Alla inlägg under juli 2022

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 30 juli 2022 15:04

We are in Travemunde now getting ready to take the ferry to Sweden on Monday. As usual, we started early because Mom knows how the RV parking places get filled up very early, so to ensure we'll get a spot we were going to be there at 10.30 am. 

Did not happen, we were stuck in traffic around Hamburg for almost 4 hours so when we arrived all places were taken.

The parking lot next to it is also crowded but Mom squeezed Lucy into a spot and hopefully, we'll get a real space in the morning.

It has been raining all night and on most of our drive but now it's sunny and hot again. Mom is longing to get back to Sweden because we're out of lingonberries and her favorite cheese.

Yesterday's adventure in Kassel was something else, I'm surprised Mom made it out of bed..................

we went to see the Wilhelmsmöe castle and the "waterkuenste" which is an astonishing feat of hydraulic engineering, with Hercules watching from the top.


The first part walking from the parking lot to the castle was nice, with big trees but the grass is in much need of water.

Nice flower arrangements here and there


 Beginning in the 12th century the site was used as a monastery. Under Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse 1504-1567 it was secularised and used as a castle. This castle was replaced by a new one from 1606 to 1610 by Landgrave Moritz. The current Neoclassical Schloss Wilhelmshöhe was designed by architects Simon Louis du Ry and Heinrich Christoph Jussow from 1786 to 1798 for Landgrave William IX of Hesse.

From 1899 to 1918, Wilhelmshöhe was the summer residence of the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1918, after the armistice ended World War I, the Oberste Heeresleitung, the High Command of the German Army under Paul von Hindenburg was moved here from Spa (Belgium) to organize and lead the withdrawal and demobilization of the German troops. It remained at Wilhelmshöhe until February 1919, when it moved to Kolberg. 

The middle tract of the castle was mostly destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II. The first reconstruction was made in 1968-1974 by the functionalist architect Paul Friedrich Posenenske. He completely reconstructed the exterior but changed the structure of the interior for its new function as an art museum. From 1994 to 2000 another renovation was made to bring it closer to the original structure. One wing was covered in scaffold so repairs are still going on.

the plan is to go up there to see Hercules....................that green thing on top...........


off we go through a magnificent park on a steep hill. 

The layout was devised at the end of the 17th century by Landgrave Carl (1677–1730), who in 1701 commissioned the Italian architect and water engineer Giovanni Francesco Guerriero (1665–1745) to refine and implement the design. Guerriero remained in charge of the project up to its completion in 1717. The Hercules statue was created by Augsburg goldsmith Johann Jacob Anthon, one of the earliest copper-wrought monumental statues in the world


To Landgrave, the structure represented the triumph of art over nature and the omnipotence of human ingenuity. Hercules is the mythological paragon of strength, courage, and resourcefulness. Consequently, the entire layout consisting of the Hercules Monument, the grottoes at its foot, and the water features are a perfect example of a Baroque »architecture of power«. This show of strength by a ruling prince, which is also reflected in the monumental layout of the park, is unique in the world.


this is too pretty to be called "the devil's bridge"  an arched pedestrian bridge that was built in 1826. Its name comes from the cave below, where the underground god supposedly lived 



getting only halfway through winding paths it started to rain so we stopped under a canopy of trees to stay almost dry.

All of a sudden we heard a flute playing, could that be from the underground? so we had to find the music

This man comes up here often to practice because he likes the acoustic he said.


Here's another flute player, but no pretty sound came out from him. Looking at his eyes he looked pretty "stoned"



Of course, Poseidon should have a room here too



There were so many "nooks and crannies" to look into and statues everywhere, some of them really mean looking

as you can see one part of the octagon is under repair 






Ok, Mom so we are halfway up now, here come the 520 steps................there's no backing out now






This gorgeous place and people do this???? smokers suck 

surprised they even made it this far.



we're not at the top yet but Mom needed to stop for a minute but didn't want to admit she was tired so as an excuse she had to "look around" and take pictures



Here we are at the top and feeling good


 The statue of Hercules is located at the top of a pyramid that stands on top of the octagon; the statue and the other parts of the monument were constructed at different times. The monument is the highest point in the Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark.

 It was built in an artificial dell of the Karlsberg (526 m (1,726 ft) above sea level) 

On 23 June 2013, the Mountain park and the Hercules were proclaimed World Heritage sites during the UNESCO meeting in Phnom Penh


Mom could help thinking as she looks up at Hercules "he's going to pee on me" ..................


Unfortunately, the waterfalls are only turned on Wednesdays and Sundays so we didn't get to enjoy that. there's a YouTube video that shows how it works. Quite an impressive ending looking like the"Old Faithful" in Yellowstone


The Wasserkünste (‘water features’) might just take the cake, a gorgeous cascade that runs from the monument all the to the grand fountain. The water runs in stages, allowing visitors the opportunity to amble down alongside, taking many a picture as they go. The waterfalls are lit up in summer, a stunning image that ranks among the most beautiful in Kassel. 

Down half way, Mom felt she deserved a good lunch and she ordered this? 

What's in there for me? guess I had to like tomatoes 



After a nice rest we walked through the forest back to the castle







I was let loose to run because I had lots of energy left.............needless to say Mom was pooped



Here Mom is sitting resting with her back on a pillar looking up at the place we just were and she's already thinking about the pain she'll feel in the morning.



No that's not what I'm thinking about she says. She really really wanted to go inside to see the biggest art collection of Rembrant but no dogs were allowed it says. 

I wait in Lucy I said, but the thought of walking all the way down to the parking and then up again didn't appeal to Mom at all, so we said goodbye to Kassel for this time and continued on the road north.

 Now we're ready for a walk around the harbor and then a nap


all is well 






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 29 juli 2022 20:18

Yepp, we ended up staying at Kassel campsite for two nights while Mom is searching for a new place to look into.

Its lower course of the Mosel" twists and turns its way between Trier and Koblenz along one of Germany's most beautiful river valleys. The river flows through a region that was cultivated by the Romans. Today, its hillsides are covered by terraced vineyards where "some of the best Rieslings grow".Many castle ruins sit on the hilltops above wine villages and towns along the slopes. Traben-Trarbach with its art nouveau architecture and Bernkastel-Kues with its traditional market square are two of the many tourist attractions on the Moselle(what the Germans call it) river, and we stopped at both "again" Mom said


Here's a typical river cruise boat, doesn't look like the passengers are up yet, but not many are as early in the morning as Mom is.


Traben-Trarbach bridge 


This really confused me, I checked all three and it was the same water in all ????

Maybe you aren't the only dog served water here, Mom said


The German towns are so much more colorful compared to the French and that makes for a more cheerful atmosphere we think


Old winepresses are everywhere filled with flowers since they are using a different method to press the grapes now


The grape vines that grow everywhere are super nice and it's giving Mom ideas about her own garden 


It would have been super cool to hear these bells ring, and we were hoping they would do so every hour so we waited for a little while.

it never did.


Mom has become a real expert on finding parking for Lucy and sometimes I'm not sure it's a legal spot.

and In this case, someone else followed her cue

There may be two parking tickets for the police to write.

Mom says she doesn't think they write tickets here because people park everywhere, even on the sidewalks, and double-parking is the norm, which makes it really hard for Mom to navigate Lucy around.

On one of our walks, Mom found wild blackberries so she picked them and had them for supper with buttermilk and a cracker with prosciutto..............just like a Swedish breakfast.


The Mosel is gorgeous with steep hills where the rows of grapes grow so high and steep we wonder how they harvest them.


Lavender was smelling so strong and was so sticky I got several stuck on me

Makes you smell good Mom said


Driving around here can be a little exciting sometimes, especially when the road hugs the house corners and we could stop in the street and reach into their kitchens. Often there's no way to meet side by side, one or the other has to stop and let the other go first.

German are great drivers and flash their lights if they want you to go first, and are excellent at using blinkers all the time.

It's when they get on a bike they get vicious.


We left the Mosel and continued on North to a new adventure which I'll tell you about tomorrow because right now we're both exhausted from today's hike.


Gute Nacht 

and wet kisses to ya all

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 27 juli 2022 05:07

So we stayed at that place we couldn't pronounce for 2 nights. Mom's disappointment of not making it to Barcelona put a little damper on things for a while, but looking at the weather seeing 100-degree temperatures we would have been very uncomfortable.

Now Mom is having trouble finding places that look interesting but being tired of France and the same old villages gray and closed up, we continued North.


Belgium here we are again, and yes it was raining

We are now driving through beautiful area called the Ardennes, which is a region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills, and ridges primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, extending into Germany and France

the elevations range from 1,150 to 1,640 ft [350 to 500 m]

As we were driving along Mom noticed a castle on a ridge and decided to turn around to explore. The towns name is Boullion..........

We came into town on this road just wide enough for Lucy. Luckily it was a one-way street.


There was the direction to an RV parking and after a few very narrow turns we finally made it through a tunnel and over an old cobblestone bridge and parked. Sometimes Mom isn't convinced that Lucy will fit on these streets and maybe not be allowed but so far we've done ok.................as far as I know


This turned out to be a cute little town so we parked for the night and went bike riding back to the town.


The most famous of the Lords of Bouillon was Godfrey of Bouillon, (must be a saucy guy)a leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He sold the Bouillon estate to the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The prince-bishops started to call themselves Dukes of Bouillon, and the town emerged as the capital of a sovereign duchy by 1678, when it was captured from the prince by the French army and given to the La Tour d'Auvergne family. The duchy was prized for its strategic location as "the key to the Ardennes" and hence to France itself. It remained a quasi-independent protectorate, like Orange and Monaco, until 1795, when the Republican Army annexed it to France.

Unfortunately, there were no dogs in the castle allowed? 

I think Mom was a little relieved because the hike up there would have been quite strenuous.


After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, the city was given to the Netherlands in the 1815 Treaty of Paris. It has been part of Belgium since the Revolution of 1830.


the castle is mostly the work of French military engineer Vauban during Louis XIV’s wars of expansion in the 17th and 18th centuries.


  Instead of hiking Mom though we should pedal in the river on one of these things


She asked if it was possible for one person to maneuver and yes they said. Hahaha Mom really struggled to keep us going and especially against the stream. The hike up the castle would have been easier.


The pink flamingos are following us everywhere


The name of the river is the Semois and the total length is 210 kilometers (130 mi) it's very popular for kayaking, which we should have done instead of the paddleboat
This shows the twists and turns of the river


 After all the pedaling we decided to try out the local brew, we both thought it was a little too bitter


We finally got back to Lucy and made supper a lady came on a bike selling homemade icecream .............what great timing we could use some dessert.


It was absolutely delicious............


Following morning we left Belgium and now we are in Germany


We are now driving along the Mosel river and since Mom had a hard time finding a place she and Lucy haven't been to already we finally settled on staying at a place she knew in Bernkastel-Kues a campsite overlooking the river.

It's very nice here and the beer is 10000 times better............



Until Mom can figure out where to go next there may be a two-nighter here too and that's ok because it's very pretty here 



Wet kisses to ya all






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 24 juli 2022 07:51

Good morning in Guignicourt, ............yes you try to pronounce that city name

We were supposed to stay in Reims, the Champagne capital, but because of the Tour de France, there's no available spot to be found. We tried Epernay a town close by where they wanted to squeeze us in but Mom declined so now we're here in Guignicourt.................

Paris was preparing for the arrival of the bikers so we wanted to make sure we left before all the crowds arrived.


Mom sure has a way of choosing the wrong dates for visiting Paris. The last time she was here was July 14 many years ago, and that's the French national day, and needless to say, the streets will be packed with people.

So, since Paris has all these environmental zones we parked Lucy in Versailles 


Another place where I wasn't allowed to put as much as a paw inside the gates? What happened to the dog-loving French people?

Louis XIII built a simple hunting lodge on the site of the Palace of Versailles in 1623 and replaced it with a small château in 1631–34. Louis XIV expanded the château into a palace in several phases from 1661 to 1715. It was a favorite residence for both kings, and in 1682, Louis XIV moved the seat of his court and government to Versailles, making the palace the de facto capital of France. This state of affairs was continued by Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, who primarily made interior alterations to the palace, but in 1789 the royal family and capital of France returned to Paris. For the rest of the French Revolution, the Palace of Versailles was largely abandoned and emptied of its contents, and the population of the surrounding city plummeted.


Napoleon Bonaparte, following his takeover of France, used Versailles as a summer residence from 1810 to 1814 but did not restore it. When the French Monarchy was restored, it remained in Paris and it was not until the 1830s that meaningful repairs were made to the palace. A museum of French history was installed within it, replacing the apartments of the southern wing. Mom zoomed in with her camera to see how incredibly ornate this is


we were told we could visit the park if we walked around the palace, Thank You but no thank you ............if we aren't good enough to visit....................oh well 

The palace and park were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 for their importance as the center of power, art, and science in France during the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in history.

We know a guy in America that would be green with jealousy, but he's no sun king because he's faking the tan


Across from the palace were the Royal stables which were built in anticipation of the move of the Court and government to Versailles. The project was managed by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart and was executed by an army of laborers in record time: in just three years, from 1679 to 1682. Louis XIV’s contemporaries were amazed by the scale and majesty of the stables, whose location, opposite the Palace, testifies to the important role of horses in the representation of power during the Ancien Régime


So we left Lucy in Versailles and took the train to Paris


I heard that Paris is the "city of romance" and sure enough, I just made it off the train when I met a gorgeous girl and we could have hit it off if it wasn't for Mom dragging me away

‘Je t’aime’ .......what could have been


For centuries Paris has been one of the world’s most important and attractive cities. It is appreciated for the opportunities it offers for business and commerce, study, culture, and entertainment; its gastronomy, haute couture, painting, literature, and intellectual community especially enjoy an enviable reputation. Its sobriquet “the City of Light” earned during the Enlightenment, remains appropriate, for Paris has retained its importance as a center for education and intellectual pursuits.



We walked along the Seine  (777-kilometre-long (483 mi) long river) and there were so many statues and ornate buildings we don't know how to keep them all apart.

rejected for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), the Grand Palais is topped by a huge 8.5-tonne art nouveau glass roof. It hosts some of Paris’ biggest art exhibitions, but its role as a 2024 Olympic venue will see it close for renovations from January 2021 to mid-2024.



.The best-known structure in Paris must be the Eiffel tower named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, it was built in 1889 for the World's Fair. It took 300 workers, 2.5 million rivets, and two years of nonstop labor to assemble. Upon completion, the tower became the tallest human-made structure in the world (324m) – a record held until the 1930 completion of New York's Chrysler Building. A symbol of the modern age, it faced opposition from Paris’ artistic and literary elite, and the ‘metal asparagus’, as some snidely called it. The French people can be a little snobbish.........


It was originally slated to be torn down in 1909. It was spared only because it proved an ideal platform for the transmitting antennas needed for the newfangled science of radiotelegraphy.


Sporting six different colors throughout its lifetime, the tower has been painted red and bronze since 1968. Work is underway to strip the previous 19 coats and apply the yellow-brown shade originally conceived by Gustave Eiffel, giving it a new golden hue in time for the 2024 Olympics


Again no dog is allowed to go up in the tower.............what happened to the dog-friendly French people?

A beautiful bride having her pictures taken by the river.

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city, and has been classified as a French monument history since 1975.

In the background are The Invalides



Ornate is an understatement there are so many statues and figurines everywhere, even a Florida lizard in gold


Four gilt-bronze statues watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17 meters (56 ft) masonry socles that provide stabilizing counterweight for the arch, without interfering with monumental views. The socles are crowned by restraining Pegasus.


The nymph reliefs are at the centers of the arches and memorials to the Franco-Russian Alliance. They are both executed in hammered copper over forms.




there were so many statues on this bridge to admire






Les Invalides ( "House of the disabled"), is a building containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. The complex also includes the former hospital chapel, now the national cathedral of the French military, and the adjacent former Royal Chapel known as the Dôme des Invalides, the tallest church building in Paris at a height of 107 meters. The latter has been converted into a shrine of some of France's leading military figures, most notably the tomb of Napoleon



on a pillar under a different bridge stood this guy. Not sure what he's up to, but he looks a little spooky.


Trying to hide a construction site with tarps that have pictures of trees is genius we thought.


If anything rivals the Eiffel Tower as the symbol of Paris, it’s this magnificent 1836 monument to Napoléon’s victory at Austerlitz (1805), which he commissioned the following year.

It was his intent to honor the great French army in some way; a force that he deemed invincible considering they had conquered most of Europe.

It’s interesting to note that the day its commission was ordered was also Napoleon’s birthday. A secret gift to himself, perhaps


This intricately sculpted triumphal arch stands sentinel in the center of the Etoile roundabout - arguably one of Europe’s most chaotic traffic spots. Lucy isn't allowed here now but it would have been interesting to try it out again...........Mom did drive through here in 1980 something and she told me it takes no fear just go with it and hope for the best.


Today the Tour de France bicyclist should be arriving here..............so glad we aren't there

This mighty lion is my favorite so far




The petite palace, we didn't think there was anything "petite" about it.

It's an art museum but most likely no dogs allowed so we didn't even bother to go up the steps.


It's starting to rain and it's getting late, we're both tired so even if we only covered a little drop of what Paris has to offer we decided to call it quits and took a taxi back to Versailles and Lucy. 

We were both sound asleep within minutes .

As I mentioned, we are now relaxing in Guignicourt.............maybe even two nights just to recoup from the big city

The temperature is in the eighties at night and nighties during the day so we're ok now.

Wet kisses to ya all








Av EvaLena Hallgren - 23 juli 2022 05:26

We woke up in a parking lot in Versailles very early (4am) Mom stayed up, and I went back to sleep. Some trucks and street cleaning machines are making too much noise for sleeping Mom said.

Now I'm getting ahead of the story again. 

The fridge was getting empty so Mom went to do some grocery shopping. French people really suck at English, but Mom's French is even worse so I guess that even things out. Mom loved supermarkets where everything is foreign but not everything she brings home turns out to be all that tasty. She does use a translation app. so we're saved from the really weird stuff.


Driving along country roads are getting old, the same little villages, same great fields of crop, and everything seem gray. Every house is built of stone and windows are very small and most with their shutters closed. I think it's to keep the heat out, but it must be pretty dark inside then? I know Mom would hate it.


French farmers are hard-working 7 days a week and we often meet or have to pass loads like this


Anyway, we arrived in LeMans and found a great parking spot for the night close to the old town. By now all these towns start looking the same. Cobblestone streets and gigantic amazing buildings.

But Le Mans is most known for the 24 Hours endurance-focused sports car race held annually, and It is the world's oldest active endurance racing event. Unlike fixed-distance races whose winner is determined by minimum time, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is won by the car that covers the greatest distance in 24 hours. The cars on this track can go up to 405 km/h (251mph)

There's also an old Steve McQueen movie filmed here.

Consisting of both a permanent track and public roads, spectators have the unique experience of being able to drive part of the course before it is closed off for the race (although at a much slower and safer pace). Lucy wasn't up to it

Here's hand and footprint of some of the winners


We strolled the streets early as usual so there were no big crowds.


I'm getting much more used to city noise and Mom is really proud of me for walking along without making a fuzz.

Many big dogs really hate me for some reason and I have been launched at several times, so I'm always kept on a short lead when passing the big guys.

This guy looked very docile where he was laying, but he went stir crazy when he saw me and barked and pulled on his lead. I barked back with everything I have, if it wasn't for Mom holding me back I would have jumped that beast and sunk my teeth into his neck ....................I never back down for anybody.............Yes Mom says that could be the end of the cutest puppy she knows 


It's interesting how many small figures are on walls everywhere, it must mean something ?


Oh sure, here's the pope making a lewd gesture?.............well, that's what we see 


This garden had the biggest snail we ever seen


That's why they need garden tools to match 


This is weird, stick your head in and a tape starts and tells you what you're looking at


At lunchtime, we found a place that was open. (in France most places close between noon and 3)  Mom ordered coffee and a melon salad and water for me.


Mom ended up chatting with a couple at the table next to us (via the translate app) so I got a well-deserved nap


Here's Wilbur Wrights' tunnel which is a tunnel without a roof?

It is also called the four-season tunnel because they plant flowers and change them for the seasons. The tunnel was built between 1873 and 1877. 

Mom says we have to walk through it??? She's trying to imagine how it was used in the very beginning. there was shops and homes where the flowers are now.



The tunnel was named after Wilbur after his air show

The crowd cheered as Wilbur flew towards a row of tall poplars, where Wilbur banked left and turned in a graceful curve, and started flying back to the grandstand. Wilbur maneuvered to fly another full circle at an altitude of 30-35 feet before coming down for a landing only 50 feet from where he had taken off. Wilbur flew for 2 minutes and covered 2 miles; the crowd was hardly able to believe what they had just witnessed. It wasn't the duration of the flight that excited the crowd, but what Wilbur did during the flight that amazed them..
Wilbur, much to his dismay, experienced a mini Lindbergh-like reception by many in the crowd, but even Wilbur was swept up in the post-flight euphoria. After a bit, Wilbur, very calmly, but with a beaming smile, put his hands in his pockets and walked off whistling. In less than 24 hours, Wilbur's flight was headline news everywhere. Even Archdeacon, the vocal critic in the crowd before the flight, publicly admitted that he was wrong. Despite the clamoring requests, Wilbur refused to fly the next day, which was a Sunday.

 On 13 August 1908, Wilbur circled the field several times in his longest flight yet at Le Mans. And, before the largest crowd assembled to that point, Wilbur flew at 100 feet altitude to lessen distractions for himself. Ironically, Wilbur then made a mistake (basically he was showing off) and flew far too low, and the left wing hit the ground. The result was a pretty nasty smash-up, but Wilbur was uninjured. The crowd screamed in delight all the same; one French aircraft designer told a New York Herald reporter that Wilbur was as superb in his accidents as he was in his flights.


The Cathedral of Saint Julien, the seat of the Diocese of Le Mans, is one of the finest examples of Gothic-Roman architecture in all of France. The current cathedral was built gradually over the course of the 11th through 15th centuries. Seems like we seen so many of these Mom is getting them all mixed up


It has beautiful stained glass windows it said in the brochure, but we didn't bother going up there since we pretty much know we wouldn't be allowed in any way..still very impressive or our wiev


Look, someone from Florida is living here??? must be, why else this decoration in their window?


In the afternoon we continued on North but this time Mom decided to get on the toll road, which was a nice wide, and smooth fast drive. When we got off 3 hours later it cost 35 Euros??? Mom thought that was awfully expensive so we'll stay off them in the future. As a matter of fact, Mom is so ready to get out of France, but we still have Paris.

Actually, we've done Paris already but that's a story for tomorrow. 

Now it's time to get on driving a bit

Wet kisses to ya all


Av EvaLena Hallgren - 20 juli 2022 13:21

Lazy days resting

The campsite turned out to be the best one we stayed at so far so we'll be here one more night. It rained last night and the temperature is now 85 which feels great and Mom is starting to wake up from her heat coma............


Because of the extreme heat last night we had an awful night and didn't get up early to do the bike ride to the castle and get back before the heat hit us. So change of plans we drove as far as we could and parked to walk the rest which as it turned out 2 km......It was already getting hot so we both started to dread the return walk. 

No worry, Mom said by the time we're ready to go back the buses have started to run..............ok great I thought.

Until this sign popped up....................Don't worry Mom said, we'll figure something out

Oh Noooo I hope it's not going to be a scene.


We are at the UNESCO-listed Mont-Saint-Michel.

It's looming dramatically on the horizon and defying some of the highest tides in Europe. It was for centuries one of Europe’s major pilgrimage destinations and today, 2.5 million tourists from around the world flock here every year and we're doing our best to beat all that


This was one long walk 2km (1.25miles) but the good part is no crowd, but .............8 am and it's already hot. Mom better figure this bus ride back out ,scene or no scene.


Through the medieval period, several other imposing monastic buildings were added to the site and the main abbey became a center of learning, attracting some of Europe’s greatest minds and manuscript illuminators. Scores of pilgrims visited but English forces were kept resolutely out by ramparts at sea level.

Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 meters] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply (to 256 feet [78 meters]) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. The causeway, however, has become a barrier to the removal of material by the tides, resulting in higher sandbanks between the islet and the coast.



We loved the narrow steep streets with restaurants and shops on each side but at this early hour, only coffee bars had opened



  two hours later this street was PACKED......





We continued walking up and up me pulling Mom of course   

and here it goes again the "No dog" sign to get into the abbey

The island was originally called Mont-Tombe but became known as Mont-Saint-Michel in the 8th century, when St. Aubert, a bishop built an oratory there after having a vision of the archangel St.Michael It rapidly became a pilgrimage center, and in 966 a Benedictine abbey was built there. In 1203 it was partly burned when King PhilipIIof France tried to capture the mount. He compensated the monks by paying for the construction of the monastery known as La Merveille (“The Wonder”).

The island, which was fortified in 1256, resisted sieges during the Hundred Years' war between England and France (1337–1453) and the French Wars of Religion (1562-98). The monastery declined in the 18th century, and only seven monks were living there when it was dissolved during the French Revolution (1787-99). It became a state prison under Napoleon (who reigned from 1804–15) and remained a prison until 1863. In 1874 it was classified as a historic monument and restored.


Well, we didn't get to see the abbey which was unfortunate so the only solace for that is to stop and eat something preferable sweets according to Mom  Me? anything goes



So many walkways to explore besides the abbey so we were ok with that after a coffee and a delicious sherbert and a liter of cold water 

Before all the tourists came Mom started to fantasize about how it would be living like this and then found out it has 

a population of at least 50 people.


there's a hotel here and it would have been really cool to stay overnight and experience the island at night

Some of the buildings in the village houses a community of nuns and monks.


It's 11 am and time to get back before the worst heat and there are the bus.............. let's see Mom work your magic now.


Oh no, don't ask THEM!


Here's the magic.............

Mom bought the biggest bag she could find in a store, and put me inside with a strict command about keeping still and quiet.

She put the bag on her shoulder and her hand on my head ready to push my head down if needed. 

I got it and stayed still and quiet to fool people I was a stuffed animal.................it worked splendidly


It's Wednesday afternoon just relaxing and making new plans for tomorrow.

Feeling good 

wet kisses Henry



Av EvaLena Hallgren - 19 juli 2022 14:32

Another very hot and sweaty day but we're doing ok since we just found a Mcdonald's where we got ice. Nowhere else do they serve anything with ice here in Europe. We got 3 of their largest cups which is like our medium. It's been so hot that our own refrigerator isn't keeping up making ice cubes.

Oh well, according to weather rapport it's supposed to cool down soon. If not we'll turn north again 

Mom is really messing up what day of the week it is and I don't care to keep a tab of that either, so let's just say "the other day"

We got up super early to walk around Omaha Beach and it was great without crowds of people.


Omaha Beach lives in legend as the site of one of the most amazing battles of World War II. And what happened here was just part of a vast effort to reclaim freedom. On June 6, 1944, the Allies crossed the English Channel and landed along 60 miles of Normandy beaches to set in motion the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. Operation Overlord included five separate landing zones and 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops. Code names for the beaches were Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Omaha is often the focus of Americans.


Of course, being up this early, no museums were open, but we looked around outside and in the windows.

this was some kind of thing Germans used to stop more troops coming in from the water


Historians agree that the landing on the stretch of about 5 miles that is Omaha Beach was the most difficult of a day of unimaginable difficulties. This beach turned out to have the largest number of German troops. Allied bombing runs failed to take out German strong points. The beach was riddled with mines and obstacles. Also, stormy weather and navigation issues led to men drowning before they could even reach the beach. Those who gained the beach faced a fortified sea wall and high bluffs from where German artillery rained down on them. But by the end of this Day of Days, the Americans claimed a toehold of about 1.5 miles on the shores of Omaha Beach.


We climbed up on top of these dunes and it was tough (especially for Mom)in the heat and we weren't carrying any equipment

The troops must have had one hell of a time


Next, we drove to the American Cemetery in Colleville-Sur-Mer. On a windswept bluff above Omaha Beach, this peaceful cemetery is the final resting place of almost 10,000 American soldiers who gave their lives in the battle for Normandy. The rows and rows of graves attest to the price paid for liberation in one small corner of the world.

 there was a gate and the "no dogs allowed" sign again. Not much to do about that 

so on we went


Many museums and many tanks were displayed in several museums around this area but Mom's morning hours meant nothing was open. It doesn't really matter though because there are always "no dogs" signs in those places and I and Mom are a team, we go together.


These flags are flying in many states in the USA too, it's a reminder about the hometown heroes. Looks like this guy got a medal from Eisenhower? 

The next stop was about 3,5 hours away, but it took much longer because that is calculated on the speed you're allowed to drive which is 130 km and Lucy prefers 90km.

We are now at a wonderful campsite in a town named Fougeres it just so happened that Mom refused another day without a shower. Washcloth washes aren't the same, especially in this horrific heat.at worst it was 113 degrees, but on the weather rapport they promised a cooler temperature soon, and they're right it's only 91 now.

Mom says we're staying here a couple of days because we need to relax (read SHE needs to) We also need to do laundry, clean Lucy, and do nothing .........

I'll tell you about today tomorrow..

au revoir


Av EvaLena Hallgren - 18 juli 2022 19:14

Goodbye Belgium and hello France


We are now in Rouen or actually, we were because we are somewhere else now. We stayed the night at a marina not far from the inner city and nothing around so Mom cooked despite the heat.


it has become super hot here now, (35-40C) even warmer than in Florida, but it's still cool at night so sleeping is good.

We got up very early while it was still cool, and went for a bike ride along the river Seine into town.


Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, the population of the metropolitan area is 702,945 (2018) Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. From the 13th century onwards, the city experienced a remarkable economic boom, thanks, particularly to the development of textile factories and river trade. Claimed by the French and the English during the Hundred Years' War, it was on its soil that Joan of Arc was tried and burned alive on 30 May 1431.

 Severely damaged by the wave of bombing in 1944, it nevertheless regained its economic dynamism in the post-war period thanks to its industrial sites and its large seaport, which today is the fifth largest in France

We never figured out why there was Lego pieces covering some of the bomb holes, but it added some color to all gray buildings



Saint Joan of Arc church was built by architect Louis Arretche and it sure stands out as being so different, the project was also controversial in a city that houses many beautiful medieval Gothic churches

Inside, 13 stained-glass windows from 1520-1530 form a glass wall of 500 square meters, bathing the interior in light. These fine windows were originally set in the choir of the Saint-Vincent church which was destroyed during the Second World War (its ruins are still visible today on the rue Jeanne d’Arc). However, precautions had been taken and the windows were put in safe keeping until they were incorporated into their new home some 40 years later

We peeked in through the door and were quickly told to get out. I guess their God doesn't like dogs.


Despite the devastation of the Second World War, Rouen still has about 2000 half timbered houses dating back to the late Middle Ages.


Rouen’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is another of the city’s iconic buildings, reaching 151 meters into the sky and dominating the city’s skyline. From 1876 to 1880, it was the tallest building in the world until the Cologne Cathedral stole its title. Today, it remains the tallest cathedral in France.


It was early and no one was around here so we walked in to look around. it's huge and even here some of the old stained glass windows saved from the war were used thus have stained-glass windows dating from as far back as 1210


The cathedral, built and rebuilt over a period of more than eight hundred years, has features from Early Gothic to late Flamboyant and Renaissance architecture. It also has a place in art history as the subject of a series of impressionist paintings by Claude Monet

Across from the Notre Dame Cathedral is the tourist office, also known as the oldest Renaissance building in Rouen, dating back to 1509 and now labeled a historical monument


Every street had amazing buildings and some streets felt a little dark like something bad had happened there, I have a great sense of that kind of stuff, and sure enough, there's a mummified cat and morbid carvings in the old timber walls.

The grounds of the Aitre de St. Maclou have been steadily used as burial grounds since Roman times. However, during the Black Death of 1348 when 3/4 of the area’s inhabitants died, the site became a cemetery. By the 1520s more room was needed and in 1533 construction was finished on the East, West, and North aboveground ossuary galleries.

 In 1705 the buildings were emptied and destined to be a school for poor boys. Despite damage from the war, revolution, and naughty pupils the site stands today and is still a fine arts school.
It's early Sunday morning and the market is full of people, It smelled delicious there and I tried my begging way into several booths but to no avail ?? What's wrong with these Frensch people
I bet you this kind lady bought some goodies for her dog Moooooomm I'm hungry
You always are she said

But she gave in and we sat down and ordered something. French people do not speak very good English so Mom just guessed and this was a very good grilled cheese for 9 Euro 


The gothic architecture of Rouen is the Church of Saint-Maclou. The church is known for its five gabled archways on its front and flying buttresses, both of which are staples of the style; in this case from the Flamboyant period. This striking church is nestled among Norman half-timbered houses, forming a combination that perfectly embodies the aesthetics of Rouen.


Street musician plays the accordian


The astronomic clock lies on a Renaissance arch that has spanned the street since 1527.  The Gros-Horloge itself dates back to the 16th century and its movement from 1389 in fact, it contains one of the oldest mechanisms in all of France

The two faces of the clock display 24 rays of sun against a blue starred sky

The dial’s diameter is 2.50 meters. A single hand ending with a depiction of a lamb shows the hour. The moon phases are indicated in the oculus above the clock face, in a sphere of 30 centimeters in diameter. It completes a full rotation in 29 days. There is also a hand showing the week, inside an opening at the base of the dial. It is decorated by allegoric characters: Diane as the moon (Monday), Mars (Tuesday), Mercury (Wednesday), Jupiter (Thursday), Venus (Friday), Saturn (Saturday), and Apollo (Sunday)


here's a colorful street. We observed that French shopping is only what's going on in the streets. No shops open at all and that's pretty nice we thought.


The Palace of Justice, in the historic center of the city, was built in 1499 to house the Exchequer of Normandy (a judicial institution that also functions chamber of accounts).

The site became the headquarters of the Parliament under King Francis I in 1515, and it turns into a courthouse after the French Revolution.

Symbol of prosperity in the early sixteenth century, the building is an example of the Louis XII style. Historical Monument in 1840, the palace is very affected by the bombings in April and August 1944 and must be then an identical restoration which will only be completed in 1970 and will justify a new ranking.

This was all fenced in no visitors were allowed at all?


after several hours walking around we biked back to Lucy and packed her up ready to drive to next place 


Goodbye Rouen, it was a great visit.

The next stop was Omaha Beach and it was crowded very crowded and they weren't happy with RVs at all because every parking lot had a bar across the entrance preventing Lucys' height to make it in.

Mom didn't give up though. we went back to town and parked at the library, made coffee, and had Fika

She figured most people will leave in the evening and she was right.

We drove back and found a spot for the night, I think our neighbor was living there for a while,but had no problem with us staying the night.


I had a great time running on the beach.


Mom was very impressed with this father and son building a fort together in the sand. They were our neighbors too


Early morning we drove back to the memorial and had breakfast in Lucy with a spectacular view. After a few pictures we continued on to where we are now. 

Mom is tired of writing so I'll tell you more tomorrow.

It is horrible hot here but fortunately, it cools down a lot at night 

Sun is down and we're so ready for bed

 Au Revoir à demain