Subject: Weblog / online diary of our trip to Haarlem, Bruges and Paris
Hi, fellow Ziners!

Richard and I plan to write an online diary of our trip to the Benelux and Paris. We will need to get online to update it so new installments may be erratic, especially at first.

However, if you are interested, please visit our blog at

We leave in 9 days and I am really looking forward to it. Here are our plans so far:

We fly to Amsterdam and stay in Haarlem. From there, we plan to daytrip to Amsterdam. While travelling from Haarlem to Bruges, we plan to stop in Antwerp. Other destinations: Keukenhof gardens, the Franz Hals Museum and perhaps the Floriade (yikes, maybe that will be too much for our jetlagged minds!)

We will be staying four days in Bruges and from there we hope to visit Brussels and maybe Ghent. We also may walk or cycle to Damme along the canal towpath.

Then to Paris for three weeks. We plan some day trips but haven't settled on which ones yet. Chartres and Giverny are definitely on our list. We may do a TGV day trip to Tours and use a minibus shuttle service to see a few chateaux. Some possible outings are Fontainebleau, Chantilly, Senlis, Vaux Le Vicomte, Versailles, St. Germain en Laye, Rouen, Auvers sur Oise, Troyes...well, the list goes on! Obviously we will have to pick out the best. Any suggestions? We will have a train pass with a few days of travel on it so train fare isn't a deterrent but we don't want to spend all our time in transportation.

We also plan to spend a lot of time exploring Paris, walking, visiting museums, etc. Some years ago we spent a few days there so we have done some of the touristy things, like a Bateau Mouche trip. I would like to visit Musee D'Orsay and Cluny and revisit the Louvre. Other places on my list: Musee Carnavalet, Camondo (a colleague said it is his favorite museum in Paris), and Sainte-Chapelle.

Although I am not a big shopper, I have a few shops that I want to check out. Has anyone braved Tati? I also plan to explore a kitchen shop (perhaps A. Simon in Montmartre) and look for a dress length in the African fabric shops near Place du Chateau Rouge. And markets! I love markets. Since we will have a kitchenette in Paris, we will be able to try out some of the produce.

Lastly, we will meet Gavin and Jonathan and their friends / partners in Paris for dinner (aka Paris get-together!)

We take the Eurostar to Ashford, Kent for a swift visit to Richard's family in Wiltshire and then home from Gatwick.

Suggestions, recommendations most welcome! We will not be renting a car this time except in Britain - only public transit and walking!

Frances Toronto, Canada