Happy New Year! Hope 2013 has started well for you. Our year began in West Sussex, in the south of England. We had caught the Eurostar from Lille to London on Sunday 30th then took the train down to Pulborough where Tony and Dee (owners of La Villatte in France) picked us up. We stayed the next four days with them and their two dogs and spent some time, after the dogs’ morning walks, exploring the area. It was a lovely, relaxing few days and luckily, apart from one rainy day, the weather was fine and mild. We even saw the sun one day! However, it’s impossible to get used to the sun setting at 4pm – it makes for a very long evening!
We returned to London by train on Friday for four days with our niece, Hayley, who has lived in London for seven years. Saturday was spent walking, walking and walking – along the Thames and neighbouring streets. Hayley was our excellent walking tour guide! It was good being shown around by someone who knows the area so well. Sunday was another walking day, to Camden Market this time, with Hayley and her partner, James. The market is amazing – there are six different sections, all with their own focus, much of which appeals to ‘alternative sub-cultures’ ie goth,punk etc. One section occupies the historic horse stables and horse hospital, another rambles along under railway viaducts. It was all quite quirky and interesting. The market attracts around 100,000 visitors each weekend! From there we walked to Covent Garden which isn’t a garden but another market area. Its shops and eateries are a bit more ‘chic’ than Camden and it’s smaller and more manageable but doesn’t quite have the same vibe as the eclectic Camden Market. We made our way back to Hayley’s via Trafalgar Square. Walking around London is just like playing a real game of Monopoly as many places are familiar by name even though we’ve never been there before.
Well, that’s a summary of our week. We have two more days in London where we’ll do the tourist things like London Eye, Tower of London, open top bus etc, then we’ll catch the train back to Lille, drive to Paris and spend the night at Charles de Gaulle airport, bid a fond farewell to Paris and fly out on Thursday. Our adventure is almost over! We’re compiling a list of ‘Ten things you should know about France’ for the last post on our blog which we’ll write next Sunday from our daughter and son-in-law’s home in Warrnambool, Victoria.
Hope you have a great week
Chris & David