.....there's a lot to think about in paris!
We went on a boat trip the next day. We started at the Hotel D’Ville, which is, I think like the city council.
Then on to the Louvre. The glass pyramid is pretty cool but it is really different from the old Louvre.
After that we went to the concord and walked up to an area called Madeleine. On the way we see a lot of police with big guns and some roads are closed.
There are a lot of beautiful expensive shops on the way.
We have lunch in Madeleine, I had a Gratin de macaronis au fromage or mac and cheese and a hot chocolate.
Everything here is called Madeleine something.
After that we went to the Eiffel Tower, it’s pretty amazing how they crafted all that metal. We all brought a mini Eiffel Tower.
We've been collecting photo's of honey, it very interesting to see to how much the Europeans will spend on a pot of honey. Along way we have spotted a other bee related things.
The top price spotted works out to about $80 a kg, needless to say we didn't buy any.
We spotted some bees on the louvre. After a little investigating we've found out that the bee is a symbol used by French kings, and of course Napoleon. Paris has also been home to a bee keeping school since 1856.
Our first stop is the National History Museum or at least one of the four galleries, the evolution gallery, this place is huge!
It is full of every kind of animal, some extinct and some very rare.It is full of every kind of animal, this is hugely exciting for our animal crazy girls.
We spend hours looking around and then got to the special Bear exhibition, we all vote this the winner. Amazing to see the real, albeit stuffed, bears.
We were super excited to be in Paris. Our fourth language change in as many months, takes a little adjusting, but the Parisians are very accommodating of our mistaken Si’s and Grazie’s.
Only problem is it is very cold! We were in t shirts and shorts in Sicily…. Here it is winter coats and boats. A bit of a shock. Some of us are caught out with the wrong footwear
Anne, Anastasia and I set off for Paris to meet Sam and the girls! It was a ridiculously early start to catch a bus that wouldn't let us on, leaving us searching for another option. We were told of a train guaranteed to get us to the plane in Pisa, only we couldn't find it. So we were left with a train that got us to the airport with two minutes to check in Anne’s bag. Somehow this didn't happen, and we had to abandon her at the check in counter (we had nothing to check in), and run for the plane.
We were reunited 12 hours later in Paris. Just another adventure...
Anastasia, Anne and I made a flying visit to Florence. To celebrate Anastasia’s 10th birthday and visit Grandma’s favourite city. Anastasia did a school report on Florence and discovered that 16 million people visit a year, it was certainly very busy with tourists, but in a bustling good vibe kind of way.
We hired an apartment and were able to walk everywhere. We visited the fashion museum at the Pitti Palace and wandered through the beautiful gardens.
Later we explored the Leonardo Di Vinci Museum. Anastasia and Grandma spent an incredible amount of time constructing an arched bridge, which then promptly collapsed - perhaps not quite to Leo’s design.
But probably the best part of Florence is sitting in one of the many cafes watching the colourful array of people go by.
For a day out we went to nearby town called Caltagirone. It is perched on top of a hill and has wonderful views all around.
It is famous for its ceramics, and there are a lot of them.
Its other claim to fame is the 142 steps, built in 1608, that lead up to the church. Each step has a different tile decorating it.
It is a lovely day town, and we had fun exploring it.
After going to the wrong piazza last week, today we make it to the Thursday market. It is a half hour walk across the river to the other side of town. Most of the market is taken up with shoes and clothes. We find some great winter clothes for very little and amazing quality. Then we find the food stalls, the sounds and smells are overwhelming – and it is a lot of fun. We buy some aged goats (?) cheese with peppercorns, some salami studded with pistachios, some marinated green olives with chilli and some little biscuits of varying flavours. All very yummy!
Note the little boy on the right in the cheese stand photo – he’s got a whole salami to snack on!
Might save the salted fish for next week…
There are some yachties who come to Licata every year and know all the good places to go (very handy). They organised a dinner out at the best mussel restaurant in town, we of course went along for the experience.
The girls opted out of the mussels and instead ordered pizzas (again). After saying they couldn’t do pizza the waiter did a u turn and said they could have pizzas. All became clear when he walked through the front door a little while later with three little pizza boxes, cooked by the chefs brother at a different restaurant! Very lucky girls.
Our mussels arrived on a huge platter, and were absolutely fantastic! They had a red wine sauce with just a hint of chilli.
We take a look at a church or two and stop for some gorgeous pastries and cappuccino's. Agrigento is about an hour's bus ride from Licata along the coast. It's a lovely town built on the hill overlooking the sea.
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.