Vicarious Travel Log #3: Gloria

This is the 3rd installment of my mom’s travel journal.  If you missed the last part, you can find it here.  They’ve also since started a Flickr photo stream to track their journey visually.  Here’s the first slideshow:

I neglected to tell you that we are not alone on our wandering through Europe. We have with us our invaluable and frequently annoying Gloria the GPS. Most of you already use this technology and are unmoved by its behaviour. Unfortunately, I was one of those little girls who named all dolls and stuffed animals and addressed them as if they were human so having something in the car that actually talks to you about your progress in real time needed to be named. As well Gloria seems to have a personality. She speaks with a pseudo-Australian accent since we find that one to be clearest and if we do not follow her instructions to a T she is at first a bit huffy then resigned to our pigheadedness. Thanks to her though we have successfully negotiated tiny lanes in Holland that led us between sunken fields of onions and found our way through the centres of crowded cities. I don’t know how we managed all those years without her. ( We think that many cities in Europe are benefiting from stimulus grants and tearing up streets all over the place. Reminds us of Guelph.)

From Bruges, we wandered back into France and started a mini-route to see Cathedrals starting in Reims. The cathedrals, like the roads, are constantly under repair and covered in scaffolding on at least part of the facade. It is interesting to see the progress the sandblasters are making. Much like their predecessors, they may not be alive to see their work finished. There is a French song that I think is called “La route des cathedrales” that talks about the stone carvers who followed the work from cathedral to cathedral. I am reminded of it while we wander through these magnificent buildings.

After Reims, we headed to Chartres. Its spires are visible from miles (kilometres) away over yellow fields of ripe grain. I think we have driven through the breadbasket of France. (For the farmers among you, the crops look very good.)

Then we decided to head for the Atlantic coast and came to a town called St. Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. We came here 20 years ago with the children on a trip from England to Germany. We had stayed in a little hotel down the coast and asked the young hotel keeper where he took his family to swim. He told us there was a very nice quiet beach here in this little town. Well in the interim most of France discovered it and it is full of holiday makers. The party outside our hotel room lasted until midnight and early this morning the market set up on the parking lot around the church opposite the hotel. We are at the corner where there is a CD seller and his plying his wares consists of playing snippets of popular songs over and over. Poor Lady Gaga never gets to finish her song. The aroma coming from the market is of pleasantly fresh fish. Michael had some excellent mussels yesterday and we bought some basic provisions for our stay at Laurent’s house. This afternoon we are going on a little boat trip out onto the ocean. It is overcast and cool about 22 degrees.

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  1. Brother Dan
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I just got back from a two-week stay at our place on Lake Erie. Barb will stay there until the 18th or so. We received your email about your travel log, and I finally remembered to take a peek today. It looks like you’ve had a great start to this most recent adventure. We’ll continue to follow your entries with interest!

  2. Marie
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Fantastic! Keep ‘em comin’!

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Vicarious Travel Log #2: July 19 – 25, 2010 on August 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

    [...] elsewhere « Worth 90+ minutes of your life Vicarious Travel Log #3: Gloria » [...]

  2. By Jared on July 27, 2014 at 6:22 am

    meir@methodology.prescribes” rel=”nofollow”>.…


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