We went on one of those Seine River tours. You’ve probably seen Viking advertised on TV. I thought they were interesting. The cruise company we ended up taking was Avalon Waterways. I didn’t know it but there are at least four river cruise companies in Europe. Avalon also runs Mississippi and Columbia riverboat tours here in the States. And sailing slowly and smoothly along the Seine was amazingly relaxing and lovely. I can highly recommend Avalon Waterways.
What does this have to do with writing? I haven’t a clue. But I’m sitting here, drugged up to the hilt with cold medications and nodding off in a doze every few minutes while watching NCIS reruns and writing romance is the last thing on my mind.
This won’t be a travelogue or anything as comprehensive as what Rick Steves writes. It’s just some musings and photos.
We stopped in Vernon, accent on the ‘non’. The weather was cooler than than we expected but not abnormal for that area of northern France. Cool temperatures made for gorgeous flowers in flower beds and hanging baskets. But I also loved the half-timbered houses.
Omaha Beach on the Normandy coast was so much larger than I’d ever imagined. It stretched for what seemed like miles. The chaos on that beach on June 6, 1944 must have been unimaginable to all the young men there. This is a photo of a sculpture, called Les Braves, in their honor.
Of course the US Cemetery is a peaceful and moving overwhelming expanse of green grass and white marble crosses. Avalon arranged for a short service, the playing of the National Anthem on a carillon and taps, then gave each of us a rose to place on any grave we would care to. Our plan was to find the grave of a friend’s great uncle and take photos of it. Luckily we had the section and plot number. That was nice to be able to make the visit more personal.
Les Andelys is another small town along the Seine, picturesque with more flowers and more ancient buildings. In their church, a wedding was being set up. I loved the rustic simplicity of the aisle chair decorations. I wish we’d been able to see the bride and groom. I would have liked to see her gown.
The Eiffel Tower is humongous, much larger than I thought it would be even after seeing photos. One of our guides said it had originally been painted red. I always thought it was black but it’s really a taupe/gray. See how just one leg of it dwarfs the people?
We toured Versailles and, wouldn’t you know it, my camera stopped working but Versailles was overwhelming and I wouldn’t have known what to focus on anyway. Same with The Louvre. Between the crowds at both places and everything there was to see, you just have to put the the camera down and gawk. I thought I’d been charging it up every night on the ship but apparently it didn’t work. I was afraid I’d have to take it to Best Buy for help but thought I’d charge it at home and YAY, it came back on line. Whew! I quickly transferred the photos to my laptop.
Besides the humongous cold, the flights are the worst part of trips. We had heavy turbulence both ways but at least the person behind me didn’t have a “Knee Defender.”
I don’t quite have a plot yet, but I would definitely have my characters strolling around the Île de la Cité, the island that’s the original heart of Paris, or sitting in a café on the Champs Elysées. Meet a painter in that little café. Turn that around so it’s a female painter with a male subject. How about a diamond necklace is stolen from a rich American woman, she hires a PI to find it, which eventually leads them both to the romantic narrow streets and wide boulevards of Paris.
I hope you enjoyed my little tour and photos. I write highly sensual stories that can be found here: Amazon Author Page
Jane Leopold Quinn
My Romance: Love With a Scorching Sensualityhttp://janeleopoldquinn.blogspot.com/