Avignon at its finest

We were the total tourist today. Le Pont at Avignon and the the Pont de Gard made up our day of touring this delightful area of Provence.  Thrilled with our photos on this very hot day – 35+. Enjoy.

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Not quite ‘Sur le Pont D’Avignon

Arriving in the afternoon we haven’t yet had a chance to get on to Le Pont D’Avignon , but this afternoon had a small taste of Avignon itself. A beautiful and historic city with plenty to see. Planning our trip for Avignon and surrounds for tomorrow but in the meantime a few visuals.

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Paradise definitely not lost

Just a few more photographs of our time in this part of the south of France. Heading to Avignon tomorrow and sad to say goodbye, again, to the beautiful St-Jean Cap Ferrat.

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A week is not a long time in paradise

We are still with Basil and Clare in their beautiful villa. Not much more to say because the pictures tell the story of how we’re enjoying beautiful sunny days, wonderful food and amazing company with our dear friends and some of their friends. Here are some photos of the serenity that is St-Jean Cap Ferrat in the markets and in the restaurants – or just simply looking out over these stunning views.

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St-Jean Cap Ferrat never ceases to amaze

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Here we are again in our favourite part of France, with Basil and Clare Sellers in their magnificent villa, Cuccia Noya in St-Jean Cap Ferrat. Some of these images never change and that’s the beauty of this part of the … Continue reading

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No coals from Newcastle

While you don’t need to be bored with the cricket result, we thought a few photos from Newcastle and one or two from Durham, wouldn’t go astray. We only spent two days in Newcastle before going to watch the girls, and while our stay was pleasant, we were pleased we were not around the players at the end of the Test. No doubt a very sombre place on day 5!

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A little time with our friends

While in amongst cricket commitments, we spent some time with great friends Emma and James Montgomery in Stockbridge in Hampshire.  Beautiful part of the world this –  really is so typically England. Catching up is always fun and we had a few laughs, as well as a few meals!

Prior to the Stockbridge visit we spent a lovely four days just outside Oxford where we watched the Australian girls play England in their Ashes Test series.  The girls play at the John Paul Getty estate Wormsley Park – a quaint cricket ground, again that is so typically English and certainly the prettiest country cricket ground at which we have had the privilege of watching cricket.

Just one more cricket match, this time a women’s ODI between Australia and England at Lord’s on Tuesday, and we will be then winging our way home after eight weeks away from Australia.  Can’t say we will miss living out of our suitcases!

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From cricket to croquet

We can’t get away from people in white. Arriving at Ripon we discovered there’s an international croquet championship at our hotel, the Ripon Spa Hotel which is a  very quaint hotel in the very quaint market city of Ripon. We’ve had a lovely interlude here before the next Test in Durham, exploring the township itself, its magnificent Ripon Cathedral as well as the other historical buildings and neatly kept public spaces in this city, including the Ripon Town Hall  the market square, and the beautiful Ripon Spa Gardens

A beautiful city of 15,000 people and a mere 1300 years old.


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The ultimate Irish joke

No it’s not limerick time. It’s the trip that we did today to the Giant’s Causeway in northern Ireland. After being told that this  the fourth natural wonder of the United Kingdom, we were looking forward to seeing the amazing interlocking basalt columns and being impressed by their majesty. Wrong. The ‘columns’ were not majestic, well certainly not by Australian standards, and the saddest part of the experience were the tourists who are allowed to clamber all over this World Heritage site.

But our disappointment in the geological attraction was not replicated when we went into Belfast.  There we took a black cab tour of the political hotspots of the city and saw first hand the Shankill Road (Protestant) and Falls Road (Catholic)  areas which were the scene of many violent clashes. Our guides were amazing in their grasp of and passion for Irish politics.  There was no doubt we received a one-sided version of what has occurred since the Battle of the Boyne however it was an excellent way to refresh our knowledge and to understand the experiences of both arguments in this long,  bloody and fruitless war.


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Gaol an important historic monument

We had an important lesson in Irish history  today visiting the Kilmainham Gaol which is now a museum. The Gaol played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British and in 1923, by the Irish Free State. Every significant Irish nationalist leader was imprisoned here.

The confines of the cells and the general prison environment send chills up the spine.  How people could be incarcerated like this defies belief. And at the time, it was regarded as a ‘reformist prison’! Prior to it being built in the 1790s, prisoners were housed in the one cell, men, women and children. But while the ‘new cells’ still housed a number of people at a time, women and children were separated from the men.

A few photos from our tour.

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