The Retirees go Abroad – France, Norway, UK and Ireland – Post Script

Kerry has brought the following events omitted from my manuscript of our seven weeks in France, Norway UK and Ireland to my attention.

Toll Booth outside Amboise

On arriving at in France we picked up our hire car. At this stage we had Euros 20 in cash. We stopped at a motorway services for our first hot chocolate and then we had Euros 12 in cash. But we had our UK debit card our Amex cash card and our Australian Visa card to cover any tolls. Of course there was a toll and as the town of Amboise is a small rural town the toll station was also small and the toll was euros 19. We pulled into the toll station none of our cards worked and the intercom help line was manned by two people who spoke little English. After two cars and an eighteen wheeler semi had to back out of our lane while we sorted out our problem, the toll booth help line assistants finally printed an invoice for us to pay by cheque within 8 days. Of course we did not have a French cheque account but my cousin Terri did and she wrote the cheque which we then posted. Moral of the story – there are tolls on the highways and you can demand an invoice if you don’t have sufficient money to pay there and then.

Catacombs Paris/Luxembourg Gardens and Palace

The queue for the catacombs was extraordinarily long and it was at least a 2 hour wait before we would get in. I wanted to see the Luxembourg Gardens and Palace which as fate would have it was just around the corner (about a 20 minute walk each way or so I thought) I headed off leaving Kerry to hold our place in the queue. 20 minutes later I hit the edge of the gardens and another 10 minutes later I got to the Palace. Time for a nature stop. Just 50 cents but the toilet orderly thought I was most ungrateful when I wanted change from 1 euro.


The gardens were magnificent even though all the trees had lost their leaves. Hundreds of Parisians were out in the sunshine to get some colour (it was 10 degrees C). Back to the queue and Kerry was close to the entrance. I had a 10 minute wait before we got to go inside.

Kells Bay Beach Ireland. We drove the Ring of Kerry. One thing I did not mention was our visit to Kells Bay Beach. After leaving the main road we drove for what seemed an eternity to get to the beach. The road was narrow and overgrown (I mean really narrow). After probably 5 minutes we arrived at what was once Kells Beach. The storm events in January had washed away the beach. We drove on intending to exit back onto the main road and passed this little hand written sign saying “cul de sac” and it was pointing to an obvious dead end. We drove for 20 minutes along a road which got narrower and rougher until we got to an obvious dead end. Kerry confirmed with a local farmer that there was no exit onto the main road so we had to retrace our path. Again we passed the little sign now aware it meant the whole place was a dead end.