THE YEAR OF 2013 EVENTS HAPPENEDA
S FOLLOWS BELOW
The new year began with the family Skiing Mount Baldy, located up the mountain behind Kathy's father's house in Oliver. As you can see in the photos below the conditions were EXCELLENT!!
Brian Kathy & Madi at the top of Mount Bauldy
Greg & Courtney at the top of the lift
After returning from BC and after a get together with friends as well as a visit from Ron and Wendy from Scarborough we departed for Guatemala on Jan 24 for Guatemala. For more on our stay in Guatemala in 2013 go to Tundra Travels Page " W Carib Recent" by clicking here W Carib RECENT
May 1st 2013 we returned to Canada from Guatemala. For the next week we caught up on paperwork and mail only to head west May 8th for British Columbia and to the Okanogan Valley to Celebrate the life of Kathy's father at his memorial in Oliver. Jack passed away peacefully Feb 7th 2013.
The Memorial in Oliver BC was a great success with the
whole family present.We spent the long weekend with our family
at Greg and Courtney's cabin at St Vincent Bay on the
Sunshine Coast. Fun was had by all on the Cabin Dock
Relaxing on the Beach located nearby at St Vincents Bay Madi
& Greg are seen shucking Oysters
May 23rd we are back in Sarnia . May 29th
we pick up John and Eleanor who will visit us for a week after
their singing tour in New York. After a short week we drove
E&J to Toronto to stay overnight at Ron and Wendy's and
Depart June 5th for home.
Relaxing above on Aleta's
Sisters on a Swing
Aleta and Eleanor have a
July 8th 2013
Our grandchildren Madi and Barrett arrive for their summer visit.
An important stop
and break during a bicycle ride in the Point
Madi Barrett and Kathy watch the cement men
Madi & Barrett do their act on the
relax on the couch
For ten days just before Labour Day Week End we took Big White and Katalena's Legend to Killarney for our North Channel Fix for the Year. Below a few scenes of our stay in Killarney and the Landsdown Channel area.
Left is Big White at Roques
Marina and Camp Ground
Right Katalina's Legend is
mirrored at her dock at Roques Marina located in Killarney
In our boat Heading into Hole In The Wall in the Landsdown Channel Looking North up the Landsdown Channel
Typical rocks adjacent Landsdown Channel
A view from the
rocks as we hike in Covered Portage in Frazer Bay
September saw completion of the cement work for our to be constructed Car Port that will take place in 2014.
Big White sits on the future
site of our Car Port which is to be constructed in the Spring
October arrived and we were off to Europe!!
The 2013 October Trip To France
and Spain Follows
October 10, 2013
Via Air Canada we left Sarnia in the early afternoon of the 10th of October with one stopover in Toronto before arrival in Paris at 0600 on the eleventh. The flight went by amazingly quickly. Brian reached a hallmark birthday this year so something special was in the works. Christian and Barbara Ley had agreed to meet us in Paris. The Leys and their young son, Carsten, sailed through SYC in the early 80’s on their way around the world aboard Ganesh. We were fortunate enough to spend time together as the Abbotts readied their boat for shipping to BC. All these years later we had a wonderful reunion and it seemed like just yesterday as we picked up the threads of time.
Below Christian, Kathy and
to be at the base of the Arc de Triumph in Paris France
Below are two views we
witnessed from the top of the Arc de Triumph in Paris France
We descend from the Arc de Triumph and begin
our lengthy walk along the boulevard to explore other sites along
A human inside this
costume remains absolutely motionless as we pass
Two action packed days sufficed to see
the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde,
Musee de Louvre, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Sacre- Coeur and
more. The Champs-Elysees was fascination as our hosts pointed
out the sights.
An ancient magnificent church Sacre- Coeur sits high
on a hill surrounded by throngs of people celebrating the
holiday as an acrobat shows his stuff in the square in front of
the church. Also we see picturesque views of fountains and moder
boat tour took us around the Ile de la Cite which was the
historic center of Paris that related back to the beginning
Lunch in the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank provided enough time to soak in the atmosphere while a boat ride around Ile de la Cite was a relaxing break. Pont Neuf (1578 vintage) and all the bridges have unique architecture featuring statues, gargoyles and more. Riding the metro was a feat in itself. Supposedly it wasn’t peak season, but the number of people milling about was truly amazing. France has a population of 60 million and is the most visited destination in Europe! Should we be surprised!
Southern France was a wonderful rural
experience. Hiking with Christian and Barbara was fabulous. They
took us to vineyards, through lavender fields, into the
countryside around their home in St-Michel-d’Euzet. They
presented us with an historical overview of Roman inroads such as the
Pont-St-Esprit (built in 1265 and still in use)and La Roque sur
Ceze nestled into the natural beauty of the Sautadet cascades
where Barbara has her favourite swimming hole. A drive through
Barjac to the Gorges de l’Ardeche presented huge canyons with
rushing rapids and still backwaters with a myriad of sporting
of the Valley above in Southern France where our Friends Chris
and Barbara's favourite Winery was located.
Below are a few scenes of this beautiful Provence area in Southern France
All the while we
experienced Barbara’s delicious culinary talents- duck, cheeses of
all variety, artistic salads and more. Madame Roger Ley, also, entertained us in
grand style for quiche and more before our departure from this
peaceful area. What a wonderful reunion. En route to Nimes,
Christian and Barbara drove us through Uses in Le Midi. Corridors
of towering Plan tan Trees were spectacular and lavender sachets
were fragrant and plentiful.
From Nimes, home of a huge bull
ring and the Unesco Pont du Gard, Brian and I ventured out by
train (renfe) to Figeres
Vilafont, then Barcelona. Arriving early in the day afforded us
good time to pick up our rental car-a snappy 6 shift on the
floor Renault-and head for Lloret de Mar on the Costa
Brava. To our surprise we found mega high rises, crowds of
people and a little spot of course sand beach! Only after we
dipped our feet in the med, did we find the autopista and fly
down the Costa Azahar, through the ancient port of Valencia
to Cullera. Lunch was a med special on the most beautiful
beach with a grande marina in Tarragona. As ‘Sterling
Moss’ drove a modest 145 kms per hour, we had ‘looneys’passing
us at 165. It was quite an experience, but we adapted quickly.
From this point on, our pattern was to book the next hotel ahead
on the tablet, then accept the challenge of finding it by gps.
Make sure one has lots of time!
As we closed in on Costa del Sol,
the scenery was spectacular-jagged peaks on the land side and
pure sweet Med to the east. The roads were first class winding
in and out and around lengthy mountain tunnels. Next stop was on
the sea in Calahondra. Agriculture is plentiful along
this coast. Ground crops are grown under acres and acres of
white plastic. Cucumbers, peppers and more. Apparently the Moors
introduced agriculture to the Spaniards. What a blessing.
On the 21 st of October we
arrived in Gibralter, took the cable car to the top of
the rock to see the views and pesky monkeys. One can see Morocco
easily. It was interesting to find a totally British enclave in
the midst of Spain and spend our first pounds. The residents
guard their culture with gusto. That eve a magnificent sun set
over the rock and we received great vibes. Not having enough
knowledge or time to approach Morocco we decided to head for Cadiz,
the most ancient city in all of Europe. Arriving in driving rain
we were introduced to narrow streets and scant parking. With
umbrellas in hand we toured narrow streets, ancient Cathedrals,
and purchased tickets (in Spanish only) for Paris via renfe.
The Cathedral and La Giralda were notable inSevilla. Also the Torre del Oro, a small guard tower on the Guadalquivir River, monitored gold and silver returning from the West Indies as early as the 1500s. Tapas bars abound. It was delightful to sit in the street at Geronimo-Cordoba square with beers and tapas in hand watching the world go by. Cordoba had the narrowest streets ever and many peatones-pedestrian only walks. The Mezquita, a mosque cathedral combination, sported lively history. It originated with the spirit of Islam in the 700s and had many alterations as the Islamic element was overtaken by British. A cathedral was built in the middle and many chapels surround it. The pillars and arches were constructed of granite, jasper and marble. Wonderful to see. Squeezing out of our underground parking garage-with the maid directing traffic-we set out across country to the small hamlet of Chivas en route back north. A late arrival and early departure put us into Barcelona at a reasonable hour. Here we parked only 7 stories underground! Parking on the street will net you a 200 euro fine and a tow to heaven knows where.
the Royal Palace Real Alcazar in Sevilla and below
right is a giant sculpture located in Central Square.
On the left is one of the
many narrow streets in Sevilla and on the
right a butcher shop.
The Sagrada Familia Temple, created by Gaudi, was a short walk away. The outside has been under construction since 1883. It is suggested that one book tickets on line before visiting the site. Needless to say we saw the awesome outside. The metro was again very efficient, so we struck off to Las Ramlas-an open air promenade in the middle of the city. Side jaunts took us to the city hall, the Picasso Museum, and the Palau Guell. Audio sets were very helpful interpreting art pieces.
The Sagrada Familia
Temple, is shown above that was created by Antoni
Then the fun began. Arriving at 1130 we looked for our connection area and attempted to get tickets on to Charles De Gaulle and our hotel. A robber relieved us of Brian’s backpack containing his tablet and camera and a zillion connections. Talking to a nice young security guard revealed that they have this happen at least 15 times a day! To top that, the trains stopped running at midnight and we would have to leave the station. Soooooo an angel appeared! Our security guard lived near CDG and volunteered to drive us across the city to our hotel. She and ourselves were escorted to her car by 3 burly guards and 2 German Sheperd’s with info that it’s one of the most dangerous stations in the city! Brian and Kathy will be forever thankful.
For our last day in Paris it seemed fitting that we should see Versailles and a little more of the downtown. This time the metro was a snap. We saw all the opulence of centuries ago and only got pic-pocketed this time. Insurance is a wonderful thing and our friends are sending us pictures of time together. Even a lovely couple we met in line sent us their pics of places we had both been. Be sure to make a police report if you have misfortune. “All’s well that ends well”, and there is so much more to see. Highly recommended books are “The Rough Guide to first time Europe” and “Eyewitness Travel Europe”. Internet is mostly everywhere.
Below are a few photos taken with our
only remaining Camera Kathy's Tablet as all our other photos
remain in Paris with two different thieves. All photos seen here
of our visit to Europe were kindly donated to us by friends or
on Kathy's Tablet so we gratefully THANK YOU!!
Below Kathy and I stand out side
in the enormous gardens of Versailles and below right you
see the inside House of Mirrors
A painting of Marie Antoinette on the
left and below one of the many spectacular ceilings at Versailles
On our way back from Versailles to our hotel we make our last short visit to downtown Paris where as you can see below Kathy took full advantage.
Above Kathy poses on one of the
many bridges among the many padlocks left by tourists and
shops in downtown Paris at her favourite
store. No wonder look at the sign behind
her. :-) HAPPINESS IS!!
Kathy says "Yes we’d do it again." but I'm not so sure!!Now here it is Dec 20 2013, a few days before Christmas, as we prepare for the New Year. On January 15th 2014 you will once again see us in Guatemala where we will reunite with our sailboat TUNDRA located in the Rio Dulce.