I don't think I posted these here...

Discussion in 'Non-Slipper Orchid Discussion' started by Ray, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. Aug 9, 2019 #1

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

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    In June, my wife and I visited France for two weeks, starting with land visits to several places in Brittany and Normandy, including Omaha Beach and the American cemetery the day after the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Had we tried on the 6th, we'd have gotten nowhere near either... That was followed by a week-long cruise up the Seine to Paris.

    On that part of the trip, we stopped in Les Andelys, and climbed up to Chateau Gallard, built in 1196-7 for Richard the Lionheart.

    [​IMG]

    On the climb up to it from the river valley, I ran into the following:

    Himantoglossum hircinum
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anacamptis pyramidalis

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gymnadenia conopsea (next to another anacamptis)

    [​IMG]

    Platanthera chlorantha

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Aug 9, 2019 #2

    Ray

    Ray

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    Here's a picture of the anacamptis terrain. You can see the bright spots of their flower heads.

    [​IMG]

    The others were on steeper hillsides among tall grass.
     
  3. Aug 10, 2019 #3

    abax

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    You and yours deserved that trip Ray. Thank you
    for the wonderful photos.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2019 #4

    tomkalina

    tomkalina

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    Great photos, Ray. What cruise line?
     
  5. Aug 11, 2019 #5

    Ray

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    It was Grand Circle Cruise Line. Originally owned by the woman who started AARP, so the clientele was right in our demographic.

    Relatively small boat - 116 passengers - with fantastic food and wine (all included) and spectacular service. I understand it's not quite as deluxe as Viking, but the personal involvement with the locals was supposed to be much better, and is much less expensive. We booked in January, so got free air fare.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2019 #6

    Guldal

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    Beautifull photos - and sounds like a great tour!

    Kind regards, Jens

    (Jfyi: "... the personal involvement with the locals" in european ears sounds a little bit, but just by a hair, better than "with the natives" - and I'm definately sure, that's not, what you intended! ;))
     
  7. Aug 12, 2019 at 4:12 PM #7

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    Nice. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2019 at 11:23 PM #8

    Ray

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    Must be a language thing. What I was trying to convey is that with some cruise lines, you tend to observe the local folks, whereas our guide basically tried to immerse us in the local lifestyle, which I think is far better.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2019 at 4:13 AM #9

    Tom-DE

    Tom-DE

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    I traveled with Grand Circle or OAT(Oversea Adventure travel(with small group), part of GCT) for almost two decades. I enjoyed their land tours, especially the Chile-Argentina land tour.... but since they bought some small ships few years ago and stopped promoting the land tours. I stop using them now. To me, I can find better value/better deals(cruises) with other tour/cruise companies like Oceania or Vikings. GCT/OAT is good for people who have less travel experience or for those older persons who need extra helps....
    I believe GCT/OAT is still doing the group dinners(one night during the trip) with local families or visiting local schools, local history discussions......, which it is interesting at first but it gets old after few trips with them IMO... I decided not to take their Germany-Poland trip four or five years ago because they arranged two Jewish concentration camp visits during that trip. I do get the history part of it but do I really need to go through the painful history twice while I am on vacation? Sometimes their programs can be a bit too much to me... While I was on their Croatia-Bosnia trip, I thought all they were talking about was the war.........
    Sorry about all the venting here ......Glad you had a good trip with them though and nice to see the photos.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 4:22 AM
  10. Aug 14, 2019 at 2:32 PM #10

    Ray

    Ray

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    We have some friends in PA who used OAT to go to Egypt....and ended up there during the Arab Spring uprising. They were told to stay in their hotel room, keep their things packed and ready to go, and sleep with clothes on. They were contacted at 3 am, went to the airport under armed guard, and got the hell out of there. I doubt some tour companies I've used would have have the resources for that.

    Concerning GCT, the pricing was significantly less than Viking and others, and we have learned other ways to reduce the cost further...

    Tom - you don't have to go on every tour...
     
  11. Aug 15, 2019 at 2:19 AM #11

    Tom-DE

    Tom-DE

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    :confused: Whatever you meant to say here, but I can tell you though, GCT is/was not the only company that I use for my trips, nor would I plan on taking every single tour that OAT has promoted... that I would never do even if I am/were happy with GCT/OAT......... or see the value that you are seeing.

    PS, you don't have to take my opinion seriously :rolleyes: Enjoy traveling, Ray!
     
  12. Aug 15, 2019 at 2:05 PM #12

    Ray

    Ray

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    I always enjoy life, Tom. Or at least try to.

    Right now I'm fishing and beaching it here in Litchfield Beach SC, with the extended family.
     

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