France, Spain and Italy - 5-23 January 2015


This is where I went.



PARIS


Sacre Coeur.


Notre Dame.


Champs Elysees.


Looking down the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe.


Arc de Triomphe.


Tomb of the Unknown WWI Soldier.


Eiffel Tower.




Not much of a view today from the top.


City of lights.




Les Catacombes.






The number of people and cars, the convoluted city layout, dodgy assholes such as these and an unpleasant vibe about the place resulted in me having a strong dislike for Paris.


Escargot (snails).


Tartare (prepared raw minced meat).....unlike Mr Bean who got rid of it by hiding it in creative places, I consumed it. It was certainly interesting but actually wasn't too bad.


Nutella crepes were a hit.



LOIRE VALLEY


Chateau de Chambord.




Chateau de Cheverny.


Beautiful manicured gardens.


Interior shots of the chateaux.













BARCELONA


Palau Victoria Eugenia.


Estadi Olímpic de Montjuďc, home of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.




The Olympic village.


Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.


Las Ramblas.


Catching some Euroleague action.....Barcelona v Panathinaikos in the round of 16.


The atmosphere was incredible, thanks mainly to these hardcore fans who literally only stopped for breath.


Port of Barcelona.


Beaches of Barcelonetta.


Seafood and sangria by the beach.


Tapas.


Consumed everywhere but Australia!


They call them Montero over there, probably because Pajero means "wanker" in Spanish!


Sagrada Familia.


They started work on this in 1882 and they're still going!


Proud Catalans.


Camp Nou.


What a stadium.




An amazing atmosphere created by the 80,000+ crowd.


This little genius put on one hell of a show.



FRENCH ALPS


Grenoble, the capital of the French Alps was a fantastic place. It had a laid back feel, the people were lovely and there were rugged peaks in every direction you looked.


As I was crook with gut issues, I spent a fair bit of time in this hotel room.


Riding the bus up Alpe D'Huez.


Some of its 21 fabled hairpin bends.


The ski resort village.


Alpine country.


Summit of hors categorie (HC) climb and stage finish of the Tour de France.


Sorry to disappoint but I didn't ride up it!



VENICE


The Grand Canal.


Beautiful canals and no cars make this a unique and amazing place.






Chiesa di San Barnaba, the library from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Gallerie dell’Accademia.


The setting sun over the Grand Canal.


Ponte di Rialto.


A night at the opera and watching a tenor belt out Nessun Dorma was a highlight of the trip.


I had pretty decent company for the weekend in Venice.


I made good use of the trains in Europe.



ROME


The Colosseum.








The Roman Forum.


There were people flogging selfie sticks everywhere in Europe.


This Mr Bean inspired security measure wasn't all that uncommon in Rome.


Europeans love the human form.




The Vatican.


St. Peter's Basilica.




Ponte Umberto over the Fiume Tevere.


Piazza della Repubblica.


Pantheon.


I had quite a fair bit of pizza whilst in Italy including these beauties on Turkish Bread but I was terribly disappointed that Meatlovers didn't appear on any menu over there!


Delicious gelato for dessert (nearly every meal).



As Jon from Bon Jovi sang, "there's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home".