We had a great week in England with our distant cousin Allison and her daughter Clare. The kids were able to recharge their batteries by sleeping in and watching TV. We did do a tour day in London and had a great time. We took a tour boat along the Thames river that allowed us to hop on and hop off at the tour sites in London. The Tower of London was the highlight as they have on display the Crown Jewels and a truly amazing display of Henry VIII artifacts. He was a avid weapons collector that are now displayed on two whole floors of the tower. We also toured Windsor Castle and saw the changing of the guards and much more. The kids got a big kick out of the fact that we were able to make one of the stone face guards laugh. London Bridge tour was interesting because when they were building it, they found ancient graves under it. They now have a scary tour with screaming actors dressed like zombies in the dark. Worth mentioning because the kids really enjoyed it. We also visited Tower Bridge and went on the oldest steam boat in the UK. All very cool and we said goodbye to the UK.
We landed in Calais France September 4th, picked up our rental car and drove to Paris. One the way we stopped at Dieppe to pay our respects to the Canadian soldiers. It was quite sobering and emotional. They were mostly very young men in there teens and early twenties. Everyone was excited to see the Eiffel Tour and it did not disappoint. It is a fantastic structure and we marveled at it for hours and then went to the top of it last night. It’s very high and the external elevators are not for the faint of heart. we also visited the Louvre museum for several hours. Again you could spend a month in there, but we rushed through and saw the Mona Lisa, Venus, Napoleon’s apartment and a whole lot of other old stuff. Funny story of the week is Lyane got talking to these old soldiers at L’Arc de Trionphe which is a giant monumnet built by Napoleon to commorate French wars and the fallen soldiers. Each day of the year they have a ceremony to pay repects to “the Unknow Soilder”. Well, they liked Lyane so much, they invited all four of us to march in the parade. It was interesting, but a bit embaressing as well definately stuck out like sore thumbs. Can you imagine ? Pictures to be loaded later. We are leaving today to get the hell out of here as Paris is very expensive. We had dinner two blocks away from the Tower and I can’t even write how much it cost ! We are heading west and then turning around to Belgium and Holland.
Darren and Family