July 25: Meet me in St Louis

We’re in St Louis! Not the famous American version, but a small French town a few minutes north of Basel. Our overnight stop before the early flight to Catania tomorrow has thrown up some lovely surprises.

A free music festival! Love a good festival. We couldn’t be in Byron Bay for the current Splendour in the Grass festival, so this was a close second … except all the songs were in French. We think they must be quite popular bands because there’s a good turnout in this small village – the town slogan is ‘village of the future’. A pretty sign near the train station said it was more than 16,600km to Sydney.

It was quite cool when we left Bern today, so I threw on my denim shirt as an extra layer and it turned out to be an inspired choice for tonight, as the town square created wind tunnels in the side streets. We stopped for a beer then watched a trio who were so French. I don’t know how to explain it other than ‘so French’.

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Our first holiday beer!

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A very tasty amber

A very funky food van

A very funky food van

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An arty snap of the action

The locals had a laugh watching me lick my ice cream straight off the cone, onto my handbag and then the ground – luckily not in my shoes! Leo was laughing too much to snap evidence. I trod back to the ice cream van and the man looked at me as if to say, “What’s happened? You were just here!” I theatre-sported the whole schemozzle and he wanted to replace it for free. I did my best French-accented, “Ohhhh no, no, no, no, no” and he happily took the cash.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

Birthday weekend in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, the capital of the Elsass region on the border of France and Germany, is a wonderful old city and I feel very lucky to have been taken here for the continuation of my birthday celebrations. Compact and photogenic, she knows how to charm you in just a few days. Neither of us had been here before and we hope to go back again soon.

The drive from Bern took about 2.5 hours. We arrived at lunch time on Friday and left Sunday morning, stopping at Chateau du Haut-Königsbourg in Orschwiller, France, on the way home (where we had cake for lunch. How decadent. This birthday weekend has been all about the sweet stuff!).

It would have been wonderful to speak some French (Leo does and he did a great job) but overall we managed well with German and English. We ate and drank too much and also overdid it on the walking – my feet and legs are still a bit sore from all the cobblestones.

Highlights include the incredible cathedral, the crowing of the rooster at the astronomical clock display, the boat cruise and a new toy – we bought an olloclip attachment for my phone so I can take wide, fish eye and macro photos now. Very exciting!

So enough from me, I’ll hand over to the photos to tell the story.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

March 6-8: Writing while on holiday is tough!

There’s big trouble in little Strasbourg. The city is beautiful – there’s so much to see … and so little time. This ‘being on holiday and posting on fitfor15in15’ melarky is tougher than I thought. It’s the first time I’ve been away from home and tried to write.

But in order for this birthday extravaganza weekend holiday to be exactly that, and to be fair to Leo, who sits around twiddling his thumbs when I’m on the computer, I’m going to have to go against my my own wishes and not post anything more this weekend.

You can be safe in the knowledge I will be exercising every day. I have my gear here and my Thera-Band with a print out of exercises, and I’ll be doing them every morning in the hotel room.

Walking around the city is probably exercise enough – this afternoon we climbed the 66 metres to the viewing platform on the Catherdral de Notre-Dame for an amazing view in glorious sunshine, then walked around the city back to the hotel and again to dinner and so on and so on. It’s a wanderers paradise, and I’ll write a proper post about this lovely city, with lots of photos, next week.

Apologies again for reneging on my initial plan to blog every day this year. A change of plans that will keep Leo sane and give me the chance to be a tourist, 100 per cent.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!