Azay le Rideau and Villandry Chateaus

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. I had tried to make reservations with a different company called Acco Dispo Excursions (they have the best reviews), but they weren’t able to book me although I reached out months in advance. I think because I was only one person. Anyway, these are photos of Azay le Rideau and Villandry Chateaus.

The first four photos are Azay le Rideau.

We only toured the gardens at Villandry Chateau, but they were stunning!

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Paris to Versailles, France

My day trip from Paris to Versailles was difficult. I’ve had some traumatic life-altering events in the last few years and don’t do well with crowds. Trying to capture photos without people’s heads popping up in the bottom of the photo and dodging people in the garden, in the subways, and on the streets wore me out, not to mention it was another 8 mile walking day. I had been doing this for almost a month with a day break here and there and only averaging 5 hours of sleep a night with a nap every couple of days. But I was determined to capture some of the opulence and beauty.

The gardens were magnificent. I should’ve rented a golf cart.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Paris to Rouen, France

Rouen, France was my favorite town of the four day trips I did. It’s located 90 minutes by train from Paris. I had a pre-planned walking route but veered off of it often.

I love the half-timbered architecture. It’s like a storybook town. Some times I purposely want people in my photos to give perspective.

You can tell this lady liked that I wanted a photo of her cute doggie.

My pasta salmon lunch was delicious!

If you choose any town to visit from Paris, and are taking the train, I definitely recommend Rouen.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

During my nine day stay in Paris, I visited the Père Lachaise Cemetery which opened in 1804. It’s Paris’ largest cemetery and with more than 3.5 million visitors annually, it’s the most visited necropolis in the world.

I found Jim Morrison’s and Oscar Wilde’s graves. I mainly wanted to capture some of the peace and beauty there. Give yourself at least a couple of hours to explore.

Once I left, I passed this restaurant named L’ami Justin, which means Justin, the friend. My deceased son’s name is Justin.

I stopped for a delicious cappuccino.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Paris to Chartres, France

Located 75 minute by train from Paris, Chartres, France is a great option as a day trip from Paris. The countryside was pretty to view from the train.

I love street murals.

This park reminded me of a Monet painting.

Reflections are magical.

The Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral is massive.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Paris to Troyes, France

Located 1 hr. 45 mins. by train from Paris, Troyes, France is another wonderful city to visit. It’s also filled with half-timber architecture.

Local fishermen…

I believe every city had a carousel…

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

9 Nights in Paris

I had visited Paris for one night back in the late 70’s when I was in the military and once more for a week when I took my niece in 2007. It hadn’t changed much, other than the metros seemed a little seedier, but I had changed a lot. I purchased a 7-day Navigo pass (you need to have a passport photo for it) that covered all forms of transport within a certain area and is the best value for your money. I visited most of the main sites a tourist goes to…the Eiffel Tower

Sacre Coeur

The Louvre Museum

Don’t remember the name of this bridge

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

I had to try the croque monsieur (a hot ham and cheese sandwich)

The rue Crémieux, know as the most colorful street in Paris

The expressions of the people are interesting…

I forget where I was when I took this photo

Luxembourg Gardens should definitely be on your list of places to visit!

This was my favorite French meal, but I can’t remember the name of it. It had fish and vegetables in it.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Florence to Lucca, Italy

Lucca is only 80 minutes via train from Florence and makes a perfect place to visit as a day trip from Florence. I walked 7 miles exploring this beautiful city. I walked a portion of the 4 km completely preserved wall that surrounds the city.

More sidewalk cafes…

and Italian architecture…

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

The Boboli Gardens

While researching what I should see during my 8 night stay in Florence in April of this year, The Boboli Gardens which date back to 1766, was a place I wanted to experience. It’s filled with beautiful vistas, cool sculptures, and a peaceful vibe.

I asked this young man if I could photograph him…he looked so Italian and handsome.

The light filtering through the trees caught my eye.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022. Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Spoleto to Assisi

Located just 30 minutes via train from Spoleto, Italy, Assisi was one of my favorite cities, along with San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, Spello, and Orvieto.

Although I walked over 400 miles in 11 weeks of traveling, I didn’t lose any weight 🙂

The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor Conventual in Assisi.

This is where Saint Francis was born and died. It is a Papal minor basilica and one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy.

There’s something about ferris wheels.

Just beautiful!

Another gorgeous view and delicious Italian wine.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022. Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Ireland’s Medieval City of Kilkenny and its Castle

Kilkenny’s rich medieval heritage is evident in the city’s treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, especially the magnificent Kilkenny Castle.  Kilkenny is Ireland’s most beautiful medieval city.  My day trip from Dublin through Collins Day Tours included this majestic city.  I walked around the castle looking for a variety of perspectives.

DSC_6618

The back “yard” goes forever, with its lush and green manicured lawn!

DSC_6617

Who doesn’t love fountains!

DSC_6610

A couple of young lads enjoying the day!  Nice to see them phone-less.

DSC_6623

The city of Kilkenny through my eyes and lens…

DSC_6564

DSC_6575

Continue reading

2014 in Review

2014 has been a year filled with photography and travel…Imagine that!  Comparing my 2013 in Review: jogging, biking, hiking, and a bit of water skiing continued to keep my over 55-year-old body lookin’ good, along with lots of new recipes and mostly healthy eating!

This year became more balanced with less play and more work…which means more money…hallelujah!  During the summer I worked part-time for a farm at their Fruit & Vegetable Stands (until my back couldn’t take it any more).

I’ve had over 20 photo shoots for my own business, “Sherry Lachelle Photography”…including baby photos…

DSC_4358

DSC_7607

A few of the Senior photos…

DSC_6296

DSC_2464

DSC_6197

Continue reading

Woo Hoo…Planning a trip to Europe!

I have brain pain right now!  The good kind!  I’m planning a six-week trip through 12 countries in Europe!  I’d like to visit Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Copenhagen, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungry, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey.  The only one I’ve been to is Germany (I lived there for a couple of years back in the late 70’s).  I’m hoping to Couchsurf in some countries, stay in hostels or cheap hotels for others, and I’d love to meet some of my fellow bloggers (like I met Rory in Cape Town)!

I’m not set on these countries yet but if I purchase a Eurail pass they are the most convenient to visit.  I would get discounts on boat travel with the Eurail pass.  As many of you know, when planning a big trip like this–it’s so time-consuming.  To get the best deal, I’m flexible with my dates (hoping to leave in about a month) and with my beginning destination.  I’ve looked at flying into Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark.  From Helsinki I’d like to take a fast ferry to Tallinn, Estonia (2 hrs.) and spend a day there.  Also from Helsinki there is an overnight ship through either Silja or Viking Cruise Lines to Stockholm, Sweden.  And…of course in Norway the Fjords are at the top of my list!!  Air travel is quite inexpensive between some of the European cities also.  Less than $100 to fly from Bergen, Norway to Berlin!

So…my itinerary could be fly into Helsinki..stay a couple of nights..take a day trip to Estonia..take the overnight cruise to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights…take a train to Oslo, Norway..stay 2 nights..take the scenic train & fjord cruise to Myrdal..Flam..Gudvangen.. bus to Voss..train to Bergen.  Fly to Copenhagen..trains on to Berlin, Prague, etc.

Or…fly into Copenhagen…stay 2 or 3 nights..take the train to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights..take overnight cruise to Helsinki..stay 2 nights and do day trip to Estonia..fly from Helsinki to Oslo where I start the itinerary listed above onto Bergen…then fly from Bergen to Berlin, then trains onward.

Or…fly into Bergen…reverse the fjord & train itinerary to Oslo..stay 2 nights..train to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights…overnight cruise to Helsinki…stay 2 nights with day trip to Estonia…fly from Helsinki to Copenhagen…then trains onto Berlin, Prague, etc.

Whew!  I was allotting at least 30-35 days for all of the countries except for Turkey, where I would stay in Istanbul for 3 nights — then possibly see Cappadocia (where the fairy chimneys are) — and for sure the Mediterranean shore, called the Turquoise Coast, in the area of Fethiye.  I’d love to hike a few miles along the Lycian Way (500 km) which is located on the coast.

I would be traveling solo…and thinking I won’t plan everything this time…to let the universe do its magic!  So if anyone would like to meet up…let me know!!

Bal Masque

The evening that our cruise ship left Venice, there was a Masquerade Ball  aka Bal Masque.  It was fun to see all of the colorful and unusual masks!

Of course, Venice is famous for their masks…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.  You trade in your reality for a role.  You trade in your sense for an act.  You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange put on a mask.  There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level.  It’s got to happen inside first.”  ~Jim Morrison

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are some lovely girls!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My mask was quite simple!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another cutie!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t miss Rome tomorrow!!