Monday, 26 July 2010

Timmernabben Sweden - Day 7

Yet another quick update.

The Viking Museum in Roskilde was incredible! Well worth a visit.

Rode on from Denmark across the bridge into Sweden and spent 2 nights at Malmö with friends. Saw my first Viking Ship Grave, as well as other local sights in southern Sweden.

We spent last night (and will spend tonight as well) in Timmernabben in Sweden with friends. Visited Kalmar and also the island of Öland. Amazing things to tell you all at a later date. Fabulous food as well......

Tomorrow we head to Stockholm where we will visit the Vasa Museum.

All is going well. I saw my first moose - well the rear end of a moose anyway - in the pouring rain yesterday as we rode along the highway. There are so many moose in this area that they are a bit of a nuisance on the roads. So the solution was to put up high fencing along the road with crossing points for the moose.

Felt a reindeer pelt yesterday. It was the most plush and pretty pelt I have ever seen or felt. Wish we had room to bring one back with us. I imagine the furbabies would love a reindeer pelt to curl up on.

I highly recommend you look up this village on the internet. It is so charming and we have felt so relaxed and comfortable here. Reminds us a bit of some parts of Port Stephens.

That is all for now. Will update again in a few days depending on internet access.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Denmark.... day 4

Just a quick update to say we have reached Denmark.

Arrived last night to a lovely B&B in Majbølle. Definately wish we had a few days here as it is so beautiful and there are so many interesting things to see.

We had a lovely day in Germany also. Lunching with friends and spending time chatting.

On to Roskild today and will be visiting the Viking ship museum.

Then to Sweden......

Stay tuned for more updates

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Le Cercle de l'Arctique

St Tropez - where the hoards descend to each summer

So, it is *that* time of year again.

That time when most of Paris is empty, and the southern coastal regions are full.

That time when accomodation prices increase 100 fold, and the roads become a gigantic parking lot with no one going anywhere fast - or at all.

That time of sunny days (if you are lucky), almost blue skies and warm weather.

Yes, it's holiday time, or les vacances.

And what do we do....

We head north.

To the Arctic Circle.

You read correctly. The Arctic Circle. Home of the Sami, reindeer and mosquitoes. The place where the average temperature will be 10-20 degrees celcius, but sunny.

Side cases are packed, bike and riding gear checked and double checked. Cats in the care of good friends.

We leave in the morning and head to Liege, Belgium for the first night. Then on to Hannover (after lunch with friends in Germany). Night three is Guldborg in Denmark, followed by Roskild. The next night we are in Malmo, Sweden where we spend a few nights with friends, then Hultsfred, for a few nights with friends, and on to Stockholm.

After Stockholm we venture into the wilds of northern Sweden via the east coast, ending our trek at Jokkmokk which is inside the Arctic Circle. Officially part of Lappland.

The return trip follows a different route through the centre of Sweden, ferry to Denmark and then a slightly different route back through Germany and finally into France.

I will attempt to update the blog as we go, but it all depends if I can get internet access while away.

Photos will follow when we return in three weeks, so stay tuned for updates.

Bonnes vacances!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Eric le Roux

There is something I have been meaning to tell you. I have wanted to share this news for a month now, but have not been able to for various reasons.

We became furparents for the second time, and have welcomed into our lives a new little furbaby.

His name is Eric le Roux and he is simply the funniest, cutest, naughtiest, most gorgeous little chat rouge in the world. Not that I am biased or anything.....

I absolutely love ginger cats. Have wanted one all my life. Sac a puce was a good substitute when we lived in rue Lepic, but he was not ours.

We had been discussing adopting a brother for Guy la Griffe. He pines when I am not with him, and it had reached the point where he was losing huge amounts of weight each time I went away as he would just pine and mope and miss me too much. The theory was that maybe with a little brother he would have company and would not pine for me so badly.

Friends in the quartier told me that their brothers cat had kittens and was I interested in adopting one. When I found out it was a ginger there was no question.

We met the baby boy and he took to us straight away. A few weeks had to pass before he was ready to leave his mother, but when that time came I brought him home with great delight.

Guy loved him from the first minute and they have been inseparable ever since.

So our home has been filled with the sounds of cats rumbling and wrestling, the pitter patter of tiny (and not so tiny) feet across the parquet, and plenty of purring. There is even less room in the bed for me as Eric loves to snuggle too.

The past few weeks has been an absolute delight watching the two boys interact, Eric growing at a rapid rate, and learning new things day by day. He can now jump to any height and climbs fearlessly to the top of the wardrobe. If Guy is eating, Eric is right beside him eating as well. When Guy naps, Eric naps. If Guy uses the litter tray.... well, you get the message.

I am looking forward to many happy years with my two furbabies and to many lovely photos as well.

Before I forget... Eric le Roux means Eric the Red. He is named after a King of the Vikings. It is also a play on words as it sounds like Eric the rascal.... kind of appropriate really.
Daddy bought us a very flash climbing castle. We love it soooo much!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Food Glorious Food

Finally, the long awaited and eagerly anticipated post on my food experiences in Southport.

I would like to start with the cream of the crop. The Dining Rooms on West Street, part of the Alexandra and Victoria Hotel.

What a treat this meal was!

Perfect in every way.

They offer a selection of menus and formules and I chose the one that appealed most to my tastebuds. I (and they) were not disappointed.

I was really impressed by the fact that they serve tap water in the restaurant, and not bottles of outrageously priced and un-necessary commercially bottled water. An onsite water filter ensures that the water tastes and smells good and it does not add to the cost for the restaurant or the customer. Pity more places do not follow this idea.

Firstly, an amuse bouche of vegetable soup was offered in an espresso cup. Delicious and well balanced, it made you wish all vegetable soups could be exactly like it.

I had chosen a glass of J. Moreau & fils select blanc to drink with my meal and was very happy to find that it stood up to everything I chose without competing.

The entree was a roll of delicious fresh ingredients, lightly fried
and served with a tasty and mildly piquant salsa and crisp salad.

A risotto was the dish I had chosen for my plat. It was incredible. Bursting with full flavoured pumpkin, zesty and herby, and with a creamy cheesy finish. The balsamic reduction on the side was perfect for dipping the occasional mouthful into for a change of pace.

I could have had another serving of this quite easily.... except then I would not have been able to eat my cheeseplate. Sigh, decisions, decisions.

The cheeseplate was very good. I had requested that it not have the fruit which the menu stated it came with. Call me picky, but I prefer my cheese unadulterated. A nice bit of salad and some good crusty bread or crackers is all you need.

The blue stilton was delicious - as ever. The smoked cheddar so good it disappeared before the photo was taken. Unfortunately the double glouster was ruined in my opinion by the fact that it had chives through it..... but that is just my opinion. The taste and texture of the cheese was great otherwise.

I can hear a few of you giggling and pointing to the whiskey glass..... yes, I did enjoy a glass of the amber nectar with my cheese. My one weakness is a dram of really really good whiskey (I will go Irish or Scottish depending on the mood). I don't drink it often, but when I do I go for the best I can find and savour every drop.

No dessert. I prefer savoury to sweet so am quite often not interested in the dessert menu.

I must say that if you do find yourself in Southport you must make time to check out this place. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable about their products, the prices were very good and the quality exceptional.