First stop Prague in The Czech Republic, an amazing city that is still so intact from its Medieval days as capital of the Bohemian Empire. We had 4 lovely days here with just the four of us wandering its fascinating streets and Squares, visiting Castles, Cathedrals and Palaces. We crossed The Charles bridge many times day and night and took in as much as we could including a night out at a Jazz club and all the while enjoying the amazingly cheap Beer.
We loved all the Kubist and Modernist movement Architecture from the turn of the century that was scattered all over Prague. The city has survived many a war and was very lucky to have being left mostly intact following the Nazi occupation during WW2 when the German commander ignored his orders to destroy the old city centre on his departure and instead just blew up one minor city administration building ad left the medieval buildings alone.
The Medieval old town centre was stunning and its Gothic inspired steeples and tower tops were very formidable indeed.
The Castle and cathedral district occupied the whole top of the hill across the river and there were Palaces of all sizes and styles. This was the capital of Bohemia and was the centre of culture in the 17th and 18th centuries so prices and royalty from all over Europe kept palaces up on the hill which commander views in all directions.
the rain did not dampen our venturing and we experienced the heartache of the Jewish ghetto and museums
Our apartment was supposedly once occupied by Mozart so all over the city there apartments that he is known to have lived in and all are cashing in .
NEXT STOP PARIS, FRANCE
Our second visit to Paris after coming here on our whirlwind 1996 expedition and it was wonderful to see it with less eyes of wonder than before so that we could absorb the detail and the history.
We met up with Joan & Shelly on our second day and took in The Place Des Vosges, Luxembourg gardens, The Pantheon, Notre Dame just in one day. we are staying in The Marais Quarter in a fabulous apartment.
Our next day was at The Louvre and at night The Eiffel Tower in all its sparkles.
We visited Versailles on the hottest day of the year and it was so massive and opulent we felt the idiocy of it all but also the majestic nature of the craftsmanship and the grandeur of the times.
back in Paris and the exploring did not stop with so much to see we just kept going as much as our feet would allow.
One of our favourite places in Paris is the Place Des Vorges with its Central Park and colonnaded buildings surrounding. Next stop was the Pompidou centre where we has an insanely expensive drink in the Place de Pompidou .
NEXT STOP AVIGNON, FRANCE
A very fast train ride and we arrive in the south of France and it’s hot really hot and as we have to walk to our B&B it’s cobble stones all the way but at least the streets are tree lined and we get there in one piece.
We took a tourist bus ride to the fields and hills of Provence and experienced the rugged terrain and in the valleys the copious fields of Lavender and Olives.
The Popes Palace in Avignon is a great example of a Medieval castle that has stayed in one piece as it has been in constant use for over 1,000 years in some form or other.
We enjoyed the side trips to the Provence villages of Gordes and Roussillon and through the lavender fields that surround them.
So long Avignon it has been a very nice visit.