Posts Tagged With: sorbets

“N’oublions jamais l’Australie”

We are on the road again…  We are off to Villers-Bretonneux a little town that experienced the first world’s battle (in World War I) between two tank forces (the British and the Germans).  The Germans took the town but the Australian Imperial Force recaptured it a few days later.  1,200 Australians died in the process.  A few miles from the town is an Australian Memorial and a cemetery where 770 are buried.  That is where we are headed.

Initially we were to take a bus to the Amiens train station but it is such a beautiful day that we end up walking.  In front of the Amiens station I spotted the cutest of buses.  I still get a kick out of how little cars are – even traditionally big ones as the Range Rover and Mercedes – in Europe.  Seems that they miniaturize buses too!miniature bus, Amiens, Fance

At the station train station, Amiens, France we buy our aller-rétour (round trip) ticket to Villers-Bretonneux.  We are lucky that the train departs about 15 minutes from when we arrive.  train workers, train, Amiens, France In one hour we will be there. The train is pretty comfortable SNCF, train interior, Amiens, Franceand I settle in with my espresso.  train, SNCF, Amiens, France  To my side, a reminder that I am in France: a baguette a main part of a traveler’s luggage.  Luggage, train, baguette, Amiens, France

We arrive.  station, sign, Villers Bretonneux, France  train, Villers Bretonneaux, France  Villers Bretonneux, France, train station, gare

We are two of only few that exit here.  No signs guiding us to the memorial so we decide to follow the only person that is on foot. Villers Bretonneux, France  Should we take the path unknown?  dirt road, Villers Bretonneux, France, Australian Memorial  The Franco-Australian Museum  comes up (the first thing that attracts me is the tiles on the floor)  Australian Museum, Villers Bretonneux, Franceso we go in Australian Museum, Villers Bretonneux, France   Australian Museum, Villers Bretonneux, France  Australian Museum, Villers Bretonneux, Francefor info on how to get to the Memorial.

They tell us that the Memorial is a couple of miles out of town and that it’s walkable.  So we continue. I am loving the stone houses. Villers Bretonneux, France. stone house,  Everything in this town has something Australian on it. Villers Bretonneux, France. kangaroo

We are leaving the boundaries of town. See the sign with a diagonal red line on it?  sign, leaving town, Villers Bretonneux

I promise not to go more than 50 km per hour (31 mph) in the construction zone.  In fact I don’t think I can walk that fast. Villers Bretonneux, France, road, road signs, km per hour   Though I may have to because that memorial looks quite far…Villers Bretonneux, France, countryside

The walk is long, the day is hot so I extend my right thumb in good hitch hiking mode and… nothing happens. So we continue on.  It doesn’t seem to be getting any closer yet suddenly we are there. Australian Memorial, Villers Bretonneux, France No one around.  We are alone. I fall silent.  Villers Bretonneux, France  Villers Bretonneux, France

Words of the mayor in 1919: “Soldiers of Australia, whose brothers lie here in French soil, be assured that your memory will always be kept alive, and that the burial places of your dead will always be respected and cared for…”

Villers Bretonneux, France Villers Bretonneux, France Many tombstones engraved with the one date they all died.  All so very young. Fighting someone else’s war. But the people of Villers Bretonneux are grateful, for, according to Wikipedia, on top of every blackboard in the school there is an inscription “N’oublions jamais l’Australie” (Let us never forget Australia.)

P1180639  P1180653  P1180649

There are stairs to go to the top of the memorial and I decide to go up disregarding my fear of heights. Villers Bretonneux, France, memorial  Going up. P1180656 The door to the outside.  P1180660  A few more steps and I’m outside.  The wind assaults me. I am quite high but vertigo does not take over and I am able to enjoy the view. P1180663 P1180665 P1180666  The markers have some names with significance to me. Amiens, London, Berlin, Paris and Villers Bretonneux.

 P1180675 P1180674 P1180673  We are not alone any more and as I climb down Dean remains upstairs and chatting with a fellow Aussie that thankfully gives us a ride back to Amiens where they are also staying.

We walk through town  children playing, fountain, water,  to meet with Lydie for us to have a mini table read.  The pastry shops are going to be the death of me.  This one has the dessert that I so loved: Paris-Brest (I know there is a joke here but please refrain.)P1180697 P1180696 Casa Crepes which kind of joins my culture with theirs, don’t you think? P1180700  But not all is food.  I’m taking my door photos too.  P1180710 P1180708  And windows.  P1180714  And buildings. P1180712 P1180711 Okay, back to the table read. Amiens, France, outdoor café  These are the remains of sorbets that our réalisateur (director) has devoured while we work. P1180717  Think I’m back to the food subject.  We leave.

I am now starving.  I get cranky when I am hungry.  I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry.  I need to eat now!  And when I’m this hungry even a McDonald’s will do.  And this one holds some surprises.  It is manned by smiley, cute people and it’s more in the vein of an upscale café than a McDonald’s, with comfy chairs and cool decor. Amiens, France, chair, McDonald's  And a sauce for the fries that is more on the mayo side which I like. Amiens, France, McDonald's. fast food A chicken wrap with a package that you can stand it up in.  P1180719 Amiens, France, McDonald's. fast food Prices are also a surprise: not cheap at all.

Now that I’ve been fed I have energy and will to have a walk around town.  We find a gem of a square.  Amiens, France, Amiens Square Amiens, France, Amiens Square

I find the building that I would like to own.

 Amiens, France, Amiens Square Amiens, France, Amiens Square Amiens, France, Amiens Square Amiens, France, Amiens Square

The day is done.  We have mentally wept for those gone, honored them, taken a step back in time, taken a step forward to filming, fed our minds and our bodies, and fantasized a bit about what we wanted.  Pretty full day. I smile and sleep once more.

Categories: Amiens, Amiens Square, Australian War Memorial, Franco-Australian Museum, Villers Bretonneux | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Scouting in Paris

Today starts late again (I will stop pointing this out or you are going to think I always wake up late).  We are here to film a short and today we are going to meet and have a table read of sorts with Dean’s lead actress, Lydie Melki.  We meet her at the 16th Arrondissement where she lives and I immediately see her as “Sophie” who she will portray.  Casting long distance has its shortcoming but it seems that she will be a perfect fit. We chat, we read, we shoot the breeze, and we make the acquaintance of Buster, her Greek mix-breed.  dog, rescue, mix-breed, cuteness  Get ready for doggie picture overload.  dog, rescue, cuteness, mix-breed  dog, mix-breed, cuteness Buster4

We need to do some scouting and she needs to walk Buster so we leave to later reunite for dinner.  It will be 7:00 pm when we do so.  She is a bit surprised at the “early” dinner time.  I smile remembering 9:00 pm dinners in South America.  Parisians are more used to eating at 8:00 or 9:00 pm.  Most restaurants don’t even open before 7:00. We are looking for a bridge that gives off a sense of romance or longing.  We don’t quite find it but I get some cool shots.  One, of the Eiffel Tower with the Statue of Liberty (in a reduced size) in front of it.  The Statue was given by the Americans around 1888.  Originally it gave its back to New York and upon request by the Americans was repositioned and now faces the same direction the one in New York does. mini Statue of Liberty, Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 16th Arrondissement, bridge, River Seine  Here are some other shots.  Not many, since in the next posts you will be seeing a lot of it.  Eiffe  Eiffel Tower, 16th Arrondissement, River Seine, Paris, France  Eiffel Tower, 16th Arrondissement, River Seine, Paris, France

We go to a restaurant Terrace Mirabeau, Chef Pierre Negrevergne, Pierre Négrevergne, food, great food, Paris restaurant she recommends: The Terrace Mirabeau, manned by Chef Pierre Négrevergne which is there and comes to our table.  We are seated, after all, in the best little corner of the place.  Food is absolutely fantastic!  Everything was above average.  As a grand finale, Dean has a trio of sorbets that, at least up to now, are the very best I have ever had. The Terrace Mirabeau, sorbets, dessert, 16th arrondissement I have a desert that looks like a hot dog – Paris-Bestes – (probably spelled wrong) that achieves making me stop talking altogether so as to enjoy it to the fullest. Paris, Paris-Bestes, The Terrace Mirabeau, 16th arrondissement, dessert Silence that comes as a good break since I have been struggling with my French but managed to have Lydie understand me and manage to translate a few things to Dean.  Fortunately she speaks some English too.

It started to pour so when we part we decide to go straight into the subway and home.

Tomorrow more scouting at Pere Lachaise, going to check out the houseboat we are moving to, more of the Eiffel Tower and just walking the streets of Paris.

Come with me.  I promise we will have fun!

Categories: 16th Arrondissement, Eiffel Tower, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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