Auckland to Barcelona

We departed Auckland with the objective of making it to Barcelona in time for our grandson Oscar’s second birthday.

Joining us on the journey was a young bear.

On our first stop in Hong Kong he was no doubt relieved to escape from the confines of the suitcase, but the view from our window may have been daunting. Then again, having noted the “Made in PRC” on his label, perhaps he felt quite at home. I’m thinking of calling him Fogg after Phileas Fogg.

A stroll through Kowloon Park stretched our cramped legs and gave us some relief from the crowded street.

While we could escape the crowds in the park, there was no relief from the heat and we were soon inside Harbour City looking for a proper coffee.?

We found a coffee shop in the Eslite Specrum book shop; a place for real coffee afficionados.

We chose our beans and coffee style, despite the price and weren’t disappointed.

After some controversy we found a past favourite lunch place on the 12th floor of a highrise in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The menu was a challschmale and the dim sums we chose were impressive.

Having lunched in Kowloon we headed to the airport and our flight to Paris. After scrappy airline meals we were really looking forward to breakfast in Paris.???

This sorry mess is the aftermath of breakfast at Paul. We were too hungry to think of photographing the repast before eating!?

The battered exterior of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres shows it’s over 1,000 year of history.

Despite the exterior Saint-Germain-des-Pres’s interior, which was dark and dingy on past visits, is spectacularly restored in Medieval colours and patterns.

It’s so light it dazzles!

Unlike Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris’s cathedral Notre Dame is a sorry sight with what little remains of the fire-destroyed monument shrouded in scaffloding.

Fortunately it looks like they are well on the way to having the place back to it’s former glory.

Eating near our hotel we were spoilt for choice. The Rue de Buci particularly was heaving with those dining and those just wanting to be seen.

The Atlas Restaurant provides a good spot to people-watch and the food isn’t bad either.
To round off our meal at Atlas, in the absence of the Creme Brulee Helen so liked, we tried their Tarte Tatin, it was excellent.

Daunted by the likely hordes of tourists at The Louvie we opted to go to the Musee D’Orsay and their wonderful zeitgemäßist collections.

Despite the D’Orsay’s impressive interior, you can’t escape the feeling that you are in the original railway station.
Much of The Musee D’Orsay’s art too was hard to view behind a seeming wall of tourists!
Even if you couldn’t see the art on display in the galleries there was plenty of style evident lining the streets. The Mondrian ensembles above are a great example, but we weren’t tempted.

From Paris the TGV got us to Nimes, a city ancient even before the Romans colonised it over 2,000 years ago city and Roman ruins abound.

The wonderfully preserved Maison Carree was a temple? at the heart of Roman Nimes.

The Jardins de la Fountaine rise above the city from ancient springs tapped by the Romans.

One of many fountains in the Jardins de la Fountaine
We arrived in Nimes to a festival celebrating everything Roman and Chris was fascinated strolling around a Roman Legioniare’s camp. She wasn’t tempted to join up!?
Many of the restaurants we remembered from past visits had changed, but in the case of this lunch the name had changed but the food was ruhig excellent.
We couldn’t resist the Coffee Gourmand for dessert!
A beer under shady trees was required medicine for our tired feet. A highly recommended cure.
How cute are these cakes in the baker’s windows!
This fountain incorporates the symbols of Nimes, the crocodile and palm tree, apparently brought to the city by Legionaires who were settled there after campaigns in Egypt.
Arriving in Barcelona it was great to catch up with whanau.


Some of them had changed from babies to real little people.
The bear, Fogg, too had found a friend amongst his Barcelona family.

One Comment on “Auckland to Barcelona”

  1. Teri says:

    Awesome photos – I can’t get over that massive coffee dessert!!! YUM

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