Sunday, February 13, 2011

European Trip - Spring 2011

We are off next weekend to Paris for three days - and, then to check out Montpellier, France, which was featured in an article last spring in AARP magazine. It was mentioned as one of the most popular destinations for retired American ex-pats, and supposedly there is a good-sized community there of retirees looking for the "good life." We were intrigued, and decided to see for ourselves. We have rented a lovely apartment in the historic district (17th century) overlooking a park, and we'll be in residence for two weeks. That should be long enough to see what the city offers in addition to its location on the Mediterranean, an Arc de Triomphe, Roman ruins, fountains, several theatres, an opera house, and many sidewalk cafes with reputations for gourmet French food at prices lower than those in Paris.

From Montpellier, we take the train to Bern to spend Fasnacht weekend with our Hirni cousins, Thomas, Helen, and their children, Sabina and Benz. They all are actively involved in the festivities, marching in the parades and out until dawn every night. I doubt we will be involved to that extent, but it will be fun to see the costumes, local neighborhood bands, and displays. We may also be fortunate enough to see the two new baby bears in the park, "Urs" and "Berna." They are celebraties of great fame, and hopefully they will come out of hibernation before we arrive.

Then, we have a flight to London where we have rented a cottage for a week in our favorite village, Tonbridge, on the commuter line to London. And, from London we fly to Dublin for a ten day self-drive tour of Northern Ireland and the west country of The Republic. We booked this tour though a company called "My Ireland," and it has turned out to be a very reasonable itinerary and price. We will see much of the country and stay in comfortable hotels, spending the last two days in Dublin. Our flight home leaves from there.

So, if you'd like to "come along," check in on this sight as often as you like. I'll try to post pictures and commentary almost everyday. Tomorrow, I'll put up the entire itinerary with websites you can access for more information on where we are staying.

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