January 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Winter always finds me dreaming of travel. This year, we are definitely going back to Europe. We are overdue to visit with friends, and there are posters, there are always posters to be tracked down.
I think the trip will go like this:
We always have to fly out of San Francisco. Sigh, When will Oakland become a real international airport? Oh well. Love the architecture of the I.M. Pei designed SFO International terminal.
This time, we will fly into Germany, and rather than simply going thru customs there, will actually leave the airport and visit with friends. We are hoping to see some great architecture, some castles, visit salt mines, and go on ski runs in the sun.
I have to figure out the train schedule to see what our next move will be. But we will definitely spend time in Paris with our family who lives there.
While my children have been to France a number of times, I am determined that they know the names of all of the monuments, so we are going to do a tourist trip, an attempt to touch everything from L’Arc de Triomphe Carrosel to Arc De Triomphe L’Etoile. Of course we will be stopping for Jardin de Luxembourg, Tuileries, L’Orangerie, the Bateaux Mouche, The Promenade Plantee, Opera, Rue de Rivoli, Bois de Boulogne, Place des Vosges, the Marais, and more.
I can only take so much of any city in the hot summer, so after 4 or 5 days in Paris, we will head to the country.
Where, it will, without fail, also be hot. We have enjoyed exploring Provence in the past, where the wind or “Le Mistral” picks up in the afternoon, howling like a banshee and making the shutters crash if not battened down. On our last trip we visited Ardeches, saw the incredible rock formation, and swam in the cold river. Provence offers a rich experience of the past. The villages are heartbreakingly beautiful, with houses of stone, winding cobbled streets, wooden shutters, window boxes and planters stuffed with roses and pelargoniums.
The landscape of Provence is made up of chalky, craggy hillsides, dotted with olive trees and surrounded by fields of lavender and sunflowers. There are ruins on many hills, old fortresses built into the hills, with vantage points in every direction, overgrown stone stairs, and crumbling turrets. You also find restored castles, full of art and tapestry, furniture, weapons and gift shops. For these you will pay admission.
Now that we know where we are headed, one big choice remains. Should we fly Air France or United Airlines?