söndag 25 juli 2010

Holidays in France (2)

After few days on the idyllic Ile de Re we went to the South. Well, at least south of Bordeaux - to Mimizan-Plage at the Atlantic coast.
We stayed at a B&B 150m from the beach. The owners were really nice people and each morning we got our petit breakfast in the garden.
There was also Helga - a mini greyhound dog. Or rather a poppy. She was sooo cool and friendly.
The beach was perfect. Well, the waves were sometimes really big so it was a bit tough for Alex to practice surfing. But he didn't give up :)
Each evening I had a portion of seafood, fish or moules marineres. Lovely! And chilled white wine to that.
We read our books, jumped over waves in the ocean, biked around, ate well and listened to some outdoor concerts in the town each evening.

We saw also a flower iceland at the lake close to Mimizan.

We had 3 days of a perfect weather, and the day we were leaving it started to rain. Perfect timing!! :)

From Mimizan we drove up North again. Our destination was Vouvray area - we stayed in Rochecorbon. I was in that region in 1994 so it was nice to visit some Chateaus and drink good Vouvray wine again.
Our landlord gave us a perfect introduction to what places to see so we visited 2 castles - one in Chenonceaux and one in Amboise. In Amboise there was Leonardo da Vinci's grave (by the way, French people pronounced his name in such a French way that you would almost believe that Leonardo was French ;), and we also visited his house where his studies were in Chat. du Clos Luce.

The view from our room:

La Loire in the evening:

At the entrance to Chateau:


I'm a bit obsessed with photographing those:

We also went to Tours, mainly to have dinners there. A very nice downtown, and so many restaurants around! It was a hard choice where to eat.

Our last stop was Vernou-sur-Brenne. Just on the other side of Vouvray.
The village was very small, but there were many wine caves - as on the map :)

And our B&B:

The last day was just a drive to Paris, returning the car and getting ready for take off.
The holidays were perfect!!! Maybe a bit too much baguette, jams and marmelades for breakfast, also quite weak coffees but what does it matter?...
We had fun and met so many nice people. Alex was doing great with his French.
Next time hope we can visit Provance, Marseiile and the surroundings.
Now back to work - it's gonna be hard. But maybe there will be some days in Göteborg in August. And for sure 4 days in Malaga.

Holidays in France (1)

They started 2 weeks ago, and now are over. It's good to document at least some parts of these vacations.
Met with Alex at CDG in Paris. Such a great moment to see him after 1 month break! We got our rental car - not Citroen 2 which we booked, but Skoda Fabia - still ok since it was 4 door car :)
First place we visited was Alex' relatives' in Coulommiers, not far from Paris. A cute little town, famous from their Coulommiers cheese (a sort of camembert, but with a milder taste. Mums!).
We stayed there 2 nights. Visited town, read books in the garden, did some jogging in the forest. Nice! There was quite mch practice for me (or rather listening) of Romanian again :)

Our next destination was Nantes - to visit Alex' cousin Adina, her son Gabriel and boyfriend Gustavo. On the way to Nantes we had an obligatory visit to Le Mans. We spent there few hours, and Alex was in the 7th heaven since there was also a race of some old cars. I think he took 200 pics in Le Mans. I won't place many pics here - but be sure - they are all saved on our laptops.

From Le Mans we went to Nantes. We stayed there for 3 nights. Spent a lot of time with Adina, went to see Pornichet at the coast and Guerande - a little cozy town, famous for gourmet salt manufacturing.
Gabriel - Adina's and Gustavo's son is the happiest kid I've met. He is so cool and so full of energy and he moves all the time. So much energy!!! I think he will be a climber since he climbed on everything he could.

At the beach in Pornichet we had the first Moules dish. I continued with this dish quite many times afterwards as well :)

And in Guerande we had super delicious crepes. Mums!

After those few great days, we went to Ile de Re. I was a bit afraid that we would have a bad weather - when we were in Nantes, the last day was so rainy, but when we arrived to La Rochelle and then to Ile de Re, the sun was there :) Puh!
We stayed for lunch in La Rochelle, a town before the bridge to Ile de Re. Cozy town. Many tourists though. It started to feel like vacations.
ile de Re was soooo beautiful. Most of the houses white with pastel colors of shades and window finishing. And there were flowers all over.
Here the entrance to our B&B.

We rented bikes for 2 days and biked totally 40kms or so. We went to St. Martin - a very nice and cozy town. We also visited La Flotte and Loix. We stayed some hours at le Bois Plage. The only disadvantage was that we didn't take any UV cream when we biked so we sort of burned our faces and shoulders on the first day. Afterwards factor 50 was in use.

Salt collection on the way to Loix.

söndag 4 juli 2010

Summer is here!

It's been over a week now that we have a wonderful summer weather in Hamburg. It reminds me summer 4 years ago, when I came here as a trainee, for the 1st time.
Some days were super hot 36C or so... I mean, it is fine when you are at a beach but not in the office where the temperature gets around 30C..

This weekend Monica and I went to St. Peter-Ording - 2hrs drive from HH. A really nice place. Kind of feels like Denmark ;) So it was my swimming in the sea premiere this year! It felt so great in the water!!!

Germany gets to the semi-final...No comment. I think this team is really good, or super focus and somehow it works, but the whole paranoia in the country is just too much. In a way I'm glad I will be away for the final. Actually I hope it will be Holland-Spain in the final. But so far whatever I hoped for didn't come true..

Elections in Poland. Today the 2nd round Komorowski-Kaczynski. It looks good so far (Komorowski) but the final scores are ready tomorrow...I hope it will be fine!!

Just few more days and holidays!!!! Whoohoo! On Friday - France! Can't wait.