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|Thur 23.Sept 2004||
from London via EuroStar 15:59 into Paris at Gare du Nord|
excellent train journey - we chose the Tourist class (basic) and found seating and arrangements (food and drink kiosk in one carriage) very comfortable for the 2.5 hour trip. Luggage arrangements for long distance / stay travellers like us is a little hard to do (no porters and limited space for each carriage) - but we managed :-) .. short taxi ride to ....
L'Hotel Francais, R. du 8.Mai 1948 +33 (0) 4035 9414 -
our first meal was at L'ECU Brasserie over the road from the hotel. Very nice introduction for those who have not had the pleasure. Good basic Cuisine served by french waiters dressed in the traditional black and white classic attire :-). We sampled their French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare on crusty brown bread washed down with an excellent drop of local wine and beer just to our liking.
Fri/Sat 24.+25. Sept 2004||
2 days sightseeing & shopping Paris
DAY 1 was spent walking the markets and streets of Montmatre with it's colourful characters and shops ... from delicious foods to fashion .... and of course (even during the days) the ladies of the night ;-)
The evening was reserved for Dinner and Show at the Moulin Rouge - Dinner and service (what service ?) was a little disapointing and expensive !! - However we nearly forgot this early part during the Excellent Show by very talented and professional performers (lovers of overly well endowed "big" ladies would be disappointed :-) as virtually all the young ladies are trim fashion model types)
- see www.moulin-rouge.com for more information
... We were very lucky to get a taxi to take us home when the big crowd poured into the small streets of the Montmatre.
DAY 2 ... we chose the Paris L'OpenTour busses for the day. This is an excellent arrangement for seeing much of the sights of Paris from the top (or enclosed lower section) of a fleet of double decker busses. Single day (or two day) tickets can be purchased from many hotels or from the drivers. With these tickets one can get on and off the busses along the route and change between the four  different routes.
- see www.paris-opentour.com for more information
We made the most of it during this day and got to see some the expensive shops and fashion houses as well as most of the well known sights. The weather was not too bad even so the temperature was a little low on the top deck if you were not too well dressed for the day :-)
For dinner we thought we would try the Strasbourgoise Restaurant down the road from our hotel.
Well what can one say - other than EXCELLENT ! ...... The food (some of it traditional and some Haute Cuisine), the wine and the service all made for a night out to be remembered for a long time ...... a very nice last night in Paris
at Gare du Nord on the day of arrival we reorganised the hire car booked with AVIS for 09:00 pick up on Sun 26.Sept at Gare l'est (previously Gare du Nord)
Sun 26.Sept 2004|
1 day on the N3 via the Champagne district [Full size map - 600+MB] -
09:00 pick up car - a Citroen Picasso - at Gare l'est (well I was there - but had to wait for nearly 30 minutes for an attendent to open the office ! "We try harder" (?) - please do AVIS !
Drive out of Paris was easy once we made it to the right road around the two large railway stations :-) - on the N3 all the way out and than taking leisurely country roads - with a friendly Sunday Country Lunch at "La Grillardiere" (who would have thought that an old Billard Table could hold so much food for a buffet) on the RN4 La Raccroche, Linthes in the Champagne district - to the shores of the largest man made lake in Europe Lac du Der a Bird Nature Paradise ..... as well an activity water sports centre.
- see www.lacduder.com for more information
- overnight in
- Giffaumont - Champaubert - Le Chavel Blanc +33 03 2672 6265
- - Restaurant closed on Sundays! - after the big Lunch we did not feel like anything anyway & ... judging by the breakfast offering next morning - we may not have missed out on much anyway. (are we spoiled after Paris ?) - but the price is right and it seems to be the only hotel in the area (?)
Mon 27.Sept 2004|
1 day via St Dizier through Lorraine to Pont-a-Mousson |
- the navigator had to prove her skills today getting us past Metz, Thionville and the rest of the industrial areas into Germany (instead of Luxembourg) and last but not least past Trier and it's maze of streets which are to be avoided unless you really MUST SEE the Roman Gate :-)
We enjoyed a very nice lunch at St Erasmus (www.st-erasmus.de) in Trassem and got to our accommodation with time to spare (GoodonYa Jacqui - a hard day of navigation well done) for the night at
- Mehring on the Mosel - Hotel Restaurant Weiler +49 (0)6502 2237
Tue 28.Sept 2004|
1 day along the banks of the Mosel to the Rhine
small villages and terraced wine plantations along the length of the drive - mostly on both sides of the river.
The impression in the villages is that every second house is a "Weinstube und Gaestehaus" (Winebar and guesthouse) - most with their own cellar and one of the terraced vinyards for their own label(s). Many offer a white and a light red wine as well as local cuisine.
Many of the towns have retained their old buildings and cobblestone streets in the town centres. One of the most spectacular (and busiest tourist centres) is the twin town of Bernkastel-Kues.
The day was spent slowly navigating the winding roads on both sides of the river (with many frequent stops) in this picturesque old historic region.
Lunch was a selection of rich German cakes & pastry and coffee at a bakery/cafe ..... what a "Schlemmer" :-)
- at Loef we left the Mosel to take the Hundsrueckhochstrasse [below Koblenz] - The first "taste" of winding needle curves through the woods and fields of a most spectecular countryside (many more hair rising moments like it are to come later in the Schwarzwald und Alps) to the old town of Boppard - dating back to Roman days of occupation with an interesting history throughout the centuries thereafter
- see www.boppard.de for more information
- Hotel Rheinlust, Rheinalle 27-30, Boppard +49 (0)6742 8080
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