Sunday, March 17, 2013

Snow Wild in France

My fingers are still a bit frozen from the Bayeux snow so I thought I'd let Gloria Jean do some talkin' for the both of us.. Here is her take on our French adventures:

Sooo, you read about our first few days with Lisa in London…next stop for the fab four was Paris/Normandy and what an adventure that was! We left on Monday bright and early to catch Eurostar to Paris, beautiful train, beautiful weather (little rainy, but can’t complain about that). From there we switched train stations and then caught the regional train to Bayeux, so-so train, so-so weather (started snowing shortly after getting on the train at three). For those who have never travelled by regional train, they stop at every little town, so after several stops a lady came onto our car and (speaking only in French) told us to get off the train because it was not going any farther due to the bad weather. Amazingly enough, we gathered all that from the panicked look on her face. So, we had to disembark in a town were no one speaks English and try to figure out what to do next…did I mention it was snowing?? Like really, really snowing?? Imagine 30 mile an hour winds and a white out…okay, now you’ve got the picture.

By the grace of God (and the help of a very nice English speaking tour guide) we figured out what train to catch and literally (leet-tra-lee as they say in jolly England) had to  sprint to get on the last train out of town to our destination, beautiful Bayeux.

It snowed for a full 24 hours, more snow than this area had seen in 15 years! It was gorgeous, but we soon found that much like southeastern North Carolina, the town came to a stand still for the next three days! We ended up spending an extra night in Bayeux, but hey there are worse places to be stranded! As our travel service and hotelier said, “by order of the local government, we cannot drive or travel, as we are on red alert”. It was a really big, big deal for the area and we were lucky enough to be there to witness the fun!! We were disappointed that my parents were not able to see the American Cemetery, but we basically saw everything else…side note: we did find out that the French Norman school children in Normandy are taken each year to the American Cemetery and asked to pick out a grave that they will promise to bring flowers to on holidays so that they will never forget what the American soldiers did for them. Humbling.

Back to our situation, each day we walked around a blizzard like town (Papa with bags on his feet because he only took one pair of shoes), we ate really well and met some really nice people, so all in all it was a really great visit to Bayeux.

Of course, that left us only one night in Paris. We leet-tra-lee caught the first train out of town after our somewhat abbreviated tour of Normandy on Thursday and spent the late afternoon travelling. Arriving at 7:30, we hit the ground running. A quick bite of dinner and we headed over to the Eiffel Tower for some token pics in front of the amazing feat of architecture. Never fails to amaze how big it really is.
Leaving town the next morning, I think we all felt like we had been gone for longer than four days, and when we arrived back in Kensington, even Grandma said she felt like she was back “home”!

As always, the best part of travel for me is the people I meet along the way. From Rima Hebert, the hotel owner, to Matthew, our guide, to the school group from Canada that was also stuck in Bayeux in the snow, we are yet again reminded that there are nice people wherever you go in this big, big world.

So now we're back 'home' in London, just two more days of Wilder Adventures! Out of the snow but still in the cold, heading to the Changing of the Guards this morning so say a prayer we don't get rained on..
Cheers y'all, Lis & Momma 

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