Sacre Coeur

25 June 2011

We had to go to centre Paris again. You can’t be so close and not go… This time we took the car to La Defense to save on RER tickets, but end up paying 15 euros for parking. Ok, a new plan for the next time.

After croissants and an orange juice, we went to Sacre Coeur. Next thing we realise: Paris on a Saturday is not good. It is also European summer holidays now. The metros were packed, so many people at Sacre Coeur and queues for metro tickets. But we still spend eight hours in Paris, which was enough to make us stay home for the next three days!

The highlight for the kids: a visit to FNAC, the large store for anything electronic… all technology… anything with a screen. The big one at Montparnasse. Now they know what they want to save for.

At Sacre Coeur they were setting up a ramp for a world record attempt that will happen Saturday 8 July. I think a guy will jump off there with roller blades and land somewhere down the slope. I saw Jaco and Pieter said on the facebook event they’re attending… with 4 million other people! Maybe they will rather watch it on YouTube…

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Where will we stay

20 – 22 June 2011

Monday was the day for fetching our bank cards, buying sim cards for the phones and buying a GPS.
Tuesday and Wednesday we drove around with our GPS telling us in afrikaans where to go. We still waited for the relocation company to look for houses.

      

And on Thursday after seeing small houses, old houses and more small houses we found a house in Cergy. Very nice on the inside, but a disappointing outside… But here is the photo anyway. The area is nice and quiet, next to a golf course… we will definitely get golf balls in our backyard.

our rented Ford S-max parked in the driveway…

Eiffel Tower and hotdogs

19 June 2011

On Sunday we had to go to the eiffel tower. You can’t be in Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower…
We still need to work out some things. We took the RER from Sartrouville to La Defense. Then the metro into Paris. That worked out a small fortune for a family of six.
The next thing was the hungry people again. We saw hotdogs for sale and thought that could work well, but we paid 6 euros a hotdog! I have to say that was the best hotdogs ever. A baquette cut open on the top, with two nice sausages inside. Then they put it in a toaster. Not bad for a hotdog. But remember next time to pack something to eat…
Maybe one day we’ll get to french cuisine…

and Barbe à papa for dessert…

Arriving in Europe

18 June 2011

We landed in Amsterdam. Browsed around the shops and unfortunately have to say that we had McDonalds for lunch… safest if you don’t know where to go. We did have our first croissants later.

the bags give it away… these kids are from South Africa…

its been a long day…

After four hours in Amsterdam, we left with Air France to Paris. Coming from winter in South Africa we were looking forward to summer in Europe. But we landed in Paris in the rain and the pilot’s remark was: “its 16 degrees in Paris which is not enough.”

Then the part started which we’ve been planning for a while. Danie and Mandi took the rented car with all the luggage… six people with luggage don’t really fit in one car. The four of us took the RER to Sartrouville. That went ok, accept that when we arrived we needed tickets (which we had, but did not work…) to get out of the station. Later Pieter asked a non-english-understanding frenchman for help and he jumped over a gate and opened another gate for us. Don’t think that was a legal move.

As we suspected, Danie and Mandi got lost a bit… driving only with a map, no GPS. But they arrived eventually at the station, two hours after we got there. At that stage we had no cellphones that work in France… That was a long wait.

At last at Atravi Residence Hotel at 10pm, but still light in this European summer. And again, because of extreme hunger amongst some of us… we drove to the McDonalds we passed on the way for a very late supper. 

And we left

17 June 2011 was a full day of last things to organize, last milkshakes with friends for the kids and off to the airport at 8pm.

A whole lot of friends and family came to see us off.

the Linkway farewell committee… : )

how about a last Wimpy meal… and coffee…

Some last goodbyes and off we went with KLM… Big excitement. For the girls it was their first time flying and the boys have only been on a plane once when they were two years old.

and of course Betty went with…

Still feeling good that we could understand the air hostesses speaking dutch…

Saying goodbye

How can you go without saying goodbye… Or as I tell my children, you sometimes have to leave something to experience something new.

We said goodbye to family and friends, but thanks to all the technology we are in contact all the time… and there will be visits.

the Manley side of the family…

the Algera side of the family…

our Linkgroup family at Linkway…

Lydia’s lovely card…

Packing up

On Monday morning 6 June 2011 the moving company arrived to pack all our stuff. I can’t complain, I did not have to pack one box. But still to have five people in your house for five days can get busy…  ‘deurmekaar’ is the word.

And each day you have less things you can use. But all went well. On  Friday at 10am the truck with the container arrived. The biggest container you can get. Last packing to be done and then loading it all.

And off went almost everything we own. Ready to be loaded on a ship and sail to France...