These are from Calais, the day I entered France.
My travels so far have put me through Calais, Paris, Lyon, St. Maxime ( St Tropez), Monaco, Genoa, and currently I am in Rome for ten days spending time with my wife and daughter. I could spend three months exploring Rome and not have enough time to see everything Rome has to offer. I also still have found the nicest people I have met on my trip have been at the hotel in St. Maxime. They would be successful any place in the world they set up shop. Everywhere else I have been met with some hostility to me being American. I’m sorry I did not learn your language. Please do not fault my ignorance, I will still spend money with your establishment. They do not care. I am only ” the stupid American tourist” I will have to post information about the hotel in St. Maxime. It is right in town own the other side of the bay to St. Tropez, but being in the center of a small village makes up for the lack of the black view, and the proprietors more than make up for any discrepancy missing due to the lack of a sunset view. I will travel there again.
Rome…to be standing in a city with this history is spiritual. The center of Christianity. We toured the Vatican yesterday and St. Peter’s Basilica today. On every corner I found beauty, even in the chaos of the hectic traffic with 100’s of scooters jockeying for the pole position. It is the most crowded city I have ever been in where I felt completely safe walking even the darkest alleys. Gigi and Lauren even felt completely at ease. We can’t even do this in the town we come from let alone anyplace in America.
More pics an Tuesday next week, back on the road to Venice via the coast route. Until then. Ciao.
Saint Maxime, the other side of the bay from St-Tropez; on the Mediterranean Sea, in the summer. Now this is beginning to look more like a vacation! Imagine Cancun mixed with Beverly Hills, mixed with Santa Barbara. That’s what Ste-Maxime is. Across the bay are the cruise liners anchored in St-Tropez. Gourmet restaurants everywhere, shopping for everything and the beach covered with lotioned bodies of every shape and size. Sorry folks, the commercials lied. Not everyone is tanned and beautiful in St-Tropez, but they do have good tans. “For that St-Tropez look”….
The weather has finally turned my way and I’m enjoying back roads and scenery with wineries, old monasteries, small villages, and not so nice people. Seems the French really don’t like us, or rather they don’t like that we don’t speak their language. Quite often I have asked for assistance and I ask, “do you speak English” the reply is yes and they understand my question but when it comes time to answer, they speak only in French. It takes a few times to get the person to answer in English so I can understand. Most also look at me like I’m an idiot. I may be, but a civil answer would be appreciated. Still it’s a beautiful country to explore. The farther south the better, it’s more to us “Americans” liking. Wineries mixed with shopping and the beach. What more could most of you ask for. And some great back roads to explore on a motorcycle.
There have been a few friendly exceptions; I met a family from Norway on the ride down today. Great people. Very nice and wonderful to talk to. They spoke enough English to allow us to have good conversation. They are on the way to Cannes to also escape the rain. Another exception was the hotel clerk where I’m staying tonight; Hotellerie De La Poste. The most friendly and helpful young girl I’ve met in France. She and the hotel have gone out of their way to accommodate me-dumb American and all. I suppose there are many others just as nice. I hope I find more like this place.
Tomorrow off to Cannes and south to Italy…..or maybe I’ll stay and work on my tan.
Bet you’re all too old to get that one. I’m not. It’s been raining for the past four days until this morning, hence the Donavan day. what do I mean by that? OK….” Sunshine came softly through my window today”. About stinking time. So I was in Lyon this morning, and it was finally a sunny day so it’s exploration time. The photos below are a compilation of quick snapshots from my pocket camera as I was traveling in the rain to get here to Marseille. I will caption them later.
That was a few days of snapshot camera photos. I will be posting the better ones once I edit and crop for best visual. Yea the stuff I do to make my junk look good. Made it to Marseille and I will stay here for a few days to dry out and see the sights. Seven hotels later and I got a nice girl at the best western to find me a room….at another hotel. Apparently with all my gear on I looked more like the hunchback of Norte dame so she quickly found me a room on the other side of town. 🙂 Seems Marseille is the cultural capital of France so it’s a busy town. Add in the cruise liner crowd waiting for their ship to come in and the hotels are always, always, always booked. If your ever thinking of a place in France, this is Far better than Paris, and you better book way early. I was told rooms are booked a year in advance for the good ones. Warm Mediterranean Sea and sunshine always bring the tourists, both American and the rest of the world. English is such a minority language spoken here, and the locals don’t tolerate us Americans not knowing French…or Spanish even though they know English. From what some have told me; if I know your language, why don’t you know mine? Stupid American.
Tomorrow, motorcycle adventures on the back roads and alleys of this very beautiful city. Hope to post videos as well.
Arrived! Well at least I’m here, but without my motorcycle. It’s here too….somewhere. So far I’ve already spend £100.00 in taxi fares to get to my hotel. That’s $177.00 dollars. Jeez! Wouldn’t be much of a problem except I found out that my motorcycle is west of the airport about three miles, meaning I will need to spend another £100 or so to hop a taxi back to where where my bike is just to assemble it, then ride back. Not bad, almost $400.00 to get around London before I pick up my motorcycle to start my European adventure. Thank God for cheap gas- NOT. Over $8.00 per gallon for regular and almost $10.00 for premium. Hope my motorcycle can operate on regular. Spot tracker up and running tomorrow morning. Photos too. Right now it’s time for a good Cuban cigar and a glass or two of wine before getting some sleep.
My hotel shot with my iPad. Sorry no camera images yet. Tomorrow…I promise.
Don’t know when I’ll be back again……yea I know, lame. Sitting here in at LAX waiting for my plane to London. But I really don’t know when I’m heading home. All depends on the weather, how much fun I’m having touring Europe solo, and if my wife, family, office allow me this freedom. In approximately twelve hours I will be in London and the adventure begins, although in some ways it already has. It seems my motorcycle never made it off the truck when being delivered to Parklane BMW Motorcycles in London. They refused it! WTF! After countless emails and two phone calls to the dealers service department to secure the delivery so my bike could be unpacked and reassembled for the start of my journey, they refused my bike on the day it showed up at their doorstep. Now my bike is in some warehouse at Heathrow airport still crated and I will now need to find it, open the box, (I screwed it closed with a screw gun as required), with a hand screwdriver, unpack it, and put my motorcycle back together myself….and this is all before I leave for the Chunnel. Oh yea, it’s supposed to rain on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’d say the adventure has already begun. See you on the other side of the pond. Pictures guaranteed.