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Coquelicot Mar 15th, 2020 04:43 AM

An army is not the only thing that travels on its stomach--my husband and I do too. Before our trip, my husband plans our restaurants day by day, which isn't hard,because we return to the same two or three parts of France on each trip and already know all the restaurants. Only once have we been to a famous restaurant in France and yet we manage to eat very well at modest places, as cheska and her husband have been doing.

I do love your food descriptions, cheska.. You're eating for all of us.

We only eat out at lunch. Dinner is a big snack, though I like us to have 3 or 4 pastries for dessert because French pastries are my one weakness one of my weaknesses.

cheska15 Mar 15th, 2020 08:32 AM

The supermarket this morning was calm and orderly except for long queues. The shelves were fully stocked of everything, and there didn’t seem to be any panic buying.

We the visited the market and it wasn’t as lively as it has been at other times. We purchased some freshly made Ravioli Epinard. We requested 200 gr and the woman asked ‘ for two’. Yes we replied. She then advised 150 gr each. Ok we replied, so came away with the recommended amount. Cost of €5.90.

Then it was off to the vegetable stall, and we always receive a warm welcome. Vegetables of asparagus, lettuce, couple of sweet potatoes, cucumber, bananas cost was €7.00.

We did also purchase an tarte tartin for €10, and a small container of thick cream €2. Definitely a couple of days dessert.

We then came home and had the pasta, and salad for lunch. It was really good and would definitely purchase again. Washed down with my favourite Pinot Grigio from Alsace.

As we had our big meal at lunch time, we won’t need anything else. For us even when we walk 19ks a day we can’t eat again at night. We prefer to eat this way as well.

We have received numerous phone calls and texts from family and friends inquiring to what we are doing. At this stage there is not intention to return to Aus. If we do we will have to self isolate. we did cancel all accommodation except for the Loire Valley. Hopefully we will still be able to get there, and may stay longer if we can extend.

We were a bit flat last night, however today is a different day and we just have to wait and see what happens. There is not a lot of news today, as local elections are being held. When there is news things change very quickly.

geetika Mar 15th, 2020 09:21 AM

The recent events must seem surreal when you planned and worked so hard on this extended stay in France, certainly not quite what you envisaged. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time, albeit in a different way, stay safe...👍

cheska15 Mar 17th, 2020 11:17 AM

What a time to be in France. We left Nimes today at 6.00am to travel to Blois where we will spend the next 15 days. We weren’t intending to leave Nimes, however the landlord had a change in personal circumstances, and our agreement was till March 25. so we quickly packed up yesterday and left this morning before the lockdown came into effect. We had our own food so that was great not to have to buy any. I must admit it felt a bit like doing a midnight flit. We left Nimes on good terms and have great memories of the town, and the people.

After a drive through stunning mountain scenery, the alps in the background with snow, roiling green hills we arrived. I must admit to singing’ the hills are alive....’

What a difference to stay in a small apartment with no damp. While it is a little place, it does have a large terrace, clean and very modern.

We haven’t made a decision on our future as yet for several reasons. It is very difficult to get a flight home, the thought of getting in a plane with potential sick people is off putting, and we just can’t give up yet. I know that sounds crazy, but I really want to see France in Spring and Summer. Winter in France isn’t that great, and we do really want to see the country at its best.

The Department of Foreign Affairs are advising that if you WISH to return home do it soon. Well that’s too late as finding a flight out seems very difficult. Some airlines have cancelled flights until May. We will see how it goes after this 15 days.

we are in good health and good spirits. We had a few tough days deciding what to do. Our problems are tiny compared to those who are suffering.

kerouac Mar 17th, 2020 12:23 PM

I hope that you are able to do a few things because "tourism" is not one of the possibilities on the new forms that are required as of today if you go outside.

Adelaidean Mar 17th, 2020 12:27 PM

Best wishes, Cheska.

rhon Mar 17th, 2020 02:32 PM

Best wishes. I can understand your reluctance to give up. We would be the same. At least you have some time with your long term visa.

Take care. Everyone around the world is trying to avoid this virus.

We are keeping a low profile at home. All our family live in other centres ( Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane ), so we will just stay home. Games of Scrabble, Sudoku, books, some TV. P does jigsaws and I quilt. We watched a Les Carnets de Julie last night. That is as close to France we will get for a while.

Bonne chance

gooster Mar 17th, 2020 04:12 PM

Bonne chance, cheska, as you settle down in Blois. Stay safe and I hope you have plenty of entertainment options in the flat.

cheska15 Mar 18th, 2020 06:13 AM

As we have left Nimes I will no longer be adding to this thread. It has been a lot of fun, and will be a fabulous reminder for me of our first six months in France.

Everybody has been very encouraging and has given much of their time. It has felt like at times, that we were all sitting around having a drink a sharing experiences not only on travel, but cooking, shopping etc.

While many of you have got something from this thread, please keep in mind that you have given to us as well. What a wonderful bunch of people you are.

When we start travelling again I will start another thread. Who knows where that will take us. I hope you and your loved ones keep happy and healthy in this terrible time in the world, and with much admiration for you all I will sign off here.


kerouac Mar 18th, 2020 06:49 AM

We have all enjoyed this thread very much, Cheska, but you are right to stop it because in a month or so anybody not planning a trip to Nimes would probably not click on it even though there is so much more destination and lifestyle information on it

Any new thread that you might start ("Trapped in Blois" or "The Quality of French Hospitals") will surely be fascinating, but even if you just add to the existing threads, that will be fine.

Bon courage!

geetika Mar 18th, 2020 09:15 AM

Thank you so much for this thread cheska, I have enjoyed every single post and felt part of your travels and experiences. I am saddened your journey is being cut short in a most unexpected way and wish you the best for the rest of your stay in France.

These are troubled times the likes of which most of us have never seen. My thoughts and prayers with all of you out there, take care and Godspeed...😊

milaedg Mar 18th, 2020 09:38 AM

I am a lurker on this thread. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. I too, dream of living abroad for a year (can’t decide between France, Italy, England) and your journal allowed me to live vicariously in France. Good luck, stay safe and healthy!
Thank you!

Adelaidean Mar 18th, 2020 12:53 PM

Farewell, Cheska, it’s been a lovely journey with you.

Very much appreciate you sharing it with us. And the commentary from others has been interesting.

I hope you can salvage something from the upcoming events and let us know how it’s going.

Trophywife007 Mar 18th, 2020 12:56 PM

Adding my thanks to you along with everyone else here. I've really enjoyed following your odyssey and hope to read of your future travel, albeit on another thread. You certainly will continue to see a different side than the average tourist would. Continuing safe travel wishes to you and your family.

marg Mar 18th, 2020 01:34 PM

It's such a shame that your dream has turned into a nightmare. I've enjoyed reading about your time in Nimes - with great envy, I might add. Good luck with your remaining time in France.

Trophywife007 Mar 18th, 2020 05:02 PM

That's the thing. I don't know that it exactly is a nightmare (and the OP can correct me if I'm wrong.) They are experiencing a slice of life in France that most of us won't. They also won't be dealing with throngs of tourists. It sounds interesting to me and if I were in their position, I'd think twice, three times, four times, before throwing in the towel. Likely, they'll never get the opportunity again. But, don't mind me; I'm the one who moved to West Berlin after Chernobyl and the disco bombing, which happened to be a couple years before the wall fell. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Anything.

cheska15 Mar 18th, 2020 10:15 PM

Thanks for the kind messages. I wouldn’t say the trip has turned into a nightmare. Incredibly disappointing maybe, and their are people worse off. We cannot see an end to the lockdown after this 15 days, and will possibly return to Australia if it was to continue for two or three months. While our insurance covers us we have written to the company for clarification on a few issues

We do not want to throw in the towel yet. Not sure if we are being silly or sensible.

Coquelicot Mar 19th, 2020 03:36 AM

cheska, this thread will not fade away until everyone who has enjoyed sharing your travels has popped in to say thank you. It's been so much fun reading your updates. We wish you the best in Blois.

I am guessing that you may wind up watching a lot of TV. Getting to be fluent in French would be an upside to this. No matter what else is on TV, the ads are always bright and cheerful. Presumably you can go out to walk for exercise (with your attestation, of course). Having a dog to walk would give you a built-in excuse but I doubt you'd want to go that far!

Stay well, enjoy your meals, keep in touch with those at home, and post here when you can.

Fond regards from me.


margo_oz Mar 19th, 2020 04:21 AM

Thanks, Cheska

As I was already unable to take my planned trip to France this year, as a result of surgery, I revelled in your posts. Now with this nightmare time upon us, I look forward to more vicarious travels.

I'm keen to hear about Blois. I was there about 30 years ago, well into a 2 month trip and looking unkempt. I went to the tourist office and asked for advice on hairdressers. The lady asked what I wanted and pointed to her own hair, which looked quite good. I said yes and she made me an appointment with her hairdresser. The only English the man spoke was 'kangaroo' (she must have told him I was Australian). My limited French wasn't up to discussing the niceties of hair styles. In the finish, he decided for himself. It was the best haircut I'd ever had. As I walked around town later, I noticed that most people, especially women and children, had particularly well styled hair.

Coquelicot Mar 19th, 2020 04:39 AM

cheska, I hope you can get a haircut in Blois and post your photo!

A haircut story that was told to me. Our friend was on vacation, maybe in Italy, and couldn't communicate, so the stylist handed her the book of current styles and she picked one She thought a wash and cut was taking a really long time, but when she eventually got a look in the mirror she saw she had been turned from brunette to blonde. The stylist gave her exactly what was in the photo. Her husband didn't recognize her when he came to pick her up.

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