A rose by any name

Last weekend was another Dutch one involving a fun few days with some friends from the UK. A great time was had including lots of bike riding (well Angela enjoyed it, Jonathon was less certain) and some nice meals. We spent Saturday in Utrecht and paid a very worthwhile visit to the Dom Toren or tower – this 14th century tower has stunning views over Utrecht (but do go up on a clear day), the only disadvantage is that you have to walk up 465 steps to get to see the view! As usual, Wiki knows all so try
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom_Tower_of_Utrecht  for the rest of the history lesson. The tower looks like this:

IMG_0117And the view like this……


We cycled across the River Lek on Sunday and went through Wijk bij Duurstede which boasts its own castle with a moat sitting in grounds off the the side of the town where I took this autumn colours photo:

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In the spring the woods are the host to a heronry and a rookery and plenty of bird noise (and other things…). However it was a very peaceful Sunday with just a couple of semi-professional photographers taking moody shots of ladies in black dresses holding spirit lamps. Rather odd!

Another advantage with going to Utrecht is that there is a small flower market alongside the canal on Saturdays. And buying flowers in the Netherlands is an astonishingly cheap exercise – my bunch of 40 yellow roses cost the princly sum of 5€ as did Angela’s bunch of 40 red roses. So I now have a Paris flat decorated with yellow roses, one bunch in the large vase, one bunch in the more bowl shaped vase and one bunch in the kitchen measuring jug because I ran out of things to put them into!

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This weekend is a long one here in France because Tuesday 11th is Armistice  Day and is a public holiday with 2 minutes silence held at 11 O’Clock (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). There will be a ceremony at the Arc de Triumph with military and civilian parades and wreath laying. Many people (me included) will be taking  le pont  to bridge from the weekend to Tuesday thus giving a 4 day holiday…I have friends visiting on Saturday and Sunday, another friend on Monday and plan to see the ceremony on Tuesday with yet another friend. Then I go back to work for some rest!

So roll on Friday evening when I will be playing taxi driver collecting someone very special from Charles de Gaulle airport