Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A holiday away from the Charente - Part One.

We have never been to the United States before and at the invitation of a number of friends who have moved there over the years, we decided to do some visiting!  We have long time friends from both South Africa and Rhodesia scattered around, so there was much to catch up on and see.  One of the very top opportunities was to spend a few days at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and meet up with Gaelyn from  http://geogypsytraveler.com/; we have been following each other's blogs almost since the day I started blogging.

This post only covers day one and two of a 4 week trip, so I hope you have the stamina for all there is to see and follow!! I still have many photos to look through, edit and check, so this is all going to take sometime!
9 June 2016
One of our friendly French neighbours took us and our luggage to the railway station in Angouleme to catch the TGV (high speed train) to Paris. There he is, wheeling a case!  However, the trip was in doubt until the last minute due to French union strike action. When we had booked all the travel 6 months previously, that wasn't on the radar!!  To cut a long story short, Nigel went to our local station 3 times to check if our train to Paris would run!  Each time he were told yes, and then the day before we travelled, we had an email to say it had been cancelled!!  After another trip to the station,we finally managed to rebook, but all trains were almost full due to cancellations and our seats were upstairs, up which we had to drag 3 cases, plus hand luggage and cameras!

Leaving Angouleme, I could not fail to remind you that it is the city of the  comic strip and a haven for graphic artists; these are a few of the paintings around the railway station.

There appeared to be a Bar - Brasserie behind these doors, but it all looked pretty quiet while we were there - well, it was half past seven in the morning!





10 June 2016
By the time we had arrived in Paris, with arms full of luggage and located and caught the shuttle bus to our hotel, the time flew, so the only photos I managed was this one from the hotel window, looking out at the sunrise the following day, and those below.


There were signs everywhere that the UEFA Euro 2016 Football (soccer) Championship was on in France and  hotels everywhere were packed with soccer fans!


Waiting at the hotel the next morning for the shuttle bus to take us just up the road to........

 Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
These are Air France 'planes, but their aircrews had been on strike intermittently for many weeks, creating enormous disruption. Strikes are still going on as I type this! Luckily we were flying with American Airlines!

Our first morning, with a sunrise, in Delaware, after landing at the nearby Philadelphia airport  the evening before.  We were very tired, as it had been a long two days travel from home, especially with the 5 hour time change!



Also see my daily diary HERE


and My Life Before Charente (updated 09 April 2016) 

40 comments:

  1. Hi Diane. Thanks for sharing. Love the photos of Angouleme railway station comic strips. Looks nh forward to more posts xx

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    1. Thanks Anne and I knew yo would enjoy the Angouleme paintings, it amazes me that I seem to find new one each time we go there! Take care and look after yourself. Diane xox

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  2. The Philadelphia airport is relatively easy to navigate, and Delaware is a beautiful place for you to start your first ever American vacation (and only 3 hours from where I live). I enjoyed your wall art photos; it must be very amusing to live near there and travel through that town often! I'd never be too busy to appreciate the cartoons and smile a little. I'm looking forward to seeing more of what you enjoyed here in the US.

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    1. Marjie every time we go to Angouleme we find more paintings it is an amazing place. I will try to get the remaining photos together as quick as I can but I have 2 and half discs full to go through so...... Hope all is well with you and thanks for the comment Diane

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  3. I'm glad you made it to the USA at last! There is still hope for me to visit France and England ;-) I'm sure it was stressful trying to get away for your vacation with everything going on but you made it. I look forward to hearing about your trip. xx

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    1. Hi Joyful we never thought we would get to America but it shows you must never give up hope :) Lots to tell you about so keep watching. Hope you are well Diane

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  4. Woo hoo, Diane! Glad you made it to the states and hope you had a fabulous time.
    Kind of funny, there was an airline strike years ago when we were flying to Germany, and we finally had seats thanks to associates of my dad. Like you said, it's not something you foresee, but I'm glad it all worked out for you.
    Now I'm wondering if you visited our area, Chicago. Looking forward to future posts! Take care

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    1. Hi Pam, we did have a great time especially the last couple of weeks but you will find this out eventually. We did a whistle stop at Chicago on the way home, we flew from Vegas to Chicago, changed planes, then on to Paris so we only saw you from the air :-) Hope you are both well Diane

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  5. Hello Diane, I really get a kick out of the paintings. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour!

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    1. Thanks Linda, Angouleme is such a fun city and you really need to walk around every bit looking high and low to enjoy all the cartoons, some of them look so real! Hope you enjoy the rest of the trip as well Diane

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  6. You could have lived without the uncertainty at the start of your trip...but I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing about your travels.

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    1. Thanks Fly. An email the night before we could have done without but we got there which is the main thing. Hope that you are both well, take care Diane

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  7. oh i can't wait to follow your trip! how wonderful that the first place you saw was in my state...the opposite end from me but still pennsylvania!

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    1. Thanks Jaz, I hope the trip is up to expectations for you it certainly was for us :-) Take care Diane

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  8. Sounds like so much going here and there globally! I just wish the world is getting better. Glad that you made it to US safe & sound. Enjoy & have fun !
    Blessings, Kristy

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    1. Thanks Kirsty, yes travel these days you wonder what may happen, but life must go on. It is the first time we have been out of Europe in 10 years so it was quite an adventure for us :-) Keep well Diane

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  9. I can't wait to hear your impressions of the U.S. Your photos are, as usual, wonderful. I can't wait for more.

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    1. Ha ha Mary, impressions got better and better as time went on and it was such fun meeting friends we have not seen in years and catching up with Gaelyn at the Canyon was amazing. Hope all is well Diane

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  10. I know the feeling about sorting photos from a trip. I'm still doing it. I am looking forward to following your journey. Nothing worse than strikes to start off with. We always try to travel light with luggage just in case we encounter stairs etc. Love the comical characters at the station.

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    1. Thanks Diane, I always take too many photos, thank goodness for digital! It still take a long time to sort and edit though! We could not travel that light as we needed to be prepared for rain, cold and extreme heats!! Also not always somewhere where we could keep clothes washed and up to date. Have a good day t'other Diane

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  11. Great photos Diane and we're looking forward to following your journey x

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    1. Thanks Kerry it is going to take a while. Nigel took nearly 1000 and I doubled up +!!! See you soon Diane

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  12. Looks like it was a very interesting trip for you.

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    1. Vera apart from seeing somewhere new, for me the whole enjoyment was meeting up with long time family friends and of course meeting with Gaelyn. Have a good day Diane

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  13. Such a long flight! No wonder you suffered jetlag. But I am sure it was worth it😀

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    1. Ola we arrived there in the afternoon, and at home it was already long past our bedtime. We did not sleep a lot going there as the times were all wrong! Yes it was worth it :) Diane

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  14. Hi Diane .. I'm so looking forward to seeing more of your travels and stories ... Those cartoons are wonderful to see - the place must be full of them. Looking briefly at the Angouleme Wiki site - I thought the cartoons had come about via the paper industry so well established.

    Fascinating to see and looking forward to more! Angouleme - is obviously very historic and interesting ... but I guess the Grand Canyon will pale into obscurity - except for the history ... other than geological ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. I seem to find new cartoons each time we go to Angouleme. The city is full of surprises! The Grand Canyon was amazing but more later :-) Have a good week Diane

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  15. The cartoon paintings are great. So glad your plans went as they should. Was awesome to meet you two. Now we have to do it again.

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    1. Next time you come to Europe or of course maybe we could all make it to RSA :-) We so enjoyed being with you and Bill, we had a great time. Diane

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  16. We will be travelling with you and Nigel on each post Diane.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did especially the last fortnight in Nevada. Take care Diane

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  17. Have a really nice holiday!

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    1. We had a great time, now trying to put all the info to the many, many photos that we took!!!Diane

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  18. What amazing you can visited States Diane. Absolutely beauty pics :)

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  19. Hi there Diane, thanks for popping by my blog and your recommendation for chocolate courgette cake....one I will have to try! Just catching up on your posts about your trip to the US. Love the artwork at the station. Glad you managed to get away without delays.

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    1. We were also glad we got away, it was touch and go at the last minute though blogger friends had offered to actually drive us to Paris if we had a big problem which was very generous. Diane

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  20. Travel is stressful on the best of days, I can just imagine adding strikes to the whole situation. I'm so glad that the two of you enjoyed your trip to the US and are now back home safely. All my best and welcome home.

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  21. I hope you enjoyed your travels to the U.S..

    Velva

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