Yes, that is hello in French. We are back from our trip and had a WONDERFUL time!! I will try to keep this post brief, but that is hard to do!! And, for those not familiar with the Yarn Harlot's blog, one of the things that she often has on there are pictures of her sock knitting where ever she goes. Let's just say I have lots of similar pictures to share!!
We started out our trip in London, but really had very little time there. Thursday, after spending over 2 hours in line to get through customs (Arghh!), we checked into our hotel and headed into London to visit the London Eye and The Tower of London.
We ended the night at an English pub, which are my favorite places to eat in London!
Friday the day was spent at the Marriage Conference, which was the original catalyst for the trip in the beginning! It was a great day and we are excited about being able to start it up at our church. Again, ended the night at a different pub, this one very lively with a World Cup Rugby game showing on the big TV.
Saturday we had to choose between spending the day in London (and possibly yarn shopping!!) or going to Oxford for the day. Since it was the day before Steve's birthday, I let him choose! (And, no, we didn't spend the day yarn shopping!!) Here you see me getting a little knitting in as we ride a hop on/hop off bus tour! It was a wonderful day. Oxford is an amazing place with the University being composed of 40 different colleges scattered amongst the town. We did happen to choose the busiest weekend of the year to be there with the seniors graduating and the 'Freshers' arriving, but for me that added to the excitement. You saw graduates around town in their dress robes, which were quite impressive!!
Here is just one of the many picturesque scenes that we saw while there. It is on the grounds of Magdalen college, which is where CS Lewis was.
I could see in Steve the longing to just come here and study for a time. He has such a love of learning, which is one of the many things I admire about him.
Made our way to, yes, another pub!! This is the Eagle and Child, which was a pub frequented by CS Lewis and JR Tolkein and others in a group named the 'Inklings'. They would sit here for hours and discuss their works. And the food was great to boot!!
Sunday we found ourselves on the Eurostar speeding towards Paris. In less than 3 hours time, we were in the heart of the city. Many memories flooded back of our years in Japan as we navigated the subway system in a foreign country whose language is not our own!! Once we got the hang of it, it was surprisingly easy, and we found ourselves criss-crossing Paris with ease!! After checking into our hotel, we made our way to the Eiffel tour. Very impressive!!
Of course I had to get the sock picture in!! Making some progress on this one!! (Steve is a good sport about taking these silly pictures!!) We hung around the area for awhile; took a boat trip down the Seine and then had an early dinner in a French corner Bistro, which are everywhere!! Then, as it turned dark, we went to the top of the Eiffel tower as it was lite up and got to overlook Paris at night, which was just gorgeous!! Yes, I can say I fell in love with Paris!!
Monday we headed out for a full day in Paris, taking in as much as we could! One would really need to live there for some time to really appreciate all of the history that is there. We started in the Louvre which is probably the largest museum in the world. Steve was in his glory!! He could have used more time there, but we kept it to a couple of hours and moved on!
We walked down the Champs Elysee. We walked past the Place de la Concorde, and ended at The Arc de Triomphe. One of Aaron's biggest fears of us heading to Paris without him (who speaks some French) is that we would embarrass the family name there with our feeble attempt at the language. Or, worse than that, is that Steve would break into song. (Aaron had taught us a few classic French songs!) We had to take this photo of Steve singing his heart out on the Champs Elysee for Aaron's benefit!! Other things we saw: Notre Dame; La Conciergerie, Les Invalides, The Luxembourg Garden, and more!! Just walking the streets you pass monuments and buildings with so much history! Like I said, we must go back!!
One of the places I really enjoyed was the Hospital of the Invalids and the final resting place of Napoleon, after being returned here for final burying after dying in exile. Here, another sock shot, of the dome that houses Napoleon. The hospital is still in operation and is committed to providing care to soldiers injured in war.
I also loved the time we just spent roaming the streets with no real purpose or goal. We happened into the Latin district, which was lively and full of color. We stopped at this Gyro place for a quick lunch. We also happened on an open air French market that went for well over a quarter mile with fruits; vegies; fresh fish; meats etc.. I am sure we were the only tourists in the place, as I think this is where the locals go to get there fresh foods. It was very fun!!
I did get make it to one store in Paris that carried a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies. (I guess London is full of fun yarn shops... but they will have to wait for another trip!!) I bought a few skeins of sock yarn and a pair of needles that I used on the flight home on Wednesday. I had heard that you couldn't take needles through security at Heathrow, so I took these with a skein of yarn to cast on if I got through.. and I had no problems!! Here is Sumo happy to have me home and being back on the blog!! He did ok while we are gone, but I think he's ready for me to stay put for awhile!! And so I shall!!
Last I end with the knitting that I did get done while on the trip. The first is that I did finish my pair of socks out of Cider Moon Glacier. They are so yummy! I love this yarn! I need to wash them up so I can wear them.
The next pair that I started and almost completed on this trip, I am calling my 'Flying Monkeys' because I did them almost exclusively on the plane rides.. (or in some sort of travel mode!!) In fact, I meant to take of picture of me knitting them on the Eurostar, which is a very fast train!! A new meaning to speed knitting, perhaps!! Anyways, these are my Monkey socks, made with Wollmeise yarn in the Zenzi colorway. I hope to finish them up today and have them washed and ready to wear soon! Yes, I definitely love this pattern!!
The other socks I brought are still in on hold, but I am committed to finishing them before I cast on anymore!!
Well, the only thing I left in Europe was my voice!! I caught a virus during our travels and it slowed me down a bit, but not too bad. I guess you could say that this trip literally left me speechless!!
Well, laundry is piled high and the house needs a good cleaning and Sumo needs LOTS of extra attention so I better be off.
Until Next Time...... Au Revoir