Disneyland Paris

DIsney 2023!After three days spend in the artificial happiness I must conclude we really did have a great time. There were lots of things in Disney that were not very nice, but these are common to all theme parks. Waiting times, broken attractions, commerce overload, masses of people everywhere, conflicts and discussions between parents and kids. Disney is a great park to enjoy and experience, but I was personally very happy to leave the park after three day.

For the kids it was a non-stop fun experience. They were running from one adrenaline shot to the next. Three days was perfect to see both parks, do all the rides, and the third day we spend repeating the favorites.

Disney & Paris prep

A drawing of a black mouse with big ears and a white duck with a big castle on the background and laser lights lighting up the imageIn a couple of weeks the waiting is finally over. We will head over to France, to visit euro Disney and Paris. Alex has been counting down the days for a couple of months already. I must admit I had big doubts. Before planning this trip I was convinced that Disney was a bit of a rip off. A place to avoid. A fake place, with abused workers in suits with a smile painted on it walking around the park. I felt it was a place where ‘undercover’ employees walk around to check on the ‘visible’ minimum wage workers, and where incorrect behaviour will not be tolerated.

I still feel like it is place of conflicting emotions, but I now see that there is also the other part. The part were everyone is (trying to) work together to create a long lasting good memory for people visiting the park. I have decided to just give the park a change. Lets see how I experience it. I am almost certain the kids will have a blast, and I don’t want to hold them back. I want them to enjoy this experience as much as they can.

Visiting Disney is pretty expensive, so we will probably do this only once, so it is important to optimise our visit. If we are going to enjoy the experience we have to do our best to enjoy it thoroughly. We need some preparation, and we will need some discipline. We are going with a big group, so it will be hard. The group is all Spanish, so it will be even harder, but we should a least try and wake up early. Breakfast early and head to the park as soon as it opens. Try and do lots of different rides and not repeat the same ride all the time.

After a couple of days at the Disney park we have some more days in Paris. Seeing the city, with a couple of visits to the famous spots, but much more relaxed. Time to enjoy some wine, a crossant and some french cheese. Enjoy the sites, visit the Eiffel tower, float across the seine, check out the Arc du Triumph, maybe see the Mona Lisa, visit the cathedral, do some shopping? Who knows.

Louis de Funès and a puzzle

a painting with mickey mouse, a bottle of wine, cheese and a crossant and the eiffel tower all on top of the french flagI can still remember the situation perfectly. As a little boy I was sitting on the couch, next to my little brother and my family. We were all watching Louis de Funès. It was a series movie called something like ‘La gandarmes de Saint Tropez‘. In French with subtitles (with would normally take away any interest I would have), but with Louis is was different. I remember 45 minutes of hilarious situations, ridiculously funny solutions and mayhem. We were direct fans, and watched all the shows. I think in my subconciousness I connected France with the sense of pleasure and enjoyment. To this day visiting France makes me recall the feelings I felt as a little kid, watching the show. I look forward to visiting France more than any other place, just because I get a dose of happiness in advance.

The three kings arranged for a special gift this year. A puzzle, with a message on the back. After completing the puzzle the kids had to turn it around, and the gift became clear. This year the kids get a great adventure, and will visit France, to spend a couple of days at the Disney park, and a couple of days in Paris. We are not going with just the four of us, but we wil go with a big group of friends. 7 kids and 6 adults. I suspect it will be lots of fun and excitement.

We plan to go in June, so I still have time to practice my ‘Louis de Funès’-French a bit. Finally I will be able to use my standard/favourite French vocabulary.

– ‘La summicion sil vous plaid’, the bill please
– ‘Bonjour’, good morning
– ‘un vin avec fromage avec un crossant sil vous plaid’, a wine with some cheese and a croassant please
– ‘merci bocoupe, au revour’, thanks a lot, see you
– ‘Command tu t apelle’, whats your name?
– ‘Je m apelle Adrie’, i’m adrie
– ‘Un chien avec un tres petit cull’, a dog with a very small penis

Except for the last sentence all my French should be really useful.

Pyrenees and the south of France

Pictures of Spain and France!After our visit to Egypt we visited the Pyrenees during a nice trip by car. From the Spanish side we drove over to the south of France and after visiting a number of sites we returned to Spain. Our trip took us past towns like San Sebastian, Pau, Lourdes (yes!), Gavarnie and Bayonne.

The food in France was absolutely delicious. We visited very typical France restaurants with very good food and equally good wine. We saw a lot of nature and made long hikes the the wild, enjoying nature at its best. In Lourdes I got quite a lot of water (you never know) and afterwards we visited the snow. A lot of pictures of this trip can be found in my Spain/France album.