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World Tour 2005~2006
Vancouver, Amsterdam, Brugge, Paris

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

Apr. 4, 2005 - Hello from Yarrow!

Greetings from Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada. This is our first stop, of our crazy ass world-wind-tour!

We are with Glenn and Niki, my fav nephew and niece in this entire world! They live in this great little town called Yarrow, which is about an hour and a half from the West End of Vancouver nestled at the foothills of the mountains.

We will stay here until the 20th of April, to recuperate from all the partying we've done before leaving our home in Vancouver.

On 20th of April, John and I depart for the Vancouver International Airport, head east to Ottawa, Ontario, where we will get picked up by Carol Lapierre, one of my very dearest, yet crazy-fun cousin, and take us to her humble home in Hawkesbury for 10 days. Can't wait man!

Then on 30th April, hard working Laura, our hardworking travel agent, plus so much more, has us departing Montreal heading overseas, to the real SIN CITY of Amsterdam!

May 1, 2005 - Arrival in Amsterdam


We arrived in Amsterdam this morning almost an hour late, as at the airport in Montreal they had to remove a drunk passenger, find the luggage... etc ! That was off to a good start!

Amsterdam is AMAZING! So very different than we expected, very warm and humid, about 27'c during the day today. The streets are packed as there was some queens festival last night and there are tons of other Europeans visiting. The streets are also very littered and the city seems filthy, but we have been assured that it is only because of the festivities of last night.

The hostel we booked is quite good, for 20.00 Euros including breakfast, TV room, bar, where one beer is 1.20 Euro!

The city is very quaint with narrow cobblestone streets and lots of people on bikes!! The buildings are very very old and amazing to look at !!! 

May 7, 2005 - Brugge, Belgium ...

We didn't plan on coming to Brugge, as we forgot that Laura had told us NOT to miss it (!) but with the hecticness (is that a word? he he he), we forgot!  But we were reminded in Amsterdam by one of the other hostelers...

So very glad he did remind us, Brugge was beautiful!

Imagine walking through a charming, impossibly clean French village, and at every turn and at every corner is picture postcard perfection of historic detailed architecture, cobblestone narrow streets, chocolatiers selling Belgian sweets everywhere, ... that is Brugge.  The only problem --  OUR BANK CARD DID NOT WORK HERE AT ALL ! ! ! !

Our hostel was quite nice, situated in a very green space. Hostel living is not easy! But I think, I am getting use to it... I THINK !! ?

We stayed for 2 nights and took this very cool HIGH speed train (250km/hr) into France and that is where we are now, in gay Paris...
 

May 8, 2005 - Hello from Paris !

. . . trying to keep this journal in order, and pictures too, it is not easy when we are running crazy here, just in Paris! Doing alot of touring on foot.

Oh, and the keyboard here is not like HOME ROW as we knew it in high school!

Paris is more beautiful and romantic then I can remember! Wow, it is great, John was in shock when we turned a corner and saw the Eiffel Tower!!  It was night time, and it was spectacular !!

Today, we took the Grand City Tour of Paris -- unbelievable, it was worth the 24 Euros each.

We take fresh buns from the hostel, buy cream cheese, Boursin, cucumber and find a quaint bench on a cobblestone lane here in Paris and eat lunch! It is so great!

Tomorrow we are going to do some laundry, try AGAIN to find stamps for the kids postcards, and just chill: NO MORE WALKING!! Then on Tuesday we will do the LOUVRE. We have been on the outside of it, but not in: Johnny cant wait !

We have gotten so lucky here in Paris -- first, the hostel here is great, we are in a room for 3, instead of a dorm, AND the third bed has been empty !! So all ours !

Then today, just before we were to go on a city tour, we passed the Marriott Hotel on Champs-Elysees!!! and it looked so beautiful, compared to hostel living, we decided to go in: AND met the pretty girl concierge, and clicked with her immediately! She gave us tons of tips and when she found out we were travelling the world, and staying in hostels, she asked questions about it as she has never stayed in one either...   all at once, she excused herself for a minute and when she came back, she had asked the hotel mgr if he would comp a room to us ... HE DID !!!!!!!!!! and not one night, TWO. 

 Honest. 

It is a 5 star, 375 Euros per night;  that in Canadian is, I dunno, $500.00 !

Yep.

So lucky to have our last two nights here at the Marriott on Champs-Elysees!

John is asleep in the palace bed while I am doing this update, lucky duck ! Boy, I am going to sleep well tonight too.

Paris was a whirlwind, in the best way.

The Louvre was incredible, and spent just under 5 hours in this biggest museum in the world, holding over 65,000 pieces of art; we just saw about 1/4 to 1/2, you really need two days... Venus de Milo was my (Marc) favourite piece! John can't really pick a favourite -- too many to choose from!

Napoleon's apartment is also in the Louvre, and you can just imagine that! Pictures can't possibly capture the opulence and grandeur of Napoleon's home, you have to see it to believe it! Just unbelievable!

Was very cool to see Leonardo de Vinci's MONA LISA right in front of you, 500 years old and the star of the BIG 3 pieces in the museum! She was also stolen once from the Louvre some 200 years ago.

Thank gawd she was found!

The other of The Big 3, are sculptures and are Winged Victory and Venus de Milo. These are the three stars, Mona having over 6 million visitors per year alone! Venus attracted the second largest crowd with Victory following closely behind. For me (John) The Louvre was by far the greatest experience in Paris and that is saying a lot because all of Paris was FANTASTIC!!! Some of the pieces in the museum date back 300 years before Christ!!!

The next day, we went to Paris' most famous cemetery, and one of the world's most famous, forget what it is called though!

Spent the day here, with map in hand and looking for Edith Piaf, Maria Callas, Chopin, Isadora Duncan, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, (hardly any of these does Markie know!) and none the less, JIM MORRISON, he is surrounded by security!

 Nice\Cannes next week. We leave Paris on Wednesday.

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