Category Archives: Natural Environment

A to Z of Postcards – N is Northern France

Guidebooks say that Abbeville was once an attractive place but it was destroyed in the German blitzkrieg of 1940 when the town was reduced to rubble as the German Panzer divisions advanced towards the English Channel but I have to say that I found the rebuilt modern town to be very attractive itself, so attractive as it happens that I can only begin to imagine just how picturesque the original town might once have been.

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A to Z of Postcards – M is for Montreuil Sur Mer in France

Montreuil was once an important strategic town on the English Channel but by the nineteenth century after the sea had withdrawn over ten miles away which meant getting a boat in the water was becoming increasingly difficult it had become a sleepy medieval town of no real importance except for passengers on the coaching road from Calais to Paris.

The weather was accommodating and we enjoyed good views across the surrounding countryside.  Our stroll returned us to the centre of the classic French market town and we walked through its attractive streets with its lively fountains and vibrant floral displays, its  shops, restaurants and cafés  and we finished back in the town square right next to a convenient bar where we had a drink before moving on.

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A to Z of Postcards – L is for Liechtenstein

“It occurred to me that there is no reason to go to Liechtenstein except to say that you have been there.  If it were simply part of Switzerland… nobody would dream of visiting it” –  Bill Bryson – ‘Neither here Nor there’

Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest independent European state after the Vatican City, Monaco and San Marino and is closely aligned to Switzerland.  It is also the sixth smallest independent sovereign state in the World if you add Nauru and Tuvalu.

It is one of only two countries in the world that are double landlocked (the other is Uzbekistan) as neither of its neighbours, Switzerland and Austria have access to the sea either.  It is therefore safe to say that fishing is probably not an important contributor to the economy in Liechtenstein and it doesn’t have any Blue Flag beaches.

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A to Z of Postcards – K is for Kefalonia

In the first half of 2000 work was getting onerous and less enjoyable and I was beginning to lose my enthusiasm for working for a company (Onyx UK) that was financed by public taxes but was providing an ever deteriorating level of service.  I had a new boss who I didn’t get on with and I needed a holiday so at the beginning of June I went to the Ionian island of Kefalonia with mum and dad and son Jonathan.

As it happened it turned out to be the last time that I went away with dad because he became too ill to travel soon after that.

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A to Z of Postcards – J is for Jackson Hole in USA

 

Tonight we stayed at the Painted Buffalo Inn in Jackson or more correctly Jackson Hole. which was close to the town’s main square with arches of Elk antlers and close to the shopping and restaurant areas of this busy tourist town.

Later we had buffalo steaks at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, which is a cowboy restaurant with lively entertainment, saddles for bar stools and an impressive collection of western memorabilia and cowboy theme bars.   Jackson and the Grand Tetons have been a popular western movie shoot location and includes one of my favourites – “Shane”.

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A to Z of Postcards – I is for Île de Ré in France

As a couple of highly amateurish and very part time cyclists, who wouldn’t know Lance Armstrong if he hurtled straight into us we were going to go for a bike ride.

We chose Île de Ré because we don’t do hills, we are used to the subtle undulations of the Lincolnshire landscape. So for us the prospect of Île de Ré, with its network of dedicated cycle paths and flat topography seemed practically perfect,

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A to Z of Postcards – H is for Heidelberg in Germany

To get to the tourist old town required a drive through the busy commercial centre before arriving on the western bank of the river.  We arrived just after midday and we set about looking for a car park.  We were nervous about this because we visited the city once before in 2007 and had completely failed to understand the car parking arrangements and we had driven around in circles before stopping for only the briefest of stays and then giving up and going to nearby Speyer instead.

We were determined not to make the same mistake this time but despite, as I thought, following all the signs carefully we found ourselves missing them all and doing the circuit again.  I concluded that the signs are either very confusing or I am incredibly stupid!  Luckily lust a millisecond before my patience expired we found an underground car park right in the altstadt.

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A to Z of Postcards – F is for Friedrichshafen in Germany

The Ryanair website is like quicksand; once you are in there it sucks you in deeper and deeper looking for bargain flight offers and it is difficult to get out.

It is cleverly designed to work that way so that you visit more and more pages in a frenzied search for the best deals.  I really didn’t think that it would be possible to beat the £16 return flights to Pula so I was understandably ecstatic to find flights to Friedrichshafen for £15 return.

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A to Z of Postcards – E is for Extremadura

This part of the journey was reminder of just how big Spain is as we motored for mile after mile without meeting any other traffic or without passing through towns or villages.  The road just kept grinding endlessly on in an easterly direction in a way that reminded me of the tortuous journey through Andalusia in a clapped out Ford Escort in 1986.

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A to Z of Postcards – D is for Dublin (Part 2)

Narrow cobbled streets with beer bottle tops crushed for near eternity into the tarmac joints, winking like silver coins and capturing the memories of wild party nights and happy drinking, brightly coloured buildings decorated with hanging baskets with brassy flowers spilling over like floral waterfalls and enthusiastic street entertainers on every corner.

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