Red and Red Accessories, Arles

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Sweden and Back to Poland

Not stopped by a gate as in Sweden we loaded up and headed to our hotel. Which was in fact a hostel. A blues bar and club with a side line in well priced accomodation. With nowhere to store our bikes with the car the friendly staff arranged for us to leave our bikes in their shop next door. Big thanks for that, guys!!

Cycling. Their are many good cycle paths and we spent some time at the beach in Gdynia. The beach is good and a fine park for the children to play in, as well. Good exercise for me too, as I had to push anything and everything that could swing. No, I’m not a swinger;-)

Then cycling along the seafront which was super. A beach and rocks blocked our way. The next part was a little wearisome as we trudged up the steep roads to find the connecting path into Sopot. But once we found it we sailed along across and then down into Sopot. The party two of the Three Cities.  Food, super tomato soup, which is well priced and consumed along with gofrys and ice-cream then back we went. Such is the wildness of parts of the forest along the cliff tops, that a family of boars ran across our path. Wonderful!

Back to the Blues club for a well earned drink and more low calorie, high fibre food. To cycle around Gydina, Sopot, didn’t make it to Gdansk, was a real pleasure. The cycling was good, plenty for the children to do, and prices must be a dream for those visiting from Sweden. All in all a great trip. Next off to Malbork for camping, which we decided to do on the spur of the moment…but we haven’t a tent!

Karlskrona Sedate or Sedated?

The ferry was okay, well it didn’t sink. It also had reassuringly expensive prices. Up at the crack of dawn, and off we go. Well actually we had one holdall that was to be stowed in a locker at the port. This meant we could not cycle. Just as we approachd the gates, they shut. Closed. Locked. I had to shimmy around to the entrance gate, explain the problem and were allowed to exit via the in gate.

Off we went in the sun. Just over 11km into Karlskrona along good cycles paths. Actually it took longer than anticipated. Children stopped for tired legs, aches unspecified or to argue that one has got something better on the their siblings bike, and off again, and again. Karlskrona is pretty in an understated kind of way. A large bay spotted with small bridges and people doing indefinable things with small boats.Some of the houses are very colourful and all is clean. I don’t know whether to say whether Karlskrona is sedate, or sedated? Cue the Ramones!

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A wonderful marine museum was enjoyed by all. We scurried over ships of varying vintage. Inside a hall one can scuttle about the former Swedish subamine Neptune. At around 1,100 tonnes submerged, it confirmed my love of claustrophobic tiny spaces. How 19 officers and crew spent time at sea in such a craft is beyond me. But they certainly deserve respect.

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More cycling and more expensive food and an amiable cycle back to our waiting long ship. Here to be boarded first and haul our oars back to Gdynia. Would cycling be more fun in Gdynia, Sopoat, than Karlskrona? Wait for the next thrilling instalment of…carry my backpack, pleeeeze!

Arles

I never try to put too much trust in technology. Brought up pulling plugs out at night has kind of stayed with me. My point, well, purchasing a GPS is a point in question. In the old days I would lift my quill and scratch directions, turn -offs (politics, curtain shops) and have all to hand in my grubby little mitts.

Resplendent  on our dashboard was a GPS. It kept slipping off so it was put on the windscreen, ”No, not here dear, I need to see the road.”

And this device with its purple thick line seductively led us successfully from Avignon to a small roundabout outside Arles, we could actually see Arles. But it was but a tease. GPS went into meltdown, or as far as I’m concerned. Up a narrow street, that then became narrower, twisted, turned almost back on itself. Look, we’ve already seen that cigarette pack already. Just in case it wasn’t narrow enough the locals had planted bollards. We we’re close enough to pass the time of day with an elderly lady leaning through her window. Wonderful shutters. Blue. Must get a picture later.

I protested about the route, then spied a sign from history to the village/town centre. Back and round, and round and back. Finally onto a road wider than a bow legged women doing the splits. Breathe. The road, not the bow legged woman, you understand??And the good news, the GPS took us out the same way out. I still know somewhere there is a proper way into Arles. Park and debuss amongst calls from the children for food, toilets and drink, but not necessarily in that order.

Hey, well done Arles. Why?  For they had a delightful young lady wearing hint of Goth,  in the information centre, who spoke English, was helpful and actually suggested what we should visit. She was doing great until she mentioned the football;-)

To walk around and see the buildings painted by an Gogh was amazing. The cafe where he stood and painted with a pencil behind his ear, no the other ear.

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The ancient arena a delight and the prices frightening, and outside the arena a  dog with all  real talent. Bless it!IMG_1761

Wonderful to visit, but don’t trust the technology.

 

Annecy

Annecy is situated at the northern end of Lake Annecy. Their has been a setttlement their since at least Roman times. And this is very important. The roads are flat and normal, such a relief after the Alps;-) IMG_1545

This is the Palais de l’Isle which stands on the river Thiou. To me it is reminiscent of the bows of a boat. The scaffolding dates back as far as a few months ago! IMG_1526

A (flat) canal wends its way throught the town which is wonderful on the eye.

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Well worth a visit with a lovely atmosphere.

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