Category Archives: Todays adventure

February 15, 2017 – Travel Day

Up early and packed and ready to go.  Went down and had a nice final breakfast at the NH Sint Pieter HOtel.  The bread is to die for…

We walked down to the station and got our train to Brussels.  It was a nice easy ride.  Then we found our train to Paris and while we waited had a coffee and a treat.   Again the ride to Paris was easy.   In Paris it took a couple of asks but we figured out how to get the metro to St. Lazare Station and got ourselves there with plenty of time before our train to Rouen.

So we got sandwiches and water and ate again.  I was really tired.  The ride to Rouen was nice as well. The trains are clean and the seats comfortable.   The ride was smooth.  And having assigned seats made it easy for us.   We arrived around 5 and walked from the station down to the hotel.

The fellow at the desk spoke no English to us.  Luckily we understood what we needed to from him.  Not saying he does not speak English but just had a feeling he did not feel like speaking it to us.

After settling in we were going to ask the guy at the desk where some restaurants were but he was on the phone and not interested in us at all.  So we set out and figured we would find a place to eat.  We did and had a great meal. First time I have had any cooked meat for dinner in a while.  I had chicken with apple cider sauce, salad and fries.  It was very good and I was so hungry.  And the bread as usual to die for.   I even wanted dessert as soon as I saw the creme brulee on the menu.   It was yummy.. So I am content and am going to sleep earlier than usual.  Did not see a lot tonight as we walked so figure tomorrow there should be lots to tell.

The one thing we did see today that I was not use to was soldiers with nasty looking guns.  In the station, on the train, in the streets, and even walking home this evening there were three vehicles of them standing in front of a church.  Just makes you realize how serious the French take the threats.   We also saw them in Belgium during our stay there.  Glad I don’t see much of that at home.

I did take a picture of the front of the Cathedral this evening and the view out our hotel room window.  Tomorrow if it is not raining will be picture taking day.  We are only here for the one full day tomorrow so we will take full advantage of the day.

Advertisements

February 9, 2017 – Irish Pub Food

Today we were up early and our driver was waiting for us when we got down stairs.  What a charming young fellow.  Hard life driving a cab although the airport pick ups and deliveries are at least prepaid and scheduled.  We talked about schools, and day care, and all the kinds of issues they are having due to the economy.  Nice drive so early so not a lot of traffic.

Our flight to Brussels went just fine.  Got to see the snowy Alps again otherwise the sky was cloudy.  As we waited in Athens for the flight we met a young woman traveling  by herself who comes from the Berkshires.  She has been traveling for five months and is due to return home in March.  Obviously seeing a great deal and learning a lot. I think we should do that too.

Anyway, we arrived at not the big airport in Brussels but at the smaller one 30 miles out of the city.  Adventure, right?  Took the shuttle bus into the main train station and figured out how to get the train to Gent so away we were.  Brussels is obviously a very industrial city and big.  Kind of made me glad we had decided to move on directly to Gent.

Had coffee at the Starbucks at the Gent station and then started our walk to the apartment we have rented.  We are three blocks from the main old square with all the cathedrals, the canal, great looking shops and restaurants.   The apartment is on the second floor and the stairs are narrow and windy.  Could not carry my own bag up them. Thank goodness for healthy strong men.

It is a lovely roomy apartment. Fully equipped kitchen,  a powder room and a huge shower  with double sinks in this huge bathroom.  No toilet in that one.  Kind of weird but beautiful.  TV we cannot figure out yet how to work.  Also a washing machine so we can clean the clothing before moving on.

Went out for a walk. It is so pretty here.  Took some pictures in the fading light. Will up load a couple for you to see.

Also, don’t yell at me but I was a bad, bad girl.  I decided I am so tired of trying to figure out what to eat we went into the Irish place and I had fish and chips.  Yes, glutenish fish and chips.  Hard to care when one is hungry.  Also had a very nice salad with it.  Took a picture… too much food for me but what I ate was good. The restaurant the Celtic Towers was fun and our waitress was Russian, living in Gent, and loving it.

dsc00230

So, we are settling in and will take more pictures tomorrow.

Feb 8,2017 -“Life is too short not to be Greek”

 

I told the fellows from Gods Restaurant that I would post their pictures on my blog tonight so here you go.  From our arrival here on Sunday until this afternoon we had daily chats with them.  All in hoping we would have an additional meal but also lots of fun talking with them.  We did have a good meal there and enjoyed Athens hugely… the shorter fellow told me the quote above so I decided to use it for the title tonight.

Today I was sore and tired but we kept going anyway.  Our last day in Greece.  So much more to see so we will have to return.  I highly recommend this for a vacation.

Started with breakfast here at the Hera Hotel which we have had every day.  Relaxing time to plan our day.  Then headed out to find the Ancient Agora.   We took some wrong turns in our interesting walk and ended up at one of the entrances to the Acropolis.  So carried on and finally arrived. First we went to the Roman Agora which to me was, like everything else here, an archeologists dreamland.  How they keep finding all these antiquities and are able to idenitify then and figure out how to restore them amazes me.   We walked through the Roman Agora and then headed off to find the Ancient Agora.  There was also Hedrian’s Library which was huge.  The work it just have taken to build all this and the number of lives lost.  No matter, totally impressed.

 

dsc00188We walked down through some shops and were drawn in by two Kenya con guys.  No other way to say it.  They started with loving Denis’ hair. Then where were we from, then how wonderful we were and put bracelets on our wrists, on and on and then wanted two euro for each bracelet.   We gave them what change we had but not 4 euro’s worth.

This picture is of us during our detour going too far up the Acropolis to get to the Ancient Agora.  Nice Italian girl took it for us.  It was not a smooth path and I was worried about slipping.  Never been very sure footed.

Down the street across from the entrance to the Ancient Agora we stopped and had coffee and French fries. Yes, I know, REALLY, coffee and French fries?  I asked for some cream for my coffee and got a dish of whipped cream which I felt obliged to eat all of.  Put some into the coffee with the milk and ate the rest.   Waste not want not!

After that lovely treat we bought tickets and headed into the Ancient Agora.  The building was fabulous and the art work lovely.  We went through the museum and then walked around the area looking at the various digs and restoration work.  Just lovely.

 

Then it was time to figure out how to return to the hotel.  We figured out on the map our path and walked through the flea market area,  some high end shops, went into the Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  It was filled with beauty.  Very peaceful, dark and people were very playful.    Then we wandered some side streets until we were back by the Acropolis Museum.  It was time for more food so we stopped.  Denis had Black Forrest Gelato and I had Greek Yogurt with honey and walnuts.. Soooooo good.

At the Hotel we rested up and about 6:30 went up to the Peacock Restaurant to have dinner looking up at the Acropolis.  The dinner was very good and the view lovely and a great way to end our visit to Athens.   In the very early morning we will be off to Brussels and on to Ghent.  A new adventure awaits us.

dsc00228

February 7, 2017 -Greek Food 1 – Stomach 0

Last night was a very long night.  I had such a good dinner, totally off my regular diet and as I wrote yesterday I so enjoyed it but a price was paid for it.  Terrible nights sleep and upset stomach.  Also, in the middle of the night there was a huge thunder and lightning storm.  Had to close the window over which was tough since the room was too warm.

After a slow start to the day we headed out to the Acropolis Museum.  Wow, what a place!  My favorite part was where they have replicated the frieze from the Parthenon all the way around.  I look a few pictures of it.

 

We spent about three hours at the museum and then went and had a bite to eat and went over to the Parliment building to watch the changing of the guard.  It was different and interesting.  I am posting that video on facebook as I believe it will upload easier.   But here are a couple of other still pictures.  Found the costumes and the way they were able to stand so still and straight difficult to imagine doing.

 

Did you know there is  an office of the Empire State College of the state of New York here in Athens?  Yup and some extensions of a few other Colleges and Universities as well.  All in one  building. Was tempted to go in and see how many students they have.     Must be enough to justify an office.

Walking back towards the hotel the Botanical Gardens are next to the Parliment Building so we strolled through there down to a big old mansion built in the 1800’s which is now used as a conference center kind of place.  As we walked there were all kinds of interesting trees and scrubs with labels but as they say “it was all Greek to me” Try as I may just cannot read it.  Need my arborist with me to tell me what I was looking at..  The Zappio when we went into the building has a lovely ceiling all painted but then the surprise was that the center is a beautiful open air court yard with a covered walkway all around.  It was awesome!

By then I needed to rest so we went back for a while and rested and then out to dinner.  Tonight was the Arcadia’s turn.  We are on a first name basis with almost all the guys who stand out front recruiting patrons.  Nick guilted me into this one.  Denis had a spaghetti dish with a Greek sauce and cheeses.  He liked it a lot. Because of my unhappy stomach I had a very good meal of Greek yogurt, fruit and honey.  Denis got the free dessert and because I would not eat it I got a rose liquor. It smelled like roses and tasted like roses.  Not sure if I would want it again but it was “interesting”.  This eating as been quite the adventure for us.  Denis has been quite good trying new things.  I am trying to but then they give you these really great tasting extras that are killing my stomach so today I tried to be better.

Today we met some interesting people.  First on the elevator going down we met Scott and Ting. They both teach English as a second language at a University in Korea.  We chatted away with them. Both so nice.   He worked in advertising and midlife or before quit and went to Korea to teach.  She grew up in China, the daughter of two professors – one of English – and has advanced degrees but loves teaching English at the University.  We parted but then turns out we were all going to the Museum. After lunch we chatted again and found them to be really very interesting folks.

Then this evening a couple we had seen in the museum sat next to us and again we all got talking. They were from Michigan but living in Germany for two years.  It was an interesting conversation.  They come from a city where the economy is very good, lots of jobs etc.  It appeared they did not like the last president or the current one but are hoping the current one can make some positive changes.  I wish them luck.  We kept it light I hope although I find it hard not to get hard edged over this political mess we are in.  But then again I am very tired tonight so not a good time for discussions with positions to be taken.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Athens so have it all planned out.  Lots to see and do yet on our list.  So time for sleep.

March 22, 2015 – a day of fun and adventure & Aug 15, 1944

It was a lovely day for a sleep in and a quiet breakfast.  The sun was shining and the kiddlies were in calm moods.  The parents had a list of things they wanted to accomplish so we all split up and went various ways.   I went to the Farmers Market with Maya and the girls and then Mom went on home and we went to the park for a good long time.  We had a grand time. Sliding, riding on the rocking things that look like a motor cycle and a side car. The two buddies only like doing it when they can do it together.  Then we went down to the play area that they decided is a restaurant. I was in charge of ordering myself various meals which they would serve me and then announce they were closed until the next meal.  It was cool but sunny and lovely.

Around sometime afternoon we decided to head back but not before we played another game.  The three of us sat on a very high bench and I sang a song about two little girls sitting on a bench, one got off and the other got pinched. one would just off and run away. then I would sing about one little girl sitting on the bench etc. and the other would just off and run away.  Then we switched it up to three girls sitting on the bench. They liked that better.  Finally Asta figured a way to get on the bench herself by walking on a wall and climbing on to the seat of the bench from the wall. That girl is very creative and inventive.   Also she can count and count.  I am not use to three year old who could way up high in their numbers, as well as by twos.  Just kind of threw me off.

We had gotten some good yummy items at the Farmers Market, like cider, cider donuts, cheese buns, really sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes etc. so when we arrived back at the house, Mor-Mor was there (other grandma) and we all sat down together and had a wonderful lunch.   We played some games as we ate, like if you could visit anywhere in the world which continent would you want to visit and in what country on that continent.  Sol wanted to live in Peru in SA.  Asta wants to live in NA in some state, Mor-mor wanted to live in Egypt, Grandpa in Ireland, Grandma in Melbourne Australia so she could see Sam etc.   it was fun, and the little girls know all the continents and many of the countries in each.

After lunch and some card games Maya and I took her mom back to her assisted living residence and I got a tour around and met some of the folks who live there.  It looks very nice but then they usually do look nice.  Met a lovely woman who had been a case worker in NY City for foster kids and is down here because her nephew lives nearby. She was from Tennessee but ended up in NY after traveling around a lot.  Sounds like she had a pretty darn good life.

Then once we got back and Ian arrived back from his visit to Baltimore we all went out to dinner. Had a good meal and then gelato to end the day with. Now the girls are in bed, not going to sleep as well as one might want but oh well. We are planning to have them up for a week in April to see if they can make it for that length of time at Grandma’s house away from parents.  IF that works we will do a two week stretch in the summer when there is no camp and no school. Then they can have a weeks family vacation to end the three weeks.

It has been a good five days here and we will head home in the morning.  Will miss the little kids of course but there is nothing we can do about that situation.

This following info followed by Pat’s letter.

Here is some info I got on line from Wikipedia about the Battle of Caen:

The Battle for Caen from June–August 1944 was a battle between Allied forces of the mainly Anglo-Canadian Second Army and German forces of Panzergruppe West during the Battle of Normandy. The Allies aimed to take the French city of Caen, one of the largest cities in Normandy, on D-Day. Caen was a vital objective for several reasons. Firstly, it lay astride the Orne River and Caen Canal; these two water obstacles could strengthen a German defensive position if not crossed. Secondly, Caen was a road hub; in German hands it would enable the enemy to shift forces rapidly. Thirdly, the area around Caen was relatively open, especially compared to the bocage country in the west of Normandy. This area was valued for airfield construction.

On D-Day, Caen was an objective for the British 3rd Infantry Division and remained the focal point for a series of battles throughout June, July and into August. The battle did not go as planned for the Allies, instead dragging on for two months, because German forces devoted most of their reserves to holding Caen, particularly their armoured reserves. As a result German forces facing the American invasion thrust further west were spread thin, relying on the rough terrain of the back country to slow down the American advance. With so many German divisions held up defending Caen, the American forces were eventually able to break through to the south and east, threatening to encircle the German forces in Normandy from behind.

# 53
August 15, 1944

Hello:
Got Mother’s ordinary mail letter and Sheila sent me Connie’s lovely, long letter, tell her not to worry who she sends them to as long as they come.   Mother and Marye will have a perfect trip.    I’m so glad they are taking it.    No, I do not need any stockings.    I need only the list I sent and which you probably have by now.   And some Vitamin A & B & D.    They do not carry them anymore.     Eau-de-cologne is most important because it helps keep the morale of our fighting men up.    They love the smell of Canadians.

I am very busy. We have one officer’s ward and two others . The heat is terrific.   France is a beautiful country.   The nites are wonderful.    It is very cold in the morning, then gets so warm and the smell of the patients and the dirt and gore and blood and the flies of course always around.    I have seen enough in the last ten days to completely disillusion me only I never will be and the courage of most of the lads counteracts it.   I have one now who has lost both legs and one arm and fingers of the other hand and gas gangerine is setting in and he doesn’t say one thing.   Just grins at me and winks when ever I come near and wishes me “sweet dreams” when I go off.   He is an example.  I have never seen so many amputations or so much suffering.   I wish I was ten people and could do all I want to for them.

Brig Wyman told me the war was cinched, not that I didn’t suspect it but in the mean-time there are the boys.   But I shouldn’t tell you these things.   Lib and Maggie are back from the CCS and that’s another story.   Bobbie just says she’s been in hell for a month.   Oh well we do have our lighter moments.    But by the way, if the European war ends I shall go on to the Pacific one or wherever the army goes, in case you are wondering about my plans.

Every nite is fun.   Dick comes up so often and brings friends for the gals.

Everyone seems to be having a good time at home and that makes me very happy.   I want Mother and Dad to rest a lot.   So glad Dad called the Noonans.   What a wonderful lad Danny is.   We expect a move anytime now so soon Patricia will be packing once again, but that suites me, just follow the boys, what a good life!

love and kisses, Pat
PS I cut a picture of William Elliot (Air Vice Marshall) out of an English paper. Will send it home to Bertha. P.
The following is a picture of Brigadier General Wyman  Canadian Forces

Portrait of Brigadier Robert Andrew Wyman