CLAIREINPARIS's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CLAIREINPARIS CLAIREINPARIS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ A sunny hike with SARAWALKS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5925795 Sparkfriend SARAWALKS is back in France for a couple of months, and yesterday we met for a hike. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1482266398.jpg"> <BR> (I love this picture of Sara, so typical of her! Very lively and happy!) <BR> <BR> It had been almost exactly one year since our last hike together, and we went to the Vexin again as it never disappoints (the Vexin is a National Park North and North-West of Paris)! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Sun, 10 May 2015 13:15:31 EST A lovely stop on the way back from Burgundy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5924676 On the way back from Burgundy, last Monday, my friend Liz and I stopped in the little town of Avallon. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l451091663.jpg"> <BR> <BR> (We had been staying in a village about 30 minutes South of Avallon in the Morvan area.) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/4/l647426758.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Avallon was such a nice discovery! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/2/l329881428.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 8 May 2015 07:46:16 EST Hiking between showers in Burgundy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5921625 I had been dreaming for a long time to visit the Morvan area of France, in Burgundy. You get a glimpse of it from the motorway when you drive from Paris towards the South of France, and I stopped once or twice to visit little towns, but never for a vacation. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2112424961.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Well, I am here now for a long weekend, with my friend Liz from London! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1464320927.j... Sun, 3 May 2015 03:31:26 EST An enchanting hike... almost til the end! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5914036 My guidebook described today’s hike as ‘enchanting’. I thought it was worth giving it a try… See what you think of it. :) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/9/l599697736.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It started in Fourges, in Eure (Normandy), where I did another hike (actually very different) a couple of years ago. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l204719066.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1243125546.jpg"> ... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:15:58 EST Wild anemones paradise around Crouy-sur-Ourcq http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5906462 I believe most of the woods around Paris are a wild anemones paradise on this long Easter weekend! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1508019229.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1331894053.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It certainly was around Crouy-sur-Ourcq yesterday! I love that area! It is North-East of Paris, when I more often go North-West, and it feels different, like I am much further away from home than I really am. <BR> <BR> <img s... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 13:30:40 EST Morocco - Rabat mostly! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5902975 I have been back from Morocco for almost two weeks now, it is about time I write a blog about it! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/4/l54990689.jpg"> <BR> (photo taken in the old Kasbah in Rabat) <BR> <BR> As the title of this blog shows, I was in Rabat 90% of the time, apart from a very short trip to Casablanca one day when we had to pick up a colleague at the airport and took the opportunity for a short walk by the ocean. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.s... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:15:50 EST A spring hike with Cora http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5897377 I am having a great weekend with my Dutch friend Cora, who got here a couple of hours after I flew back from Morocco on Thursday night (blog about that trip coming later this week!). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2084932610.jpg"> <BR> (This morning as we were having breakfast in a café!) <BR> <BR> Cora took plenty of pictures of me during our hike in Saint-Pierre du Vouvray (Normandy) on Friday, so you’ll see me hiking for once! :-) <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Sun, 22 Mar 2015 07:50:18 EST A spoilt hiker http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5889319 You know what? I think I am spoilt! Tonight as I was driving back from my hike (30 minutes away from home), it struck me: many people would be delighted by what I saw today! So why am I a bit uncertain about it? <BR> <BR> There was beautiful weather and even warmth (about 19C/66F wow!)... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1156229422.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ... and even though it was a bit too 'suburban' at times... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 16:02:15 EST Snowdrops! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5884916 Early signs of spring... How I love these! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l899393850.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I see snowdrops I know we are getting there and soon I'll be hiking with sunshine warming my face, birds singing and the flowers' smell! But for now, snowdrops already bring a big smile to my face! They were everywhere today, right from the start in the pretty village of Valmondois. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/6/l360520915.j... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 15:24:14 EST Hiking around Royaumont's Abbey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5880528 I have been to Royaumont's Abbey (built 1228-1235) a few times, but I always get a shock when I get there... it is so beautiful it takes your breath away! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1750404114.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I reached Royaumont, I parked outside the abbey, took a couple of pictures, and then put my hiking boots on and looked for the path into the woods! I wanted to start with the hike, the visit of the abbey being the reward. :) <BR> <BR> <img src=... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:00:23 EST Bay of Somme - Day 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871856 I am back home! And you know, I am already dreaming of going away again, possibly to the same area (almost)! More on that later... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2093419522.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Thank you all for your kind encouragements after my fall on the ice yesterday. I am completely fine today, not even sore apart from my right shoulder which is a bit stiff. But it often is, so I cannot even be sure it is because of my fall. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photo... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 13:28:38 EST Bay of Somme - Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871385 I started the day with a 3-hour hike in Le Hourdel. It was a gorgeous morning! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/3/l338664660.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l123866206.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1598135449.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The tide was low and I loved the colours of the Bay! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1360174244.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 17:54:43 EST Bay of Somme - Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5870771 One of my main New Year Resolutions was to go away regularly for the weekend, for hikes, rest and sightseeing. I had been dreaming to go to the Bay of Somme (about 2 hours North-West of Paris) for ages, so the destination of this first weekend away of the year was easy! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1430296353.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1637642903.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l58... Fri, 6 Feb 2015 15:39:51 EST A Parisian walk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5866875 I hadn't been for a walk around Paris for a long time! Fittingly, it started here, at the feet of the Eiffel Tower... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1950684936.jpg"> <BR> <BR> As you can see, it was rather cloudy! It wasn't warm either, but Paris will always be the City of lovers! :) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/5/l751897153.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I decided to walk East to Notre-Dame, and then North through the Marais. Here is a map of... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 01:38:01 EST A beautiful day for a hike in the Vexin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856875 I couldn't have hoped for a more beautiful day for my hike in the Vexin area yesterday! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1237849898.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It started in Magny-en-Vexin, a little town I love, but I parked outside the town centre and decided to keep the walking in the streets and looking at shops for the end of my hike! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l161319516.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So I was almost immediately in the countryside... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:20:44 EST First hike of 2015! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5845677 I enjoyed my walk in Saint-Leu-Lésserent so much, last week, that I decided to go back and do a different walk this time. Actually this time it was more like a hike, 3 hours, very muddy and steep at some point. I am so glad I am back hiking! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1426171169.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So I crossed the Oise river like I did last time... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l404058833.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ... only this time I... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 13:48:38 EST One month post-op's walk! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5838916 One month ago today, I was just waking up after surgery and not feeling at my best. :) I cannot believe how well I have recovered and how much energy I have now! I am still getting tired quickly, but today I went on a 2-hour walk and really enjoyed it! Little by little, I'll walk further and go back to 4-hour walks (and more!)! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/5/l950045751.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So, today, I went to Saint-Leu-l'Esserent, North of Paris, near Chantilly whe... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 17:21:01 EST Back on my feet and walking around Chantilly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5836319 I have missed my hikes during these last 3 weeks and a half! My hikes and people, if I am honest! 3 weeks at home after the hospital, I am more than ready to see my colleagues in the office tomorrow! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l119966814.jpg"> <BR> <BR> But I am back on my feet and, as I said, I'll go back to the office tomorrow (for 3 days, then stopping again for a few days after Christmas). To celebrate this, I decided to go for a walk in Chantilly today... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:00:49 EST Weight loss surgery - one week post-op http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5826779 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> La vie est belle! Life is beautiful! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1540889756.jpg"> <BR> <BR> If you have been following my hikes and travels for a while, you know I am convinced of it. Yet, life can also be tough. I gained about 100lbs in 3 years for several reasons too personal to explain here, and I didn’t manage to lose them later. (Before you ask... Healthy eating – check! Exercising – check! Counseling – check! I con... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 06:25:21 EST A lovely time in Athens with NUOVAELLE and BLOOMINGLENA http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5815013 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> Greetings from Athens, Greece! That was the view that greeted me when I reached the hotel on Saturday evening... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1309819814.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Striking no? For me however, being in Athens isn't just the beauty of the city and the excitement of work meetings (NOT!!!), but of course... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1790879760.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ... meeting with NUOVAEL... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:43:02 EST Hiking around Vétheuil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5809104 Do you know Vétheuil? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1890796427.jpg"> <BR> <BR> If you are a Claude Monet fan, you actually know Vétheuil! The painter lived in the village between 1878 and 1881 and made over 100 paintings of it. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2039289604.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1090463025.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2095519489... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 06:20:53 EST Lost but not shot! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5800461 I am sorry for the dramatic title, but today was an eventful hike indeed! I don't think I like those, I'd rather have one of my usual hikes, where the worst that can happen is to get a bit lost... And speaking of getting lost (to start with the fun bit!), I haven’t lost my touch! <em>334</em> Although it hadn’t happened in a few months, I still know how to get completely at the opposite of where I am supposed to go during a hike!!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:24:41 EST Hiking back in time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5796445 I had wanted to do this hike a few weeks ago already, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the terrible Ourcq Battle that took place in these fields and on these paths 6-9 September 1914. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l828621757.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It was the very beginning of WWI, and everybody thought it wouldn’t last, and the boys would be home in no time. Sadly, as we now know, it wasn’t what happened. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.co... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 17:51:23 EST A hike at last! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5792856 It feels like ages since I last went on a hike, although it is only a little more than a month. So much has happened since then! September was mad, with 3 weeks away from home in total. <BR> <BR> But back to today’s hike! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1544448155.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I went to Sigy-en-Bray today, in the beautiful hilly Bray area that I love so much, between Picardy and Normandy. The sun was shining bright (with just enough clouds to make the sky ... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 14:54:17 EST Rome - Part 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5779239 I am really glad so many of you have been enjoying my blogs about Rome! I am now back in Paris but still remembering with delight the few hours I had to walk around the Eternal City. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1379604259.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I haven’t shown you many ‘touristy’ places as such, because I had seen these during my previous visits to Rome – and they are rarely the places I find the most atmospheric! But I did see some of the main attractions of Rome... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:11:03 EST Rome - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5775280 In my previous blog about Rome, I mentioned the little street where I stayed (I am still in Italy but now outside Rome attending meetings): via dei Chiavari. The picture below is of a little square right next to it, called 'Largo dei Librari'. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1188800556.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I liked it, and it was surprisingly quiet in a very busy area (at least quiet at day time!). This is in the Campo dei Fiori area, for those of you who know Rome ... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 16:45:50 EST Rome – Part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5772722 I arrived in Rome yesterday afternoon. I left my luggage at the hotel and headed straight to the Trastevere, South West of Rome, across the river Tiber. It is one of the most well known and loved areas of Rome nowadays, but it was hardly ever visited not so long ago! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1910278666.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So, after a quick detour to a nearby ‘gelateria’ where I enjoyed a wonderful ginger and sage/raspberry ice-cream, I crossed the 15th cent... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 15:33:11 EST Around my favourite village http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5769735 Gerberoy is on the list of France’s Most Beautiful Villages. And rightly so in my opinion… <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/9/l393874001.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2068941315.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Even without the roses that Gerberoy is well-known for and which had been mostly destroyed by the awfully wet summer we have been having! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2045122308.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This me... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:37:37 EST A morning hike on my doorstep http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5765011 For most of my hikes, I drive about one hour away, and it really feels like I am on a mini-vacation. Well, not this morning, I only drove about 10 minutes to reach my starting point... I very much hiked on my doorstep! Or I should say on my mother’s doorstep as I was very near her nursing home at some point. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1373145635.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Most of today’s hike was through the woods, the gorgeous Montmorency Forest North of Paris. As ... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:07:07 EST A hike in the Brie area East of Paris http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5762643 Jouy-sur-Morin, where I was yesterday, is a 1.5 hour drive from my home North of Paris. A bit too far away for a 3-hour hike! But today I had to go to that village to collect something I had found on ‘Le Bon Coin’ (the French equivalent to Craigslist). So I immediately looked in my booklet about Seine-et-Marne’s hikes (that is East of Paris), and guess what… there was a hike precisely around Jouy-sur-Morin! Awesome. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l156145501.jpg"... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:24:04 EST Hiking under a threatening sky http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5761499 Look at the sky that welcomed me as I reached Bréançon, in the Vexin area, this afternoon… <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1337564325.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yet, the weather forecast was for a nice afternoon with no rain, so I decided to trust them! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1033061299.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I must say this weather was very nice to walk in, cool and refreshing, as long as you didn’t stop to think: “What if there is a th... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:00:55 EST My after-work hike http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5754127 I had taken the afternoon off yesterday to go on a hike, but by the time I managed to leave the office, it was 2.30pm already. Too late to drive for an hour to reach the beginning of my hike! So, I decided to do a hike I had always left ‘for later’, even though it is only 15 minutes away from my office. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/8/l48558818.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Why? Oh because I am prejudiced! Completely! Because the hike started in Goussainville, which is seen a... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 06:40:06 EST A lovely day hiking in Normandy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5749834 I love Normandy. The part of Normandy I go to most often, the ‘Vexin normand’, feels almost like home as I have done so many hikes and visits there. If you are after green and picturesque (which I am most of the time!), it is wonderful. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1576965914.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1489573662.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1870066316.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Rosay-sur... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:51:58 EST Yesterday’s hike - a stupid thing to do http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5741918 My excuse is that I hadn’t been on a hike for about 6 weeks! When I saw the weather forecast for the weekend (rain again, and thunderstorms), I decided to take Friday afternoon off and head to the Beauvais area (North of Paris), despite the very humid heat (35C/95F). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/8/l386101970.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Well, it was a very stupid thing to do. Saint-Paul and the countryside around it were lovely, very green and welcoming (I must go back!)… ... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:14:33 EST Getting to know your Spark Neighbour http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5731292 It's time for another get to know your Spark friends… borrowed from _BABE_!!! <BR> (I had to add some pictures to make it more fun... some are mine, some I found on the Internet.) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l20780899.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Your go to chewing gum flavour… I don’t like chewing gum (oh dear, it isn’t starting too well, is it?!!!). <BR> <BR> Best time of the year… Early Spring as I just love to see Nature waking up, and autumn for the colours of cour... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 11:59:14 EST A couple of nice walks - and some news http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5729196 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I am finally home! I always love that moment. These last 11 days in the Netherlands have been busy to say the least and it really is good to be home! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/1/l917947321.jpg"> <BR> <BR> On Friday evening, to celebrate the fact that the most difficult meetings were over, I finally took the time to go for a walk on the beach near the hotel (to answer one of your questions, yes, it was the North Sea coast).... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:09:23 EST My Sunday in the Netherlands http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5724079 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I don’t know about you, but I had a wonderful Sunday! I am in the Netherlands for countless meetings (or so it feels… I am not a ‘meeting’ kind of person!) for over 10 days. Yesterday was my one day off, and my Dutch friend, Cora, picked me up at the hotel on the morning so that we could spend the day together, enjoying some catching up, sightseeing, walking, cycling... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/8/l78842464.jpg"> <BR> <BR>... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:42:29 EST A very happy hike! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5712939 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> The weather forecast for today for the ‘West of Paris’ area said that it might rain. So I decided to go East! :) And it didn’t rain! I went to an area I had visited a couple of times, but I had never done this specific hike. I thought about TERMITEMOM very much, as I remembered that she commented once that her parents had a house in the area. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l901974586.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It started outside Crouy-s... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 16:56:39 EST Hiking in Picardy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5707582 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> Three weeks without a hike! No no no no way! Well… life happens. Travelling for work, dealing with a very wet weather, and trying to find solutions to various problems... Needless to say I NEEDED a hike today! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/9/l591123272.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/9/l492447821.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This hike which started in Cinqueux, in Picardy, was wonderful. I know, I know, I ... Sat, 31 May 2014 16:58:45 EST Hiking at the Rocher du Duc http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5691687 I wanted a completely different kind of hike yesterday. Something that would surprise me and give me a great workout. I wasn’t disappointed! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1169483949.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I went to the Rocher du Duc (Duke’s Rock) in the Essonne area, South of Paris. That’s basically the opposite to where I live when looking at the Paris area map. But every minute of the 1 hour and 15 minutes’ drive was worth it! (I had taken the day off... the weath... Sat, 10 May 2014 04:29:53 EST Nursing home - hitting a wall… again… http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5687196 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I need to open my heart again. Sorry for the rant, I know it won’t be a positive blog… I am just trying to keep calm and turning to you for advice and support please. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1317073574.jpg"> <BR> <BR> First I want to say I am VERY grateful for the support I receive from so many of you. Honestly, it has kept me going many times in the last few weeks. I know talking about aging, sick parents isn’t glamo... Sun, 4 May 2014 13:11:34 EST A beautiful hike – with and without bluebells! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5686586 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I love it when my prejudices are beaten. And they were indeed about this place. Boulogne-la-Grasse. First it is an ugly name (‘la Grasse’ meaning ‘the fat one’, which relates to the fact that the soil is really rich in the area). Then it is an area I have always thought as ‘not interesting’, North of Paris, East of a little town called Montdidier. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1248470313.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Well, it was far fro... Sat, 3 May 2014 16:17:43 EST Around the Parisian 'passages' with SARAWALKS (Part 2) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5681357 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> As promised, here is Part 2 of our walk around some Parisian passages. Some of you asked me how long our walk lasted. Well, almost 5 hours! But we did some window shopping too. :) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/2/l527469131.jpg"> <BR> <BR> After we left Galerie Vivienne... <BR> ... here is the link to Part 1 of our walk yesterday if you haven't seen it already: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_indivi... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 05:44:51 EST Around the Parisian ‘passages’ with SARAWALKS (Part 1) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5681068 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> Sara (SARAWALKS) and I had such a great time hiking together 2 weeks ago we wanted to go on another hike again this weekend. But the weather forecast for the whole weekend was ‘lots of rain’, so we decided to go on a walk around the Parisian ‘passages’ instead. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1919632266.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I had done a similar walk about 2 years ago, so it might sound familiar to some of you! :) If you want to ha... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 16:20:53 EST An artistic hike around Crécy-la-Chapelle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5674811 I decided to make the most of the last gorgeous day of the week! Yesterday I took the day off to go on a hike in an area I didn't know at all, East of Paris, around Crécy-la-Chapelle. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l222556890.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Painters love Crécy-la-Chapelle and the area around it. Impressionists and pre-impressionists alike spent time here, such as Camille Corot whose house I passed by. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/n... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:14:27 EST A great hike with SARAWALKS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670908 Meeting Sparkfriends is one of the joys of Sparkpeople! Especially when you meet Sparkfriends you have been in touch with for quite a while, across the Ocean, and especially (in my opinion) when you go hiking together! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l40036578.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a perfect day for meeting a Sparkfriend – a perfect day for a hike! It was sunny but about 18C (65F), which meant that even in the sun for 4 and a half hours, we weren’t melti... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:15:39 EST A hike for wild flowers’ lovers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5665741 <BR> Hello dear Sparkfriends! <BR> <BR> Hikes are unforgettable in the Paris area in April… there are so many flowers! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1835549582.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1412311074.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l271446743.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I had kept this hike for this time of the year, hoping I would see wild orchids. It was a bit too early and they weren’t out y... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 13:55:45 EST A castle, and woods covered with wild anemones - my routine walk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5662588 Hello dear Sparkfriends! <BR> <BR> Life being a bit crazy at the moment, I have decided about 10 days ago to get into 'High Stress gear': as it is difficult to fit a hike at weekends (I will go back to my hikes though, don't worry!), I am going on daily walks in the neighborhood instead. It could make me sad or sorry for myself... but it doesn't because I am happy with my neighborhood! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/8/l688163396.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You see what I me... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 11:33:26 EST Alzheimer – fighting for my Mom... and rare moments of joy... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5653763 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I don’t often post a really personal blog, I mean more personal than my hikes and travels! I wondered about sharing about this side of my life again. It is very sad, but it is a huge part of my life, and, I know, part of the life of several of you who read this. This dreadful disease, Alzheimer. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2009180166.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My mother has been suffering with Alzheimer for a couple of years now. Bu... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 08:37:24 EST ‘Redo by DRY weather’ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5643410 Hello dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> We are having the most gorgeous weekend in the Paris area (and all over France actually)! So yesterday was another wonderful, sunny hike. It was even warm! 18C (about 64F). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l703866179.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I had originally kept that hike near Beauvais for the summer, and it was probably wise. Actually, I’ll write on my hiking book: “A refaire par temps SEC.” (Redo by DRY weather.) <BR> <BR> <img s... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 08:35:59 EST