Thursday Sept 2, 2016

I wouldn’t normally bother with a blog-entry this early into a tour. I mean, it was only a couple of days ago that we left home. But (i) knowing that some of you have nothing better to do than read these pointless jottings … and (ii) suspecting that some of you worry about your friends and rellies who are travelling with us … and (iii) realising that you probably won’t rest-easy until you know your loved ones are safe … I felt I should update you.

So, let’s see – what can I say?

Well, to be honest, not a lot. Except that, after an uneventful 10 hours in the air, we arrived last night at midway-point in our journey to the other side of the world. Singapore, a glittering Asian showpiece, was all lit-up in welcome, but we really didn’t care. We were soon sleeping like babies in our oversized beds at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

After an embarrassingly yummy breakfast next morning, we headed for the stunning Orchid Gardens – then followed that up with Singapore’s newest attraction, Gardens by the Bay, featuring huge Supertrees, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest conservatories. Leisurely sightseeing and shopping came next, plus an evening transfer back to Changi Airport for the next leg in our exciting sojourn: 14 more hours in the air – to romantique France, and its glorious capital, Paris.

We were met by Gerard (our French-speaking Tour Manager) plus a waiting coach, and promptly drove off for an introductory peep at some famous Paris sights: like the Tuilleries Gardens … the Arc de Triomphe … the Eiffel Tower … the Avenue de Champs-Elysees … the Cathedral du Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite … the Louvre Museum … and the Place de la Concorde.

Come dinnertime, we sat down to a superb Midlife Madness Welcome in the restaurant at Hotel les Jardins du Marais (our home-&-bed for the coming three nights). It was a kind of “pinch-me-please” moment that felt a little surreal: we’re actually here in France … and our Grand French Adventure’s actually happening!

STILL TO COME: We go looking for the magnificent Palace of Versailles (built in the 1600s by the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV), with its famous Hall of Mirrors and exquisite gardens. Don’t miss it …

PEOPLE-NEWS: The first of our world-famous Quacky Yellow Ducks has left the nest …

  • Eric gets our All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth’ Award – except, in Eric’s case, it was only ONE front tooth – the one that fell out during our inflight breakfast this morning. Eric spent the day looking for all the world like Blackbeard the Pirate (without a beard) until a local Parisienne dentist glued the offending molar back in. We suspect a little Blutak was involved, but Eric’s not saying …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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