September 25, 2017

Market Day in Antibes

I'm back on track after being without my computer for a month, and continuing with posts about my recent trip to France. My week on the fabulous Côte d’Azur was coming to an end and the last daytrip on this portion of our itinerary took us to Antibes. First settled as a Greek trading post named Antipolis, this ancient town is 20 kilometers west of Nice on the Mediterranean coast.



Antibes, France


September 23, 2017

Princess Diana Remembered

I've had some issues with my computer lately so this post, which I'd planned for the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, is quite a bit late. When August 31st came around I couldn't believe it had been twenty years since I heard about that fatal car crash in Paris. I must've watched at least a dozen TV specials about her tragic life and the conspiracy theories surrounding her untimely death. It got me thinking about the places I've been that played a role in the story of a woman still remembered around the world, and known with fondness as the "People's Princess".



Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed


August 21, 2017

Monaco-Ville: Take Two

As with my morning visit to the French hill town of Eze, my afternoon in the nearby Principality of Monaco was also a repeat visit. Would I see anything that I hadn't seen before in what may be the most glamorous of locales on the very glamorous Côte d'Azur?



Tour Bus at Monaco's Palace Square

August 17, 2017

Eze: The Exotic Garden

Eze Village on the Côte d'Azur has an amazing Jardin exotique, Exotic Garden, at the summit of the hill on which the town is perched. To my regret I didn't venture quite that far on my previous visit to Eze. On my recent trip to France, I got a second chance.



Exotic Garden, Eze Village



August 10, 2017

St-Paul-de-Vence

After a morning spent touring Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, we moved on to visit some of France's famed perched villages. Of the many hill towns scattered throughout Provence and the Côte d'Azur, picturesque St-Paul-de-Vence is one of the most popular. The medieval town also attracted many of the twentieth century's most notable artists.


St-Paul-de-Vence, France


July 31, 2017

Grasse: Perfume Capital of the World

The town of Grasse isn't quite as picturesque as many others along France's Riviera coast but it is considered the capital of the world's billion dollar perfume industry. I spent a fragrant morning touring the local factory of Parfumerie Fragonard, one of the oldest in Grasse, to learn about the history of perfume and traditional production techniques.


Parfumerie Fragonard, Grasse


July 24, 2017

Chagall Museum, Nice

Marc Chagall is one of the great painters of the twentieth century, known for his simple scenes, biblical themes and brilliant colours. The Musée national Marc Chagall was inaugurated in 1973 on the artist's 86th birthday and it's the first time a French national museum has been devoted to an artist while he was still alive.



Song of Songs III, by Marc Chagall
Musée national Marc Chagall, Nice


July 17, 2017

Promenade du Paillon, Nice

There's a coastal river that runs from the Alpes-Maritimes through the French city of Nice. But you won't be able to see it at the point where the Old Town and the modern city meet. This river, the Paillon, now flows beneath a 12-hectare public park, the Promenade du Paillon.



Gardens of the Promenade du Paillon, Nice

July 10, 2017

Nice: the Resort

Nice is more than just a large city in France – it's also a major Riviera resort. With its prime location on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea it was only a matter of time before people fled the cold climate of northern Europe for the sun and surf of the Côte d'Azur.





July 03, 2017

Vieux Nice, the Old Town

During the first week of our tour of southern France we stayed in the Old Town of Nice, Vieux Nice. The city’s past under Italian rulers is reflected in the sunset colours and contrasting shutters of its buildings, and its scenic location between the Alps and Mediterranean has drawn sun-seeking tourists since the 19th century.




Vieux Nice, the Old Town of Nice


June 26, 2017

My Latest Trip to France

I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks but for a good reason – a visit to the sunny (and very, very hot) south of France, specifically Provence and the French Riviera. It’s taken a while to recover from my travels and the change in time zones so I haven’t sorted through all my photos yet but I couldn’t wait to share a few favourites with you.


Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Riviera


May 22, 2017

5 Traditional British Beverages

In my last post I looked at seven traditional British foods, including the ubiquitous fish & chips and that favourite from the West Country, Cornish pasties. Today I'm featuring five beverages that are not only beloved by the Brits but have become part of the nation's social fabric. And what better place to start than with tea?



Tea at The Orangerie, Kensington Palace


May 08, 2017

7 Traditional British Foods

The traditional food favourites in Great Britain may not be as well regarded as those of its neighbour across the Channel but they're more down to earth than the haute cuisine of France. Think family meals, comfort food and sustenance for the hard working man.



The Neighbourhood London Pub


April 30, 2017

"Z" is for Zone



The World's 24 Time Zones, Based on the
Prime Meridian, 0º Longitude, at Greenwich, England


Related Post:
Cruising the Thames to Greenwich

April 29, 2017

April 28, 2017

"X" is for Xerophyte



Xerophyte: Succulent Plant Adapted to Dry Growing Conditions,
Minack Theatre, Cornwall


Related Post:
Coastal Marvels of Cornwall

April 26, 2017

April 25, 2017

"U" is for University



Radcliffe Camera, Reading Room of the Bodleian Library,
University of Oxford


Related Post:
Harry Potter Studio Tour

April 21, 2017

April 20, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 13, 2017

"K" is for Knight Bus



The Knight Bus from Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets,
Warner Bros. Studio - The Making of Harry Potter, Leavesden


Related Post:
Harry Potter Studio Tour

April 11, 2017

"I" is for Isis



Sculpture of Isis, Inspired by the Egyptian Goddess of Nature,
Kensington Gardens, London


Related Post:
Kensington Palace & Gardens

April 10, 2017

April 08, 2017

"G" is for Greenwich



Statue of Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the First Human in Space
Royal Observatory, Greenwich


Related Post:
Cruising the Thames to Greenwich

April 06, 2017

April 04, 2017

April 01, 2017

England from A to Z

April's here and with it, the annual A to Z Challenge. I won’t be taking part officially this year but I love trying to come up with a topic for each letter of the alphabet (especially those difficult letters: x, y and z). I’ll take a break from my regular posts and play along with the challenge by sharing a photo from England each day (except Sundays), starting with "A" for Agapanthus.



Agapanthus (or African Lily), Tregnothan Estate, Cornwall


March 27, 2017

London's Royal Parks

It’s been a mild winter but I’m never sorry to see this cold, dark season come to an end. I’m definitely more of a summer person. Now spring has arrived and I can’t wait until leaves fill out the trees and grass sprouts up everywhere in fresh shades of green. Thursday is Take a Walk in the Park Day so I’ll take a look back at a few of London’s Royal Parks, at their summer best of course.


Hyde Park, One of London's Eight Royal Parks



March 20, 2017

The 3 Best Free Views of London

Like many of my fellow travellers, I like to include panoramic views of the places I visit when making my sightseeing plans. Rural vistas can be sweeps of breathtaking scenery while urban views help me get my bearings in an unfamiliar city. Here are my picks for three of the best views of London that won’t cost you a cent.



Soaring – but pricey – views from the London Eye



March 06, 2017

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Last fall I did a post about our visit to Greenwich but I didn’t tell you much about the exhibits at the National Maritime Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. Like many of London’s best museums, admission here is free. And the star of the collection is Admiral Horatio Nelson, the man who defeated the French and Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar and put an end to Napoleon’s plans to invade England.


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich


February 27, 2017

Hampton Court Palace

On my last day in England we travelled out of London to Hampton Court Palace, the setting of much political intrigue. It was the oft-married Tudor king Henry VIII who turned the country house of Thomas Wolseley into a royal residence on the banks of the River Thames. Christopher Wren and ‘Capability’ Brown later left their marks on the site and in 1838 Queen Victoria opened this Historic Royal Palace to the public.



Portrait of King Henry VIII with Prince Edward and Jane Seymour


February 20, 2017

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

When I started planning my recent trip to England, I wanted to see a play. Then I heard about a new production to premiere in London’s West End, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and I registered for priority booking. Advance ticket sales opened in October 2015 and I logged on to find myself about 1,800 in the queue. After waiting two hours for my turn to buy tickets I had problems on the web site and came away empty handed. The first four months of performances sold out in hours.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at London's Palace Theatre


February 13, 2017

Sunday Morning on Trafalgar Square

few years ago I saw Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery. Thanks to jet lag, the experience was a bit of a blur. But there’s something about this painting that lured me back. Perhaps it’s the expression of cheerful, positive energy from a man better known for a life of emotional turmoil and tragedy.



The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square


February 06, 2017

Harry Potter Studio Tour

My children grew up with the amazing exploits of the boy wizard, Harry Potter, and together we’ve watched all eight films (several times). With a new stage play in London’s West End and five planned Fantastic Beasts films, the magical world created by J.K. Rowling will continue to entertain us for many years to come. I couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit the studio in England where the movies were filmed: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.






January 30, 2017

Kensington Palace & Gardens

This autumn the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will begin spending more time at Kensington Palace with their two adorable children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.  The palace was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria, and Princess Diana lived here from the time of her marriage to Prince Charles until her untimely death in Paris. Last summer Kensington Palace hosted exhibitions on these two famous residents: Victoria Revealed and Fashion Rules Restyled.


Kensington Palace, London


January 23, 2017

3 of London's Top Museums

One of the big draws for visitors to London is the array of museums and art galleries, many of which offer free admission. It’s impossible to see everything these outstanding institutions have to offer so I spent a day seeking out some highlights at three of the best: the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.


Model of the Extinct Dodo, Natural History Museum


January 16, 2017

Sister Train to the Orient Express


I wish I could’ve been a passenger on the legendary Orient Express during the golden age of travel. The luxury train service made famous by Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express is once again traversing the countries of Europe but the fare is a little too expensive for me. I experienced the next best thing by booking a trip on her sister train, Belmond British Pullman.