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The Rock-itt : November 2009
football team. It also has a mountaineering club of which Dave is a member and there isn't a mountain for 200 miles! Dave in the Sledgers Bar at home To make me feel at home Dave did us a really good Barbie and then drove us off into the Lincolnshire countryside to see a couple of narrow boats that he owns. He moors them on the River Witham and one is for sale! We stayed overnight in Dave's lovely house which was built in the early 1600's and cleared off the morning after because Dave was preparing for another lecturing job on a boat circumnavigating Spitzbergen, what a life! Lincoln Cathedral, big isn't it? Brian dropped me back in St. Albans and a couple of days later we were off up to Banbury in Oxfordshire. The town is of course famous for its Cross as featured in the children's nursery rhyme. The Cross is still very much there but alas no fine lady riding on a white horse. There was my brother- in- law and his family to see and it was his birthday so off we went to a famous pie pub at Wiggington. Lovely Hook Norton beer and a Venison pie, yummy. I love the honey coloured stone a lot of the old houses are made from in Oxfordshire. In the evening we went to a proper English Barn dance in a marquee on the village green in Bodicote just south of Banbury. Unfortunately we had some typical English weather to go with it, it bucketed down and I almost got pneumonia. Bizarrely, the only beer that was available was Fosters in bottles, disaster! Wouldn't wash the dogs in that. Next stop on this European marathon was under the water to visit the French in Paris. I had been very clever before we left Australia and got us return tickets on Eurostar to Paris for 59 Pounds (about $105). It's usually at least twice that to travel but if you book one or two months ahead they release some of these cheap fares. Since I lived in the UK they have moved the Eurostar departure station from Waterloo to St. Pancras. St. Pancras is awesome and the whole line to Paris is high speed, just 2 hrs 15 mins from the centre of London to the centre of Paris. It's brilliant! St. Pancras station is on the Midland Railway line which means it's very convenient to get to it from Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby. If you are coming from Scotland you will arrive into Euston station which is only half a kilometre from St. Pancras. If you are arriving from Newcastle in the north east you will arrive into Kings Cross which is even closer to St. Pancras. We arrived at the Gare Du Nord station in Paris and I lashed out on a cab. I think the Parisian cab drivers are reading out of the same instruction book as the Sydney cab drivers because we were royally ripped off for the fare. It always takes me 2-3 days for my rudimentary French to become active so I didn't really argue. I had booked us into an apartment hotel not far from the Eiffel Tower. It was the Adagio City Aparthotel and five nights cost around $1400 us. Not bad for Paris and if you have no problems wandering around Dee Why at night you will have no problems on the Rue De Theatre. There were a few decent bars a short walk away and a very good supermarket close by. I love foreign food shopping, the supermarket had an amazing cheese selection and the French have now learned how to queue. Beer in the bars is ridiculously expensive but ok in the supermarket. Our car hire in Oxford, I wish! Wiggington Church, the pie pub is just down on the right St Pancras Station, it's awesome! The view from our apartment in Adiago