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Off to Paris

Paris, France, Paris - Saturday, April 18th, 2015

It’s been one hell of a winter here in Nova Scotia with record breaking (and back breaking) snowfall. It’s April 18th and there is still three feet of snow on large swathes of our lawn. Robins arriving back home have had a rude awakening as they discover that ice worms are not as plentiful or tasty as earthworms. We have been helping them out with apples, grapes and raisins, but as of later today they are on their own as I am off to Paris. Yes, Paris in the spring!

I am almost embarrased to write that I have not visited the city of light for over fifty years. Somehow, some other place always seemed to be more alluring at the time, but not this year. There is a purpose to our ramblings other than just visiting Paris. After four days here we will join a group of other Canadians ranging in age from 13 to 80 on a tour of WWI and WWII battlefields where Canadians played a prominent role. The tour is run by Liberation Tours and is designed by Canadians for Canadians. So far they have nothing short of excellent in the prep work for this trip.

The trip also has a special meaning for me, because it was just over fifty years ago that I first went to Europe in the company of my grandfather and grandmother. He was a veteran of WWI and had fought at Vimy Ridge and Paschaendale and during the course of a couple of weeks we followed pretty well the same route this tour will take. It starts in Paris, then off to Normandy for the D-Day and Dieppe sites, then onto the Western Front sites from WWI and finally through Holland to Amsterdam. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Holland by mostly Canadian troops and apparently there are some special celebrations planned when we get there.

We were in Holland last year at this time on a fantastic bike & barge tour with Cycletours and I am very much looking forward to seeing and photgraphing the bulb fields once again. If you click on Holland 2014 under the Destinations tab you will find over a dozen posts about this trip and a nice photo gallery entry as well on the Keukenhof Gardens.

So please join me as Alison and I take the overnight flight from Montreal to Paris and start yet another amazing adventure. I’ve got lots a interesting places to explore that are not quite your standard Parisienne tourist fare. If you like exploring cemeteries looking for the dead and famous, are Hemingway or Van Gogh aficianados or would like to know more about early French history and the mysterious Merovingian dynasty, then I’ve got something for you. Au revoir – see you in Paris.


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