Disneyland, Overijssel? No it’s real. The Sassenpoort gate to the city dates from the 14th century.
Mevrouw T and I have changed trains at Zwolle dozens of times in the past few years, on our way to see family and friends in the northern Dutch provinces. Not once have we ventured outside the station.
Our friend Hans had a significant birthday to celebrate, so with him as our guide we took the time to spend a day in the town where he went to school. He showed us an interesting art museum, quiet squares with cafes under the plane trees, and a bookshop which ranks with the world’s most spectacular.
According to slightly dubious story, Zwolle could have been a pile of rubble but for the heroism (or sheer craziness?) of a Canadian soldier in WWII.
Teylers Museum. Polished wood and creaky floors – the way a good museum used to be.
There are usually queues at Amsterdam’s wonderful Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, and for good reason.
But The Netherlands has a plethora of other smaller, fascinating museums of things we never knew we were interested in…until now.
La Place aux Aires. Pleasant even for those who can’t smell it.
I’ve just discovered that I have little or no sense of smell. I can’t even distinguish marijuana from whisky in a sniff-off at the smelling tubes in the International Perfume Museum.
It may explain my devil-may-care attitude to applying deodorant and changing socks.
I’m probably not ideally qualified to comment on a town that’s built a thriving tourism business around its fragrances. Continue reading
La Ville Rose (the Pink City) surprises us.
Although it’s France’s fourth largest town, (see below for numbers 1-3*) Toulouse was just a place to pass through on our way to hike in the lovely Languedoc. It was an afterthought for me to book an extra night there.
We soon wished we’d made it longer. It’s not a big place, but a day and a half wasn’t enough to do everything in a relaxed, Toulousian manner. Continue reading
Luxury yachts and a crowded beach. All the things we’re supposed to hate in a resort town.
We Australians don’t visit France’s Côte d’Azur for its beaches. We don’t like paying to sit on a deckchair or renting a towel. We hate the idea of private beaches for hotel guests only.
On the other hand, we don’t know any Australian resort towns with covered markets, massed petunia baskets hanging above cobbled alleyways and a Picasso Museum. Continue reading
Just plain folks who’ve spotted someone special. It makes anyone go a bit silly.
Mevrouw T and I have never been to Cannes at film festival time. I’ve been waiting to be nominated for the Palme d’Or and unsurprisingly that hasn’t happened yet. Not even Un Certain Regard…
But this year we happened to be in the neighbourhood, so we dropped in to see what all the fuss was about. It was fun.
It’s a steep pull up to the ruined castle at Montsegur. It’s nearly as tough bumping downhill on our ageing knees. The view makes it all worthwhile.
The site of a bloody religious war is now a gentle, but spectacular walking route through some of France’s most beautiful countryside.
Filed under France, Hiking