Posts Tagged ‘train’

Bread Winner

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

On Saturday afternoon I took the train through the glorious hills of the Peak District to Sheffield to see Brother Ben. I don’t think I will tire of this train ride – an hour of rolling hills, small English towns, sheep (so many lambs at the moment) and beautiful trees. On Saturday the sun was sort of shining so the sky was blue with big puffy white clouds. Quite spectacular.

So pretty in the Peaks.

So pretty in the Peaks.

On the Sunday I helped the Forge Bakehouse team sell bread at the Sheffield Antiques fair. Ben and I set up the stall with the wonderful help of Martha’s mum and her bread mobile (or Range Rover) and then two hours later started packing up. The bread disappeared in a flash as people stood umming and ahhing about which bread to choose, eventually deciding to take multiple loaves after I suggested slicing them up and popping them in the freezer for future convenience.

Mmm... bread.

Mmm… bread.

It was a fun weekend involving plenty of food and Ben falling asleep on couches after having two very early morning starts. The only down point was that I somehow missed my train back to Manchester by 30 seconds, meaning I had to buy another very expensive ticket to get home. Not happy, but as I am currently reading my horoscope on a daily basis for my 108in108 challenge, I discovered that it wasn’t my fault – it was the stars. Or the moon or whatever. The energies. Apparently that weekend was a BAD weekend to travel for business and I would experience hold ups and inconveniences. So there we go. It wasn’t just because I lost track of time and left home too late. Damn you, moon!

Is that the Eiffel Tower?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

I wanted to share this strange site that my friend Becky and I stumbled across on a walk last weekend. We were wandering through the 15eme arrondissement and discovered this:

Odd.

Odd.

Next to it was a fish market, which somewhat explained the existence of a light house next to a train line in the middle of Paris but we both still had many questions. The fisherman wasn’t very talkative.

Time to Recap

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Once again I have to write a catch up report on what we have been up to. It has been a very busy week and a half involving visits to two cities, lots of train trips, visitors, funerals, family, food, fun and frantic searches for short sleeved tops. Paris is experiencing some sort of heat wave. By that, I mean it has been above 23 degrees most days and for some reason that feels more like 30 degrees. I have made a few exasperated visits into clothing stores in search of short sleeves and summer skirts but it has been quite disappointing. Plus, lots of the shops aren’t airconditioned and so I enter and leave in a “I’m hot and grumpy” mood. Those of you who know me well will know that I’m not the most approachable person when I am hot and bothered. Anyway, I have managed to find a few tops in Monoprix (a supermarket that also sells cheap basic clothes) so I felt somewhat cooler yesterday. Today my parents are arriving and bringing me shorts! IMAGINE THAT! Shorts… so cooling.

So! Travel adventures. After returning home from Lyon, we unpacked and repacked our bag and the next morning headed off to Koblenz on two separate trains. This was due to pricing and getting the best possible bargains. The train ride to Koblenz is particularly beautiful – first you catch a train to Saarbrucken which is just over the French/German border and then you change trains and follow the Moselle river all the way to Koblenz. The views are spectacular and what you could describe as “typical German countryside”. Green rolling hills, cute little villages with wooden houses and the picturesque tranquility of the winding river. No matter how hard I tried to read my book, I couldn’t helping looking out the window every second line.

Rhein

The Rhein in Koblenz

It was great seeing Tom’s Dad (he had flown over from Perth early in order to attend his father’s funeral) and Oma. Pity it was for such a sad occasion but it was nice to have family around. Tom’s Opa’s funeral was a nice simple service at a beautiful local church on an island floating in the middle of the Rhein. Tom’s Opa is now surrounded by asparagus mounds and other vegetable gardens that produce some of the best known vegetables in Koblenz. The service was entirely in German, for obvious reasons, which made it somewhat difficult to understand. However, as a lover of languages I found it particularly interesting to listen to hymns being sung in German and I could pick up the odd phrase such as, “In the name of the father, the son…” Now I have been to a German funeral and a Dutch church service. I appear to be converting in foreign countries.

Church

A lovely church

My friend Marina is in town with her parents and it has been great catching up with her. It is nice to have a friend around who I have known for a long time. Conversations are easy and we already know so much about each other. Mazz is in a wheelchair and so we have been discovering the pros and cons of Parisian disabled access (or lack of.) The footpaths aren’t bad but most restaurants put their toilets at the bottom of steep staircases and there are generally steps everywhere. She has been able to get into museums for free AND skip queues, which, in my opinion, is some sort of wonderful. I told her she can’t leave because she needs to be my “Get into Museums for Free” pass. I’m such a nice friend.

In other news, I apparently had my hair cut this weekend. By that I mean I went to a hairdresser, sat in the chair and there were scissors around. However, usually post-hair-chop my head feels as light as a feather and I worry that it is too short. This time I left feeling like my hair hadn’t changed at all. Basically the girl decided that I shouldn’t cut my hair too much and therefore just made a few adjustments. I managed to talk her into thinning it a little bit at the top as my hair gets very thick as it grows, but really I’m not sure what I spent 40 Euros on. At least she chopped my fringe, although she just cut it in a straight line and decided I should have a front fringe, rather than one to the side. Maybe this is a sign that I should grow my hair. I’ve never had long hair – maybe Paris is the place to give it a go.

Hair cut

Waiting for nothing.

As previously mentioned, my parentals are arriving today. They are on a ten week trip through Europe and will be in Paris for the next week. I am very excited. I am a very family-oriented person so I can’t wait to have them around and show them my new life. However, the restaurant I had booked for this evening has just cancelled on me so I have to find somewhere else for us to eat. So I shall be off.

Mid-Travel Catch Up

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I have about ten spare minutes to write this as I eat my breakfast and drink my morning cup of tea. In 1 hour and 17 minutes my train for Saarbrucken leaves, which will then connect me to another train to Koblenz. Last night we arrived home from our weekend away in Lyon at 10.30pm and finally got to sleep after unpacking and repacking and sorting out train tickets at around 1am. Tom is already on his train as we had to book different trains in order to get the cheapest tickets. Ahh… the joys of travel.

Lyon was great – we had ate some awesome food, saw some awesome things and climbed some awesome stairs. You could say Lyon was awesome. Our hotel was less awesome – it was clean and well located and relatively cheap (all good things) but the place seemed to be a long stay apartment complex for some slightly odd elderly people who stood in the foyer arguing with the staff. On Sunday when we went to check out there was no one at the front desk and then after we’d handed in our keys and were about to leave, we happened to read a small notice by the lift that indicated you needed to clean the dishes and remove the rubbish (ie. empty the bin) from your room before you left otherwise you would be charged 30 Euros for each offence. When we’d checked in, the girl had briefly requested that if we cooked in the room and had smelly rubbish in the bin if we could please put it in the garbage bin outside, but nothing suggesting we’d be charge 30 Euros for not doing so. Anyway, that last day, the place just became stranger and stranger and we were quite glad to leave.

But none of us really wanted to leave Lyon – it has a young and exciting atmosphere as it is a university town and so there is a lot happening. There are amazing old buildings scattered throughout and the old town is on a vertical incline that required excellent thigh muscles to ascend. We saw Roman ruins dating back to 40 BC where Coup hopes to go back to in order to see a band perform on his birthday. Yes, bands perform on Roman ruins in Lyon. Amazing.

Anyway, time is ticking and trains are approaching. Time to finish packing and head off. Back Thursday.