• Lugano - the Monte Carlo of Switzerland

    So began our epic journey through Italy and up to Lake Como to Lugano - the Monte Carlo of Switzerland.
     
    I had last visited here nearly 30 years ago on a business trip and it stuck in my memory as a culturally vibrant city on the shores of Lake Lugano - it would be interesting to see how it had fared and for Yianna to see it.
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  • GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS - SHOULD I TAKE EUROS TO GREECE?

    That’s the question on everyone’s lips right now.  Should I take Euros to Greece?   In short, the answer is ‘yes’ but read on to learn more about what is really happening in Greece right now from Graham Simpson, a well-known and respected  expert on Greece.

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  • The beautiful city of Beaune

    Sometimes you have to make a decision on the spur of the moment.  For us what was paramount was our safety and from what we understood, Gertie could limp a relatively short distance as long as she wasn't twisting and turning.
     
    So, a swift decision was made - a slow journey to the beautiful city of Beaune, the wine capital or 'Champs Elysées' of Burgundy.  We'd heard so many positive stories about Beaune from friends who had passed this way in more illustrious cars. [...]
  • Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Burgundy

    Just outside Avallon in Burgundy is a very small village, almost a hamlet, called Vassy - unpretentious, peaceful and rather pretty and on the edge of the village stands the rather majestic La Cimentelle.  We discovered this gem thanks to Alastair Sawday’s French Bed & Breakfast guide - a very useful tool if you are meandering through France and looking for rather intimate and special places to stay. After last night’s stay in a pleasant but uninspiring town hotel this was a welcome respite.  La Cimentelle is a handsome family house built at the turn of the 19th century and its owners, Nathalie and Stéphane, gave us a warm welcome and our room overlooking the meadow was quite exquisite - tasteful and spacious. [...]
  • Greece update from Graham Simpson

    As you know, Graham Simpson is currently on his travels down to Greece with the two ladies in his life - Gertie, his 2CV and Yianna, his Cretan wife.  Greece is Graham’s second home and he has taken time out from his travels to give us an update on how life is in Greece right at this moment.

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  • Unforgettable Touring in France

    Having left Giverny after lunch we continued our touring through France in our Deux Chevaux passing through Mantes, Rambouillet, Dourdan and Pithiviers and finished our day at Montargis. Gertie behaved herself rather well but we had discovered the cause of her problem through the contacts we had made in the Deux Chevaux Club in France.  They informed us that she must have an overheating coil (bobbin in French) and that the only way to deal with this was to give Gertie a cooling down period of about 30 minutes every time we stopped after which all would be well. It certainly worked but hampered our progress and to make matters worse, as soon as she came to a stop such as at traffic lights, she cut out and on more than one occasion we ended up having to push her to the side of the road - quite undignified that - ‘if our friends could see us now!’ [...]
  • Setting off with Gertie...

    Up bright and early at our home in West Sussex as the ferry to Caen leaves Portsmouth at 8:15am.  We’d packed  Gertie (our Deux Chevaux) the night before and had included all the little extras that two intrepid adventurers might need on their journey through France, Switzerland and Italy to Greece.  The end of the road was a Corfu villa which our daughter, Hannah, had rented with her husband and family as they had recently relocated to this beautiful island from their Brighton home. [...]
  • Joining the Deux Chevaux Club

    I don’t know what prompted me but I expect the idea has been lying dormant for some time.  The catalyst to joining the Deux Chevaux Club and this little adventure Yianna and I are about to embark on was a chance encounter with a ‘dustbin on wheels’ along the Richmond Road a couple of months ago.  If you are not acquainted with this terminology I refer to the 2CV, the old Citroën car used by French farmers since 1948 and known as the Deux Chevaux - as in ‘two horsepower’. [...]
  • Top six ‘must dos’ at Simpson’s Paxos villas

    Recently we talked about our Paxos villas and what a wonderful escape the island offers for those looking for a spring break.  Our team over in Paxos are currently getting our villas ready for the season and Frances and Pete, our island managers, took time out to share their top six ‘must dos’ on Paxos.   [...]