Paris – Off to the City of Light to Join Liberation Tours
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 Alison and I are off to Paris. Yes, Paris in the spring! Please join us as we start an epic trip that will start in Paris and end in Amsterdam.
I am almost embarrassed 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 been 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 photographing 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 us as we take the overnight flight from Montreal to Paris and start yet another amazing adventure. I’ve got lots of interesting places to explore that are not quite your standard Parisienne tourist fare. If you like exploring cemeteries looking for the dead and famous we’ll visit Pere Lachaise with former 60 minutes producer David Burke and then the lesser known Montmartre Cemetery on our own. Speaking of Montmartre we’ll find a great apartment there that overlooks the cemetery and then spend some time exploring this most interesting area of Paris. We’ll join David Burke once again and go looking for the places that Ernest Hemingway and other members of The Lost Generation used as their hangouts. If you would like to know more about early French history and the mysterious Merovingian dynasty, then we’ll visit the famous basilica of St. Denis and see another side of Paris. So there’s more than enough to see and do before we even join the tour.
Au revoir – see you in Paris.
UPDATE: Since this trip to Paris I have visited several more times and you’ll even more posts on this website than the ones linked to above.