Seeing as how blogtown is down more often than not, I've decided to make a new blog. Not that I blog that much (once every 6 months or so seems accurate), but it would be nice if I was able to do so on the few occations where I want to (writing that I realize I'm in the process of depriving myself of a very good excuse as to why I never update.. oh well ).
On to what I actually wanted to write about! Iselin had planned to mate Roma to Vegas (photos further down), and it was decided to do it in Calais, France. As I am (hopefully) getting a (or rather, half a ;)), puppy from this litter, Iselin asked me if I wanted to tag along. A big YES (and some waiting for Roma to get ready ;)) later, and the day was fast approaching. I had a quiet, but lovely birthday on the 13th, and on the 14th (with my travel nerves meaning I got some 3-4 hours sleep), Iselin came over to pick me up. Some French chocolate (appropriate I think) birthday cake and coffee later and off we went. We were going to drive to Alyn in the south, spend the night there, then continue through Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium and, finally, France. Not too far from Bergen we got our first sign of how the trip south would be, the following sign met us at the ferry (for those of you who don't speak Norwegian, it says the ferry has been cancelled, the next ferry will depart at 13.30):
Well.. At least we had good company:
Finally on the ferry things went smoothly all the way to Alyn, and her wonderful homemade pizza. Travel nerves still intact, I got around an hour and a half of sleep before it was time to get up again around 5 in the morning (luckily Iselin, who was driving, has somewhat more healthy sleeping habits than me). On the road again a little before 6, it all went well apart from a little detour, all the way to the ferry to Denmark. Well on the boat I think Iselin must have gotten a slight premonition of what was to come (or possibly she just realized she was on a trip with a crazy woman ;)):
Or it could just have been the waves:
Anyhow, we arrived safely in Denmark, and all continued to go according to plan all the way down to Germany. Obviously this couldn't continue, and (I presume in an effort to display an example of German efficiency) after roaring along the Autobahn (we won't mention being 'zoooooomed' by crazy people in Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and, who would have thought it, Smart cars!), we were met by this:
And that is a sign that haunted us all through the journey... I think we lost some three hours in Germany, I am not entirely sure who thought it was a brilliant idea to to all the roadwork on all the stretches at the same time.. on a Friday!! It even felt like the caravan in front of us was mocking us:
Some long hours later we finally entered Holland. Since we'd started so well in Germany, we obviously couldn't to any worse there. Some rather confusing messages from Jürgen (the GPS) and some three rounds around Eindhoven, we entered Belgium (where we took similar rounds around Antwerpen and Gent, I think Jürgen was a little confused), we arrived in a France covered in fog. Incredibly eerie, but fortunately it went well. Around 3 we arrived at the hotel, and it was straight to bed after Roma got some food (I have to add she was a dream to travel with, not a complaint and absolutely no stress.. I'm impressed). I'm also impressed by 'superdriver' Iselin, 21 hours of that and you got us there in one peace *hats off*!
The next day we got some shopping done at the Cité Europe before meeting up with Amanda and Evette (and Vegas of course!) Absolutely lovely people (and a lovely dog), they'd even brought us each a giant chocolate Easter egg each! After drooling over the eggs, we headed out to Sophie and Joël at Bois du Tôt land, who were kind enough to offer a place to do the mating. We had an absolute wonderful time getting quite spoilt being fed (and watered), had a lot of laughs with some fantastic people, and got to meet some wonderful dogs.
The next day the sun was up and we went to the beautiful, beautiful beach for some therapy for cold and tired Norwegians. Walking there, naked feet in the sand, was a wonderful way of recharging our batteries, and I still long for the place:
The weather being as good as it was, Sophie had decided to have a barbecue, and very kindly invited us all. Another wonderful day with another successful mating, a wonderful dinner and more laughs truly made every hour spent in the car well worth it.. We also got a little photoshoot done with the very handsome Damon du Bois du Tôt, and I'll add a photo of him here too:
Roma also got herself a new friend in France, the very friendly mr. Rabbit:
I suppose this is a good place to add photos of the handsome couple since they were the reason for the trip. First of the beautiful, and very charming, s.r. GB CH BISS Corsini Valentino:
And of course the blushing bride, RH Norw. Ch. Chevy's Kahroma:
Monday morning (I think, the days were getting blurred at that point with my fantastic habit of sleeping 3 hours every night) we were supposed to get up at 2 a.m. and be in the car by 3.. Well things had been going too smoothly, so obviously we overslept. Luckily only by an hour though, so between 3 and 4 we were on the road again. Smooth sailing all the way to Germany, driving into the sunrise:
Bliss! Until Germany that is, for what met us but this:
Gaaah!! Well, the first thing that met us was actually a very, very bad accident. We drove past a car that had been smashed under a trailer.. quite a horrible sight, and it seemed we were not the only ones given pause by it as the general speed of traffic slowed down for quite a bit. When things go wrong at those speeds they go really wrong... I am just thankful we weren't involved in any accidents ourselves (thanks to, again, superdriver Iselinchen), nor witnessed any other serious ones.
From then on (after the roadwork) things went well, we drove past two places where they were just setting up cones for more roadwork, so we were very much in luck. A quick stop at the vet in Denmark to give Roma her pills, and off we went on the ferry back to Norway.
Well back on dry land I came to the realization that I would have made the world's worst smuggler. I always feel guilty at the customs, it doesn't matter that I haven't done anything. I put up the biiiiggest innocent eyes you could imagine, and I'm sure they just scream "I've got 3 dead bodies in the back of the van". For some reason they didn't search the van (Iselin had already provided all the papers needed for Roma), or call the men in white suits, though no thanks to me!
A little under two hours later we were at Alyn's again, and it felt like coming home. Getting fed, talking until 5 in the morning and then finally, sleep! The following morning we did a photoshoot of some of Alyn's 'babies', Barbie, Curly and (the one I am utterly in love with), Gangster. I'll throw in a phot of each:
Curlywurly (Belsharose First Class):
Beautiful Barbie (Nizhoni's First Born Barbie, from Roma's last litter):
And the big lapdog, Gangster (Chatmar First Ice Cracker):
And I suppose that was that from a very eventful trip to France. A perfect stay, it was great to meet all these wonderful people, thank you so much Mandy and Evette for the talks and the laughs, and Sophie and Joël for the incredible hospitality! I think we definitely got some memories to treasure! Thank you also Alyn for our 'home away from home', you're a star! And last but not least, thank you Iselin for letting me tag along for this wonderful, crazy trip, and for being such a great travel companion! It was incredibly fun! =D
And just to make everyone in the cold north a little jealous, here's another one of the beach in Calais:
Have a great Easter everyone!