Thursday, September 15, 2016

Arriving in France by Eurostar and Bracieux

We arrived to La Gare du Nord as planned at 10h20 AM despite ongoing general strikes.The ride on the Eurostar was quiet and I had a nap, while our son was plying on Internet, and exited to have it on the train. The total time in tunnel is 10-20 minutes. The seats were comfortable.

On arrival I have located the Relay store. They sold all sorts of SIM cards and had both Lycamobile and Lebara. I have purchased a Lebara card which had about 6E of air time. I could activate it later by registering online from an aire de repos on the freeway.

We then walked to the taxi stand. The line was quite long and moving slowly. Our car reservation was for 11h30 and I started to be nervous. A guy on a motorcycle asked if we were interested by a quick ride, but with all our luggage and kid this would have been impossible.

We finally got a taxi, and he drove us to Place d'Italie to our car rental at Europcar. The driver told us we were really lucky as we past the Seine, as the strikes were in preparation and 30 minutes later they would have closed streets. Europcar office was empty and we received the keys for our Kia car. We then walked through the shopping center to the parking, but everyone was stopped to pass security and we were asked to open our bags and suitcases.




Eventually we got to our car which was unimpressive, but functional. we couldn't find the SD card and there was an alarm. after thorough inspection of the car and returning to report missing or damaged parts we finally took of to the Loire. Our next stop was Bracieux close to Chambord Castle and with Michelin starred restaurants.

We dropped our bags at the hotel and drove to a small supermarket for water, wine and nibbles. Then after leaving our bags at our room at L'oree du Chateau, we drove to Chambord which was in renovations, so we didn't want to stay, as we visited a few years back.  The road to the castle is simply spectacular, and looks magical. We parked our car at the hotel and walked about 500m to the Relais d'Artemis, of which we had very good souvenirs. The weather being nice we were seated in the gardens. The garden was full, and we enjoyed a very pleasant and delicious meal with local Sancerre wine.




A salad for our son and rillettes de saumon for us, delicious.




Followed by Aiguillettes de poulet for our son,

Bavette a l'echalotte for me, and

Lomo de cerdo for my husband, delicious.
 Sorbet for our son, and

A chocolate mousse cake simply divine for us.



The hotel receptionist walked us to our room, which was nice. he also offered if we were tired to make us sandwiches and he had drinks. Our hotel didn't have air conditioning, but the room was big and on the pond. Mosquitoes were bad, but we had a fan, but there are no windows screens no where in Europe although there are mosquitoes. Not sure why, but it would have helped in many European destinations. We brought our coils and Muskol and slept with open windows. The air was really humid, but then it started raining and we could have a good sleep.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Paris

We arrived in Paris by TGV from Marseille and took a taxi to our Hotel du College de France in the 5th, where our room was waiting for us.
We then walked to la rue de Rivoli to repair my husband's watch wrist. There were crowds of people shopping and it was difficult to walk.






Bandol (continued)

Bandol pictures.



















Bandol

On arrival we had our lunch at Le Nautic right bellow our apartment.



A dinner at Bistro Chez Pauline for the best fish soup, Assiette du pecheur, and chevre lasagne for our son.


My husband then followed with thyme duck in delicious sauce.
Assiette du pecheur:

Heavenly Tarte a l'abricot.
Then favorite ice creams.

Our lunch at Du Thym a l'Ail, marinated herring.
Poulet basquaise.
Steak and fries
My mussels mariniere

Delightful tarte aux pommes.
Ice cream
and my cafe gourmand with yogurt in honey (greek style), crumble raspberries mousse, and a delicious peach ice cream with chantilly.
I purchased seafood from a kiosk at the daily market.
Back to Bistro de Pauline, one of the best in Bandol. Duck with potatoes.
They made pasta for our son and he was delighted and wanted to come back for another meal.
Assiette du pecheur served by the chef himself, this was rather flattering.
A delectable tarte au citron.

Our last meal in Bandon at Brasserie Toche with seafood, a grilled bar and an omelet for our son.