Friday, October 10, 2008

French Holiday - looking for my roots.

Ralph Malan

Antonia & I went on a walking tour to Provence in France then drove to Cherbourg in Normandy, caught the ferry to Poole in England and a bus up to London. We had flown from Cape Town to London early in September and returned to the Cape right at the end of September.

We chose to walk in Provence as that is where the Malans came from so I wanted to see it. Driving back there were two things that I particularly wanted to see. Firstly the worlds tallest bridge at Millau and secondly the wine growing districts of Bordeaux. Near Cherbourg is an old house that belongs to Antonia’s family which we wanted to go to. Plus we had to be in London for an extended family get together; Antonia’s cousins from her father’s side plus their children.

Here is a map of France with our trip marked.

Provence is where the blue circle is with 1 written in red. That is a photo of an old school atlas with the route marked on a colour print then scanned. Our walk was inside the blue circle. 1 is Avignon, a small city on the Rhone river which runs down the eastern side of France entering the Mediterranean Sea at Marseilles.

Our driving trip is shown in red with each sleepover point numbered. Millau is in the circle between stops 2 & 3. Bordeaux is the city just to the west (left) of 4 and the family house is at 7. Antonia drove 1900 km & I navigated. We flew from Southampton to Avignon the day after we flew into London. Antonia’s sister Sarah joined us for the walking bit but then flew back to England. The plane only flies on Tuesdays and Thursdays so we had some extra days in Provence because the walk was only three days but we spent seven in the blue circle.

I am not going to give a day by day account of this holiday. I will post, with lots of pictures, about things that I found interesting; sort of essay like. This will be more like a personal blog and you may want to skip some of these posts. I have asked Trailrider for permission to post all this stuff on his site. I took 1178 pictures on this holiday & it was Trailrider who inspired me to click away – he takes even more.


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