Cyber-crimewave hits Provence

May 10, 11 Cyber-crimewave hits Provence

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Have you seen this man? Caught on camera by his shady Dutch accomplice secretly priming his iPad hidden in his rucksack to download ‘The Times’ newspaper by hijacking unsuspecting locals unprotected WiFi networks. Whenever this man walks down the street lights dip and power surges as the “Bandwidth Bandit” strikes...

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Our Gite

May 09, 11 Our Gite

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Our gite is located quite near to Avignon this time in a small place called Les Vignieres, about 25km to the south east. Ideal for exploring further to the east in the direction of Aix-en-provence this time around. The gite itself is in the heart of the countryside and set amongst orchards of cherry trees, some of which are ripe and ready to pick. Our hosts have said we can take as many as we like … and they are “delicieux”. The inside of our gite is typically rustic French in character. That is to say “a bit tired and in need of a clean!” 😀 Lovely all the same...

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Provence en Grande Vitesse

May 07, 11 Provence en Grande Vitesse

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Another first for us … travelling on the French TGV (Train de Grande Vitesse) The experience was a delight. In just 2.75 hours we traversed practically the whole length of the country in smooth and elegant comfort. We travelled at speeds of up to 320km (200 miles) per hour through grand vistas of French bucolic tranquillity. Merveilleux ! France is a beautiful and vast country and during our trip we hardly saw any conurbations of size at all. Viewing the large green patchwork of fields, gentle rolling hills and somnambulant villages that flashed past our window was superb, especially for a lad from a small island in the English Channel ;-D The TGV itself was clean, smooth, quiet and comfortable. I’d heard about the famed speed and comfort of the TGV before and I have to say it is all they have said it...

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La Bonne Vie

May 06, 11 La Bonne Vie

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Our hotel room, although the size of a large closet, even has a very small balcony which we can sit on overlooking some typically Parisienne street life, cafes and terraces (tres chic :- D) We’ve thrown ourselves into Paris with abandon combining some regular touristy stuff with some “haute culture”. Over our 3 days here we’ve visited Note Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel tower, Montmartre and Le Sacre Coeur as well as “La Musée du Moyen Age” (Museum of the Middle Ages) which contains the famous “Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries” and of course the Louvre. We resisted the obvious of going to see the Mona Lisa and instead opted ( well Annelies opted seeing as I’m the original cultural barbarian who can’t tell the difference between a Reuben and a Robin) to go and see the old Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Vermeer and Reubens to mention but a few. The Louvre is truly a stunning and massive edifice. The entrance via the famous glass pyramid was very impressive. Underneath the pyramid it houses 2 floors all excavated out out into separate underground galleries. These in turn take you up into the main Louvre buildings ( the open quadrangle that surrounds the pyramid) via escalators. It’s all very modern and yet quite harmonious with these centuries old buildings. We also visited Le Musee d’Orsay which houses an impressive collection of Impressionist paintings by Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Manet, Gauguin and van Gogh. Being able to see these famous art pieces so close up was even for me exciting. They were truly spectacular. The museum building itself was also impressive. It was a former railway station but even the restaurant was a 19th century fantasy spectacular with gilt edged encrusted decorated mirrors , chandeliers and classical sculptures … the prices weren’t 19th century though … £8.50 for a piece chocolate cake ! That said I could definitely get into Paris cafe culture. All our meals have been gastronomic delights and our many cafe...

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Tot Ziens Oldebroek … Bonjour Paris

May 03, 11 Tot Ziens Oldebroek … Bonjour Paris

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Goodbye Oldebroek and hello Paris. We took the train from Oldebroek in Holland to Roterdam, from which we took the high speed Thalys train and … bingo, 2.5 hours later we’re in “la belle Paris” … Amazing! An hour after that we were walking along the banks of the river Seine admiring the huge gothic cathedral of Notre...

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