Heading back to the UK we were bracing ourselves for the cold and we were not disappointed. The closer to Calais and the train back to London the colder it got.

An imposing castle in the heart of the city




On the way we stopped at Nantes.  The centre piece of the town is the magnificent castle where you can wander the ramparts and look out over the old city.





The Cathedral at sunset




There is, of course, an imposing cathedral on the main square.








It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas





It was Saturday and the town centre was bustling with people doing the Christmas shopping.   The Christmas lights were strung across the streets. It was impossible to wander around without singing ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’.







One of the city's historic abbeys




Next stop was Caen, where William the Conqueror based himself. It is a town filled with history.






The pizza bus




It is also the home of the pizza bus! A good pizza and a fine glass of red on the upper deck…






Caen - peace memorial




Christmas was a long way from our minds when we visited memorial for peace in Caen. This museum tells the story of World War II beginning from the signing of the armistice in November 1918.









It’s a harrowing tale of hardship and sadness – man’s inhumanity to man.  But is also the story of bravery, stoicism and hope.





During our time in Europe we visited the Village of the Martyrs, and this peace memorial. We joined the French veterans in Orleans on Remembrance Day. It has reinforced in our minds how lucky we are to live in Australia.