Melbatb's DIBB Photo Blogs

I again fell sleep last night quite early so it was no surprise that I was awake at 3 o'clock though I did manage to get back to sleep.

I woke up to no rain which was a big positive for the day. I had my usual breakfast of cinnamon raisin bagels and a coffee. About 9 o'clock I headed up to catch the 800 bus Montmorency Falls. This was about a 15 minute walk to get to the bus stop. The bus soon arrived and I paid the $3.50 fare.

The bus was quite empty and it took about 40 minutes to get to the end of the line which was the stop for the falls.

I was pleasantly surprised to find at the bus stop was at the top of the falls and not at the bottom. This is the second time I have visited the falls. The last time was four years ago when I came with the family. That time we had a car and we parked at the bottom and this is what we walked up.:

I was so happy not to have to walk up those steps today!

The waterfalls are 83 m tall and 30 m higher than Niagara Falls. They aren't, of course, as spectacular as Niagara Falls. However they give a great view over the Saint Lawrence river towards Quebec and it's a really lovely place to visit.

I spent about 1 1/2 hours just wondering around. It was actually quite busy which I guess is indicative of the fact it was Easter Sunday. I was surprised though how many people seem to come totally ill-equipped. Some people just had fashion boots on which considering there was quite a lot of snow on the ground was quite interesting for them!

That was a suspension bridge which I went across. However, thankfully, it wasn't very swinging.

Though not in the same league as neither the Niagara Falls nor Iguazu Falls in a Argentina, I really enjoyed my visit here.

It was certainly a very different experience from last time I came. It was probably busier but the weather was much better even though last time we came it was in August. Then, I remember it was raining.

I also spent 15 minutes just sitting in the pavilion. It was nice to give my feet a rest.

As it was getting near lunchtime, I decided to walk from the top of the falls to the local town of Boischatel. There I found a typical Canadian Casse-Croute which is effectively a diner. Even though it was past the breakfast serving time, they were happy to allow me to order from that menu. I had fried egg and chips. It was really delicious and a bargain at C$6 which also included a cup of coffee.

I caught the bus back to Quebec City which took again about 40 minutes. It was about a 10 minute walk from the bus stop back to my apartment where I had an a rest for about an hour.

I then decided I would walk up to the Plains of Abraham via the ice cream shop. It was a lovely afternoon, the sun was shining and it seemed like a good idea. But one thing I had forgotten about Quebec City is that it's quite hilly. From the apartment to the ice cream shop was up a very long and very steep hill. My calf muscles were very very tired.

That was a bit of a queue at the ice cream shop but it moved quickly enough and the time allowed me to choose which ice cream I would have. I knew from previous experience to not have a big one as they are quite rich.

I chose maple ice cream with a milk chocolate dip.

I sent this photo O who was quite jealous. I think this is one of his favorite ice creams in the world.

On the way from the ice cream Shoppe to the Plains of Abraham, I saw these very groovy streetlights.

The Plains of Abraham cover the sites of major battles between the French and the British and the Americans. Nowadays, as well as many walkways, there is the Fine Arts Museum together with gardens and towers.

There was still quite a lot of snow on the ground. The with the sunshine, it was melting fairly quickly.

This tower, one of four, was built by the British to protect Quebec from an American even invasion. In fact, they were never needed.

After visiting the park, I walked a short distance to a salad bar I had seen on trip advisor. I bought a Mexican bowl to take away from my dinner.

At least the walk back to the apartment was downhill.

The salad bowl had plenty of vegetables, avocado, black beans, a spicy yogurt dressing together with fried wontons. It was delicious and I felt better for having eaten some fresh vegetables.

I was very tired again. It's a bit of a vicious circle because I end up falling to sleep early, I then wake up early, and the whole process starts again. This evening, I fell asleep last watching a YouTube at about 8:30 PM.

Florida Tix

As I predicted, I first woke up at about 1:30 AM. This didn’t really surprise me as I had fallen asleep at 8:30 PM. I think I managed to fall back to sleep about 3 AM and I slept through to 6AM. So not a bad night overall.

I made myself a coffee, and had two of my cinnamon bagels. As we can’t buy cinnamon bagels in France, it’s always a treat for me to have them.

As it was still very early, and raining, I watched a bit of French TV via YouTube. The one thing I do miss in the apartment, is while there is a TV, there is only streaming services available. I am not really a Netflix type of person. Plus I don’t have our account details. I like having the noise of the TV on and usually find out programs to watch. Instead I’ve been catching up on things I watch in France.

I had a shower and slowly get ready to leave the apartment at about 9 AM.

As I went outside, I realized how cold it was. There was a wind which was bitter. And it was raining still. I still had another layer that I could put on in my rucksack.

I walked down St. Joseph E. St. and came across one of the many coffee houses. I decided a nice hot chocolate would be the way to warm myself up a little. I also picked up a local paper to read while drinking my coffee and was quite amused to find an article about Disney cruises. In fact, it was more to do with the influx of cruise visitors into Quebec city and how locals are finding on certain days there are too many visitors in the lower town.

The hot chocolate was lovely and did the job of warming me up a little.

Even though I don’t often go to church in France, I do like looking in churches. I find them very restful and I’m always amazed at how they were built hundreds of years ago when they didn’t have the equipment that we have nowadays.

The Eglise de Saint Roch was right in the middle of the high Street. From the outside it wasn’t particularly attractive.

However, the inside was lovely. I particularly liked the ceilings. There was someone in there and he seemed to be getting the church ready for something. I read on the way out that the church was in fact going to be closed from mid day that day. I don’t know if it was something to do with Easter.

I wandered in and out of the local shops. I also noted down when I saw things I might like to buy later on in the week. There was one of these Dollarama type shops which I love so quite a few things like muffin cases went on the list. I didn’t want to buy anything today as I would have to carry it around all day. But I also know that often I forget where I have seen things so it is easy to just make a note in my notebook on the phone.

I also went into the metro supermarket to have a look around. One of the advantages of traveling alone is that I can spend time just looking at nothing in particular. Supermarkets fit into this brief. There were lots of things I would have loved to try but if I ate all that I wanted to try in a week I will probably have to be rolled down the plane. I didn’t buy anything again on the basis that I didn’t want to carry it around all day.

It was then about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the railway station. I had read that it was quite pretty inside and so as it was roughly on the route, I decided to go and have a look at it.

Again, the ceiling was very pretty.

I was quite surprised to see that there was virtually nobody there. In fact, there seemed to be only three trains, all to Montreal. It is surprising that for such a big city, there are not more trains.

One thing I had forgotten about Quebec city, is that it is built on a hill. That always seems to be a lot of uphill walking necessary.

My next destination was L’Ilot des Palais. This was in the local guide book as a museum where the whole history of New France was waiting to be discovered.

In reality, it was an overpriced couple of rooms. Firstly, I was not so impressed to be asked if I needed the seniors price. I’m 50 years old. The senior price is from 65 years old. I felt really insulted as although I don’t kid myself that I look even 40 years old. I also don’t look older than I am. And I certainly don’t look as though I am 65 or older. It really did annoy me.

It was very expensive for what it was. It was just under C$10.

You can literally see from here from one end of the museum to the other. Was the information board with interesting. It took me no more than 20 minutes to read everything and to look at the artifacts. The actual vaulted rooms were very attractive, but it really wasn’t worth the money nor the effort.

I then walked to the old market. Again, like supermarkets, I love visiting markets. I had visited here before on the previous occasions when we had been to Quebec city.

There were not as many stores as I had previously remembered. I don’t know whether it was because of the fact it was the middle of winter weather it’s just not as popular out of tourist season.

There were, however, lots of stores selling locally produced maple syrup products. I made a note of things I would like to buy to take home. I adore maple syrup. My only purchase was some maple syrup popcorn. I thought this could be a good item to take back to the office and so I bought a small packet to test it beforehand. In my office we have a bad reputation for bringing back inedible local items so I would like to break the habit this time!

I walked along the pedestrian path around the harbour. I was amazed to see that it was frozen over. When I booked the trip back in February, I didn’t really appreciate that there would be snow still on the ground and that part of the river would be frozen.

It was still bitterly cold. I think it was more the wind than anything.

The path took me a long the Saint Lawrence river. The first time we came to Quebec city, we stayed in Levis across the river. I think I was the only person on the path. I guess most tourist have more sense when it is so cold. Certainly once I walked through the lower town, there were a lot more people.

I got my first glimpse of the famous Château Frontenac. And another reminder that Quebec is built on the hill.

I walked through the lower town. Quite a few buses seemed to have arrived with tourists so it was very busy. By this stage it was about 1 PM and I was getting hungry so I decided to try to find somewhere to eat. Restaurants in a busy tourist area are not always the best thing as they can be expensive and not that great.

I decided I really wanted something with rice and in a backstreet came across an Asian restaurant that seemed quite busy but not overly so. I decided to try that.

Unfortunately, there was only one person serving and so it was quite slow. First of all I had a hot and sour soup. It was actually too spicy for me.

I had ordered stirfried vegetables with a portion of steamed rice. However I seemed to get fried vegetable rice. I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to have to wait longer for what I actually had ordered and it was it looked OK.

In fact, it was very tasty. It was an enormous portion and I couldn’t finish it.

However I then had to wait about 45 minutes to actually get the bill and pay. It came to C$20.

By the stage, tiredness had hit me. I decided to just walk back to the apartment which took about 30 minutes. Thankfully it was more downhill than uphill. I arrived back at about 4 PM.

I thought that I may fall sleep and so set my alarm but in fact I just watched some more videos on YouTube. It was nice to have a rest and as it was now raining quite heavily it was good to be in the dry.

I tried the maple syrup popcorn. It was really delicious. I am happy for my waistline that I only bought a small packet. I will get some more though to take back to the office as I’m sure it will be appreciated.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for dinner as I was still quite full from the rice and the popcorn. I decided I would walk back to the supermarket to see if there was anything that I grabbed my attention.

In the supermarket, I just got some Coke zero, some chocolate and an apple pie. I decided I would have toast with cheese and then a slice of apple pie.

This is the outside of the apartment block where I am staying. I’m on the fourth floor right at the end of the building.

I watched some more videos and tried again not to fall asleep too early. I made it to about 9 PM!

The day started very early. My alarm went off at 4 o’clock and I got up and had a shower before I woke up J. Thankfully we only live about 20 minutes from the airport. We left home at 4:30 AM and J dropped me at the airport at just before 5 AM.

Even this early in the morning, the airport was quite busy. My first flight was with Lufthansa. I had already checked-in the day before so I just had to do the baggage drop which was fairly quick. I just had the one suitcase. I don’t know how much it weighed as the scales didn’t seem to be working but I don’t think it was too heavy. I also had a rucksack as my hand luggage looks like as I hate pulling around a wheelie case.

Once I had dropped off my suitcase, I went through security. At this time of the morning, it was quite empty and I was through within three or four minutes. As with most airports, I had to walk through the duty-free. I didn’t even look at anything as there was nothing I really wanted and I didn’t want to have to carry anymore than I already had.

New to my local airport is a Pret-a-Manger. This is the only one in the city. Unfortunately they didn’t have the sandwich that I really like so I just got a cappuccino and a cinnamon danish.

Every time I have flown with Lufthansa to Frankfurt, the flight has always been through the passport control area. So even though the gate details were not up, I made my way through passport control. It was only when I was on the other side, that I realised that the flight was not going through here and I had to head back out which was a bit embarrassing. I soon found the gate and boarding open fairly quickly

On all three of my flights today, I was sitting next to the window.

The flight was about 15 minutes late taking off which was a bit of a concern as I only had one and a half hours to make my connection. It was lovely to see the sun come up.

They served a breakfast of a pain au raison. It was quite hideous. It was very dry and I only had one mouthful before deciding to abandon.

As usual, the plane was parked about a 15 minute bus ride from the terminal. This didn’t help my connection anxiety.

However, once in the terminal I found the gate - B48 and started to make my way there.

It was quite a walk. I had to go down three flights of stairs then under quite a long tunnel and then up three flights of stairs to get to the B terminal. Of course, the gate was as far away as possible.

Once at the gate, I joined the queue to have my passport checked. Canada, like the USA, has an authorisation to travel document that you have to apply for online. I had recently re-done mine as I had a new passport. All was it order.

There were not that many options for food around the gate, so I just grabbed a felafel sandwich. It wasn’t great but edible.

Boarding started roughly on time and I was one of the last to board. One advantage of only having a rucksack, is that usually you can get it into the overhead lockers. The flight was again very full.

The flight was on a Boeing 787.

As we took off, I got a really good view of Frankfurt.

Lunch was actually served fairly quickly. I had pre-ordered an Asian vegetarian meal as I generally fine these are better than the other offerings.

The starter was a salad with a herb dressing. The main course was a chickpea curry and a tofu curry together with some rice. It was actually quite spicy but tastier than the normal airplane food.

Dessert was a fruit salad.

While eating, I re-watched A Star is Born. I watch this on the way back from Argentina last month and decided I would like to watch it again. It’s quite rare for me to watch a film twice but I really enjoyed it again.

Sometime after lunch, I needed to visit the toilet. As the air hostess still had the trolley out behind me, she indicated I should use the toilet in premium economy. It’s the first time I’ve been in an airplane toilet that has a window. It was actually really nice to have some light in there and the room felt a bit bigger.

At least no one was looking in this height.

The flight seem to go on forever. I think the estimated flying time was about eight hours but it seemed a longer flight.

The windows were dimmed at this time, I guess so some people could get some sleep.

The air hostesses were quite good with coming around with water about every 30 to 45 minutes.

I did manage to have about an hours’ nap. I also watched Pretty Woman. It was quite funny to see the big mobile telephones of that era.

The snack was a vegetarian wrap. Again it was quite spicy but not bad.

The flight landed at 11:50 AM local time. My connecting flight was at 1:20 PM.

I wish every airport had an immigration system like Montreal. The signs coming off the airplane with very clear as to where to go. I followed the signs for the connecting flights. For those people whose final destination was Montreal, the immigration hall was empty. For the connecting flights that were then two options - one to the USA the other to international and domestic destinations other than the USA. I followed the signs to the domestic connections. Here there was a row of machines which were very easy to use. I put my passport onto the reader, it found my name, it asked me some questions, took my photo and printed out the approval slip. I then had to quickly see the Immigration officer who confirmed one or two details. I didn’t need to collect my luggage no go through security again. From leaving the plane to getting into the departures area for my next flight took less than 15 minutes.

I have travelled through Montreal airport quite a few times over the last few years so I knew there was a Tim Hortons there. I sent a photo of this to the kids who sent back text laughing at it!

I took the opportunity to grab some chocolate Timbits and a coffee. I’m not the biggest fan of Tim Hortons coffee but I felt I needed a caffeine kick to keep me going for the rest of the afternoon.

I didn’t eat all of the chocolate Timbits!!!

The last leg of the flight was on a small propeller plane. Again I was next to the window, right in the back of the plane. The pilot announced that the flight would only take 25 minutes.

I was actually quite shocked to see that there was snow still on the ground as we came in to land at Quebec airport. I had been following the weather quite closely over the last few weeks, and there had been snow on the ground a few weeks ago. But I hadn’t realized it was still there. I had decided not to bring my big winter coat so I was hoping that my layering system would be warm enough. If anything, I was more concerned about the rain than being cold.

From getting off the plane, picking up my suitcase and getting into a taxi took less than 15 minutes. Quebec has a fixed fee taxi fare from the airport to the centre of town. There are really no other options.

The taxi driver was a bit agitated about the traffic. But he got me here in one piece. It was $35 for the trip.

I am staying in an Airbnb. The owner had sent me instructions earlier in the week as to how to get in to the building and then the apartment. I got the keys out of the lock box easily enough. But then I couldn’t get the front door opened. I reread the email and realized it was the code to put in.

Apartment is on the fourth floor of the back of the building so it is very quiet. It’s a one bedroom apartment that has an awful lot of storage space. It’s very clean and seems perfect.

By now I was flagging a bit. I unpacked and decided to head out to get some breakfast supplies and to decide what to eat for dinner. It was raining so I took the umbrella that I had put in the suitcase as a last minute decision this morning.

The area is certainly quite busy with lots of food shops, cafés and coffee shops. I also saw where the language school is. It’s only about seven or eight minute from walk from the apartment.

I went into one of the local supermarket and got myself some supplies for breakfast including my favorite cinnamon bagels. As I expect to be awake quite early tomorrow morning, I thought it would be a good idea to have some supplies in so I can feed myself.

On the way back to the apartment from the supermarket, I saw a restaurant I had seen on trip advisor. It was called Nina’s pizzeria. I decided I would head back out there to pick up a pizza to take away as it was only two minutes from the apartment.

I ordered a marina pizza together with a quinoa salad. I bought it back to the apartment and it was delicious. The pizza dough was really nice and the salad was tasty too.

By now, it was about 6:30 PM. I am finding it difficult to stay awake and I’m hoping to try at least to see it through to about 9 PM so that I have some hope of sleeping later than 2 or 3 AM tomorrow.

The weather forecast is not so good for tomorrow, in fact there are flood warnings in and around Montreal and Quebec at the moment. Whatever the weather, I’ll manage to get out and explore.

With only about 36 hours until departure, I thought I gad better think about starting my latest trip report!

So first things first. Let me introduce myself. I Mel, I’m over the half century and I’m a mom of two and wife to one. I live in the south of France and I’m a training manager in a small company.

This is another of my solo trips. I’m leaving on Friday and coming back just over a week later arriving back home on the Sunday. I’m off to Quebec city. This isn’t the first time that I’ve visited the city. As for my trip to Montreal last year, I will be taking some French lessons as a way of trying to improve my terrible French.

So, let’s give you some details.

I leave a local airport at 6:20 AM on Friday flying to Frankfurt. There I have a one and a half hour transfer time which hopefully should be enough. The airplane that I will take to go to Frankfurt arrives the evening before so usually takes off on time on the morning flight. From Frankfurt I’m on the Air Canada flight to Montreal. This arrives in Montreal at about 11:20 AM. I then have about 1 1/2 hour layover in Montreal which hopefully will be enough time to go through immigration and customs. I don’t have to get my bags they will be automatically transferred to my flight to Quebec city which is just a short 50 minute flight.

In Quebec City I have booked an Airbnb apartment in Saint Roch. As it’s Easter weekend, hotels were very expensive. This is the first time I’ve stayed in an Airbnb on my own, though as a family we’ve used them a lot over the last five years. It will be nice to have my own space, and the kitchen to prepare some of my meals. While I like eating out, to eat out three meals a day on your own can get a bit too much.

Hopefully I’ll be at the apartment by about 3 PM which will give me enough time to unpack, and then to go out and explore of the local area. Where the apartment is is apparently a very busy area outside the main downtown of Quebec city. However it’s walkable, well in my opinion walkable as it’s about 30 minutes.

I decided to stay here as apparently there’s lots of restaurants shops and I felt that probably in the evening it would be a nice place to stay, plus it’s not too far from the language school where I’ll be doing the lessons in the morning.

So what do I plan to do!

On the Saturday and Sunday I plan to explore Quebec City. I’ve visited twice before, once for a week in 2015 with the family and then again just an overnight stay the following year. I think over the weekend I will probably go to Montgomery Falls. I know I can take the bus there. Otherwise it will be my general wandering around down into the old city, and just enjoying the the weekend.

At the moment,It’s forecast to rain at the weekend. If it does, I will just adjust my plans accordingly and perhaps visit one or two of the museums in the old town area.

I hope to visit most of the sites - even though I have been to most of them already! Being on my own gives me a completely different perspective. I really enjoy just wandering.

I will effectively have the weekend and then each afternoon as my French course is 9am to about 12.30pm every day. I am going to the Quebec City site of the same school as last year! I did check though that it wasn’t the same teacher

I also will take the ferry over to Levis. We stayed here on our first visit. There is one reason for this:

Ice cream - there is a fabulous ice cream shop over there!

I have to admit that the trip has caught up with me somewhat! I haven’t got a detailed plan - will basically go with the flow!!

Just need to remember to check in tomorrow morning online! And try to do a week’s work in a say

Well, after 12 nights, 8 flights, 6 airports, 39 hours in the air, 32,500km and 5 hotels, I think I can say that it was an absolutely amazing trip that exceeded all my expectations!

Sharing the trip with O was fantastic. It was such a privilege to spend this time with him - especially as he will potentially be moving to the other side of the world in 5 months!

He really was an ideal travelling companion - he humoured my sometimes ad hoc planning and threw himself into everything we did with a big smile and an appreciation of how lucky we were to do this!

Considering we had 8 flights, I was amazed that they were all on time, none of our luggage got lost and we managed to get to and from the airports without any mishaps!

I can’t say the flights were perfect (odd demand on the El Calafate-BA flight and the space invader on the BA- Frankfurt flight) but I really can’t complain!

O would say that he really didn’t like the light security measures in the Argentinian airports. He felt more at ease in Frankfurt!

The accommodation all worked out well! In total we paid about 630 euros for 10 nights which I think was really good value! It was nice to stay in different areas of BA - though I think my favourite one in BA was the second one. But they were all good!

Foodwise, you may have worked out that O is a creature of habit!! I really didn’t mind revisiting restaurants!

My favourite - either the cafe at Malba or Morrisons in El Calafate. O loved his salmon and chips at the last hotel in BA!

We did have a few dodgy meals - especially in the Iguazu Falls! But we survived and didn’t starve! I have to say that we aren’t particularly foodies so there was absolutely no planning involved in where we ate!!

Iguazu Falls were amazing. The National Parks on both sides were brilliantly organised and whilst there were lots of people it didn’t feel like it!

The boat ride was probably not something I would have done had I been on my own but I still enjoyed it and I know O did too!

The sounds and sights we saw here were not to be missed. I am so glad it made it on our to do list!

The Bird Aviary was a surprise hit! O loved the toucans and parrots! It was really well set out and well worth the visit!

I also have to add in here how amazing our Airbnb host was! He made the stay here so much easier and it was worth staying in the Airbnb just to have his help. I don’t know how we could have done so much without him!!

Buenos Aires - I am happy we visited but next time I would only pass through it! Staying in three separate areas helped us see quite a bit of it - though it was a shame we never made it to La Boca.

Probably the biggest highlight of the trip was the glacier. Truly awe inspiring. I am so happy we decided to do the ice trek - it really wad out of this world and the memories of the day will stay with me forever.

The Petrified Forest tour was an unexpected hit! I didn’t really know what to expect but it was not only informative and interesting but the views were also spectacular.

O really enjoyed it too - in fact but the glacier and this tour gave him real insight into what he has bern studying in geology!

Highly recommended!

The zip lining was far better than I had feared - O obviously loved it! That was always a given!

I had only done this once before and didn’t enjoy it but was willing to have another go. It was a much better experience and whilst I screamed like a girl, it was fun.

There weren’t really any lows - we both just loved every minute and Argentina is certainly somewhere I would love to go back to. I would love to explore more of Patagonia (Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn) and also visit Salta.

What is next? I am off to Quebec City in less than 6 weeks’ time! So far not much planned - just got my flights and an airbnb booked!

After that - no big summer trip as O is off to university and if all goes well he will leave mid August!

Thanks for reading along!

It was time to head home! We had had an absolutely fabulous trip but that time had come!

As our flight was not until 6pm we had the morning to fill! We had breakfast (egg on toast and coffee again!) and I confirmed with reception that check out was at 2pm. I also booked a taxi for 2.15pm.

Our legs were tired after the 18km yesterday. We decided to stay relatively local and chose to go to the outlets.

It was quite posh and very quiet. A lot of the shops we had never heard of. Neither O nor I are the best shoppers so my purse stayed intact!

We decided to have a Starbucks - we were in no rush! I tried the dulce de leche frappacino. It was a bit too sweet even for me.

We had a slow saunter back to the hotel. O was keen to eat at the hotel again as we weren't sure when we would have a good meal again!

O, for a change, had salmon and chips. I had a quinoa burger and fries. We both enjoyed what we had!

We went back up to the room, both had showers and got changed. I packed away the last of our stuff. We were down in reception just before 2pm and in the taxi at 2.15pm!

The journey took about 45 minutes - it was another bank holiday so the roads were quiet.

We checked in fairly quickly and decided to head through security. This was on the light side yet again! We also went through immigration and got our exit stamps!

We found a seat overlooking our plane - which had arrived in BA at 8am! No risk of leaving late then!

The wifi was quick so we spent our time surfing the web! I also used the last of our pesos on a Starbucks coffee, a frappacino and a chocolate muffin!

Boarding started at 5pm. We were seated in the small economy section just in front of Premium Economy. I had an aisle seat and O was on the front row (we don't mind not sitting together - easy access out was our main priority! )

However, the person next to me was extremely wide (a bodybuilder?) and pretty much invaded my space. I insisted that the armrest stayed down...

The flight took off on time and we must have had good wind condition as the flying time was under 13 hours.

I watched Crazy Rich Asians which was light relief.

Dinner was brought around after about 90 minutes.

The salad was ok but I found the veggie pasta pretty awful. O liked it though.

I then watched A Star is Born which I really enjoyed. I slept on and off but as I was cramped into my seat it was not the best night's sleep I had had.

We landed at Frankfurt 40 minutes early - but we were in no rush to get off as our connecting flight wasn't until 5 hours later!

We had to go through passport control and went into the main departures area. We found a Starbucks and I had a coffee to try to stay awake.

I left O there while I headed to the supermarket to get some smoked cheese - a favourite of mine that I can't get in France!

Lunch was bagels - avocado for me snd smoked salmon for O!

O also had a black forest shake!

We headed back through security - much more intense and reassuring!

The plane was parked on a very remote stand - it took about 10 minutes on the bus! We were on the emergency exit row - with a spare seat. After take off I fell asleep!

We landed on time and J was there to collect us! It had been a long day - 24 hours from leaving the hotel to getting home but an absolutely amazing trip!

We woke up to rain! The forecast said rain all day. Added into the mix that it was a Monday (so lots of museums closed) and a bank holiday we were unsure what we could do.

We decided to start with breakfast - a buffet with an option to have eggs. We both had easy over fried eggs and toast! Coffee and juice (and dome cakes for O) completed it.

We decided we would wait an hour and see what the weather bought!

An hour later it looked yo be easing off so we decided to ho for a wander - taking in the local atmosphere and sights. The area we were in is very much a trendy place to be - but more so at night. 10am on a bank holiday Monday was not the busiest time of day!

We started off in Plaza Serrano which has a lot of older houses surrounding it. It has to be said that it was s bit scruffy!

Some of the side streets were heavily painted and graffitied! Graffiti was a common theme all over Palermo. Having said that, there were some lovely wide tree lined streets and you could see why people wanted to live here.

It started to pour down so we headed to a busy cafe where I had a coffee and O a smoothie.

After about 5 minutes the rained stopped and we thankfully didn’t see it again!

While the cafe was busy when we entered I think a lot of people were doing what we were!

We continued on our walk - we headed south toward Plaza Italia. BA seemed to be built on a similar grid system yo NUC but with a lot of South American countries as toad names. This made it fairly easy yo work out where you were.

Once we were at Plaza Italia, O asked how far we were from Malba. I reckoned about 2 minutes so he suggested going there for lunch again!

It was heaving out the Museum. When we had been earlier in the week there was just one person in front if us in the queue - today it was snaking half way down the street. I think it was one of the few museums open!

I had my usual ginger and mint lemonade snd O had a smoothie!

Then O had s bit of a whoops - he thought he had ordered the salmon bagel but in fact it was the salmon sandwich - which came with a lot of undesirables like avocado and cream cheese. I manage to make a good job of transforming it into a simple salmon sandwich.

I had my avocado on toast!

It took and hour to walk back! After a rest, we decided to try yo work out where the carnival would be. We ended up back at Plaza Serrano which was a lot busier and with a market!

We decided to have dinner again in the restaurant. O, a creature of habit, had salmon and chips. I had a fried rice bowl.

We decided that ice cream would be a suitable dessert!

About 9pm we headed out yo where we thought the carnival would be. This was just the local once - there was a bigger one elsewhere but too complicated for us!

At one end of the street was a stage with a band playing and singing. On the toad were dancers. From what we could work out, each group had a set ( the musicians were from each group). When they had finished, they got a pennant and then went on their bus (to the next venue?? There were lots of local carnivals all over the city)

The music was typically Latin and the dancers all had a set routine. It was fab to see it!

We watched for about half an hour - avoiding the foam sprays that the kids loved spraying on each other (a tradition!!)

We went to an ice cream shop where we got a 250g box of ice cream. As it was in a polystyrene box we decided we had time to go back to the hotel to eat it!

We were exhausted - we had walked 18km!

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Park Hours - Tuesday 23/04/2019

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