Saturday, September 24, 2016

Europe 2016: Trip Notes # 12

Europe 2016: Trip Notes # 12


There was a great 1970 movie (The Out Of Towners) starring Jack Lennon and Sandy Dennis. On a trip, everything that could have gone wrong, and more, seemed to have occurred. Whenever there was "a situation," Dennis would proclaim, "Oh... my.... God!"

Well, our unexpected  "trip issues" did not stop as we left the cruise and headed for the Barcelona airport to catch a short Easy Jet flight to Lyon, France.

Jerry (thinking ahead) booked the "inexpensive flight" before we left, paid extra for our luggage as well as another "small fee" to ensure that we would sit together. 

Our Easy Jet Plane

Check-in went smoothly. Our extra (paid) fees were acknowledged. The ticket counter asked if we wanted to put our wheelies on the plane at no cost to us. Jerry had his laptop and cables inside his wheelie and did not want to transfer everything to his backpack. Also, since the "extra" piece of luggage was "free," why bother?

"Free" is not free until it is truly free! One of the gate agents demanded that Jerry pay an additional $80 for his "free" wheelie. Jerry went ballistic. The gate agent refused to speak to the check-in agent, refused to call a manager and proclaimed, " the $80 or don't get on the plane!"

He paid, "Grrrrrrrr-ring" all the way to his seat.

Of course, there was plenty of leg room...

More "Grrrrr-ing!"

The booked rental car that would take us to the barge would be a small, stick-shift vehicle. But, without Jerry having his stolen driver's license, guess who became the "designated driver." I was 18 years old when I last drove "a stick" - I was not comfortable driving this type of car, especially in Europe, We decided to change to an "Automatic." It was "a few dollars" more but, peace of mind...

New Car, Different Driving Patterns And Unclear Signage = Concentration!

Barging With Lisa And Tom

We were lucky. The car came with a GPS. However, the car's software was poor at best. Not to worry. We had to Garmen's + an i-phone that had Goggle Maps and another "App" called, Waze.

An hour drive to Roanne (south of Dijon) to reach Lisa and Tom took two hours. The GPS' decided to ignore the freeways and took us through the scenic, curvy, hilly, countryside route. Ultimately, we found the barge and we were ready for French champagne, Lisa's wonderful selection of cheeses, pates, followed by a great dinner paired with, of course, French wines.

Off To A Great Start!

We are very fortunate to have a barge experience with Lisa and Tom. This is our sixth trip with them. Our friends ask if we are bored. Not at all. Yes, barging each time has its similarities; but, on every occasion we have been with Lisa and Tom, our trips have had their own unique and wonderful opportunities to see something out of the ordinary.

One aspect that was "different" about this trip was that there was not a sense or urgency to visit a chateau, rush to a small town before the open-air market closes or see another church. 

Okay, we did visit a few churches...

Roanne's Church Behind This Home

We Discovered That Roanne's Church Was Built In The 1100's
(Lisa and Arlene Are Admiring The Altar)

...We found a special "fairy tale" castle...

Chateau De La Roche

What A Fabulous Backdrop!

Jerry And Tom Taking A Selfie
(Almost Straight!)

...We traveled the wonderful, quaint countryside towns and canals...

What Is Around The Bend?

What Could Be Better?

 A Beautiful Place To Tie Up For The Evening

Going Through Locks Is Always A Spectacle And a Tight Squeeze

...We met interesting people, ate great food...

Tom Was Able To Take A Break 

...We found time to relax, breathe in the fresh air and pinch ourselves...

Often We Spotted Old Buildings Partially Hidden In The Trees

...We found wonderful, freshly baked bread...

.. or other "goodies..."


...We discovered an 800-year old abbey...

...There was a small town that honored its fallen heroes...

...Close to the canal was an old village with timbered houses...

...There was time to take a morning walk...

...We had to duck our heads more than once...

Low Bridges

...Once in a while, we came across something unusual...

She Needs A Little Mascara

...Or we simply relaxed until the next gourmet meal...

Sadly, it's time to say "Goodbye."  

We love barging!

Thank you, Lisa and Tom!!!

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