Photos of Europe

    Facts about Europe

    The Loire Valley, Far from the Maddening Crowds

    Conflans sur Anille is a small village at the entrance to the Loire Valley, and near the little Loir river, far from the heavy tourist zone of the main Loire Valley cities. It lies less than 2 hours drive West of Paris, in the middle of bucolic countryside, between Le Mans, Tours and Chartres, not far from Vendome.

    Countess Marnie de Vanssay

    Welsh Speaking

    Nearly 80% of the Ammanford's population are competent in speaking Welsh!

    Laura Thomas

    Llandrindod Market

    Llandrindod is a busy market town, holding an open-air market once a week on a Friday.

    Laura Thomas


    Swansea can reach well into the 20's in summer but bring your umbrella. Swansea is officially the UK's wettest city!

    Laura Thomas

    Speaking Welsh

    Wales's second largest city is pronounced "Swon - zee" in local dialect!

    Laura Thomas


    Cathédrale Notre Dame, Paris

    What an incredible cathedral! There was a large queue but it went fast and we got to see the breath-taking stain glass windows! Worth visiting!

    Amazing cathedral and incredible spirals and architecture. It's gothic style structure sits right in the centre of the city so it is easy to find. Free entry and leaflet tell you all about the history of the cathedral.

    Laura Thomas

    Ballyhass Lakes Activity Centre, Fishing & Wakepark

    This is an activity centre with still water trout fishing, waking boarding and other water sports and activities like abseiling, zip line, archery and rock climbing. Brilliant! Big thumbs up!

    Laura Thomas

    Great fun to try some traditional Irish sports! Great thing to do if your in a big group. Suitable for all ages and abilities. A well organised place!

    Laura Thomas

    What a great evening of traditional Irish music, singing and dancing. This place has some amazing reviews and they do not lie!

    Laura Thomas

    Places To Eat

    Le Relais d'Antan

    Countess Marnie de Vanssay

    The best gourmet Auberge of the little Loir Valley, in the picturesque village of Lavardin, near Conflans sur Anille. Most every guest of Chateau de la Barre dines there at least once during their stay. Chef Paul van Gessel formerly won 2 Michelin stars at Le Petit Nice in Marseilles, before settling down in the peaceful little Loir Region

    Ayia Anna Tavern

    Local Taverna in the centre of town does large meze plates!

    Laura Thomas

    Reminding the world that the sandwich was Britain's greatest contribution to the culinary arts - and the British can still make them as good as anyone. Souli also do great coffee and their other food looks nice too - but it is the sandwiches you want to go for. The fillings are varied but none will disappoint. It is a bit more expensive than your average takeaway lunch, but you certainly get what you pay for!


    Iain J Mellis Cheesemongers

    The famous Edinburgh deli is also in Edinburgh. Great for picking up something for a picnic or dinner. The smell of cheese literally drifts out the front door tempting you in! Highly recommend!

    Laura Thomas

    Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Cafe

    Lovely rustic cafe up a farm track just outside Falkland. Great farm shop with a lot of variety.

    Laura Thomas

    Traveller Tips

    A Walk Around the Left Bank

    Walking around the Left Bank especially the area of Saint Germain is great for soaking up the atmosphere of Paris.

    Laura Thomas

    Cycle around Elba

    Porto Azzuro is a perfect place to stay on Elba, and you can get to know the island by biking to secluded beaches. The island is only about 200 sq km so once you have your favourite spots you can get there easily by bike.


    Marble caves

    The marble caves are a must-see.


    Bagni di Lucca

    Lucca is a famous walled tourist town, but when you have had enough of the crowds take a 30 minute trip into the hills to Bagni di Lucca. It is cooler, calmer, greener, and you will find charming accommodation. No big hotels, but a few charming pensioni.


    Puccini's house in Torre del Lago

    For Puccini nuts I recommend a trip to see his house at Torre del Lago Puccini. The house looks out onto the lake which is now very polluted. Puccini left the house eventually because the surroundings had deteriorated. In spite of this the house which is now a museum is well worth a visit



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