France (January 2015)

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From Genoa we enjoyed a majestic drive to Marseille. The highway was relatively flat as we drove through the mountains and over the valleys.

Marseille (3 nights)

The south of France was beautiful. We visited the Ch√Ęteau d’If on If Island. Enjoyed walking around the old port area. Took a bus tour around the sights of Marseille.

Toulouse (1 night)

We enjoyed a Chinese buffet at Wok 31 restaurant which was situated near to our Holiday Inn.

Bordeaux (2 nights)

Moving on from Toulouse we stayed two nights in Bordeaux. Whilst at Bordeaux we heard about the terrorism attacks in Paris and had thoughts of bypassing Paris where we planned to stay overnight before going to Antwerp in Belgium.

Paris (1 night)

Fortunately the terrorists were found and killed, so we were happy to have another day in Paris. This time we stayed at a Holiday Inn near the main international airport.

 

Italy (December 2014 & January 2015)

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Having arrived in Turin and obtained new tyres, we revised our holiday so as to not having to cross the Alps again. This meant that we would not be visiting Venice, Vienna, Zurich or Luxembourg.

Pisa (1 night)

We visited the leaning tower of Pisa.

Rome (5 nights)

The first two nights we stayed at the Holiday Inn. Then we stayed at the West Rome Mecure.

Genoa (1 night)

From Rome we drove to Genoa.

France (December 2014)

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Following our two weeks in the UK we boarded the ferry to Calais and then drove on to Paris.

Paris (3 nights)

Whilst in Paris we visited the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Elysee. We stayed at a beautiful Holiday Inn on the banks of the River Seine.

Gaillard (1 night)

From Paris we drove to Gaillard which was close to Geneva, Switzerland. We drove into Switzerland and drove to Lake Geneva and admired the lake and the architecture in Geneva.

Crossing the French/Italian Alps

This would have to have been the most harrowing days driving. We left Gaillard with light snow falling. As we proceeded up the mountains, the snow became heavier and heavier. What was a three lane highway reduced to two lanes and then to one lane as snow plows pushed snow away to keep the road open.

Eventually our speed reduced to 20kph for the best part of two hours as we inched our way to the Mont Blanc tunnel. Along the way there were a number of cars stuck in the snow. Fortunately for us a snow plow pulled out just in front of us and we were able to follow the snow plow without getting stuck.

Once we got to the Mont Blanc tunnel and entered the tunnel, travelling was easier until a few kilometres before our Holiday Inn accommodation in Turin we got a flat tyre which was replaced. We were told the following morning that the tyre needed to be replaced and that we had driven the previous day on “normal” tyres.

If we had know we were driving on normal tyres and not on winter tyres as we believed, there was no way that I would have contemplated driving in the conditions that we had met.

That night as we were watching the news on TV, a report advised that over 13,000 people were trapped in the Alps due to the extremely bad weather.

Thanks for small mercies we got through without any serious incident.

Honolulu (October 2013)

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This is the sixth and final leg of our four week holiday in the United States and Canada.

October 12

Farewell to the Yukon

We were up early packing our bags in readiness for the final leg of our holiday, a four day stay in Hawaii. We returned to LAX and parted with our Yukon hire car. Please GMC can this car be imported for sale in Australia?

Honolulu

We arrived in Honolulu late in the afternoon and picked up our hire car for our Hawaiian stay, a Chevrolet Suburban. This car was almost identical to the Yukon. Having picked up our hire car we drove the short distance to our accommodation.

Aqua Waikiki Pearl

Our accommodation for the next four days was the Aqua Waikiki Pearl. Whilst the website makes it seem that the accommodation is modern and fresh, the reality was much different as the accommodation looked tired and somewhat messy.

October 13

Island Circle

We purchased an app from GyPSy Guide for a few dollars with no great expectations. Bang for buck, it turned out that this was the best investment we made for the holiday.

We used the app’s “Island Circle” tour which took us all around Oahu. In between the points of interest the commentary provided insights into Hawaiian culture.

October 14

Boom Boom Sportsfishing

We had pre-booked a six hour fishing charter with Boom Boom Sportsfishing. On the drive to Waianae Harbour we experienced some serious inclement weather with weather warnings issued to residents to stay inside. We were apprehensive whether we should go on the charter or not.

The boat’s captain, Tony, assured us that all would be fine and that the weather at sea wouldn’t be an issue, so off we set. For 4 hours we didn’t hook a fish, then within an hour we’d caught three yellowfin tuna which weighed 110 pounds, 153 pounds and 154 pounds.

We stayed out way past our 6 hours, returning to the Waianae Harbour after almost 9 hours at sea. It was an amazing experience.

October 15

Beaches & Volcanoes

We used our GyPSy Guide app’s “Beaches &Volcanoes” tour and experienced points of interest which we not included in the “Island Circle” tour we went on a few days earlier.

October 16

Hawaii Gun Club

This was another “only in America” experience. The Hawaii Gun Club offers “specials” where you can fire a number of guns. We took the Super Course which allowed us to fire 7 guns.

October 17

Mahalo!

Mahalo” is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respects. This pretty well sums up our Hawaiian experiences.

Before we knew it, we had returned the hire car and were on our way home, our four week holiday was over.