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Showing posts from July 3, 2017

The Whole World in a Paris Laundromat

I returned from the visit to Normandy with one clean pair of shorts and a shirt, bike clothes. Everything else needed to be washed. I found a laundromat near Luxemburg station in a lovely part of Paris. Most of the machines were busy in the small place so several people were standing or sitting and reading or looking at their phones.

One of the guys was tossing bike clothes in the washer. We started talking about the Tour,and following the Tour and riding. Jay is from San Diego which in my mind is only rivaled by San Francisco as the best bike riding places in America. He has lived in San Diego long enough that he said its strange that it rains any time except January and February.  We both talked about our favorite rides up and down Mount Palomar and along the San Diego coast road.

When he found out I live in Lancaster we talked about Floyd Landis and drugs.  A couple from Australia was in the laundromat also and joined in talking about the Tour. They were leaving for home in Adela…

Visiting Omaha Beach on the 4th of July Weekend

The view from the long stretch of beach up the hills above Omaha Beach.

The German view down onto the beach where the Americans  waded to shore and crossed the long stretch of sand under fire.
So peaceful now.
As my trip continued to change and unfold, a conversation with my friend Cliff led me to change the trip again and go to Normandy, France, before I left for Israel. I had not even thought of visiting Normandy when I planned the trip because I would not have arrived in Paris until just before flying to Israel. But now I had an extra day and decided to spend part of the fourth of July weekend in a place where America fought tyranny and prevailed.

Looking down from the German defensive positions and up from the beach, it is amazing any assault troops survived.  One platoon sergeant quoted in the memorial said he had 35 men when they ran from landing craft and only six survived the day.


Budapest to Bratislava Train to Avoid Rain

If wind looked like fog, you would not be able to see the road in this picture.  High winds every day.
On the train from Budapest, Hungary, to Bratislava, Slovakia, I sat in a 6-seat compartment with two women in their 70s. One was visiting relatives in Hungary. The other was going to all the way to Bratislava. It was her first time in the city, which is just 120 miles from Budapest. Martine said she was going to see a portrait of a family member from five generations ago in a Bratislava museum that a friend had told her about. She said she was going to look for a hotel when she arrived.  I got on hotels.com and gave her three places within 2km of the train station for under $60. She thought it was funny that you could do so many things with a phone. She just had a flip phone for emergencies and said, "I only use it to talk."

We talked about changing money and border security.  She had seldom been outside Hungary so even this trip to neighboring Slovakia was a big deal for he…