Paris-Nice 2012

Being in France, less than two hours drive from a couple of stages of the Paris-Nice 'race to the sun', and being keen cycling fans what is one to do?

We drove to Mende one afternoon to catch the end of the stage into that town, then the following morning headed over to Suze-la-Rousse for the start the following day.

Sadly our plans to catch the finish on that first day were scuttled by a closed road but we still managed to catch an all-to-brief sight of riders at the final sprint point 3km from the finish before running into the cafe right next door to see the action unfold up the final climb.

Catching the start of the following stage was, I think, much more interesting and impressive. As well as being able to get up close and personal with the teams and equipment bonus points were awarded for an encounter or two with some of our favorite riders. We then got to watch the neutralised peloton leave behind the race referee. A great day - the start of a stage race is highly recommended from this experience!

Anduze, Mar/Apr '12

The first real part of our trip to discover the South of France, Chez Wills in Anduze became our home for 6 weeks.

Firstly, what a beautiful little gite this is - everything one could need. A nice walking route and so many amazing cycle friendly roads at the doorstep.

We mostly spent this time relaxing and enjoying the sun when it shone by eating outside and enjoying the wonderful views from the patio. Not only of the surrounding hills, but also the garden meticulously maintained by our host with a varied selection of lawns, orchard, flowering plants and trees.

It has to be said that March and April can still be a chilly time in this area though, but the temperature never stopped us from cycling or doing other things when we liked.

The gite was so nice thought, those 'other things' (cycling aside) didn't happen that often. However, the highlight of any trip to this region must be a hike around Gorge de la Jonte (Corniches du Causse Méjean I believe the route is called) - absolutely stunning. A trip to pretty little town of Nîmes is also highly recommended.

I'm sure our host wouldn't mind it being mentioned, that we also had an insight into how various practicalities work here in France, after all - that was part of the idea of the trip. Let's just say we now have a first hand experience of the interesting ways utilities are provided here! wink

Ski Alpe'd Huez, Feb '12

This was a kind of pre-holiday holiday wink

En-route to our longer term accommodation in the South of France we managed to find time to get in a week of skiing in Alpe d'Huez.

The season this year had been a bit lacking in snow and warm weather didn't really help skiing conditions, but... it's not very often you get to hit the piste in glorious spring sunshine for the whole week. One really can't complain at all! smile

England, Feb '12

The start of a big adventure! Flying into Birmingham we had a chance to visit a few people before heading off into France. Great catching up with a lot of people not seen for many years.

Official Wedding Pictures

Here are our official pre-wedding, and wedding pictures from Gusde Photography. Enjoy smile

NB: These are mostly straight out of the camera for now, awaiting final edits so they might change later.

Bali, Jul '11

Very special trip to Bali & Lombok for some kind of ceremony, celebration then relaxation.

Catching up with family and friends and various official duties made the start of this trip very busy. An amazing trek across Mount Rinjani was pretty tough.

Finally, after all that we had a few days to relax in style and come back home refreshed.

All in all an amazing trip!