Travels with the Whittles - France, 2017 travel blog

Foor bridge across the Saône River.

Art installation by the Saône.

Beside the Saône on my cruise.

Old castle/fortification of the 'old' town.

Another art installation by the river.

On an island in the middle of the Saône.

Praline tarts in a window walking back.

Caneles, which we originally saw in Bordeau.

Such lovely smocking work on this baby dress - will I buy...

Oh no, I did not buy it after seeing the price tag!!...

Seen in a gallery window.

Afternoon tea, good tea too!!

All trains stopped at Gare de la Part-Dieu.

1 000+ people all evacuated from the station.

I was on the upper deck on this TGV Train. (French: Train...

My 11:00pm dinner when I finally arrived at the hotel CDG Airport.

Huge line up at Ladurée at the airport - very popular with...

The walk through to the departure gate - you are walking under...

HOME - visiting the family and meeting 4-day-old Rose.

Rose Claire Whittle - very sweet.

Day 18: In Lyon then train to the airport before flying home.

Weather: 32C. Sunny all of the day.

Steps: 12 000 (7.1km).

After a good sleep and my final breakfast in Lyon, I packed everything up and was able to leave these items in the security store for luggage at the hotel. It was late morning by now, so I headed back up the car free street of Rue Victor Hugo heading towards the tourism office. I did pass a lovely children’s wear store (we have previously purchased from the brand/chain of stores elsewhere in France) so made just a few purchases for the “grandies”, new and older!!

At the tourism office, I was asking about cruises along either of the rivers and I found there were regular ones along the Saône River. I was going to be too late for one starting in 20 minutes so I booked for the 3:15pm trip. They go in different directions along the river throughout the day and this trip was heading north for a one-hour cruise.

Lunch was at a little sandwicherie which was great - three different little rolls with a drink and a side (I had homemade Gazpacho Soup) for €10.90. They cooked the rolls freshly there and offered a wide range of fillings – I had a smoked duck breast, a ham (jambon cuit) and a vegetarian with pesto. Their soup was really nice too!! It was pleasant to sit inside with the air conditioning going as it was really hot outside.

Heading down to the river, I boarded my 1-hour river cruise. I chose to sit inside where it was cooler with the air conditioning working well. It was an interesting trip with some lovely scenery along the way.

I returned to the hotel to collect the luggage before heading to the main station of Lyon, Gare de la Part-Dieu. I had allowed plenty of time but when I arrived at the station it was hectic. I looked up at the screens to see which platform from which the train was departing but it was not up yet as I was 40 minutes early. I stepped back and then there was an announcement (always too fast for me to understand) and ‘everyone’ started heading towards the doors. I asked a man near me what was happening and he said, in very good English, that a ‘suspicious bag’ had been found and everyone needed to leave. The announcement kept on being made as people headed towards to exit, which flowed on to a very large open area – this filled up very quickly with my guestimate of over 1 000 people. There were police as well as army officers everywhere and I could see lots of movementwithin the station. It was rather warm, meaning HOT, standing outside, despite being after 7pm by now. We were outside for around 45 minutes and eventually allowed back inside. It was rather chaotic with everyone waiting to find out what was happening with the trains. After some time, information started coming onto the boards and eventually I found out the platform for my departure. I moved up to the right platform and very soon after VERY long train appeared – well two trains connected that will separate later. So, you had to be really careful that you entered the correct carriage. Initially I headed to the wrong ‘end’ but made it in time to my correct carriage. It is an interesting way of transport – they share the same initial line then separate later.

The train had many two-storey carriages and luckily I was in a single seat on the upper deck. The two hour trip went by well and it was a very smooth trip with just one stop. I arrived at CDG Terminal 2 and caught the little shuttle train, CDGVAL (Charles de Gaulle Véhicule Automatique Léger) which runs between the 3 terminals and the parking stations, to Terminal 3 where my hotel was located. Around 11:00pm I arrived at the hotel, some 2 hours later than initially expected. Jane and I have stayed here previously so it is a functional hotel – you really only stay because of the convenience of its location. And it is that convenience which makes it appealing. Since last we stayed, they have added a little convenience store selling ready prepared food to eat there or back in your room. From the picture you will see what I had and it was fine, but a marked contrast to my dinner the previous night. C’est la vie!!

The convenience was great the next morning when it was a 5-minute shuttle ride to my terminal. The flight left 40 minutes late but we arrived in Singapore at our expected time. It was good having the extra width and length of being in Premium Economy and this added to the comfort for a 13 hour flight. I had a very short transfer time in Singapore and the 8-hour flight eventually passed.

I arrived back in Melbourne just before 4:30pm, arriving back at the unit in Caulfield around 7:00pm. Using the Skybus and then train is a very convenient way of travelling to and from the airport. I left the unit around 7:40pm and it was a one-hour drive to Dromana. Jane had offered to meet me and bring me down but I said I would be fine. It was lovely to be ‘home’ but a rather chilly Friday evening!!

Today it was lovely to meet our newest grandchild, Rose Claire. She is so sweet and petite – at 4 days old!! She looked lovely asleep in her dad’s arms, then mine and then in Phoebe’s arms. The joy of a new life!

So my three-week journey through parts of France comes to an end and life returns to some sort of ‘normality’. I enjoyed my travels and the many new and wonderful experiences they brought and I am very grateful that at this stage of life I am in a position where I am able to travel and explore. Some 21 days, 1 000km of driving, nearly 300 000 steps and some fabulous meals later, I am pleased I decided to go away, even by myself!!

Thank you to those who read my meanderings and those who comment – appreciated. So, until this time next year, So Long, Farewell, Adieu, À bientôt and Au revoir!!

PS - The roast veggies were delicious for dinner on Saturday evening!! Yummo!! 𯘊

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