S: France, Ireland and England 2012
FC: France, Ireland and England 2 0 1 2
1: France | May 13th
2: Think back to a palace, gilded and grand How we walked, hand in hand, through those sunny halls Or back to a fortress surrounded by sand Where we watched as the tide broke upon the walls Back again, to the windy cliffs of an island How we laughed and we hugged looking over the sea Or even the causeway, broken by hand Where a giant's wife saved him with tea But perhaps you've forgotten these wondrous sights How long since our jaunt through those cobbled streets Fear not for the memories of food and flights For whatever we've lost this book completes Look inside my love and see This is a gift, for you, from me
3: Honfleur | May 13th
4: "We just got off the planes. Whew, so tired. Rented our car, and drove ourselves to Honfleur. It is such a beautiful little sea town."
6: The Cottage - Pont Farcy, Normandy | November 7
7: We spent the day with elephants! | We stayed at an awesome bed and breakfast in Pont Farcy. Malcolm and Lesley had a beautiful home and were wonderful hosts. Jon met Pugie and they were fast friends
8: Le Mont Saint-Michel | "Tonight we visited beautiful Mont Saint-Michel. We were too late to visit the abbey on top, but were able to miss the crowds and walk along the quaint cobblestone streets that wind their way up and around the island."
10: Bayeux | May 14th | "Today we woke bright and early to visit the D-day sites along the Normande coast! Bayeux was our fist stop. We saw a 1,000+ year old tapestry and visited the beautiful cathedral at the center of town."
13: Arromanches |May 14th
15: We visited all of the major sites along the coast of Normandie. Gold Beach, the blockships, the floating pierheads, and the floating roadways to name a few.
21: The Cemeteries of Normandie
24: Giverny | May 15th | "We're a few days into our trip now and we have hit a few snags. The weather is proving to be very European, sporadic rain and chilly winds, but we're still enjoying the beauty of all these places. Monet's Garden was absolutely beautiful (the second time around)."
26: Wandering through the gardens - both in the rain and the sun - made you wish you were an artist. Every single corner, nook, and area that you encountered was magical.
29: The Palace of Versailles | May 16th
30: "Wowie, what a day! After serveral hours fussing with the Parisian trains, we finally made it to Versailles. We toured the Chateau first (with 1,000,000 other people). Then we ate lunch (in the palace)! Afterwards, we wpent hours exploring the grounds. Tracy's favorite was the living areas of Marie-Antoinette, especially her Hamlet!"
45: The Louvre | May 16th | "We are walking our feet off today. If visiting Versailles weren't enough we also visited the Louvre!"
50: Arch de Triumph| May 16
51: "To end the night we went to the Arch de Triumph! I got so many pictures that I finally killed the battery in my camera."
52: Notre Dame | May 17th | "Another full day of sightseeing. We started the morning off with Jon's first visit to a crep stand. Jambon & fromage! Nutella & banane! Then it was off to the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame."
55: Napoleon's Tomb | May 17th
56: The Eiffel Tower | May 17th
59: Sacre Coure | May 18th | "Today is our last day in Paris. We decided to take it easy and stick to Montmarte. We climbed to the very top of Sacre Coure and visited the windmills the town is famous for."
65: Ireland | May 19th
66: Dublin | May 19
68: Belfast | May 20th
75: The Giants Causeway| May 20th
78: Derry | May 21st
80: The Aran Islands | May 22 | "Today was one of the best days so far in Ireland. We took a ferry over to the Aran Islands. Jon rented a bike to tour the island, and Tracy joined some friends ona van tour. Both of us experienced breathtaking views. We even met up at Dur Aonghasa, which was like hanging over the edge of the world."
84: The Cliffs of Moher (aka The Cliffs of Insanity) | May 23 | "Today we visited the beautiful (and very windy!) Cliffs of Moher. They were so high and really majestic. We wandered the tops of the cliffs, and Jon pretended to be Harry Potter (and wondered where Inigo Montoya was)."
86: Blarney | May 23 | "Today we visited Blarney Castle. We climbed a tiny stairwell and lied on our backs in an Irishman's arms and kissed an ancient stone 90' in the air. It was awesome and unhygenic."
88: Cobe, Cashel and Kilkenny | May 24 | "We made a few stops today. One to Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic and the site of the Lucitania torpedoing. From there we stopped in a little town called Cashel, which had an awesome castle perched over the town." "Kilkenny is the site of the Smithwick's brewery, which dates back over 300 years!"
93: Dublin | May 25
94: "Today is our last day in Ireland. We drove this morning from Kilkenny back to Dublin. We immediately went to tour the Guiness Storehouse at St. James Gate."
100: England | May 27
102: Stratford Upon Avon | May27
106: Warwick | May 27 | "Yesterday we had a longgg... travel day from Dublin to Stratford-Upon-Avon (1 ferry & 3 trains). This morning we hopped a train (with ready-made lunch from our charming B&B) to Warwick. We visited Warwick Castle, which is an actual castle that has been transformed into something like a theme park, but it was very charming."
116: "Today was a zippity-zip day! We left Stratford-Upon-Avon this morning and traveled to Oxford (with considerable train trouble!). We (quite literally) threw our bags in our hotel, and dashed out to the local TI. From there we joined a walking tour of Oxford. After our tour we took a quick look in the Divinity College (scene of the infirmary in HP movies), and then DASHED to Christ Church College (made it just as they closed the doors!). | "We got to see the Great Hall (Hogwarts dining hall was based on it), the Cathedral, the Meadows, and glimpsed the Chestnut tree that inspired Lewis Carroll to write "Alice"! I even (inadvertently) dragged Jon to a church service." "We're ending our time in Oxford at the pub CS Lewis, Tolken and Charles Williams frequented!"
117: Oxford | May 28
125: London | May 29
131: Leeds Castle | May 30 | "Dear Us, Remember that time when Jon was ninja-kicked by a peacock?! Today is our second day in London (yesterday we saw Westminster Abbey, rode the London Eye, and did other wandering; we also saw Ghost the musical). This morning we boarded another coach (we didn't get enough!) for a tour out of London. Our first stop was Leeds Castle. It dates from the time of William the Conqueror (~1100), and was a favorite of Henry VIII. Later in its life it was the home to a Lady Bailie, so many of the rooms we saw were decorated in 1930's/40's style. It also had a beautiful grounds, which were inhabited by a myriad of bird life (Jon found out the hard way!)"
142: Dover | May 30
144: Canterbury | May 30 | "Hey Us (again)! We just finished zipping through this beautiful cathedral. We imagined being pilgrims coming from 100's of miles away in the 12th century and finally arriving at this building that is still impressive by today's standards. Before we got to Canterbury (canter, by the way pilgrims used to get there (aka jogging) and bury from the old word 'burh' meaning it was defended, or walled,) we stopped at the cliffs of Dover. They were definitely white, but mostly because of the fog."
150: Greenwich | May 30 | "After Canterbury, we made a stop in Greenwich, and stood on the Prime Meridian! Then we took a little boat cruise up the Thames, back to near our hotel, and enjoyed a free 'dinner' of appetizers and drinks in the exec lounge."
152: Kensington Gardens
154: Harry Potter Studios | May 31 | "Today was such a magical day! We started with the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, then headed to Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross! But the highlight of the day was the HP studio tour! There were so many sets and costumes and props! We spent 4+ hours there, and took 1,000 pictures. It was so awesome!"
168: Sweeney Todd
169: Changing Of The Guard
170: London | May 31 - June 6
176: The Tower of London
188: "We're wrapping our trip up today, but we're doing it in style! We've got tickets to see Chicago tonight, we went to Notting Hill and walked the street of endless 'antique' pocket-watches, we walked around Baker St. (Watson!) we then went to the British Museum and saw all the awesome pieces of art the Brits have managed to collect from all around the world. We even made it back to Harrod's to buy my nieces some presents and get June a jubilee mug!" "We also made it to Madame Tussaud's (Jon's first wax museum!). It has been such a wonderful trip, and I will be so sad when it is over. But we have made great memories."
190: Madam Tussaud's