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Wet, Fresh, Iconic…Venice, Holland, Paris.

 

Wet, Fresh, Iconic… Venice, Holland, Paris.IMG_6528

With so many glorious places to see, so much sensational food to taste, so many interesting cultures to witness & so much beauty to absorb, these stories have been a bit neglected for a while.

Not to despair, we haven’t gone AWOL, just got a little side-tracked chasing the dream….:)) So here we go with the catchup…IMG_6688

Venice.

Once again we found ourselves in a fabulous big apartment in an awesome location… Just a couple of corners from St. Marks square.

I loved San Marco!IMG_6493

It was magical in the night light, with it’s orchestra’s dotted around the perimeters, wafting sweet notes into the evening air, the impeccably dressed musicians proudly & passionately delivering their fare for us all to enjoy.

One must lift ones skirts & dance a few steps, head tilted towards the skies, arms awhirl, carefree, lost in a moment of fantasy…IMG_6694

Of course we trailed Rialto Bridge many times, full of fun, colour, & lively activity. Visited Rialto Markets & sourced the best Fritto Misto we have found so far. IMG_6498Flirted with the gondola men, used the ferry’s & the waterways as our mode of transport. Walked  through lots of tiny narrow alleys, all displaying similar, pretty tourist fare.

We had coffee in Harry’s bar, just at the end of our street, while we watched all the expensive drinks float by :))IMG_6686

And Lido! My favourite day…a long walk on the beach, grand tour of the Excelsior, a beautiful upmarket lunch with the girls, lots of laughter, & the best Mojito bar in the world…

We stopped by twice, first on our arrival & because they were so good, once again before we jumped on the water taxi for home :)) Glowing nicely from our days activities…IMG_6518

Our departure day was cold, wet & wild. We sheltered in a funky pasta joint, The Red Tomato, Pomadoro Russo,  luggage in tow, where the pizzas were a hit, the internet strong & other drenched revellers bustled noisily.

A great vibe to get us pumping & a perfect day for travel, as long as the water taxis & the planes were able to traverse the elements!IMG_6695

All good, We weathered the storm, & flew into beautiful Amsterdam.

Holland.

On a friends advice we had booked an apartment in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Den Bosch as it’s affectionately known, an hour up the track from Amsterdam. It was an interesting experience finding our way out of town & then on to our new home, in the dark….

So that day it was ferry, plane & train, to what gratefully turned out to be the queen of all our apartments so far, complete with washing machine! Which excited us to no end :))IMG_6556

Beautiful Holland. What a find.., green, green friendly, & just plain friendly.

State-of-the-art environmentally conscious projects comfortable sitting hand-in-hand with the old cobblestones & ancient buildings.

And people of all ages riding push bikes, looking fit & healthy.

Push bike parks around every corner, some smart & mechanical, some leaning against fences, or each other, like drunks after a big night out.IMG_6551 On recommendation from our landlady, we found Bagels & Beans, who’s philosophy & produce was fresh & moorish, organic & locally sourced, & where we often frequented.

A couple of train trips into Amsterdam, hurtling through that gorgeous country side.

So picturesque, we were extremely fortunate to have found ourselves exploring The Netherlands during tulip blooming season. Fields awash with colour, plentiful markets with abundant buckets of fresh-picked beauties & bulbs galore.

Flat, clean, lush & stunning.IMG_6550

A melting pot of races, cultures & nationalities, we found Amsterdam invigorating.

Eyes everywhere, much fun to be had, exploring to be done…

We were awed by the naughty history, & giggled our way through the Sex Museum. IMG_6441We ate “special” cookies & rode the double-decker red busses, taking in all the sights, listening to all the history, doing the dance with all the traffic, including many, many bicycles.

We sailed through the fascinating canals, taking in the city from another level, loving the creative boat living & the quaint multiple bridges. IMG_6671We spent some cold time having the Ice Bar experience, drinking vodka out of glasses made of ice, trying to keep hold of them while decked out in thick blue mittens & cloaks hard to see around :))

A bit of fun…then perfectly timed, we found the best hot chocolate  in a little shop, with wifi, around a beautifully treed square dedicated to military honour.IMG_6543

Some fun meals with Aussie mates we met up with, a night around a laden table, a breakfast in an underground stable, whitewashed, made anew.

Happy walks home, scrumptious caramel waffles, new friendships made.IMG_6544

As sad as we are to leave, (& we all know we will be back,) two trains later, through the beautiful country of chocolate, Belgium, & Paris here we come!

Into France.

Ah Paris! Once again, prime location! First arrondissement, perfect! Right between The Louvre & Les Halles!

Great little apartment nestled in the side streets amongst restaurants aplenty.IMG_6667

Always plenty to see & do, in this lovely lady of icons, I love to walk & soak up the atmosphere.

I love the grandness of the Lourve, & especially the life, dreams, planning & application of the exquisite long gardens between there & the Champs Elysees. IMG_6670I love that walk culminating at the Arc d’ Triumph. I love the buzz & the party up at the Troccadero, the anticipation & joy at the grand old lady when she shines.

I love the meander along the trees & artisan stalls beside the Seinne River, & the remarkable jumble on the bridge of locks, Pont de Arts.IMG_6574

We shopped, we raced around on the underground trains, we tested lots of food, we might have tested a few mojito’s…:))

We found our way to the other side of town, to a part where we didn’t feel comfortable, where we were amazed to see so many wig & tattoo shops lining the streets. It was astounding! Wigs galore! IMG_6593And when we gratefully entered our university professor friends apartment, all tasteful white, spacious, books, flowers & home cooked food, it was like arriving in another land.

A land of welcome, cross-cultural warmth & funny language barriers, a generous sharing of music, caring & family.

We were enveloped! We are blessed!IMG_6613

It’s Mothers Day. We have breakfast together, leisurely. Then we collect our bags & head off to Gare De Nord, one last trip on the Metro.

This is where my daughters leave us, where they jump on a plane & make the long haul back to Australia. And where we jump on yet another train & head under the channel to lovely London.IMG_6617

Except we get separated organising our respective trips, & don’t get to see each other again! Both groups try to find the other, we each get close, but were not able to make it happen.

It’s a bit sad, it makes the old heart pump a bit, but in the end, they are big girls, we had an amazing adventure together, we love each other, & eventually I will see them safely back home in Australia.IMG_6623

And as all fellow travellers know, that is the nature of travel :))

 

 

4 Comments
  1. Wow Mumma… I sooo love the way you write!!! I was there with you but you still took me on a journey with your stories… Beautiful words, beautiful woman… Big love, looking forward to your return home xxx love you x

    • ohhhh, how special! Thanks darling daughter…will be interesting to hear your take on it all too :)) big love to you & yours always xx

  2. What an awesome trip !!!!!!!! So glad I was right there with U n such a great way to meet Shae n Kel 🙂 OMG … the food !!!!!! the Mojitos 🙂 🙂 xxx

    • lol…yep Val, it sure was an epic journey.
      And we were so delighted to have your guidance so many times. Thank you my friend!
      And now we walk….:))
      love Roni xx

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