A Travellerspoint blog

Back to Charles de Gaulle, πŸ›« Roissy en France

A quick trip to Epernay, then let's put the car back in it's Europcar garage. πŸš—

It is Monday evening and we are doing a bit of packing before tomorrow's drive to Epernay, which is in the heart of the French Champagne district and only a couple of hours drive to the CDG Airport. A photo of Epernay from the net, will it look like this for us?

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Maybe . . . . .

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Tuesday's drive to Epernay was pretty straight forward, or maybe travelling didn't have our full attention. We were bit of shocked as the full extent of the floods and damage in Northern Tas. became a clearer. Our house was without power from Sunday night thru to 4.00pm Tuesday. John, our house-sitter was using the generator to keep all ok with the fridges and freezers.

We arrived at Epernay at 3.30 and after checking in to our "otel" had a good walk down the Avenue de Champagne to the 'centre ville'.

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It was hot and humid in the late afternoon and soon there was a thunderstorm. We needed somewhere to shelter so we found a bar and had a couple of glasses of the local product. We then hung about till 7.30pm for the resturants to open. Found a nice resturant and the food was supurb even if there was little english spoken by wait staff. Warm seafood salad πŸ‘, a salmon and asparagus pizza βœ”οΈ, escallopes of veal et fritte πŸ˜‹ And for dessert a banana split! - consequently not much eaten today.

This morning (Wednesday 8th) we packed up ready for the flight to Casablanca. A big job. With Airfrance: Only allowed one bag each to 23kg and carry on luggage up to 12kgs. After sorting it out in our room we drove around the valley and came across the Moet-Chandon vineyard. For us, a bit of a fluke, especially for such a high profile global brand that even we have heard about??

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Then we drove across to Reims to look at the famous Cathederal. It was spectacular and built in the 13C! Huge, amazing. πŸ‘€ No doubt it took some great engineers and stonemasons etc to create such building. And for the one or two people interested, Reims was home of the French Formula I Grand Prix until about 1969. The old circuit is still promoted as a tourist attraction!

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Next, the drive to Charles de Gaulle, which took just 90 minutes. Retuning the car, checking in bags and getting to at L25, Terminal 2E, via internal rail car took some time. We are now relaxing waiting for our flight which delayed by 35 minutes. We pick up car in Casablanca and drive to Rabat. It will be a late arrival, midnight maybe? This is the last blog of alfaineurope. Will do a new one after we have been in Rabat a few days. Hooroo!

Posted by stavmagpie 09:45 Archived in France Comments (0)

Resting and relaxing in Amsterdam

After the days of driving we were pleased to rest in Amsterdam. We are staying with Peter at Klara's mother's house in Oud-Zuid, a suburb handily placed near the famous Vondelpark and the central city area. Here's the map showing where we are and a photo of Pete with his mum. πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ !! He's doing very well isn't he? πŸ‘ βœ”οΈ

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We are a short Tram (No. 2) ride into the 'duck's guts', and all the glitz of the tourist centre like the famous Flower market, Museums, glitzy tourist barges, McDonalds, KFC,

And somewhat ironically, as SE Aus gets a good old fashioned winter drenching we are at last, experiencing some really sunny warm weather. Makes taking photos so much easier. A couple of shots close to where we are staying and in the Vondelpark, note the lovely sunshine. Temperature reached 27 today! 😎 Public transport very easy to use. Our car is resting at a park and ride car park a kilometre or so from where we are staying.

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Some of the landscape/urban scenes/tourists we saw on our trip into town on Saturday. Includes a 'crooked house', the Flower Market and a Christmas shop! πŸŽ„ πŸ’ 🌺 πŸŽ‰ πŸ˜„ 🎊 😜 Plus shopping, shopping shopping and lots of 'specialty' items with spikey green leaf logos. Yes Mary Jane was everywhere, ooh so relaxing for some!

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Two short vidclips with a bit of 'barge' action.

And a couple of shots from Sunday afternoon.

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The last few hours we have been monitoring all the rain in SE Aus. Over 200mls in Sheffield! Wow!

We are next heading to Epernay in the French Champagne district before flying to Rabat.

Posted by stavmagpie 13:52 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Ciao Italy and over the Alps we go β›°

The Stelvio Pass, a night in Innsbruck and then one helluva day's drive to Amsterdam. 🚘 β›· 🎿 β›ˆ

It rained very heavily the night before we were to leave Lezzano and there was a bit of doubt about whether we should continue with our plan to drive over the Stelvio Pass. This pass is renowned as a stunning drive over one of the highest road passes in the world as well as being very dangerous. More about the Stelvio Pass at this link.

On waking early Tuesday morning we were able to hear a cuckoo. No I didn't go looking for a clock. Yes we were close to Switzerland. And after the cuckoo diversion we noticed the weather was much improved and decided to press on with the 'Stelvio Challenge'.

First step on a long journey was the ferry from Bellagio to Varenna. Two photos and a late inclusion, a video from car ferry journey.

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Naturally we were excited as we approached Bormio, at the foot of the Stelvio Pass. An amazing drive with some great views.

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Over the day we travelled just over 350kms, including 10kms by ferry then through Italy, Switzerland and Austria. The first couple of photos below are in Switzerland and the rest in Austria.

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We had a pleasant overnight stay in Innsbruck. Winter Olympics 1964 and 1976. Found enough time to wander around the old town, enjoy the classic buildings and then a stein of local beer and a weiner schnitzel. Yes, you did spot a Maccas tucked away in one of the very old buildings and, no!

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The next day Wednesday, we drove from Innsbruck through Germany to Utrecht, just out of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Over 1000kms in at times, some very wet and difficult conditions. And finally a couple of photos of the Austrian countryside as we left Innsbruck in what was the best weather of the day. Austria, always so lush, tidy and scenic just like the post cards.

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And some really good news, Peter out of hospital today (Thursday) and doing very well.

Posted by stavmagpie 14:11 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Milan videos

Trying out the video format in the blog, about time someone said.

First a bit of dancing and doof doof before the game and second, rubber necking in the Galleria. This post of vids is a simple test. If they are ok we may post more and hopefully better.

Posted by stavmagpie 05:11 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Brescia and Milan

Jill buys πŸ˜† a Ferrai in Milan and visits La Scala, while Russell 😟 just looks at old Italian cars in Brescia.

Enzo Ferrai on cars etc.

"To build a car… that flies without leaving the ground…"

"Aerodynamics is for those who cannot manufacture good engines."

"I married the 12 cylinder engine and I never divorced it."

On the Mille Miglia: "It is the race of the people. One may say that the whole of Italy leans forward with her eyes on the tarred strip of road somewhere along the course on Mille Miglia day. It is a day when I feel my life is useful."

Our (Russell's) pre trip planning had identified the Museo Mille Miglia as a must visit. Mille Miglia = one thousand miles. The MM was a race for one thousand miles around the roads of northern and central Italy, way before there were any serious rules about saftey. Crowds thronged about the cars as they still do at the Tour de France!

Getting to Brescia proved no simple task, all due to human error. Our GPS was mistakenly set to a avoid the Autostradas. Yes we had some lovely country driving and it seemed to take forever. And, after getting to the Museo we were a bit disappointed, great information about the event but no so many cars on display. A paucity of cars from the 1950's races. Anyway it was great to see some of the magnicient older cars that looked to be still in running order, just cleaned up after their last race!

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On Sunday we drove into Milan and used the Molino Dorino park and ride station to travel into the city. Our main objective was to see the famous shopping centre, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This alone was worth the trip but there was so much more, not the least of which was a big crowd getting excited about the local derby final, AC Milan v Inter Milan, being played later in the day. First, some shots of the Galleria. As you can see a bit like shops in a Cathederal!

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Now here's where Jill bought the Ferrai, a birthday present for a 4yo boy!

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Some more shots about the Galleria and one of Jill window shopping at Louis Vuitton! Yes that is Maccas. No we have not, so far . .

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Then it was on to look over La Scala, Milan's very famous Opera House. Spectacular with a marvellous museum attached. Including the piano of Hungarian composer Franz Litz. We were rhapsodic about it. ?

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Now a few shots of the famous Piazza del Duomo, for the Milanese it was all about the "game".

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Today, Monday, is a lay up day before driving up to Amsterdam, via Passeo di Stalvio. Assuming it is possible. "One of the world's great drives" ?

Posted by stavmagpie 02:03 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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