The best thing that has happened so far this year was being able to go on our first holiday abroad since Jessica’s arrival. Obtaining travel insurance was a little more tricky due to her heart condition but we got the go-ahead from our cardiologist to head off on holiday to France as long as we weren’t planning to fly. We had a driving holiday planned so this wasn’t a problem.
We were on holiday for twelve days in total, starting off in Normandy, where we caught some of the D-Day commemorations which were very interesting. We took a day trip from Normandy across to the Channel Islands and visited Sark in order to tick off the penultimate Olympic gold postbox on our gold postbox challenge. Sark is a beautiful island and I would love to go back and visit it again with more time available to spend there.
Back over in Normandy, we visited the Bayeux Tapestry (where Sophie decided she needed a feed there and then so I had to walk around the tapestry with her feeding and the audio-guide propped under my ear as the pause function on it was disabled in order to ensure that people kept moving!) We then started our journey south, heading through Tours and visiting the nearby Château Villandry. Our route south took us across the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world and we stopped in the valley below for a guided tour explaining about how the viaduct was constructed. Admittedly hubby found that one more interesting than I did – we had English audio-guides but they might as well have been in French for all I understood!
We finally reached the south of France and continued our journey along the south coast towards Monaco so we could have a drive along the route of the Formula One circuit. Neither of us particularly liked Monaco – the roads were narrow and most people were driving a bit too fast. I was quite relieved hubby was driving at that point. We were glad that we visited, but we don’t intend to visit again!
On to Italy for an overnight stay in San Remo before heading back into France to stay for a few days with friends who live in Aix-en-Provence. It was lovely to stop and relax for a bit after doing so much driving over the previous days and I think the girls were much happier for the break too (although they both coped really well with all the travelling). Sophie got to go in a swimming pool for the first time, although seemed quite nonplussed about it. The pool wasn’t heated which meant that Jessica’s dip in “the big bath” as she called it, was short-lived as she goes very blue when she gets cold and she got cold quite quickly in the water.
The journey back home took us through Lyon. The weather was really warm at this point (reaching 40’C in Dijon) – we were very thankful for air-conditioning in the car and in the hotel! We had another stop in Troyes and enjoyed exploring the old town. Our final night should have been spent just outside Saint-Omer but when we arrived at the hotel, we discovered they had no record of our booking and no room available. Thankfully the staff at the hotel were very helpful and sorted us out with a room at another hotel a few miles away, just over the Belgian border. Naturally we had to buy some chocolates whilst we were in Belgium and the next day it was off to Calais to take the ferry home again.
Five countries, twelve days and 2113 miles of travelling – it was a hectic holiday but it was a lot of fun too!
Linking in again with Emma at Outmumbered: