Monday, July 16, 2007

We're off to Paris...if we can get there!

Good morning, it's around 7 am and all our bags ar packed. With 2 new dolls and a few souvenirs, alas, our suitcases have become slightly wider and heavier than when we started! And I said I wasn't going to buy much...

It was another hot night, but a tad cooler as it rained again. I have the sitting room door open and a cool breeze is blowing through the room. Whew. I watered my host's lovely garden last evening in the muggy heat. I am finally beginning to miss doing some kind of chores, but certainly I don't miss cooking or doing the dishes.

Yesterday was a disappointment. We took 2 trains to Liege in Belgium. All 3 of us hated that town. The HUGE train station is being re-built so it was hard to get in and out of there as we had to tramp up and down metal ramps. We caught a bus into the old part of town, but there were hundreds of bustly people of all colours who all spoke FRENCH and very little English, and you know what I think of the French language...

We visited an old cathedral which was beautiful of course, then roamed the streets trying to find shops or souvenirs but couldn't. We found a very steep flight of stairs set into the hillside. Someone had told us to climb them if possible to see a fantastic view of Liege. I stared at the hundreds of stone steps and thought no way, but Matthew and Robert with their Taekwondo legs were game so I panted behind them.

Of course I paused a lot along the way to look behind me and take photos. Yes the view was fantastic and it turned out to be the most pleasant part of Liege. Sometimes followiing your nose doesn't work well. The bus drivers are quite rude. The people seem sort of rude too but maybe it was because it was so HOT and muggy and we diddn't quite know where to go. Anyhow we hastened back to the city to take the bus back to the train station but our train didn't leave for an hour so we had to wait. There aren't many trains to Maastricht and Heerlen from Liege.

We enquired about catching a train to Paris today, and hoped to get a schedule but alas we found out that it's a major holiday in Brussels today and you need to RESERVE you seat on the fast train to Paris!

NO ONE BACK HOME TOLD US THIS!

So our kind host searched for different options on the internet and found out that the one and only plane to Paris was fully booked. There is only ONE fast train to Paris. There are not other trains! The things you don't learn...So our host suggested we take the train to Brussels and from there to the airport and then rent a car. Fortunately Robert has his international driver's license, and fortunately our travel agent knew enough to reserve a seat for us on the Chunnel train on Thursday or we would be in another pickle!

It takes 3 hours to drive to Paris so we're having breakfast at 7:30 sharp.

Leona, Mom & Dad, Paul, I hope all is well at home. Give Kelsie a big squeeze or pat on the head and a special treat from me. Paul, how is the grass growing? Or has it died by now in the heat. We saw on the news last night that it was 22 C in Vancouver. That's more bearable! Love you all. How was Mom's birthday?

How are all my Chatty friends? I'm glad Karen, Donna and Linda post frequently. Linda, I was thinking of you at Harrison. Hope you had a great and relaxing time regardless of the weather.

This will probably be my last blog for a while, as it was free. I don't know if I will use a computger in Paris, if everything is french. LOL Unless I have a coomputer at the hotel. I notice I'm beginning to make typos but this laptop uses a 98 system and is very slow so you must iignore those errors....

Take care! Our 12 days in the Netherlands was like a golden dream. I enjoyed every moment, even the bad trains! The food was simply fantastic. We are so spoiled.

Now on to the next adventure...

Goodbye!

17 comments:

Linda said...

Wow, brave Robert!! That is really going to be an adventure driving!! It will probably be fun, though, and you can stop and see things along the way if you see something interesting! I hope you find a computer in Paris, this is fun being part of your trip!

Hugs
Linda

Write 2 The Point said...

oh boy, how frustrating for you that you had to deal with the snobbishness and the situation with the trains. I hope the remainder of your trip is much more enjoyable. I have never heard of Liege, so I'll have to check out a map of the place.
can't wait to see your dolls when you get home. So, what is the deal with the French language? I took French for years and love it! I suppose it is the French influence in Canada that must have you miffed. i see it only from a "romantic" point of view, that and I have my penpal from France who I have corresponded with since I was 13 years old--can you believe it?
Enjoy your travels and good luck with your driving Robert.

Love, Karen
http;//write2thepoint.blogspot.com

KarenK said...

Hi Loretta! Been joining you throughout your trip and enjoy your posts! Sounds like you're having a wonderful time in spite of the heat. I KNOW how you feel about being sweaty!LOL! I'm sure you'll find a way to let us know what's happening in Paris! I can only hope to visit there someday, in the meantime I'll visit it thru you! Have a great time-can't wait to see some of your famous pictures when you return! Hi to your guys too! KarenK!

Anonymous said...

Apparently, it's like that in Greece too, with people being a bit out of temper, esp on the trains. It's due to the heat and the fact they have no air conditioning, it's probably amazing they're as nice as they are. If you had to live all year like that and the toilet situation, you would wish your train buddies weren't standing so close or sitting on your lap. I really look forward to your news, it is never dull! And often very, very funny. My fav: when R and M go on blissfully ahead, and you pant after...Leona
We were the ones who phoned the other night, on mummsy's birthday so you could talk, but we had no idea stairs had to be climbed to pass on messages. In Paris, call us and leave a message on correct phone calling, and we'll do it right this time.

Linda said...

Dakotah's adorable post card arrived today, Loretta! She is going to love seeing the little girls in the wooden shoes!! And she is definately going to be intrigued by your doll with wooden shoes on her! Thanks for thinking of her! I hope you are safely in Paris by now. It started raining overnight and is still raining a bit off and on and is very humid! Great for the plants...not so great for their humans!! haha
Hugs
Linda

donadol said...

Wow that is great that Robert will be able to drive to Paris. What an adventure! I am sorry that you were disappointed with Liege. I am sure that it will soon become a distant memory as you remember the wonderful time you spent in the Netherlands. I am hoping that Paris holds some truly amazing memories for you too. I can't wait to hear about dolly number 3 and your drive to Paris.
Blessings, Donna

Linda said...

Leona, I just bounced back through the pages and your comments have me hysterical...I can just see you and Kelsie with the garden hose and her committing hari kari at the side fence because she heard their voices...you are too funny!! Have you ever thought of going into comedy as a career??? LOL These comments ought to be able to be viewed all at once instead of after each entry somehow. I wonder if that is possible somehow? I am not terribly great with the computer...you can probably view them all someplace without having to back track!! (wish this thing automatically spell checked too..nothing looks right when I type it in...hopefully I don't look like a total illiterate with all my mispelled words!!).
Hopefully our travelling Houben's have successfully now made it to Paris!

Linda

Write 2 The Point said...

Vive la France

Bonjour Commet 'alle vous mon petite chou?

Here's hoping you are having fun at the Eiffel Tower--and not stuck on my dingy train!

We love you,
Karen
http://write2thepoint.blogspot.com/

DayDream said...

I'm playing catch up tonight. I was away myself and just returned late Monday evening. I enjoyed reading all your posts. You haven't mentioned napping lately, so I guess you've all adjusted to the time change by now. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun...most of the time. By now you must be enjoying Paris. Can't wait to hear all about it. Betty

Anonymous said...

Linda:
I'm sure Loretta loves it when we use her blog to talk to each other. About spelling: I can't spell, but I can notice other people's spelling mistakes, and I haven't noticed any on your notes. Or else I'm missing them bec you are so funny! I'm sure you had a blissful time in the Harrison sulphur pools, tell more.
Loretta: I met Inge today for coffee and she said PoYu is off to Vienna for a week in august. Too bad you couldn't have met her...

Linda said...

Hello Annoynmous! Have you heard from our world traveller lately? How are they doing? They must be coming home soon? yes? No? Are you drowning at your place? We are here. Since when do we get monsoons in July??? I was at our favorite mall yesterday...it was busier than Christmas up there but a lot of good sales! The Hot Springs were great but the mosquitos were wicked...the weather was so so. The pools were heavenly though. Spent a LOT of time in the water. I will send you the link where you can read the rest of the story and see pictures!

Write 2 The Point said...

Where are you Loretta? We miss your updates
love, Karen

donadol said...

Hi Loretta,

I hope all is well. I have been checking for updates but I guess you are having trouble getting to a computer. Just thought I would let you know that I was thinking of you.

Blessings, Donna

Anonymous said...

You poor things! With the floods and all. I went on line for mummsy and you can check the train schedules and see why a train is late and any other little detail you're dying to know. It seems the train from Wales to London is the worst hit, I hope they can rebuild the tracks in time for you to travel on them. 'Shift, and save yourselves' - that's a line from Paul's play. Everyone is fine, except it rains...

Anonymous said...

Hello, soggy Houbens! It's the Brauns back from the wilds of Pender Harbour where it poured rain every day and was freezing cold, James and I both got sick, Ashley whined constantly about the lack of internet and Robert stood in the corner popping pills for his back pain. Anyone want to buy a cottage? I hope you guys are still safe and haven't been swept away by the Thames! Ashley could have helped you with your french. Now she is teaching herself how to speak Japanese! Take care!

Anonymous said...

As if Loretta wasn't surrounded by enough water, she goes to Bath and drinks it!!! She paid for it too, and said it tasted slightly sulphuric! I should think so...

DayDream said...

No new posts. You must be computerless in Paris. :( I just wanted to drop by and thank you for the postcard! Hope Paris is going well. Betty