenery was incredible – Switzerland REALLY does look like it does in the pictures. The top of the Matterhorn at first was covered in cloud, was we waited a little while (I got busy making a snow kangaroo) and finally the peak showed itself.
We went prepared to be very cold, the weather reports had said it may be anything between -20 and +2, we wore thermals under jeans and three pairs of sock layers of shirts and jackets, hats, skarves and gloves. We ended up not needing any of it really. when I get home I will post a couple of photographs.
Yesterday Shauna worked till early afternoon with the horses, her clients were there to watch and most of them had brought along friends. Both the horses and shauna’s riding are beautiful to watch. All of the audience were appreciative, not too many of them spoke english, they were german, Italian, Swiss and spanish, there was however one lovely English lady. They were all nice and very friendly, one of them even told me my english was very good.
Well I must let Shauna back on her computer now so I guess I will be doing my next post from Australia… maybe.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Two Blogs in Two Days
I am (where is the M on this key board, or for that matter any of the letters… this is going to be slow – lucky it’s free with my hotel room) gosh I wish this was video blog and you could see this keyboard – and me trying to use it. I have to press shift for a full stop A is where Q usually lives and … where is that M!
I am in a glorious place cqlled… called Carrcassonne in Southern France. The train ride here from Barcelona was interesting in that a man (french speaking Algerian) – not my type – who was sitting opposite me took my question of ‘where is the cafe’ and interpreted it as ‘would you like to buy me a coffee from the cafe bar’, needless to say I felt bad and paid for his coffee and dur to thinking he had also thought I was asking him to travel with me told him my husband is waiting for me in Geneva – sorry Shauna. I really should have practiced my french before this trip, I ended up drawing on my cafe receipt… a picture of Australia and pictures of my kids and husband – lucky I can draw.
Carrcassonne is a walled medieval city, and my hotel tonight is inside. It is both beautiful and freezing cold (not in my room, that’s cozy) the citè isn’t very big and I managed to have a pretty good look every where in a couple of hours this afternoon. I have been told by the reception desk in my hotel the night time views are lovely after I have eaten dinner – so late as the restaraunt doesn’t open till 8pm. Back to the train trip… I kind of enjoyed it, the windows on the first train were dirty – really dirty, so none of my photos will be any good. The Pyrannese were pretty but on the wrong side of the train. I am sure tomorrow will be great on my way to Geneva.
Gotta go back to my room and sit on the balcony (protected from the weather) have a pre dinner drink and veg out… see yaFiled under Uncategorized | Comment (1)
Hello, finally a internet cafe had shown itself to us and we were too tired to come down the escalators into the rather dingy looking arcade/ games place, also the thought of sitting down and making the brain think enough to type something ledgible was a no go.
But here I am now, Jenni has gone to the airport to to make her way home. She will be there Friday – today being Wednesday. In the morning I hop onto a train and head back into France for a stop in Carcassone… a walled medieval city, I am looking forward to sitting on the train for a couple of hours and not having my feet worn down to the bone and my brain tied in knots from trying to desipher maps – where the hell are we… crap not on the map Dorothy… we walked too far again.
Barcelona, Rome and Paris all seem to have things in common but are substantially different from each other. I think food wise they are similar too, tapas would have to be my favorite… lots of things to choose from and unbelievably cheap. On one of our last days in paris… oh I think I already mentioned the restaraunt we ate at and had the best meal ever… yes I did. Well Rome was very busy, the Pope couldn’t come say gidday much to my disapointment… and I hope he doesn’t mind but the postcard I sent from there was… never mind. The bus ride from the Rome airport to Termani station where we left our luggage was really slow and sort of interesting. It was interesting in the way you see how people live every day in another part of the world. I know the areas closest to airports aren’t always the most influential (except for the Harrigan’s place in the Castle) but Rome had some extremely poor people there. The train ride to the other Rome airpot was even more of an eyeopener… there were little dome tents lining the tracks, even in between. The tents all seemed to be the same in a variety of colours and in pretty good knick, I wondered if the city supplied these. I thought in a place where there was such obvious wealth – Vatican – perhaps something would have been done about it as it was really in your face as a tourist.
There were quite a few people sleeping in the streets in Paris too, so far i’ve not seen any in Barceloa and the two train rides out of town (different directions) showed the train track areas full of miles and miles of market gardens. Or maybe they were family gardens, there were quite a few people there on the weekend.
Speaking of our train trips we went first to Figures, the town is north of Barcelona and the birth place of Dali. He spent a great deal of time there as an adult and bought the old theatre when it was abandoned. He renovated it Dali style and turned it into a gallery/studio and now it is also his burial place.
Then the next day – Sunday, we went to Monserat. Monserrat is a monestry built into the side of a mountain. To get there you catch a train then change to either a cable car or a little rack and pinion tain. We too the latter, Jenni didn´t like sitting on the ‘outside’, I wanted to do the ‘look no hands’ but I didn’t think she would find it too funny. Monserrat was quite different, it was cold, there was a huge church, there were people everywhere – with their dogs – so really like anywhere else in Europe. But there was a difference, there was an atmosphere about the place… it could have been the altitude but I think it was just the fact it was less commercial, the faithful were there. Also to get to other parts of the mountain there were funiculars to take you either up to the chapel of Saint Mary or down to another chapel, there were hikers (bushwalkers) everywhere on these tracks.
Any way time to go and hunt down some dinner – tomorrow Carcassone then Geneva to see Shauna.
Caio, adiosFiled under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Last Day in Paris
Well we’ve mastered the art of Metro and the Buses here, funny my feet are still worn out. My eyes are in overload with all that is old and beautiful – Rome tomorrow… I hope I survive.
Speaking of surviving yesterday we went to (back to – we didn’t realise we were already there) the Latern Quarter and visited the famous bookstore William Sheakspere Company. One word springs to mind, AWESOME. The place, like everywhere else is tiny, tiny. Books are piled from floor to ceiling in every conceivable space and even some that aren’t. The shop is in three parts 1. bottom floor – general sales, books are all in amisingly easy to find order 2. upstairs – reading books only, none for sale, but a piano that was being played beautifully by a couple of girls from florida. 3. antiquarian books – I made my purchase. When Jenni and I were little girls we were babysat sometimes by a lady named Mrs Anderson, she had a book we would read, it was by Edward Lear – A Book of Nonsence. I loved it, and well, I found one. Now this book is all the more special because of where it was purchased.
Before we found the book store we were starving, walking through the tight streets (rues) we came across a menu board outside a rather expensive looking establishment. The board said 10 euro for an entree, main and desert. Naturally we went inside. For entree we both had onion soup – of the french kind… it was enormous, so filling and delicious, then for mains I had duck… something and Jenni had Beef burgandy. Both were awesome (there’s that word again). Desert… Creme of chocolate. YUMMMM. It wasn’t light and fluffy like I thought it would be but smooth like ummm a paste, kind of heavy, but God it was GOOD.
Today we are headed back to the National Biblioteque to catch a look at Charlmaignes Chess Set, we both have read a book called ‘The Eight’ by Catherine Neville – highly recommend it, anyway it is about this chess set. So off we go…Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Paris – day 6
Sore feet, sore legs and sore eyes… I think Jenni and I have seen every monument created by man and God, we have also seen every piece of artwork the world considers valuable. The Mona Lisa was better than I thought it would be, it helped there was only a small crowd. So far we have visited the Louvre four times, small doses. We have been to the Eiffel Tower and the Arche D`Triomphe… I thought I was going to throw up by the time we got to the top of the Triomphe…. the freezing air and the climb of 284 stairs just about killed my lungs, not to mention the flow of blood rushing round my body. The 284 stairs if you haven’t climbed them yourself are in a VERY tight spiral… on the way down I had to stop and ‘unwind’ myself… Jenni thinks I’m an idiot – but she didn’t have the desire to throwup.
I thought people were having a go at me when they told me to watch out for the Gypsies…. but guess what – they are real!!! I first saw the Gypsies in Esmirelda’s stomping ground of Notre Dame, they are definitely not as pretty as she was in the Disney movie, some had gold teeth, but they are very real. And so are the soldiers with machine guns… they are very nice and answered all of our questions as to WHY they were hanging around (these were the ones at the Tower with blue berets) When we got back to the Louvre there were more soldiers, these had green berets and apparently are the real ‘green beret’ and they are not so friendly.
Cyber Cafes are a little hard to find here thats why I have only put up a couple of posts… but now I know where this one is (quite handy) I may be a little more frequent, but for now I will go and get some dinner and go back to the hotel – my face is burning with cold.Filed under Uncategorized | Comments (2)
We are here – Paris
Finally we found an internet cafe.We arrived in Paris at 6am Paris time after many, many hours sitting in planes and airport lounges – not complaining though. Luckily we both managed to get some sleep on the last flight…. on the flight from Darwin I was too busy chatting to a new friend Hargert Levi from Isreal. She was really interesting and tried to teach me some french before we arrived in Singapore? No luck anyway… I think my brain had gone into overload and melted.
Anyway back to Paris, it is incredibly cold but that hasn’t stopped us from having a great time and going places. Yesterday we went on bus 67 (in the wrong direction) and saw heaps of Paris. After being kicked off at the end of the line we hopped back on a 67 and ended up where we had originally wanted to be – Pigalle. We climbed – by visiting all of the shops on the way up to Mont Martre. It was interesting, some guys, actually it was amasing there were so many middle aged men drawing people. So anyway, some guys wanted to draw Jenni and I… we didn’t want them to but they didn’t take NO for an answer and started to anyway. Eventually, they finished – quite crappy drawings – and wanted to charge us 80 euro each – no way, they also wouldn’t take NO for an answer then either. We were very nice but put the rolled up drawings into their folded arms and walked away. I should have offered to draw them instead, I could have done a better job.
Sacre Ceure (I think that’s how you spell it) was beautiful, it is a shame you can’t take photos, I can see why though… there were hundreds of people in there, all of those flashes going off at once would make the stained glass windows shine from the outside.
Speaking of flash photography, did you know you can photograph anything in the Louvre as long as you don’t use a flash? There were people sitting every where sketching it was wonderful. THEN there were also people in the Louvre PAINTING. Yes I know!! We got to watch them and have a chat – one guy needed to add more contrast.
Today we went mostly shopping and eating, the Picasso Museum was closed (for two years) and the Centre Pompadu (modern) I wasn’t impressed. The building was astounding and unfortunately the diplay I would most like to see is currently in Canberra – Yes I know some of you have seen it – anyway the display of womens art was nothing but YUKKY.
Got to go now and fid our way back to the hotelFiled under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Ready and Rearing To Go
I’m packed, infact I am sooo packed I have unpacked, repacked, weighed in – 5kgs under. I didn’t even have to take anything out. I am like soo good.
I leave really early in the morning, Paris here I come. Not to forget Barcelona, Rome, Carcassonne and Geneva.
While I am away I am going to write my blog… so bookmark me so I can keep you up to date with all of my adventures.
Short and sweet tonight
gotta go check my packing again
CiaoFiled under Uncategorized | Comment (1)
Well the day started off strange and just kept getting wierder and wierder. As you may have noticed this is my second blog today, that alone is wierd…. if you read the earlier one you will know about our internet – it hasn’t been working for like ever but mysteriously has started again.
Well I thought it was just a little too inconvenient so I phoned the Telecommunications Ombudsman, they suggested a call to the Director of SkyMesh the company in question. The Director is a very nice man named Paul Rees, he was apologetic and helpful. So for now we will continue to stay with them and hopefully his actions will rectify the problems we have been having – Thank you Paul, see I made the M a capitol letter.
Inbetween phone calls I was trying to finish a painting for an exhibition that opens Wednesday, it was sooo hot I kept jumping in and out of the pool to cool off. The floating li-lo is a magnificent place to be whilst ‘standing back’ to get a better look at what you are painting. It did feel strange to be painting dripping wet.
During this painting/swimming the Rural Fire Brigade phoned selling raffle tickets for their fundraising. I had to ask them to phone back as the run between the pool and where my credit card was hidng was too far. By the time they phoned back I had decided it was lunch time and had begun preparing something for myself. During this brief telephone call the kitchen caught on fire… luckily I had the fire Brigade on the other end of the line and they gave detailed instructions on how to put it out… phew. I had to by a new aplience this afternoon, OOps.
Isn’t it great to have the internet at your fingertips… I can look at things whenever I like, check emails at my convenience – but on the other hand isn’t it sad when we begin to rely so heavily on these things that were never a part of our lives until so recently. I don’t know what is best… although I do feel as though I have had my arms taken out of plaster casts now my internet is working again.
Painting is called ‘Market Day’
You know… It’s really hard to run a blog without reliable internet coverage. It is totally frustrating when you have something to say and just can’t say it because the button you can normally just click on to be in contact with the rest of the world is simply there for decoration, impotent, useless. We are not sure if our internet problems come from the satellite or the company we are registered with… I am beginning to believe it is definitely the company – Skymesh. I cancelled our membership with them as our contract had finished anyway, they wouldn’t release us till the end of the month – yesterday, even though we have been without any internet for nearly a month. They wouldn’t send us their ‘letter of release’ and without this we are unable to change companies, kind of like being held hostage.
This morning however, with an expired internet service and with the heavy rain and wind of yesterday and last night (the excuse for our satellite not to work since November last year) we suddenly have a perfectly working internet – go figure?
Enough of my complaining. I wanted to share with you my next adventure…
In a few sleeps my sister Jenni and I are off on an over seas holiday. Late last year I won some art awards and my prize money is being put to good use. We are going to experience 8 fantastic days in Paris – I can’t wait to see all of the art works, then we are off to Rome for a quick visit (sculptures, sculptures) followed by a further week in Barcelona- those Gaudi Buildings OOoohh. I am taking not only my camera but pencils and paints, I hope I dont get a cse of the procrastinations while I am there and do at least a couple of drawings.
My sister then flies home and I hop on a train and spend a couple of days in a little town in Southern France called Carcassonne. It is a walled medieval town complete with turrets and drawbridges. My hotel is inside the walls and from the phots i’ve seen on Google Earth it will be one of the most surreal places I could visit in my whole lifew – there may even be a novel in there – what do you think? After my time there I hop on to another train and head to Geneva in Switzerland where I will stay a week with my friend Shauna. She is planning a couple of days off and we will go to Zermatt. Zermatt sits on the Matterhorn and we will go to visit an ice Palace… the temperature is about -16C (that’s minus sixteen) so a big change from our 36C hot and wet with the humidity of 90% +. Paris has been sitting on 3-6C and snowing, Barcelona about 13C, i’ve packed my winter woolies… yes… I’ve packed.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)