Here we are! The last and final country I'll be getting to experience in Europe! My last few days in France were wonderful. We were able to do some more family pictures for my cousins (this time without the attack of the mosquitos) and they took me to see a few castles.
They really are as fun as they look! I'm definitely sad that I won't be able to see them more often, but I made sure to get the girls' emails and will definitely be keeping in touch.
This is the Devil's Bridge (all of these are a bit out of order today...). There is a legend in their town that the people wanted a bridge and made a deal with the devil that he would build it, but the first person to cross would owe him their soul. So the people made a cat be the first to cross, but still wouldn't cross it for many years after... just in case.
This is the last castle I went to just before being dropped off at the Perpignan airport. It's more Spanish influence (being run by Ferdinand in the 16th century) and had a space for a moat and drawbridges and all!
One area that we went had a large industry of... you guessed it... MUSHROOMS! There are also a lot of Smurfs around. So fun!
The girls were so fun to pose and were quite cute models. This is a fan the youngest was able to buy with some money she'd earned. There was a wooden fan they had back at their apartment that they'd got from Spain. I'd been looking to see if I could find one similar. At the end of my week their, the oldest girl (whose fan it was) came to me with it, telling me she would find another one in Spain the next time they go. It was just the sweetest thing and very handy on these hot summer days!
There was one evening we just went driving around, hitting a couple of the "most beautiful towns in France". They really lived up to their names, being built up on hills in impossible ways. There were also great views down into the valleys. And EVERYWHERE we drove, you could see fields of cherry trees. There are almost as many cherry trees in this area as there are grape vines!
One last trip to the beach for me and another chance for their son to play around in the sand! He loved grabbing handfuls and watching it slid out of his hand as if it was seeping through the center of an hour glass. Luckily, this time it stayed out of his mouth.
The Rosetta stone in the British Museum. As in, the stone that helped scholars learn to translate hieroglyphs--not the computer program based on this idea! They had this one, then in another room they had a copy that you could feel, which I thought was really neat. Somehow, touching the engravings (even the fake ones) makes it so much more real.
Here's the Egyptian artifacts for Mom to justify checking this during class. There were several Sarcophagus, many statues (three of Rameses II) and relief frieze. The cat, by the way, is thought to be the animal image of an Egyptian goddess. Cats were considered messengers to the gods or gods and goddesses in a different form. So there's an even better reason to have a cat! (Not that I'm bias or anything.)
Moving onto Greek pottery! There was so much of it. Personally, I couldn't help but think of the Disney cartoon version of Hercules. I'm not the only one am I?
And let's be honest... I went gaga over the jewelry. I LOVE jewelry. They had jewelry that spanned over 7,000 years. What a collection!
And if there's a dead guy... you just GOTTA get a picture! Really... it's like... law or something.
These are all from Regent Park. AMAZING! In the center is a garden of roses, roses, and more roses. It just doesn't end! There was also a little lake with lots of swans, geese and, yes, little chicks. I really could do a picture book of "Cute baby animals around Europe".
I'm still looking for Platform 9 3/4, but here's one tube entrance. My friend Jackie has definitely kept us from getting lost, which is less than I can say for me. I've lost all charge over the map after I got us hopelessly lost on the way to the park last night. I gladly reliquished the responsibility.
Since being here I have, of course, had fish and chips as well. It's been so much fun and it's nice to be able to say everything in English and be understood! At the same time, I almost say "grazie" or "merci" each time I mean to say thank you. Interesting how something can become natural so fast! This will give me a good transition, I hope, before I head back home. Keep checking back more for more on England in the meantime!!!