A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about beach

Mykonos, Greece

A zen day.... Beach anyone?

sunny 28 °C

Happy Birthday Robin. Face book and text messages have been sent and Robin was wished a great birthday. I was going to say wish we were there, but the better choice would be, wish you were here.
Charlotte had given us Priority Tender passes so we got ourselves ready and we were the first ones on the first tender. Another ship arrived later and docked. To dock means a bus ride into town. I prefer the tender. We had wandered through the town as it was coming awake and found a beach and were in the water by 9am. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves the whole morning. Clothing optional beach as it turns out. We started wandering back and mad a stop at Nick's taverna for pop and espresso before wandering again. There are some old windmills on the point and we wandered into one. It stunk!!!! It was full of feathers; dead birds, eggs and when you walked up the stairs you met the birds and local cats. There are cats everywhere and many of them look terribly unwell.
The roads/lanes are various widths and pedestrians share the road with, bikes, something like a golf cart and cars. You just step to the side and let them pass. One car almost took the cloths off a window display as it squeezed by. One lane was so narrow I had to take off my backpack to get through.
The Island is only 33 square miles and the population is only 5,000 that swell with tourists who are there for the beaches and nightlife.
We did not meet him, but the town mascot is a pelican named Petro II, Pertos I was struck by a car some ten tears ago.
The houses are box like which is a little unusual for the Islands. The maze of streets is pretty standard as they were built this way to confuse attacking pirates. Villagers, who knew the town could lead the pirates into an ambush. While searching for the 'Chinese' store to look for some pants that the server at the taverna was wearing we stumbled into a little jewelry shop where we made a small purchase.
Finding our way back to the tender we had our usual salad and headed to trivia, as the seniors were nowhere to be found. We won the first game, but really there was only the three of us playing, although our score was pretty good. Did you know Thomas Jefferson was the first president to sit on a toilet in the Whitehouse? The second game was a tie and we had to have three tiebreakers to pull into first place. Jonathan from Mexico was our activity staff member. He speaks five languages, but he still has to work some as his dad spoke nine.
Turns out Joyce and Doris braved the tenders and had wandered through the stores at the port and arrived back a little later ready for a drink. I love that the Celebrity meets you at the dock with couches, tents, cold towels and a cold drink before you board. Ahhhh...I also love the looks from envious passengers on other cruise lines.
We caught the show Remix, it was good, some numbers were not very tight but this group is on a new contract and it will tighten up. The tapping was better than the other night. I was tired and drifted through some of it.
We moved to the entertainment court so that we could get seats for Joyce and Doris for the Dancing with the Stripes. Charlotte came over and already had our names down for the competition. We owed her for the tender tickets so we agreed. Roger ended up with a wonderfully talented young women, I got Boris and Tracy got the head chef. I danced off against Tracy and they did lifts and dirty dancing so there was no competition ... Tracy and the chef moved onto the next round. In Roger's group the couple that beat them went on to win the whole thing. It was wild and fun and some times it was even dance. Each group got three dances chosen randomly. There was cha cha, ballet, interpretive, bollywood, and so on, the final dance off was a merenge.
Tonight sitting on the veranda writing this it is hotter than last night and muggy. Time for sleep.

Posted by Mari Anne 23:37 Archived in Greece Tagged greece mykonos beach dance sunny espresso Comments (0)

Juno Beach

A chance for Roger to visit Juno Beach where his dad landed on DDay.

semi-overcast 19 °C

  • I expect it will be an emotional day.

It was a great day. We picked up bus tickets for the coast and spent the morning in Bayeux. First a bag of fruit from the farmer's market and a visit to a garden fast food place where we had a drink before visiting the Bayeux Tapestry. This is the history of William the Conqueror; formerly know as William the Bastard. Quite an amazing piece of work. We were given headsets with the narration in English. We started the narration and were able to pause it as needed so we would not get ahead of the story. Some people had theirs very loud and did not seam to get you can stop and start. There is also a Japanese painted scroll that depicts Japan's history. We lunched on fruit in a park and then visited the British Graveyard. So many young men and so many buried here without names. It is cool all the plants and flowers that are planted and tended around the stones.
We caught our bus, which was only 14 euros return, and we were at Juno beach in about 50 minutes. It is a windy wonderful drive through pastures and little villages. We paid for a tour that would go shortly so we found Bill's brick in the memorial as well as Tracy accidentally finding some of my relatives from NB while we waited. Marisse from Montreal was our guide and we were introduced to the history of the Canadians in Normandy. All but one on our tour was from Canada and most were from BC. One lady at emerg in Bby just after my mom left, but she knows the Doctor we had there. We explored a remaining bunker, learned of the German Fortifications and occupation for the days leading up to and following dday. The beach has changed a lot since then and great big sand dunes now cover the area. One of the bunkers has sunk into the sand and has a building built on top.
We returned to the Juno Beach Centre to view the exhibits. Roger was looking for more information when I looked over his shoulder and saw his dad's picture. I was stunned to see the photo of Granddad sitting on his tank on the cover of the 2009 anniversary book. Roger later spoke to Nathalie, the director of the centre, who had chosen the photo. She took Roger's photo with him holding the book. As well she brought up a photocopy of a temporary exhibit they had with Roger's dad's photo as a major part of the display. We of course bought a copy of the anniversary book.
We finished our visit and after picking up a baguette and cheese and frits we walked the coast line to Berniers Sur Mer about 30 minutes away to where Bill actually landed to see the memorial and walk on the beach. This was most amazing to think what life was like for people during the occupation.
We then learned we would have to walk back to catch the bus by the Juno Beach Centre, as it does not go this far at this time of day. No problem. We walked back, had a jug of Sangria and caught our bus back to Bayeux. This time the trip only took 30 minutes. Slightly tired we giggled our way back to the hotel where we did some wash and got ready for the next day.
More time should be spent exploring and either a rental car or a guide would be a good choice. For us the bus was fine because we saw all that we wanted right there.

Posted by Mari Anne 12:56 Archived in France Tagged beach canadian wwii bayeux juno Comments (0)

Say Good bye to Brussels And Hello Bayeux

Two Trains later we are in Bayeux

overcast 18 °C

Thoughts on Brussels.
No stop signs at most corners; drivers are just expected to stop for pedestrians.
Controlled crossings existed in the busier town area.
More smokers, but July just introduced no smoking in pubs and restaurants.
Where are the seniors?
Buses take your ticket, close the doors and go. You'd better be holding on.
They keep telling me Europeans are all about fashion. Not from what I saw in Belgium...I could have been in Vancouver.
They don't pick up their dog's business on sidewalks.
Belgians can drink anywhere.
They are more relaxed.
Even at fast-food places you pay after you eat, but Tracy thinks you still pay first at Mc Donald’s.
You never take your coffee out, you sit and drink it.
Toilet stalls all have doors that go from ceiling to floor, so they have lights in each stall.
Whatever country Asians are from, they are all called Chinese.
Sundays and Mondays are not the best days to find places open in Brussels.

Tracy is packed and we headed down to catch the tram to the train station. Brussels station is quite large but we figure out where to go and its not long before we are in our reserved seats. The train is fairly full and there are many young families. The train leaves on time to the minute and arrives in Paris on time. The challenge then is to get from Paris Nord to Paris St. Lazare. We make it with only one wrong turn. The signage is lacking unless of course you know exactly what you are doing. The train station is a little more challenging, no place for people to sit, no obvious information booth, and three different screens with the different trains. You have to figure out which screen will display your train, but we get on and make our way to the second-class cars. We have no reserved seats, but we figure out there are yellow tags above the reserved seats and find three together, with no yellow tags and we don't get asked to move. We also never get asked to show our tickets on the train. We validated them on the platform. This train is a little less smooth, left on the nose and two hours and ten minutes later we are in Bayeux. Out comes the handy GPS and we make our way to the hotel just as the rain starts.
The hotel is full, located right in the middle of the old part of the town. Our room has three single beds; rather funny as it is our 31 anniversary.
Not having had a normal meal all day we head out for dinner, but the restaurants don't open up until 7 pm. So ... guess the most common type of restaurant...Pizzerias. Yup, we wanted Crepes, but ended up at a pizza place. Roger had the meal of the day which started with a meat platter, followed by turkey and pork and fries covered in a sauce. Tracy ordered a vegetarian Pizza, I had a galette with warm goat cheese and walnuts and we all got salad with a great dressing that tasted of horseradish. We ordered a cider of Bayeux, but they recommended another local cider that was better and we did enjoy it. I tried to order tap water, but no luck. Tracy and I finished off with a mint ice cream with bits of chocolate floating in crème de menthe. Roger went to stick his spoon when the server came by and told him no and moved it away from him. She said he was to eat his fruit salad and leave our dessert alone!
We took a wander around the town getting lost, but finding someplace that was open that sold us a bottle of wine. Out came the GPS and we were home in ten minutes.

Posted by Mari Anne 13:28 Archived in France Tagged trains beach hotel e bayeux juno Comments (0)

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