Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tuesday Tune-Up

SummerPool AutumnPool
Jack  ColourBaskets
 

Welcome to the Tuesday Ramble:

  • The difference of a few months: a photo of the pool and BBQ area in late May and another taken today.  We have just emptied the pool for maintenance over the winter.
  • The Biscuit Bunch is off to Carcassonne today - I'm sure that you will see plenty of pictures in subsequent posts so I won't add any here.  It is a special place, we had looked at renting in this area but I'm definitely pleased we chose the Dordogne. Even so the old city of Carcassonne is in a class of its own - as you will soon find out.
  • It seems we were a bit confused last week about the end of school holidays. Turns out school went back Wednesday not Thursday.  Our boys didn't complain and enjoyed the educational bush walk (see Jack's expression opposite).
  • Tuesday is a public holiday and there is no school on Wednesday as usual.  So we are using this mini-break to make our long overdue trip away to Carcassonne (once again refer photo opposite).
  • It's worth mentioning that Diesel is down from €1.60 (July) to €1.08 this last week.  I see the price of gold is dropping too... I bet the bottom has fallen out of the market in Saudi Arabia for gold plated bathroom accessories (I would have included a photo of me smiling but it would look awful) .
  • If you see a funny gray line through the middle of this post then send your thanks to the team at blogger who have just updated something in their system.  I'm working on it but not for long as there is still packing to do.  It's only 8pm Monday night and I have scheduled this post to go live on Tuesday morning - who would have thought I could be so organised?
  • Yes - I know, I'm a basket case.

French Facts: Armistice Day

JackSchoolChurch
In France the 11th November is a public holiday, set aside in remembrance of the end of the WWI. Flags have been put up in Villefranche and on the memorial outside Jack's school in Saint Cernin.  I took this photo after school (Monday).
These days in France it is rare to see the French flag flying independently of the EU flag.  Symbolising perhaps just how much the wars of the last century have impacted on Europe.
We plan to head off early on our adventure tomorrow so we will miss the local dedications.. which is a shame as it would have been good to attend.  We might catch one of parades when we stop in Toulouse around lunchtime but it will be a hit and miss affair.
As a memento of this day I can do no more then point you to a previous post from back in May.
We will remember them.

My French Frustration

IMG_2514

Check out the vending machine on the wall outside this Pharmacy in Cazals.. This has to be France's answer to "Family Friendly Hotels".

 

My biggest gripe with France has to be the lack of short stay family accommodation in a hotel or motel type environments. 

Sure there are plenty of holiday homes or gites, which are great in you plan on staying for a week or more. In the summer there are many good camping grounds, most have bungalows or caravans but even then they rent weekly and only open in the high season.

Lets assume there are two adults & two kids in your family: you should expect a real struggle to find decent accommodation, your choice will most likely come down to a separate bedroom with a sofa-bed in the lounge or you will have to resort to the extra expense of two adjoining hotel rooms.  However if you have three kids then don't even think about leaving the house!!! 

We have missed out on so many opportunities to spend a night in Toulouse,  Bordeaux or Carcassonne owing to the dearth of accommodation options. We are off to Carcassonne tomorrow we managed to find a place but it was very frustrating - I had given up in disgust but Ange thankfully persisted.