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adventures in France and England

today I’ve started using the WordPress Image Uploader to upload and manipulate images.  Up until now I’ve resisted doing so due to some innate need to control everything by hand (re: resizing the images into thumbnails by hand, using SFTP to get them uploaded onto my server and then linking to them using HTML).  Well, no longer!  So far the Image Uploader seems to make things much easier, and there’s also a handy WordPress Image Gallery that you can use to display sets of images.

enough about WordPress features… here are some pictures from our recent travels around France and England.

the other week we went to the Zoo de Champrepus, a zoo near our house here in La Manche (Basse-Normandie).  For a small zoo it was actually quite good; there was hardly anybody there, so we had a nice private tour of the grounds and managed to get up close and personal with some of the residents.

Zoo de Champrepus

The arch at the Zoo de Champrepus

the highlight of the trip to the zoo was a visit into the lemur grounds within the Madagascar exhibit. You could walk right up to the lemurs and hang out with them, and they wouldn’t run away or otherwise react to your presence. The lemurs were funny; they would wander around the grounds when it was cloudy, but as soon as the sun would come up they’d prop themselves up to bask their bellies in it.

A sunbathing lemur at the Zoo de Champrepus

A sunbathing lemur at the Zoo de Champrepus

meanwhile, here is a fellow making fresh crèpes for us at a weekend carnival that took place in the town of Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët near where we live. The most interesting thing about the carnival (to me at least) was how carnies from all over France came to set up their booths, rides and attractions inside the town. The side streets of Saint-Hilaire were overflowing with trailers and camper vans full of the workers running the festivities and their families. I know that my stalwart crew tends to move around quite a bit, but in comparison to these people we’re downright sedentary.

Making crèpes at the carnival in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët

Making crèpes at the carnival in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët

a few weeks ago we took a trip to England to stay with some friends of ours (the family of a high school friend from Toronto) who are living in the town of Reading. While we were there the families toured London and went to LEGOLAND in Windsor. It was a great trip; I’m sure it was refreshing for the kids to get to hear people other than their parents speaking in English to them!

one fun aspect of the trip was taking our car on the ferry from the port at Ouistreham (near the city of Caen) to Portsmouth in England. Even more fun was the trip back, where we got a cabin for our family of four on the ferry. The kids loved it… plus I got to take a nap.

Leaving the port of Ouistreham

Leaving the port of Ouistreham

while in England we traveled to the city of Bath to see the ancient Roman baths. It was fascinating to me to see structures so ancient, and to imagine what life must have been like back in the old (like, REALLY old) days. Callum, for one, really digs that sort of stuff.

The Roman bath in Bath, England

The Roman bath in Bath, England

on our way back from Reading to Portsmouth to catch the ferry back to France we paid a visit to Stonehenge (yes, I did just link to that). After visiting the Roman baths (old) it was interesting to visit Stonehenge (even older). Architecture has really come a long way in the past few thousand years.

while visiting the ‘henge I conveniently forgot my phone in my car and was unable to take a picture of it. So when we got back to the car I snagged my phone, ran back through the tunnel under the road that leads to the site, and snapped a quick photo of the path leading up to it. It’s not much, but hey, it’s better than nothing. Maybe.

The path leading to Stonehenge

The path leading to Stonehenge

and as a parting shot here’s a picture of the best pub in Paris, where my friend and co-worker Ian and I visited during a business trip to Paris… the Great Canadian Pub!

The Great Canadian Pub in Paris

The Great Canadian Pub in Paris


Leave a comment
  1. Bucky
    01. Dec, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Great blog. Send more. Being so south, we didn’t spend much time I’m England.

    • Brian
      02. Dec, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      thanks Bucky – I’d love to visit the south of France as well; Eygalières sounded beautiful. I’ll definitely post more photos.

  2. Chris Norkun
    11. Feb, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    this is great man. I love the photojournalism feel of your blog. I’ll be pilfering your style come April when my wife and I get away from Washington D.C. and explore Dublin and Athlone for a wedding and an adventure.

    • Brian
      12. Feb, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      that sounds excellent Chris. I am sure you will have an excellent trip to Ireland – please let me know when you do post pictures.

      what is bringing you to Athlone? It sounds like a nice town, but it is not normally a town you hear mentioned when you hear of people paying a visit to Ireland… does that town have significance to you and your family?

      all the best to you.

      • Chris Norkun
        12. Feb, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

        my wife’s best friend is from Athlone and she is getting married in her hometown. We will be there for 3 days and spend 2 days in Dublin before flying back to the States.

        • Brian
          13. Feb, 2012 at 9:47 am #

          that will be a great trip! Ireland outside of Dublin is very pretty – we lived in Dublin for a while; I worked at AIB in Donnybrook and Ballsbridge. We had a car that we’d purchased in France, and drove to a new spot on the island almost every weekend – we had some great adventures in the countryside. I wish the same to you and your wife.

  3. Your Name
    18. Mar, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m looking forward to more images and posts. In the meantime, I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Stop by my post to pick up the badge.

    • Brian
      28. Mar, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      thank you Chris – I really appreciate it!

      you’ve reminded me that I definitely do need to create some more posts. I have a sizable backlog of pictures (mostly from daily life in Normandy) that I’ve been meaning to sit down and type up a few articles about. I’ll try to do that soon – maybe before the month is through?

      meanwhile, I will go and check out the other bloggers on your list – it is always nice to find more interesting blogs to read.

  4. Marcy Kennedy
    10. Jun, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Lovely pictures 🙂 If my husband and I ever travel to Normandy, we’ll have to make a point of going to the Zoo de Champrepus. I’d love to get close to a lemur. When we were in Brisbane, Australia, we were able to feed kangaroos and hold koalas and a baby crocodile. It’s amazing to be able to touch “wild” animals.

    • Brian
      12. Jun, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      thank you Marcy! I agree about the lemurs – it was awesome for the kids to go right up to them and hang out with them; I got some good photos of the kids crouching by the lemurs who were busy sunning themselves and didn’t seem to care that we were around. If you ever do decide to take a trip to Normandy with your husband let me know and I can tell you some great spots to visit.

      I had the same experience feeding wallabies in Australia when I was there some time ago – but I definitely did not hold a baby crocodile! That must have been quite something.

  5. Cyre
    18. Sep, 2012 at 2:39 pm #


    I found your blog after reading your article about PMP certification. I really enjoyed it. You have a very comfortable way of speaking – not like your writing but as if you were just having a simple conversation with someone. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brian
      25. Sep, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Hello Cyre – thanks very much for the kind words! I really appreciate it.

      All the best to you!

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