Sunshine Blogger Award

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I have been nominated by Esther from https://richerfortravel.wordpress.com/home/  who I have had the pleasure of meeting up through a wonderful support group on Facebook.  Esther is a fellow traveler and also chronic illness warrior. Please head over to her page and check out her travels to Italy and her latest post to Lego Land!  To be nominated by a fellow blogger is such an honour.  I thank you so much Esther.

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for the award and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

My 11 questions for my nominees :

 

1. Where in the world are you based and have you ever met up in person with any fellow bloggers in your local area?

2. If blogs had to have a theme tune that played every time people came onto your website – which song would you choose?

3. Why did you choose the specific niche you write about for your blog?

4. Tell us about the best photograph you have taken, that is featured in one of your blogs (include copy of the photo in your answer).

5. What is the most fun country you have visited that is both varied and beautiful?

6. Which social media app do you get most blog traffic through and what makes it work so well for you?

7. How long have you been blogging and have you ever taken time out away from blogging during that time?

8. If you had to choose a smoothie recipe to represent your blog what would it be?

9. Have you ever heard of Fibromyalgia?

10. What piece of advice would you give bloggers for creating images and for taking photos / flatlays / blog feature images etc?

11. Do you make money off blogging? If so how?

 

 My Answers:

  1.  I am based in on the Mornington Peninsular Victoria Australia  in place called Rosebud.  I just love the name as every time I type it in a rose appears.  As yet I have not met up with any bloggers in my area.

2.  Sisters are doing it for Themselves by Aretha Franklin.  This song was played every night on our first cruise overseas.  Each time it was played we danced.

3.  On our first cruise we were snubbed by some of the fellow passengers.  They didn’t believe we 3 were sisters.  I admit we do not look like each other but hey would it matter if we were not sisters?  Any way we would chat about when we were going to be famous and they would all wish they had been nicer to us.  So 3 sisters abroad was born.

4.  I love this photo I took when in Paris in 2016.

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The Eiffel Tower

 

5. I loved France. The people are so friendly and lovely.  It has so much to offer especially a lover of history, which is me!

6  I love all social media platforms.  I get a fair amount of visitors to the blog from all of them.

7.  This blog has been going since August 2016 so in the scheme of things not that long.  Some months are quieter than others for blog posts but as yet had no break.

8. A smoothie to represent the blog would have to involve berries.  Esther we have 3 things in common, the smoothie, the travel and the history.

9.  Yes I most certainly have heard of Fibromyalgia as I have been diagnosed with it.

10. I only use my own photos.  I love taking photos with my camera or even my phone so I have heaps to choose from.  Only when I am nominated for an award is when I use the picture that goes with it.  I don’t use any of the programs listed.  I like a natural photo.

11. No I don’t make any money from blogging.  I know a few do.  It would be nice to earn money from something you love to do.

 

My Nominee’s are:

Esme from https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com

Esme’s blog is about food, that she has tested and cooked. Everyone that knows me, knows I love to eat and cook.  My eyes light up when I log into WordPress and I see another recipe from Esme.

 

Elsie – Lucy from https://elsielmc.wordpress.com

Elsie as she goes by on the blog – real name Lucy has such a diverse blog.  You will find recipes, poetry and awesome pics of her bedroom in her latest blog.  I throughly enjoy reading Elsie’s posts.

Lorelle from https://amindfultravellerblog.wordpress.com

Lorelle’s blog is about her travels around the world and also our wonderful country Australia.  Plus some amazing recipes namely gluten-free chocolate cookies, which I will be making over the weekend.

Please go and check out these amazing diverse blogs.  I throughly enjoy reading all of these and I am sure you will also.

I have only nominated 3 of the many blogs I follow and love.  If anyone reading this wants to do this post please do and let me know so I can read it.

I have used the same questions that Esther shared on her blog as I thought these were excellent.

 

I want to also give an honorable mention to Sam who blogs over at https://medicalmysterymusings.wordpress.com.  Sam is such an inspiration to me and I am sure once you go over and read her blog you will be inspired as well.

 

Thank you so much for everyone who follows our blog and reads, like’s and comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ever had a Truffle – a black Truffle?

Ever had a truffle – or a black truffle. The area of France known as the Dordogne produces 80% of these truffles – called Tuber melanosporum or The Perigord Diamond.

They have a subtle aroma and an earthy flavour and reminds every one of rich chocolate or so they say.

Since the best times to get this flavour and aroma is during the European winter or January and February our August visit was not really the best.

The wooded area reminded me of our hills in Australia. Sheep and cows over the road and low scrub under the trees. The truffles grow just beneath the soil among the root systems of oak, beech, hazelnut, chestnut,t birch or poplar trees.

In France the truffle hunters are called rabassiers and use either dogs or pigs – usually the female pig or sow – as they have a fantastic sense of smell – to unearth these black truffles. Trouble is, if you use a pig, you need to be very quick because the pig will eat it. Now there are more dogs being trained to do the search.

The dog – wasn’t told its name – was gorgeous – as per the photos. Once it found the truffle it just pointed its nose toward it and stood there waiting to be patted, fed a thankyou then off to another one. We all thought that the truffles for our trip had been planned previously because the dog rushed off to the next tree before the first truffle had been picked up.

The truffle farm we went to was not very large and 2 large tourist buses had got there long before we arrived so it was difficult trying to take photos and get into the little shop/café. Also our farmer did not speak much English – in fact he didn’t speak much at all. However I think we got the idea of what happens when they go truffle hunting. It was nice and cool under the trees and I enjoyed talking to the dog after it had been tied up after its great efforts. Very few other people bothered – they were more interested in getting into the shop.

We did not stay long at the truffle farm because we were then visiting Grignan.

 

Post and photos by eldest sister Muriel.  Thank You Muriel.

Be prepared to be amazed at the Pont du Gard!

After lunch and a few cold drinks – it was very hot down in the south of France last August.  There were two afternoon excursions a trip to the Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct bridge or Chateauneuf du Pape: Town and vineyard tour with wine tasting.  MMMH choices…an old bridge or wine.   The bridge won,  as we can have bucket loads of wine on the ship.

Having watched the movie “Paris Can Wait” on the flight over I was extremely excited to see the amazing bridge. Pont du Gard was featured on the film. On the cruise the year before in 2016 our cruise director and friend Richard had talked about the Pont Du Gard in length. I had researched so much before this holiday.  The photos were out of this world of this giant aqueduct.  Hope mine come somewhere near the professionals.

Where the coach drops you off you do not see a thing.  Nothing!  Apart from countryside which is very beautiful I will say.

As we walked along the path I saw this, I’m sorry it’s not a very good picture.  I meant to go back and take another before we left, but somehow I forgot. I think it was because I spent our last few moments in the souvenir shop before boarding the coach.

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Peace Tree

 

It says:

In Memory

of all the victims

of terrorism

around the world.

Planted January 8th 2015

after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Friedensbaum – Peace Tree

Part of the tour was the museum at Pont du Gard.  We were to visit here first before heading to the giant aqueduct.  It gives the history of the Roman aqueduct with Models, virtual reconstructions, multimedia screens and sounds. As you wander around and learn how they built this amazing construction you realise that what your about to see is something truly wonderful.

I could feel the excitement welling inside.  Oh, is that a  glimpse through the trees!

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Just a glimpse through the trees

 

As we walked around the bend this was our view!

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wow the Pont du Gard didn’t disappoint

 

It’s such an amazing place, I hope the photos do it justice.

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The view from the first level.

 

As we crossed over to the other side we noticed a cave.

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the Cave

The Pont du Gard was teeming with people.  Tourists and locals alike.  For those who live nearby this is their swimming hole. You can visit the Pont du Gard on both sides, plenty of parking.

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Amazing place to visit
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Pont du Gard
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a lot of the workers carved into the huge bricks. Early Graffiti – on the limestone blocks or is it a number as per history says?
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Bree Tania and Muriel at Pont du Gard

If you visit this giant Aqueduct in the summer months in France be sure to take your bathers.  As you can see in the photos we are in long pants and runners.  Peter, Tania’s husband walked out into the water.  He said it was lovely and cold.

I so wanted to get into the water, I have promised myself if I ever go there again I will.

A bit of history –

Pont du Gard, an amazing ancient work of art:

The Pont du Gard is one of the world’s best preserved examples of Roman ingenuity.  Its turbulent history has also inspired numerous artists.  It required hundreds of workers both skilled and unskilled over many years. It included stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths etc.  It was built halfway through the 1st century AD. It is the principal construction in a 50 m long aqueduct that supplied the city of Nimes formerly known as Nemausus, with water.

It was built as a 3 level aqueduct standing 50m high.  It allowed water to flow across the River Gardon.  Its construction is of soft yellow limestone blocks, taken from a nearby quarry that borders the river. The highest part of the bridge is made out of breeze blocks joined together with mortar.  It is topped by a device designed to bear the water channel whose stone slabs are covered with calcium deposits. This 3 story bridge which measures 360m at its longest point along the top. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers created a technical masterpiece that stands today as a work of art.

Today, we know that over 21,000 cubic meters of rock, weighing 50,400 tonnes. (go back and look at the photos – the mind is boggling at what they did back then) They also found numbering on the stones, points of support for scaffolding and evidence of the use of hoists.  Materials used in the construction of the Pont du Gard were obtained from the Estel quarry, situated roughly 600m away. The rock found there is a soft coarse yellow limestone, referred to locally today as “pierre de Vers”.  The blocks of limestone were extracted using picks and sharp metal corners. Around 120,000 cubic meters of cut stone were extracted, not only to build the Pont du Gard, but also to construct the various bridges and culvert supports that went into making the aqueduct that stands downstream on the right bank. Another advantage of the stone quarry’s location on the edge of the Garden river was that the rock could be transported by boat to the building site on the river’s right bank.

The above history notes taken from our Daily Planner on the ship.

Next: Truffles

More photos on Instagram.

 

 

Palace of the Popes Avignon

Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region, is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. It remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791. This legacy can be seen in the massive Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace) in the city center, which is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts.

The Avignon city walls constitute the 2nd longest continuous wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China. It is 4.3 km’s long!

Our tour would start with a walking tour of the City before heading to the Palace of the Popes.

 

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Part of the wall surrounding Avignon

 

As you walk through one of the many passages of the Wall surrounding Avignon you begin to realize what an amazing place it is.  Many tourist pages on Avignon say once you stay you won’t want to leave.  I can agree with that.  Although if you read all my posts I want to stay at every village we visit.  I’m sure you the reader will also think the same once you get the opportunity to visit France.

 

Once inside it’s a maze of tiny little streets with many shops and cafes.

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One of many tiny street in Avignon
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Belle Époque Carousel at the top of the square

Then you come to a huge square called Place de l’Horloge. Here, you find the City Hall built between 1845 and 1851 over a former cardinal’s palace of which it has kept the old fortified tower, transformed into a belfry in the 15th century with clock and Jacquemart. Next to it, the municipal theatre, also from the 19th century, houses the Avignon opera and, all the way at the top, the delightful Belle Époque style carousel still turns.

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Le Theatre Opera House

 

 

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14th Gothic Century clock-tower with life-sized figures on the top, known as ‘jacquemarts’, that strike the hours.  Unfortunately my photo isn’t very clear for you to see the Jacquemarts.

 

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Pierre Corneille at the front of the Theatre
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Statue of Molière at the front of the theatre

 

Originally the forum of Avenio, the city’s name under the Romans in the 1st century BC, the  Place de l’Horloge is still the “centre” of Avignon. A meeting place, bordered by cafés and restaurants, the square is always bustling. Just like the Place du Palais higher up, a vast esplanade where you could spend the day just watching all the street performers in summer.

 

 

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In front of the CATHÉDRALE NOTRE-DAME DES DOMS D’AVIGNON
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Inside the Palace of the Popes

“The Palace of the Popes is the biggest building ever built during the Gothic period. It stands in powerful testimony to the presence of 9 popes who lived in and reigned from Avignon in the 1300’s. Construction of the Palace took less than 20 years, and took place between 1335 and 1352. Two popes were the primary builders of the Palace: Pope Benedict XII, who built the first pontifical palace (now referred to as the “Old Palace”), and Pope Clement VI who built new extensions, referred to as the “New Palace”.”

 

Priceless Frescoes –

Photos are not allowed of these Frescoes unless you use no flash. As it is not very light in the Palace I decided to not even bother.  The flash of cameras destroy’s the Frescoes.  As we went through the palace they had TV screens with a story of the Palace and the Frescoes.  Here is one I took.

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However, you see so many tourists taking photos with flash.  Why dont people listen?

While we were at the Palace of the Popes we were lucky to see an exhibition of Contemporary African Art.

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Contemporary African Art

 

Did you know there were 9 Popes in Avignon – 7 Popes and 2  Schismatic Popes. More here on the web page Palace of the Popes

 

After our tour ended we had time to wander around the town of Avignon. We walked down little laneways.  Some used Segways see photo.

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I prefer to use my feet

 

Down another laneway we found this.  Another blogger Julie from http://www.anotsoyoungwomanabroad.com gave a great hint.  Always look up, you never know what you’re going to find.

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What you find when you go down little laneways

 

Eventually we found ourselves in the huge square where our lovely friend Tanya was enjoying the sunshine.

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Tanya in front of the Belle Époque Carousel

Muriel and I decided we would take in the atmosphere of Avignon and have a coffee and perhaps cake to share.

As I’m gluten-free, its sometimes hard to find something to eat. We wandered around taking in all the sights and sounds.  What a beautiful and romantic place Avignon is.  I know I know I probably say this on every blog post.  At least I’m consistent lol.

In France if your gluten-free all you need to know is Sans Gluten.  We were in luck we found a cafe that had a cake that was gluten free or Sans Gluten.  Even luckier it was chocolate!  Coffee and cake get in our tummies!

 

 

We both throughly enjoyed our coffee and cake.  I will say though its not like we starve on the cruise ship.

After our cake and coffee we wandered around a bit more.  We really didnt want to leave this amazing place.

 

However, we knew we had to get back to our ship as our next tour would be at the Pont-du-Guard.  On the way over to Nice I had watched the movie Paris can Wait with Diane Lane.  She was in Under a Tuscan Sun which gave me the travel urge to visit Tuscany.  Yes I will get there one day.  The movie really showed France off, more like a travel documentary than a movie.  They stopped by at the Pont-du-Guard.  When you see it in the flesh up close and personal its just breathtaking.

 

Next: Pont-du-Guard

 

 

Pont Saint Benezet – The Bridge of Avignon

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Pont d’Avignon at dawn
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Pont d’Avignon
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Pont d’Avignon
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Pont d’Avignon
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Pont d’Avignon

As we were having breakfast our ship was sailing into Avignon.  We passed by the famous  Pont Saint Benezet – The bridge of Avignon.  This bridge was built in the 12 century and is made famous by the song – Sur le Pont d’Avignon.but it is better known as the Pont d’Avignon on which one dances, as the song says. The dance actually took place under the bridge and not on the bridge.

Chorus

Sur le Pont d’Avignon
On y danse, On y danse
Sur le Pont d’Avignon
On y danse tous en rond

On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there, we all dance there
On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there in a circle

1st Verse

Les beaux messieurs font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The fine gentlemen go like this (bow)
And then again like this

2nd Verse

Les belles dames font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The beautiful ladies go like this (curtsy)
And then again like that

3rd Verse

Les filles font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça

The young girls go like this (salute)
And then like that

4th Verse

Les musiciens font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The musicians go like this (they all bow to women)
And then like that

If you type in the “song of the bridge of Avignon” several U tubes will come up and you can sing along also.

 

The bridge is known for its amazing construction.  Twenty-two arches spanning 915 meters / 3,000 feet ! The bridge has been washed away many times by the floods of the Rhone. The bridge is Classified World Heritage by UNESCO. Today there are only 4 arches left of the 22.

According to the legend, the bridge was built in the 12th century by a young shepherd from Ardèche – Bénezet – who heard voices telling him to build a bridge in Avignon. The bridge was completed in 1185, creating the only place to cross the Rhône between Lyon and the Mediterranean sea. The bridge originally spanned approximately 900 meters and had 22 arches. It was dismantled in 1226, then rebuilt. It was later washed away several times by flood waters and rebuilt until it was abandoned in the 17th century. Today, all that remains are four arches and a chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas.

Muriel and I didn’t get a chance to dance on the bridge as after the tour of the of the Palace of the Popes we decided to grab a coffee and a gluten free cake at one of the many cafes.

As we passed by the bridge they played the song over the intercom.  We all sang along, even those of us who knew hardly any French.

 

 

Next : The Palace of the Popes

 

 

 

 

 

Les Baux de Provence

After the Olive Farm we headed to Les Baux de Provence.  Our coach slowly wound its way up to the parking area.  There was a short walk from the parking area to the Village, where many restaurants, cafe’s and souvenir shops along the little cobblestone roads.

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The view from the coach as we approached Les Baux de Provence

 

The village of the Les Baux de Provence is a very picturesque Medieval village at a fortified rocky plateau 245m high.  Its situated between Arles and St Remy-de-Provence.  Les Baux is well worth visiting for the ancient village, the extensive fortified Château area, the magnificent setting, the views and the museums.

It is a must see.  If you’re in Provence then do not miss visiting this amazing place.

Its only 15km from Arles and 25kms from Avignon.

The village has no cars, so you can wander anywhere without fear of having to jump out-of-the-way.   Reportedly over one and half million tourists visit Les Baux de Provence every year.

 

The name “baux” means a prominent cliff  but has become more well-known for the bauxite named after this region. Bauxite was first discovered in the Alpilles, and named after the village of Baux-de-Provence.

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What an amazing view at the top
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What a glorious view!
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The map of Les Baux de Provence
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View from the top overlooking Provence
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The Catapult

 

Back in Medieval times, the amazing views that we see today were used to keep a look out for invaders.  It was a stronghold for the Baux Wars and the Wars of Religion.

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Anyone for lunch?
Some of the wares sold in the shops
Anyone for a spoon or fork?
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Souvenirs from Provence
Little narrow laneways
Its amazing what you find when you go off the beaten track
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Little restaurants and cafes everywhere

When you look at any page on line about this amazing village is the same as what we thought “its one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. ”

 

The village is rich in heritage with over 22 historical monuments, such as the church, town hall, Château, hospital, houses even the doorways.

At the top we were greeted by these strange sculptures.  I have tried to find out information on them but I am unable to find anything.  If any of my readers can enlighten me I would be most thankful.

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strange sculptures at the top of Les Baux de Provence.

 

So if your ever in Provence do not miss out on visiting this amazing place.  I wish we had more time to explore more of the village.  Our coach was waiting to take us back to the ship for lunch and then we were off to explore Arles.

Words were hard for me on this post as its such a beautiful and amazing place that I felt pictures would be better to capture how wonderful it is.  I hope to get back there again one day to explore more.  Perhaps a glass of wine in one of the many cafes and restaurants.  I hope this has inspired you to visit this beautiful village or perhaps you have already been.

 

To be continued:

Next an afternoon in Arles.

The Olive Farm

After a hearty breakfast aboard the ship, those of us who were going on the morning tour to the Olive Farm and Les Baux de Provence boarded our coach.

It wasn’t a very long drive to the Olive Farm.  Moulin du Calanquet Saint Remy de Provence .

The road leading to the Farm House was surrounded by petunias  and olive trees.

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The road leading to the Olive Oil Mill – Petunias and Olive TreesOlives
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Nothing but a sea of Olive Trees 

Growing up I never really had a taste for olives.  Even though our neighbors were Italian it was one thing that I couldn’t understand why anyone ate them.  I used to think they were bitter.  One time when visiting my daughter in Sydney, I happened upon a little cafe/deli near where she lived.  They were Greeks and they had heaps of olives (and coffee).  They allowed me to taste a few and it actually gave me the desire to want to include them in my life.  I now do not think Olives are bitter, they have a wonderful taste and seem to take on whatever they have been marinated in.  My brother and his wife have an Olive Farm in the South West of Australia.  They have won many gold medals for their oil.

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Olives

Our Tour guide gave us an insight into the history of the Olive Farm.  Five generations of Saint Remy farmers and are the descendants of the poet Frédéric Mistral.

In 2001 after 40 years of no production of Olives in the Saint Remy  de Provence they began olive oil production as a community  at the Calanquet oil mill,”Its name stems from the lovely site on which it is built, in the countryside 4 kilometres from the centre of Saint-Rémy, on the old Roman road. It originates from the word “calan”, meaning a rock used as a welcome shelter from the Mistral.”

This was to be the first we would hear about the Mistral winds. These winds are famous for there cold dry northwest wind which blows down through the Rhone to the Mediterranean  and reach speeds of over 90 kms an hour.  (I wonder if the good ole Mistral fan is named after these winds)

 

From the official website of Moulin du Calanquet Saint Remy de Provence .

“THE HISTORY OF MILLS IN SAINT-RÉMY

The Greeks and Romans grew olive trees on the northern slopes of the Alpilles. On the Glanum site (a Roman town 1 km north of modern St Rémy) there is a large stone slab intended to support an olive grinding wheel in the corner of the “Doric portico” and traces of a press on the western side of the Rue des Thermes. From the Middle Ages to modern times, oil was produced for home consumption only.

In Saint-Remy-de-Provence, there is evidence of the work of mill owners during a number of periods. In 1829 there were 3 mills producing 450 hectolitres over the year. In 1888, two mills employed 24 workers and operated until 1956. In addition, the third mill in the “Impasse du Lapin Blanc” (now rue Hoche) was still operating at the start of the 20th Century.

But the olive plantations painted by Van Gogh suffered from periodic frosts, especially those of 1889 and 1956. Production fell from 800 quintals of olives in 1912 to 125 quintals in 1930. After the catastrophic frost of 1956, the last remaining mills became oil merchants in Saint-Remy-de-Provence and the region, then ceased to operate. In 1969, over 3000 olive trees were declared to be “regenerating” and 400 were planted.”

 

 

 

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Our tour guide explaining all there is to Olives.

Many famous French and European chefs are connected with the olive oil and other products.

The walls are covered with photos of these chefs.  Here are just a few.

 

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Many photos of famous chefs line the walls.  We will later in the tour go to one of Paul Boscue famed restaurants. 
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The Millhouse and shop
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Tasting all different Olives 
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Jams 

Once inside the mill we were taking through all the different process’s of production.  From oils to tapenades to jams.

I love the way the French – European serve wines with there food.  Today was no difference.  We were able to taste so many products along with having a few (lots of sips) of wine.  Glad we were on a coach and not driving.

The Mill also has a shop and you can buy anything from the local area.  Of course olives etc are the main stars.  They also have an online shop.  Do yourself a favour and check it out and if your in the area do drop in.

Olives

After a very yummy and informative morning we were then off to Les Baux de Provence.

 

 

To be continued:

 

 

 

Arriving in Arles

The bus trip was a bit long and to top it off one poor lady coughed most of the way.  She sounded awful.  Later on the second leg of the trip up the Seine people were dropping like flies with the flu.  It turns out that’s what she had.  Probably needed a mask and antibacterial wipes….for us. Our cruise director from last year told us to avoid anyone with a cold etc and sit away from them.  We did the best we could.

It was so lovely to finally board our ship.  The ship the MS AmaCello was at the port of Arles on the river Rhone.

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MS Amacello in Arles

 

 

 

Check in was very quick and we had a quick shower change and went up for the “Port Talk” with our cruise director.  Oh dear and could he talk.  Port talks are a quick run down of whats going on the next day.  We also found out he expected everyone to come to the talks.  Last year, the cruise director was happy if just one person of each group attended.

 

The four of us settled in on the couches and had a few sparkling wines as he talked.  Not sure if we actually listened to it all.  It had been a long day.

 

As the talk was winding up we sent Peter down to the restaurant to find us a table. As dinner is at one setting it can get a bit hard to be able to sit with your friends.

Dinner didn’t disappoint, and as usual I was well catered for my dietary requirements.  No gluten, fish or peanuts.

Dinner is usually about 4-5 courses with wine with each course.

After dinner we made our way up to the lounge to listen to the music and have a few more drinks.  Perhaps even a bit of dancing! Oh and singing.  Muriel, the eldest sister didn’t disappoint and got up and sang along with our  resident musician who would be tinkling the ivories for the cruise.

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Muriel singing with our music mastro.

 

One of the best things I like about traveling is you get to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life.  We were already traveling with our friends Peter and Tania who  we met on the cruise from the year before.  This year we had the pleasure of meeting Val, a wonderful inspiring lady who was traveling on her own.  Unfortunately her hubby was to have traveled with her but a few weeks out broke a leg.  Lyn does that remind you of anyone?

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Val our new friend

 

Eventually we went back to our rooms to finish unpacking as we would be on the ship for 7 days.

Our cabin was really nice. Enough storage space for 2 people.  Computer/TV with in house movies and news programs.  Shower and toilet.  Muriel and I had twin beds with plenty of room to move around.  We were on the bottom deck this time with just small windows.  That didn’t matter as the room would only be used for sleeping and showering etc.  We had wifi in our rooms although sometimes when in port the wifi was very slow.

 

On our beds was our Daily Cruiser.  This explains what we are doing the next day.  Some tours are for everyone and some you choose between 2-3 tours.

We had decided to do the morning tour to Les Baux de Provence and the Olive Farm visit.     We would do a self walking tour of Arles in the afternoon.  We would have plenty of time to wander around Arles as our morning tour was due back roughly by 1pm and the ship wasn’t departing Arles until the early hours of the morning.

Finally we were in bed and looking forward to our cruise up the Rhone.

 

Night night – to be continued:

 

 

 

Nice with Friends

 

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Peter Muriel and Tania with the Little White Train in the background.

One thing I can say about breakfast at hotels in Europe is “lots of food”.  You name it its there.  From bacon and eggs to croissants and fruit.  You can eat as little or as much as you like.  Lots of tea and coffee as well and fruit juices.

We then all went back to our rooms finished packing and met down in the lobby.  The hotel (and most hotels in Europe offer this) have room for storage of our bags.  Explore Nice without lugging around the bags.

The hotel receptionist called a taxi for the 4 of us to go into town.  We didn’t have long to wait and within minutes we were in the city.

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Payment required to be on this beach in Nice

The taxi dropped us of at the promenade.  The blue waters didn’t disappoint us.  The 4 of us walked along the promenade taking in all the sights.

The promenade was very busy.  Lots of people walking, running and quite a few Tour groups on Segways.

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Segways on the Promenade in Nice

It was hot again and the beaches were packed.  We took many photos of the paragliders as they were getting ready to take off, to the boats roaring out into the blue water with the paragliders being swept up into the blue sky.  7 minutes they are up in the air.  For me that would be 7 minutes of pure hell.  I hate heights lol.

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I could watch them all day.  I love Nice.  Paragliders

 

Muriel and I had spoken at great lengths about the Little White Train to Peter and Tania. So after soaking up the sun and all the action on the boulevard we went and lined up to go again on the amazing trip.  Doing it again for the second time I actually saw more than the day before.

We arrived up at the peak and went and took photos of the view over the Bay of Angels.

If you do nothing in Nice but the Little White Train then to me that’s plenty. On the website it says it takes 30 mins, however as it’s a busy time in Nice during summer the whole trip was an hour.

The little white train got back  to the Esplanade and we  realized that we had better find a taxi to get back to the hotel.  We were to met the  rest of the tour group at 2pm at the Nice Airport.

Our taxi took us back to the hotel and waited while we got our bags. Then dropped us at the Nice airport.

It was easy to find our tour group with the APT signs up.

A lot of our group were flying in that day.  We would rather arrive a day before just to get into the time zone.

So about 3pm we boarded our busses to take us to Arles where we would board our river ship.  It was roughly a 3 hour drive on the coach.  We stopped at one of those roadside cafes to have a bit of a walk get a cuppa.

Finally around 6pm we arrived in Arles.

The next chapter of our holiday was beginning.

To be continued:

 

The Little White Train that could- Nice France

The Castle Park (Parc du Chateau),

We went down to where the Little White Train was parked.  Many people were already sitting in it so we asked the driver and he said to hop on and he will come and get the money.  It was only 10 euros each for adults and 5 euro for children 4-12.

So we found a seat and waited for the adventure to come.  After waiting for no more than 5 mins we were off on our way.  We went down the Promenade des Anglais towards the port.   Then it veered left and went into the Place Massana, then through the flower market.  We went through small little laneways that any other vehicle unless a bike wouldn’t be able to get through.  Passing cafes with many patrons sipping their coffee and eating pastries, I could have easily lent out of the train and had a sip or a bite to eat. We meandered through the old town of Nice, back onto the Promenade des Anglais round to the Port of Nice via the Place Garibaldi.

 

We began to climb up a steep hill to where once many years ago a very impressive Castle.  You could see people climbing up the stairs, perhaps if I was fit I may have “tried” that,  The little white train was doing the climb much easier than if I had climbed the stairs.  At the flower market there is a lift you can use also.

The views were amazing.  We passed the ruins of the Castle – Castle Park (Parc du Chateau / Colline du Chateau). The train stops at the top for about 20 mins.  There is a little cafe where you can get cold drinks or ice cream.  Muriel and I were more interested in the views.  You could see all of Nice with their orange roofs in one direction or look out over the Bay of Angels.

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Roof tops Nice
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The Bay of Angels – Nice

 We boarded the little white train and it weaved its way down the hill and around the Port up the Promenade De Anglais to where we first boarded.  The trip took over an hour.  Although on the website it says 45 minutes.

We then wandered through the park to come across a festival. Decided a drink was on the agenda.  Every cafe was full to overflowing so we wandered into a Macdonalds and got a drink and a seat.  It was very hot.  When we came out we flagged down a taxi to take us back to our hotel.

Our friends we met on the trip the year before were flying in this evening from England. Peter and Tania would arrive around 9pm and would catch up with us in the lobby/cafe at the hotel for a couple of drinks.  They were staying in the same hotel.

So we went for a lie down and then a shower to freshen up.

We went down to dinner around 7pm.  Lovely restaurant it was by the pool.  We ordered drinks and something to eat and to wait for our friends.

Their flight would take around 45-50 minutes from London to Nice.  How nice it would be to live in Europe and only have a short time to travel and your in another country.

Muriel and I were trying to stay awake when finally our friends arrived.  They were exhausted and I think so were we so we had a drink a bit of a chat and decided to catch up for breakfast before going into Nice for the day.

 

To be continued:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of the holiday

I was flying to Perth for a few days before heading to France with my sister Muriel.  It was so we could have a catch up with Paula who unfortunately was not going to be coming with us.

I was driven to the airport bus and encountered my first little issue.  It was cold while waiting and I went to use the bathroom in the foyer.  Only to find it locked, so I went to the reception and was advised I would have to get the key from either cafe at the front of the building.  Somehow both had steps going into their establishments  and with my suitcase, backpack and camera case plus my body was a bit sore I was wondering how I was going to do this.  Mother nature was not going to wait so I managed to get the key.

Then the bus pulled in and I got a seat half way down the bus.  Suddenly, I realized I had left my thyroid medication at home.  3 weeks without my medication was not something I even wanted to think about.  With a bit of help from my housemate who sent a copy of my thyroid medication via the phone and my best friend in Perth, who called a compounding pharmacy and they said they would be able to organize it for me.  We picked it up on the Sunday.  Lyn was lovely and had already worked out if we couldn’t get any she would let me have some of hers.  That’s  what friends are there for.

Arrived at the airport and checked my bags in and then went and had a wine at the wine bar.  Could have had a few more but thought getting on the flight a bit under the weather was not a good idea.  So I then went and enjoyed a coffee and a slice.

My flight was ok, no inflight entertainment as I only had my phone and hadn’t even thought about downloading the app to watch movies.  So I actually read a magazine!

My sister was there to pick me up and we went to her place where we had a cuppa.

Next morning, Lyn arrived at Muriel’s and off we went to church.  Yes you read it. Church, no bolts of lightning, fire or wrath!  Just a lovely church service and morning tea afterwards.

Lyn then took me to visit her Mum who has been in hospital for a while now. Her mum was on fire and was in such good form.  It was a lovely time.  However, she can change at a drop of a hat.  Lyn if your reading this I do understand.

After the visit we went to a local pub for something to eat and drink.  It was nice, good food and good company.

Later Lyn dropped me back at my sisters and we had dinner together then Lyn went home.

Monday we were all meeting for lunch at the Herdsman Pub.  Lyn, Muriel, Paula, Richard – who met on the cruise last year and me!

It was a great lunch lots of laughs. We talked about last years holiday and our trips we were all about to go on. Richard was going on a small ships trip and would still be away right now, I think.

Tuesday, I went to the hairdresses near Muriels place for a shampoo and trim.  I had some streaks put in my hair the week before I was leaving, to hopefully not allow the grey to be the shinning light on my head . Last minute shopping, then finish packing the suitcase and we would be heading off.

Just after 5 we were picked up by friends of Muriel and taken to the airport.  This time we were flying with Emirates and going via Dubai.

Lyn met us at the airport and we enjoyed a cuppa and something light to eat.

We then checked in for our flights and luckly we managed to get seats next to each other.

Said goodbye to Lyn and we went through customs and passport check.

We were about to head off to France, 2 weeks on cruise ships!  Holiday of a lifetime!

Our friends Peter and Tanya who are in England were flying to Nice where we would meet them at the hotel in the evening.

Our flight was boarding – Nice France  here we come!

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L to R – Richard, Muriel, Lyn and Paula
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Right to Left – Paula, Lyn, Muriel, Richard and Me – Bree

 

15 days till France

This time last year the 3 sisters were in Europe.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have even thought that I would be going back.

In 15 days Muriel and I will be boarding a flight from Perth to begin our journey. I am flying to Perth on the Saturday before to spend a few days with family and friends.  The 3 sisters will be catching up with another traveler we met on our cruise last year.

I am in the excited, anxious phase of have I got everything, do I need anything.  I have all my medications ready to go in my backpack. My clothes are sorted and my shoes.  I am getting my hair trimmed and a color put in it tomorrow.  Muriel has booked me in for a trim and shampoo on the Tuesday we are flying out.  A girl has to look good.

I have decided to leave the Mac Air at home and just take my phone and camera.  Just in case rules change while we are away with having lap tops in the cabin.

I will be posting pictures on my Instagram account @3sistersabroad.  and my Facebook page.  I will try to post a couple of blog posts while away.  Will depend on internet and time.  I know from last year we were on the go from the minute we woke till we put our heads on the pillow.

 

The countdown is on!

 

 

 

15 Films Tag

My wonderful blogging friend  Cheila did this Tag the other day and as I read hers I was like “I must do this”.  So here is my list.

 

Favourite Film

I have too many to make one stand out.  So I will be doing the same as Cheila did.

1  Happiness Never Comes Alone – a 2012 French Comedy –

2. Just like Heaven –

3. The Lake House

4. Under the Tuscan Sun

5. Gone with the Wind

6. Sleepless in Seattle

7 Les Visiteurs –  The Visitors -1993 French Movie – Hollywood did a remake in 2001.

8   Spoorloos – The Vanishing – 1988 French Dutch movie – Hollywood did a remake in 1993.

9 Anything for Her –Pour elle – 2008 French Thriller – Hollywood did a remake in 2010 called The Next 3 days.

10 Oscar and Lucinda

11. Red Dog

12.. All the Indiana Jones Movies

13 Picnic at Hanging Rock

14 The Notebook

15 Midnight in Paris

16. Schindlers List

Favorite scene from favorite film

So many in Happiness Never Comes Alone, watch it and let me know what you think. Here is the link for the promo when it was coming out.  It never showed all  the bathroom scene but that’s hilarious.  I love the bedroom scene 🙂 I love the whole movie.!

 

Favorite actor:

Again too many.

Gad Elmaleh

Harrison Ford

Sophie Marceau

Reese Witherspoon

Sandra Bullock

Keanu Reeves

Dianne Lane

 

 

 

 

Favorite Director:

Stephen Spielberg

David Lynch

Ron Howard

Deborah Lee Furness

Gillian Armstrong

Peter Weir

 

 

 

Film that makes you cry the most:

Red Dog

 

Film Saga you have given up and why:

I dont think I started any to not finish.

Favorite cinematographer Genre:

Romantic Comedy

Least Favorite cinematographer Genre:

Horror

Childhood Film:

The Sound Of Music

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Cinderella

 

What Film You Would Like to Star In?

Under the Tuscan Sun

In what film you would like to live?

Under the Tuscan Sun – would love to live in Tuscany.

 

Films you want to watch:

None at the moment as they all seem to be action packed movies at the moment or end of the world type movies.

 

What’s your favorite cartoon film?

Cinderella

Films you would recommend:

any I have mentioned

Films that made you laugh:

Happiness Never Comes Alone – had to watch it several times as I laughed so much I missed bits.

 

This was so much fun.  Everyone is welcome to do this Tag, just let me know so I can read your list.  By the way this is my list, Bree the youngest of the 3 Sisters.  I would say Paul and Muriel have a different list to me.

 

Have a great day and thanks for reading

 

Versatile Blogger Award

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The wonderful Isabella from Wanderlusting Isabella has nominated our blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Isabella is from Brazil but is currently living in Toronto Canada.  Isabella normally writes in Portuguese but is writing this blog in English. With a blog name of Wanderlusting you would think it’s about Travel? Well your right there.  I thank you so much for this nomination Isabella. Every time we are nominated for an award it really makes me feel honored and loved.   Please do yourself a favor and  check out her blog.

 

  • What’s the Versatile Blogger Award?

Well, bloggers nominate other bloggers who they believe deserve recognition for their high-quality standard of writing, the uniqueness of content, passion and love displayed throughout the site and to top it off, amazing photos!

  • Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.
  • When my eldest daughter was doing Jazz Ballet I joined the mothers class and learnt to dance also.  It was fun.
  • I read a novel a few years ago, it was about Belly Dancing and I thought why not!  So I found a class and it was the best way to exercise.  We laughed and laughed.  I even did a routine in the  end of year concert.
  • At one stage I had my ears pierced twice in each lobe.  I was going to do more but then I changed my mind.  Now I have none!
  • I often looked at tattoos and would think one day I would get one.  Now I know I won’t as I am too much of a chicken.  I love to see really good ones though on others.
  • At Primary and High School I would design houses in my spare time.  My mum even got me drafting paper so they were all to size.  I enquired as to what I needed to be able to fulfill this dream of mine, but I was never very good at maths.  So I realized I wouldn’t be able to achieve this dream I had.  I used to go and look at Designed Homes and then go home and change them to what I thought was a better design.
  • I love watching cooking shows.
  • I am in the cheer squad of my football team.  The mighty Fremantle Dockers.  Their colors are purple and white.  When they first came into the Australian Football League the colors were purple, white, Green and Red.  What a combination 🙂

 

 

Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.
  2. Nominate up to 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.
  3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Nominees- Don’t forget the rules and pay it forward to other bloggers too.

My Nominations are – drum roll please

Cheila has an amazing blog..  over at https://pinkfordays.wordpress.com. Cheila has so much to share with everyone and is one of my best blogging friends.  She is lives in  Lisbon in Portugal and is a teacher/tutor.

Kris over at https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/welcome-to-my-new-blog/  has just started in the blogging world.  I met this lovely lady via Cheila.  Do you think there is a theme going here?  That’s two blogs I like that are pink!

Esther from Richer for Travel, I met in a Facebook group called Medical Musings with Friends another wonderful blogger friend Sam started.  Esther has travelled extensively and her blog is very witty .

Sam I would nominate you but I know your busy with the blog etc.

Yes I know it says 10 of my favorite blogs.  I am sticking to 3 this time.  Please go over and check out these blogs. They all have something to offer all of you.

Blogging has certainly brought so much delight and so many friends. I throughly recomend it.

Paula, Muriel and myself  – Bree thank everyone for following our blog.  Its blown us away with all your love and friendship.

 

 

 

Picture Tag

The stunning Jules from Blonde’s Tea has gone out of her way and created her very own tag! How impressive?!

A Message From The Creator:

Blonde’s Tea, creator this tag, got tired of seeing the same tags all around and decided to create a simple tag where you just have to post one picture of five different themes (e.g. your favourite picture of yourself, the best picture you have ever taken, a picture with your sibling, etc.) that will be given by your nominator. You don’t have to have photography skills or anything, it is just to spread lovely pictures on your blog and bring back lovely memories.”

A few days ago Bea  from https://beafreee.com  did this picture tag that her friend Jules from Blonde’s Tea created. I was like I must do this post.  Please go over and check out her blog also.

 

Rules:

  • Paste the text about the creator and the tag (the text above).
  • Post the 5 pictures that stick to the themes given.
  • Nominate 5 people (or just as much as you want).
  • Give 5 themes for your nominees pictures.
  • Notify your nominees about their nomination.

 THEMES TO YOU:

  • Favorite photo of yourself
  • A photo of your favorite vacation
  • A photo of your funnest day
  • A photo of your pet
  • A photo that makes you happy

 

FAVOURITE PHOTO OF ME

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A selfie

 

MY FAVOURITE HOLIDAY – PARIS – LUXEMBOURG GARDENS 

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JARDEN LUXEMBOURG

FUNNIEST DAY 

We had to wait ages for our hop on hop off bus, when this came around the corner everyone laughed and said here is our bus …there were 20 of us waiting.

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HOP ON HOP OFF BUS

MY PET DOG SALLY 

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SALLY AT THE BEACH

 

BETTY

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BETTY AT THE BEACH

THIS PHOTO MAKES ME HAPPY.

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3 SISTERS OUR LAST DAY IN PARIS

 

MY THEMES TO YOU:

  • Favorite photo of yourself
  • A photo of your favorite vacation
  • A photo of your best friend
  • A photo of your pet
  • A photo of the best day of your life

Your all nominated…

 

June is Worldwide Lam Awareness Month

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Can you say Lymphangioleiomyomatosis?

Let me break it down for you – Lymp -angio -leio- myo -ma – tosis.  What a mouth full.  Us Lammies and the medical profession call it Lam.  So much easier don’t you think!

What is Lam  or Lymphangioleomyomatosis you ask?  Here is the link to the Australian Lam organisation.

http://lamaustralia.org.au/what-is-lam/

“Lymphangioleiomyomatosis is commonly referred to simply as LAM. It is a rare lung disease affecting women.

Caused by a single cell malfunction, the disease process replaces the lung lining with smooth muscle cells. This change progressively reduces the uptake of oxygen into the bloodstream, causing breathlessness, especially on exertion, and other diverse symptoms. These usually appear when women are in their childbearing years.  Because LAM is so unusual, many doctors are unfamiliar with the disease. It’s not unusual for LAM to be misdiagnosed initially as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or depression.

There are 2 types of Lam.  Sporadic Lam – is not inherited . Caused by a random gene mutation and affects mostly women.

TS/Lam – is associated with Tuberous Sclerosis and is heredity. It is slower to progress than the sporadic Lam and less  debilitating than sporadic Lam.”

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When my girls were little I began to experience mild asthma.  My doctor advised me to use an inhaler only when i truly needed it.  I was told I had bronchitis or bronchial/asthma.

Winter would be the worst season for me.  I would go a couple of years and be ok only to get so sick it would go from a chest infection to pneumonia. Still I was told it’s the flu season/winter/bronchitis.

If it wasn’t for a friend I met on a Thyroid Facebook group who was trying to find out what her COPD was, I would still be none the wiser.  She had looked up her symptoms on the internet and it came up with Lam and Tuberous Sclerosis.  She had emailed the Professor at the Alfred Hospital in the respiratory department re her symptoms and he advised her it wasn’t Lam.  However, she let me know his details and I thought ok I will email him.  Within a couple of hours he had emailed me back to tell me to get to my GP and ask him for a high frequency CT Scan.  I was still in denial as to my thinking was why didn’t one of my doctors mention this to me.  Especially when they knew of my TS involvement and my “asthma bronchitis”.

So off I trudge to see my doctor who organized  the  test however he was pretty sure I didn’t have it.  He was also under the impression that surely in the past a doctor would have diagnosed it.

I still remember that day in March 2013, when I went back to get the results.  He called me in to his office and I sat there happy in my mind he was going to say “no your clear you do not have Lam.  Instead he sat there and said  “its positive” I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me.  Everywhere I read on the internet was that it was a 10 year death sentence from diagnosis. I felt numb. My doctor immediately wrote a referral to the professor at the Alfred Hospital.

I searched Facebook for groups for people with Lam. I wanted to know I was going to be ok.  In those early days I was scared but didn’t tell anyone of my fears.  I didnt tell my workmates or some of my family.  If I  was scared, then I didnt want them to be scared. I wanted to find out more before I told anyone.

I found out from one group that there was an Australian Lam group.  I joined and found such amazing wonderful caring ladies.  One of the ladies rang me and we chatted for a while.  Certainly put my overworked brain at ease.  I was told there was a clinic the following month for the Lam ladies and to see if I could get into it.  I rang the hospital and was told yes I could attend.  These clinics are every 6 months and most of the ladies meet for lunch after the clinic at one of their homes

That day of the clinic was scary.  I was in the waiting room with all these other Ladies who also had Lam.  Most had  Sporadic Lam but there were a couple of ladies who were just like me, TS/Lam.

I had a walking test, I had to walk for 6 minutes and they checked my time (I don’t think I won any gold medals for the walk) and then I had a lung function test.  Also a blood test.  This is to check the oxygen in the blood. Then I went into to see the Lung specialist.  I was terrified, I had no idea what was next.  My lung involvement she said was mild.  Showed me the lung pictures and you could see little white dots all over the lungs.

That first lunch was the start of some wonderful friendships.  I realized that there is life after a diagnosis of Lam.  I was inspired by these ladies.  Some had been diagnosed for years yet they were living their life.  A few are on the new drug Rapamycin or Sirolimus. This drug has been a life saver for many who have Lam.  It was first found on Easter Island  in soil bacteria.  The drugs name came from the islands native name Rapu Nui.  It is a naturally derived antibiotic, anti fungal and immunosuppressant.

Since my diagnosis, I have a preventative I use every morning and night.  I have had a couple of times where I have had to take extra medications.

One time  was really scary and my doctor was going to admit me into hospital to have antibiotics via intravenous drip.  I attended a lam clinic during this and was put on stronger antibiotics, stronger preventive and  Prednisolone  I had to attend the clinic every 6 weeks until they could see an improvement then 3 monthly, then back to 6 monthly.  The hospital doctor also sent a letter to my GP advising that when I get a chest infection to treat it as if its pneumonia.

A few weeks ago I had to take some prednisolone for a few days as I had weather affected Asthma.

When  I go shopping or walking the dogs, I always take a puffer with me.  When I travel I take with me antibiotics, Prednisolone and extra inhalers. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

I count my lucky stars every day.  Lucky for me that this rare disease  is mild. Some are not so lucky.  In the 4 years that I have been diagnosed quite a few women have passed away from this disease.  Their condition so severe that they die waiting for a lung transplant.

*x-rays do not pick up this condition* 

In Australia there are  approximately  104 women diagnosed with Lam, these  figures are from 2015.  There are probably many others, however they have been misdiagnosed with other lung conditions such as Asthma.

“Facts about LAM

  • LAM is not caused by lifestyle choices
  • LAM is not contagious
  • LAM develops after puberty and appears to be accelerated by the hormone oestrogen
  • Pregnancy and hormonal medication may affect the progress of LAM
  • Average age of diagnosis is 35 years, but most women notice symptoms long before LAM is diagnosed.”

 

Thank you so much for reading and learning a little bit more about Lam and a little bit more about me – Bree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noorilim Estate Mansion – Murchison

Today the View club that I am a member of had an excursion to Noorilim Estate in Murchison Victoria.

http://www.noorilimestate.com.au/golden-age-australia

This Mansion was built in 1879 and since then has had 10 owners.  The first owners were the Winter family.  Its long history has included a sheep and cattle station, a thoroughbred horse stud, private residence and recently a vineyard.

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Noorilim Estate

The property was purchased by the Menzies family in 1998.  Brandon Menzies and his wife live at the property and have recently began holding tours of the grounds and the mansion.

As you drive down the long winding roadway with the towering trees and vineyards on either side, you know your going to be in for a treat.

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The tree-lined driveway with vineyards either side

As the huge double doors opened up and we walked into the entry, all 22 of us.  There was room for many more.  On every wall there was beautiful artwork.  I do remember a couple of pieces were done by Brett Whitley.

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The main bedroom, the bed is so high off the ground you need a ladder to get up onto it. 

 

Not only was this a beautiful mansion so lovingly restored to its former glory, it was like you had stepped into an art museum. We were instructed we could take photos however no close up of the paintings.

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The Entrance  – more artwork.  

Noorlim Estate is classified by the National Trust, is on the Victorian Heritage Register and Register of the National Estate.

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Looking towards the front door – see the artwork everywhere

 

The homestead is surrounded by 22 acres of landscaped botanical gardens that are listed in the top 90 historic gardens by the Victorian Government.  Original tress are Moreton Bay Figs, Date Palms, Bunya Bunya, Hoop Pines, Kurrajongs, Citron Scented Gums, Cedars Elms and Oaks were planted shortly after completion of the homestead in 1879.  Making them some of the oldest specimens in the country.  It’s a beautiful place to  find a shady spot to enjoy a picnic in the peace and quiet.

The gardens and surrounding bushland are home to over 150 species of native birds and mammals including Laughing Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Parrots, Koalas and Kangaroos.

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The lake and geese

After the tour we all had a cuppa and a biscuit then we made our way into the town of Murchison.

I throughly  recommend visiting this magnificent property.  Nothing is roped off, well not today as we wandered around.  A few of us went up the stairs to the bell tower, what an amazing view over the property.  Wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to take some photos I somehow managed to climb the tiny stairs.

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The Tower

 

Many more photos of the Estate will be on my instagram page @3sistersabroad

 

 

 

Aussie Rules Football and Melbourne

 

So are you wondering where Aussie Rules Footy and 3 sisters abroad are connected? We grew up in Perth Western Australia where Saturdays were spent going to the Football. Well I did, by then Paula was living in England and Muriel was married and haAustralian Rules Football can go back as far as 1858, it was inspired by English public schoolboys football. In 1859, The Melbourne Football Club published the first laws/rules of Australian Footy, making it the oldest of the worlds football codes.

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Originally it was called the VFL – Victorian football league.  It was played in all states but initially it was only Melbourne clubs that came under the VFL banner.  In 1982, the South Melbourne club moved to Sydney, where it became The Sydney Swans.  Even today on the top of the players shirts on the back they still have the initials of the SMFC.

In 1987, two more clubs were formed in other states.  The West Coast Eagles- Western Australia and Brisbane – Queensland.  In those days Queensland and New South Wales were predominantly Rugby.

In 1990 they changed the name from The VFL – Victorian Football League to the Australian Football League. Over the next 10 years 3 more non Victorian teams joined. in 1991 Adelaide Football club (South Australia)Fremantle (WA)in 1995 and Port Adelaide (South Australia) 1997. In 2011, Gold Coast (QLD) and 2012 Greater Western Sydney (NSW).  This brings the AFL to 18 teams. They play in all states, even have had games in New Zealand, China.  There are many ex pats all over the world who have started up Aussie Rules teams.

Now when the Eagles came on the scene I was living in Victoria.  Yes, I supported my home team and even went to the airport when they came in to town for the Grand Final. My daughter and I even got to hold the prestigious cup on their victory back in 1994.  We had gone to the airport to meet and greet them after their win.

Then the Fremantle dockers came on board, or Freo or the mighty dockers.  I began to realize that this was my team and began to stop supporting the Eagles.  They were huge back at home and here in Victoria there was only a sprinkling of us.  Oh and their original colors were red, white, green and purple.  In recent years they have dropped the red and green.  Purple is my favorite color.

So where is this going, and how does it connect 3 sisters?  Both Muriel and Paula live in Perth.  So of course they will support the two home teams, its only natural.  Paula loves Freo first then Eagles, Muriel the other way round.  So when they play each other Paula will go for the dockers and Muriel the Eagles.  For me its Fremantle all the way.  I am a member of the club, I am also in the cheer Squad.

On Saturday, I helped with the banner for our team to run through.  That was my first time on the hallowed ground of the MCG – the Melbourne Cricket Ground. To top it off my team won by 2 points.  It was a nail biter, but luckily I had my camera with me so I spent most of the game looking through the lens and taking pictures.

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Our Captain Nat Fyfe for the Fremantle Dockers #7

Of course going to Melbourne takes it out of me.  Its nearly a 3 hour train ride, so that 6 hours of sitting in a cramped train.  With Osteoarthritis in the hip can mean being very sore for days after.  The fatigue is relentless , that brick wall hit me the next day.

To get down to Melbourne I catch the train at 7am and do not get home until after 9pm.  its a long day.  When I arrived I went to one of the many laneways that are famous all over the world and had breakfast.  As it was the Easter weekend, all the cafes that were opened were packed with locals and tourists. Your jam packed in like sardines in a tin and its eat and get out so the table can be used again.  The food was average.

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Euraka Tower – has a “shelf that moves out thats all glass for a birds eye view of Melbourne

I then slowly made my way to the G – as the MCG is known.  Us Aussies like to shorten everything. I took a few photos of the Yarra River, then jumped (well climbed) onto a tram that would get me to the G. I took a few photos around the G, they have statues of all the famous footballers and cricketers.  Yes the MCG also hosts cricket from all around the world.  Last month Adele had her concerts there also.  Its a great ground, seats over 100,000 people, has 2 train lines on either side and lots of trams plus its a quick picturesque  walk into the city along the Yarra River. In 1956 the XVI Olympics were held in Melbourne.

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Plaque for the 1956 Olympics
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View of the Yarra River Melbourne

 

Countdown to France

Hi everyone hope your having a wonderful day.

Yesterday I purchased some new bamboo beach pants and a beautiful plum bamboo top from the Ecco Store in Albury.  I was over that way as I had a doctor’s appointment to get results from a few tests I have had done and some more prescriptions.

I am rapt as the new bamboo pants and top are a size down from what I wore last year.

Its 4 months till we head off.  Hopefully, by then I have had a few physio appointments and helped this stupid hip I have.  The rheumatologist has requested that I increase one of my pain medications.  So tonight I took the larger dose.  Can it work so quickly.  I have been in agony for weeks.  Tonight, movement is still hard but the throbbing pain has dulled.

The previous post I wasn’t sure if it was Osteoarthritis or Osteoporosis.  Its osteoarthritis along with the 2 muscles that hold it in are just hanging by a thread.

My general practitioner yesterday suggested a cortisone injection, to which I rejected for now.  I said i wanted to give the increase of medication and the physiotherapy a go first.

I have heard too many times that a cortisone injection only works for a while and sometimes not at all.

Anyway, 4 months till we fly to Nice and then spend time on the Rhone River and then the Seine River.

 

 

Last Night in Paris

 

Before we left to visit Parc Monceau, we had spoken with the desk at the hotel for suggestions on somewhere to eat.  They suggested La Mascotte and said it wasnt too far from the Parc.  They showed us on the map how to get there.  So once we left the Parc we made our way to the restaurant.  As we walked up the street this photo below shows what we could see.

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Arc De Triomphe

It was less than 5 minutes away from our Hotel!  All that time we had been going right and right ( which now is wrong) which would take 10-15 minutes to get to the Champs-Élysées  and this was right around the corner so to speak!

So anyone reading this if you get up to the Arc De Triomphe you can visit the Parc Monceau also.  Wow what a treat!

As we wandered up the street we passed an Embassy and this was parked out the front.

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Red Car!

 

I had to take a picture of the Red Car!

We found the street the restaurant was in so of course we turned left.  Walked up a bit and there was nothing, no bistro’s or restaurants or cafes.  So we turned around and went back up the street.

 

As we walked up the street, Paula shrieked “there is my tea shop”.  It was closed, it was probably closer to 8pm.  Typical we find the tea shop right around from the Hotel.  You say we could have used google!  Paula’s I pad wasn’t working, Muriels internet hadnt worked the whole time we were away and I just didnt think of it.  Thats the brain fog settling in.

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Mariage Frères

I also had to take a picture of the shop just to prove we at least found it!  260 Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Paris 8e   If anyone is interested.

There were so many bistro’s and Restaurants in this part of the street.  Indian, Italian, French you name it was covered.  We walked along a little bit and found two Bistros right next to each other. One was La Mascotte   La Mascotte – at 270 Rue du Faulbourg Saint-Honore 8E.  We thought we better go in as the desk clerk had made the trouble of booking our table.

The waiter was very pleasant, the prices were not like they are on the Champs Elyses.  It wasnt cheap, but the prices were not inflated for the tourists.  We found out a few things on our last day.  In Paris/France and probably Europe, they serve you wine by the glass, the bottle or “une carafe”   Our waiter finally explained what no one had before.  So we ordered a “une carafe” I think it was enough for 2 glasses each for Paula and I, or half glasses and a wee bit for Muriel to toast our last night in Paris.

On the menu I can only remember what we had for entrée, Paula and I ordered Cooked marrow bones.  Muriel may remember what she had, but for the life of me I can not remember. Out it came, 3 very large marrow bones each!  Had we asked we could have got away with 1 between the 2 of us.

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Yummy Marrow Bones

Like little pigs we ate the lot.  Had I have been at home I would have just picked them up and sucked the marrow out.

Then we had our mains.  Paula had fish, Muriel had steak and I had a burger, which all came with chips.  I didn’t eat my bun, and it was a minced burger, and cooked rare. It was delicious.

Muriel then had dessert. I know because I have a photo of it!  It was pink and looked very cold 🙂

We finished our wine, it was nothing to rave about.  Paid our bill and decided that we  would walk  further down the street a bit more , then we crossed over and walked back up the street.   None of   us wanted to get back to the hotel as it meant our time in Paris and Europe would be over.

This is when we saw the sad part of Paris.  In many doorways there were the homeless setting up their beds to sleep until the morning.  Its happening all over the world, walk around Melbourne or visit Central Railway Station in Sydney and there are the homeless.

I lost count of the times we kept saying why didn’t we just come this way when we first arrived in Paris.  It actually was lucky for us with the shops being closed, we would probably been over the limit in our bags for the trip home!  So we window shopped.  Much cheaper.

I love the flower stalls everywhere in Paris, just so beautiful.  This was one on our way back to our Hotel.

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Florist

We made our way back to the hotel past the Embassy, and turned right on the opposite side of the Parc Monceau.  It was getting dark and as I turned to take another picture I saw this.  I then crossed the street and took some more pictures up close.

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Whenever you see the sun reflected in the window of a building it is an angel

We then turned and made our way back to our hotel.  It had been an amazing 2 weeks.  We had seen so much in so little time.  We had literally walked nearly all of Paris. Tomorrow we were leaving for the airport at 8am so we had to be up very early.  Our flight was due to leave at 12 Noon.

More on the evening/night and our flight in our next post!

 

3 Sisters Abroad

#3 Sisters Abroad.

I was turning the big 60 last year and my sisters thought a trip over to Europe would be the way to celebrate it.  They left it up to me to which one we did.  So then the confusion started. Do we do a cruise, a train trip or a bus trip or combine them. I was on the internet looking at trips, cruise’s.  The house was filled with travel brochures and any spare time I had would be reading them, marking them and then charging my mind.  By the time I had made my mind up (and that can be hard to do), we were then booked on a cruise that would leave Basel in Switzerland and head up the Rhine to Amsterdam. This cruise was for 7 days and 3 days in Paris.  It was decided that we would stay another couple of days in Paris and stay a night in Zürich on the way to our cruise.

Just before the bookings closed I asked my long time friend Lyn to join us.  Lyn was also turning 60 so it would have been a huge celebration.  She jumped at the chance.  The two of us talked every day on Facebook about what we were taking, buying etc.  So excited.

Unfortunately 7 weeks before we were due to fly my dear friend had a freak accident that ended with broken leg foot etc with plates and several screws.

First Tip: Always make sure you have travel insurance.

We 3 chatted on the phone regularly  sent emails on  what were we going to pack so we could  share the load.

I hadn’t traveled since 1999, when I went to the States for 4 weeks. Before that I had been to Thailand a lifetime ago and Great Britain back when I was 16. My 2 older sisters have traveled a bit more than me.  My sister Paula had been to Europe many times and the last time to Paris was only 4 years ago. Muriel the eldest, has been to Egypt, Hawaii , London, Paris and Singapore.

3 Sisters. would we fight, argue, or just enjoy the time together .  Who are we?

Muriel, the eldest, a widow, a teacher, mother of 3 children, several grandchildren and great grand children. Loves to dance and sing and plays the piano.

Paula, married and still in love with her hubby Mike,  mother of 3 children, 2 grandchildren. Loves to travel, garden and my co partner with the wine.

Bree – me,   single (divorced but it was a long time ago) Mother of 2 children.  Loves to read, dance, walk the dogs, Tai Chi and help Paula finish the bottle of wine. Travel, my heart now wants to travel and travel I will.  I also have 2 Rare Diseases, Tuberous Sclerosis and Lymphangioleiomyomatosis – Lam Lung Disease , Hashimotos Thyroid Disease, Meniers Disease, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, high blood pressure, Anxiety .  I think that’s it.

This blog is about our Trip to Europe, the funny bits, the not so funny and the wonderful places and things we saw and did.  The people we met on the trip, the long-lasting friendships

There will be some tips on what to take, what to leave at home.

What worked and what didn’t work for us.

 

 

 

 

The Entertainer Blogger Award

 

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A huge thank you to Lorelle from a mindful traveler for the Entertainer Blogger Award.  It’s such a huge honor to be nominated by a fellow blogger.  Lorelle has an amazing blog full of travels to places I have yet to visit.  You can also find hints and tips and ….Food. a blogger after my own heart.  Travel and Food.  What a great combination.  Please go and check out Lorelle, like me you will not be dissapointed.

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you add link to their blog
  • Add the rules, so others can follow
  • Nominate people who you find fun, inspiring and entertaining!
  • Answer the same questions
  • Include the graphic in your post

Why did you start blogging in the first place?

The idea of this blog started on a cruise ship on the Rhine back in 2016.  The 3 of us had met a few lovely people and we are still friends.  However, there was a weird vibe on the cruise.  3 Sisters who really do not look like each other.  Who were we?  So many questions to us and then they wouldn’t speak to us again.  We were sitting having a few drinks and laughing how one day we 3 will be famous and then they will wish they had made friends with us.  I piped up..” I will write a blog, then a book and it will become famous and a movie will be made.  So I got home and started this blog.  Are we famous yet?

 What is your favourite book?

It’s so hard to have one book that’s your favourite.

Belly Dancing for Beginners – Liz Bryski

Barra Creek – Di Morrissey

The Light Between Oceans – M. L . Stedman

What do you dislike the most?

When people disregard that you’re using a crutch/walking stick and expect you to move out-of-the-way.  Or your on public transport and no one offers you a seat.

 

What is your favourite food at the mall?

I don’t eat at food courts, they usually don’t have anything I can eat.  I am gluten intolerant.  I have often had a coffee though.

What is your favourite pastime?

It would have to be travel.  Whether it’s a drive to the country, a flight to visit my family or a trip overseas.

 

My Nominees 

The bloggers I am nominating  are inspiring and I have learnt so much from each of you.  Thank you so much for your support .  Your blogs are amazing and deserve this nomination.  I have known these 3 wonderful people since the inception of 3 sistersabroad.  I do hope everyone that reads this post goes over and check them out.

Deepika    https://feetonthemap.com

Emma       https://curlygirlabroad.wordpress.com

Deepika   https://happy08wordpress.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sick? On holidays – Oh No….

I woke up in the morning and I didn’t feel right.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  We went to breakfast.  I only ate a little as I was starting to feel queasy.  We were heading to a Truffle Farm and then to the town of Grignan with a tour of the castle.  A private cocktail party awaited us there at the castle.

We boarded the coach to leave, and then it hit me.  I had to get off the coach and run back to our cabin.  I know Muriel didn’t know what to do I had enough time to say “stay on the bus and take lots of photos”.

 

I ran back to the ship and our cabin and just made it time.  I was very sick.

I laid low in the cabin, watched some movies.  Eventually I felt ok enough to head up to the lounge to make a peppermint tea.  Went back to my room and slept.

When you have chronic Illness’s this can happen at any time. Did I accidentally eat some gluten the night before?  The kitchen and wait staff on the ship were always so accommodating with my dietary requests.  So did I do it to myself?  Was it the heat? August in France can be quite warm and that could have had something to do with it.  I don’t do the heat too well.

They all got back around 2pm so after Muriel had a bite to eat, I was ready to go exploring.  We were moored at a beautiful town called Vivers. I certainly didnt want to stay out of action for too long.  There was time enough when I got home to be sick.  Holidays was not the place.

 

Next post: Truffles….The eldest sister Muriel has written this and provided the photos.  Thank you so much Muriel, you might have to write some more posts.

 

 

 

How I Saw Paris This Week #28 —by Corey Frye from a French frye in Paris

One of my favorite bloggers/tour guide. Corey does tours in Paris and has also started doing live video tours and coffee chats of my fav city Paris.  Check it out.  If you miss the live feed you can catch up with later on his Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everybody! First thing’s first – I’ve just scheduled my next Facebook Live Video Tour. Set those alarms: Note that it’s a 5pm start this time, to help out you Americans on the west coast (8am for you). Sadly my Australian mates will have to stay up even later at night…but I’ll be taking care […]

via How I Saw Paris This Week #28 —

A huge thank you to our followers

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Today WordPress congratulated our blog on obtaining over 500 followers.  We have a lot more of course as some people follow the blog via email.

 

We wish to say thanks for your comments, likes and sharing.

You can catch us on Twitter and also Instagram.

I also have a page at bloglovin and a pinterest account.  Your all welcome to come along and join me on any of these social media platforms.

As present a Facebook page has not been started but that is defiantly in the pipeline.

 

I have also written a couple of pieces for the Mighty.  You can find them here – The Mighty

 

Again a huge thank you to everyone.  This blog is about our travels and also our chronic illness’s.

 

Bree Muriel and Paula xx

 

 

 

 

An Afternoon in Arles

Arles is famous for two things, its Roman ruins and its association with Van Gogh.  However, it’s a beautiful town.  Its right on the River Rhone.  It has open squares with very busy cafes linked by narrow streets lined with quaint houses and shops.

I didn’t know however that Arles has bullfights conducted in the amphitheater, including Provencal-style bullfights in which the bull is not killed.  It’s a team of athletic men who attempt to remove a tussle from the bull’s horn without getting injured.  Every Easter and the first weekend of September, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

It was extremely hot when we ventured into Arles from our ship.  We only had a short walk to the main gates of the town. As with many towns it is surrounded by a wall.  Here is part of it.

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Arles – Part of the wall surrounding the town

Armed with a dodgy map of the town in Arles we were on the hunt to find the Cafe du Forum where Van Gogh painted the world-famous Cafe Terrace at night.  Did we find it, we are not sure.  It was hot so we hunted out the shade of the buildings.  I look at the map now on the internet and yes pretty sure we walked right past it.  I also look at my photos and perhaps we did.

Whether we did or not, Arles is very pretty.

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Arles beyond the wall – gorgeous

 

We wandered past the Amphitheater that also was once used for gladiatorial competitions.  With enough remaining of the original building to give you a good impression of what it would have been like 2,000 years ago.

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Arles Amphitheater – Bullfights and Gladiators

As in many other towns we just kept walking and taking photos.

It’s always important to look up, you never know what you may miss if you don’t.

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Just hanging around.

We seem to come across weddings when we travel.  As we arrived in the square we noticed quite a few people arriving at the town hall.  There were also many onlookers so we found a cool spot to wait and watch.  Yes, it was a wedding but they crowded around the bride we didn’t see her however pretty sure it was a “pink” wedding.

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Guests waiting for the bride

 

They kept us and all the other on lookers entertained for the good part of an hour.  Then all of a sudden they were inside the town hall.

We got up from our cool spot ready to do some more walking.  Coming across this amazing place.  Van Gogh painted Le Jardin De Maison in Arles.  Le Jardin – the garden is very pretty.

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Le Jardin de Maison Arles

This garden or Le Jardin was so cool after the heat.  We slowly wandered around looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers.

We both then decided we would start heading back to the ship for a tall cold drink.

I didn’t want to leave Arles, it seemed to have worked its way into my heart.  I didnt know then but I would feel this way about every town we were to visit.

So much history and as you wander around you never know what you are going to find.  Little streets with so much character.  Bikes propped up outside the homes, beautiful archways covered in vines.

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Little streets, bikes makes Arles so beautiful.

 

As we walked along the Rhone river we came across this.

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Starry Starry night over the Rhone

Van Gogh painted this at night on the banks of the Rhone.  It was only a 1-2 minute walk to the yellow house n the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh was renting at the time.

From here it was a short walk to our ship where we were greeted by cold drinks and a wet towel.  Made our way into the lounge for a cool drink – wine was my choice.

What an amazing day.  We pack so much into each day, it’s always nice to be able to sit in the lounge with a cold drink and relax.

 

Next Stop Avignon – Palais Des Papes