A Travellerspoint blog

A Letter from Europe

semi-overcast 13 °C

As Remembrance Day approaches World War One is on the minds of Britons and in memory of all the British and Empire servicemen who died in that conflict a hundred years ago nearly a million ceramic poppies are being ‘planted’ around The Tower of London…
More poppies are added daily and there is a moving ceremony at dusk each day when the names of another 180 deceased are added to the roll call of the fallen. The poppies have all been sold to aid the servicemen’s charity and will be distributed after November 11th.

The sun was still shining in London when we left for the South of France and the Brits were basking in the hottest Halloween ever. The crowds were out and everyone was shocked to find that the ancient market hall at Covent Garden had somehow split in half …lengthwise…
It may be November, but the daytime temperatures both in the U.K. and here on the Cote d’Azur would still rival a July day on our Canadian isle, and the Mediterranean sea still has memories of its glory days in August when it hit a tepid thirty. But, while the sun is still shining, the celebrities and mega-rich who own most of this paradise have long gone. The ritzy villas and posh restaurants are abandoned for the winter and the golden sands have been swept off the beaches with bulldozers and mounded out of the grasp of the expected storms. All is peace and quiet at present: the crewless mega-yachts bob gently in the harbours; the convertible Bentleys and Lamborghinis are carefully garaged; and the Lear jets and helicopters have all flown away. They will all return next summer but, in the meantime, we are getting in an early Polar Bear swim so we won’t need to bother when we get home. How could we resist when the sea looks like this…
Of course, it’s not just the sun and sand that draws us. In truth we are visiting family members lucky enough to live here. But while we are here we are taking in historic sights like the beautifully preserved mountaintop town of Mougins – onetime home of Picasso …
... the ancient harbours...
...and the fabulous markets like the one in Antibes…
We’ve taken you to the Provencal markets before but can’t resist showing you some of the fabulous goodies on offer today…
Now, after a couple of weeks in the sun, we are headed to the mountains and have flown over the Alps to the Swiss capital, Bern. We were expecting Switzerland to be expensive but we’ve never previously been refused money from an ATM because the amount we requested was too small. Imagine our surprise when the ATM at Geneva airport dispensed a minimum of 1000 Swiss francs ($1200 Cdn) and we only wanted a couple of hundred.

Posted by Hawkson 00:40 Archived in Switzerland

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So special to wake up to your post this morning. Beautiful photos and interesting commentary. May your good travels continue. I suspect the minimum currency withdrawal in Switzerland is indicative of prices. Yikes! Hugs, T

by Trudy

lovely photos of Europe. yes it has been warm here too. It didn't rain on Halloween and the fire kept us warm and the fireworks were enchanting as usual. there must have been 500 people there and it was great to see the little ones dressed up and running around. I love Gabriola. Love Jean.

by Jean McLaren

Wonderful to hear from you again on your adventures. Beautiful photographs and new sights to see. May the sun follow you on your next leg of the adventure. It is mostly grey and rainy here.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Nice try, you are NOT off the hook for the polar bear swim here at home... unless you choose to stay away. Which, as your house sitter, I would fully endorse. Loving the blog, hoping for more frequent posts. Armchair travel is better than none. The average daytime temp on your deck this past week has been approx. 15c. And, along with the resident seals, eagles, hummingbirds etc. Have had visits from orcas and dolphins! Spectacular! Just remember, if you come home you will be challenged to swim on new years day ⛄ besos y abrasos, catherine

by catherine

It is really nice to read your blog and to see your beautiful photos. It is like polar bear suddenly appearing from the sea. Here too, the climate is in between fall and winter. I miss autumn glory and expect the beauty of autumn colors. Have a nice trip to Switzerland.

by Yoshie

we had snow for Halloween!

by Jenna

So good to get your sunny post. Allyson, Manuel and the kids were just in Antibe...they swam and hiked and rode bikes. Ally was at a conference for her grad school. They had a wonderful time, as it looks like you two are. Happy times in Switzerland..love it there, too...memories of Harv's book tour. love to you both...(the dreaded Polar Vortex is lurking here...yikes!)

by Sharron

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