L'Oravec Tour de France

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Three weeks in France!  What a fabulous trip!



After a full year’s worth of planning, we took our first trip to Europe in June.  The real purpose for the trip was the wedding of Maureen’s close friends in southwest France.  So, for three weeks, it was the L’Oravec Tour de France.  We flew into Zurich and began our vacation in Alsace, France.  We spent a couple of days there doing some genealogical research in  Masevaux, the home of Denni's ancestors.  Then on through Lorraine and the WWI battlefields, the Champagne region (mais oui!) and Moët & Chandon (of course!), the immense gothic cathedrals (Strasbourg and Reims) and finally to Paris for six nights.

Despite the cool and cloudy weather, we marveled at all the famous landmarks (the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower (it's really brown, not gray), the Place de la Bastille, Versailles, etc.) and museums (the Louvre, Museé D’Orsay, Museé Rodin), and of course the churches (Notre Dame de Paris and Sacrč Coeur).  Paris is as beautiful as everyone says. 

 Maureen and Sam arrived for our last two days in Paris and then the four of us were off for a day in Normandy to visit the WWII beaches and pay our respects at the American cemetery.  Then we went to the Loire Valley to see some of the grand chateaux on our way to the wedding in Brive.

The wedding was a magical, three-day affair. We had a room in the oldest tower of the chateau built in the 12th century.  From the rehearsal, to the wedding in the country stone church, to the elegant reception at the chateau, to midnight fireworks display, to the Sunday morning brunch by the pool, it was just amazing and fun!

After the wedding, we headed south for the next week and visited the Mediterranean coast.  Provence was beautiful and fascinating with the ancient Roman ruins in Nimes (a coliseum), Orange (the original Arc de Triomphe, and Roman amphitheater) and the Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard.  

We spent an interesting night in the walled city of Avingnon ("inside the walled city" translates to "there ain't no #$*% parking places") and then were off to Cannes for the afternoon and two nights in Monaco (I won money at the Casino in Monte Carlo!).  

From there, we cut through the northwest corner of Italy, went through the Mont Blanc tunnel (7miles) into the French Alps at Chamonix.  We spent our last full day driving through the Swiss Alps back to Zurich.  The vistas and glaciers were astounding. 

We have wonderful memories and, of course, over 2,100 digital photos!  Try and visit www.oravec.com over the next few weeks as we add pictures to the website.

Stay tuned for more pictures of:

Aurelia's Wedding Chateaus Paris
Battlefields Genealogy in Masevaux Roman Ruins
Cathedrals Monaco Swiss Alps
Champagne, of course Museums Zurich