Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 13 July 2024

Wednesday 10 July 2024 - Wimbledon

It's a half hour tram ride from Croydon to Wimbledon, where Sue had got tickets in the ballot for centre court.

We arrived fairly early and watched two boys called Henry and Petr in a second round match on a court where we were right next to the action (above).

Then we wandered around to 'The Hill', which was crowded and muddy.

We soon moved through the crowds and the immense queues for drinks and strawberries, to our positions in row Z on centre court.

A ladies quater final saw a couple of eastern European ladies have a one sided contest lasting an hour. Unfortunately a man with a very long back restricted my (albeit distant) view.

The Royal Box was closer to the action.

The next match was supposed to feature Djokovic, but his opponent was injured so he was awarded a walkover.

Instead, we watched a mixed doubles match featuring Heather Watson (a Brit) who played well despite losing. (The man with the long back took a break.)

After that we revisited the lesser courts, now rather crowded, and watched some boys doubles, coincidentally featuring bow legged Petr, who despite being seeded in both the games we saw him play in, managed to lose again.

Then an exhibition match on another court drew our attention. It featured Greg Rusedski and Mark Woodforde and their female partners in a mixed doubles match that had its lighter moments. At one point a ball boy replaced Greg's partner, and another point caused the umpire a little difficulty as two balls were independently in play at the same time. Great fun!

By the end of that game we had been at Wimbledon for over ten hours, so it was time to get the tram back to Croydon.

Thursday was the last day of this holiday. We noted the view from our hotel room (below) before decamping to the car park (£32) and heading home via Sue's parents in Solihull and my mother in Eccleshall. 

And so, the end of a very enjoyable trip. A return to 600 emails to deal with, and even more photos to catalogue. Not to mention the weeds.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Tuesday 9 July 2924 - Knole House and Park

Back in the UK, we stopped at Knole, near Sevenoaks, on our way to Croydon. Knole has a long history and has been occupied by the Sackville family for many generations. 

The house is one of the largest in the country and is set in 1000 acres of parkland. 

It has one of the largest herds of wild deer in the country - fallow and roe (fallow pictured below).

We took a 5km stroll around the park.

The gardens were not open today, but from a fence there seems to be a lot of grass.

We went up 65 curvy stone steps into the tower. There is a good view from each side of the top of the tower. The rooms inside are interesting - they have other small rooms in the corners.

After that we quickly toured the 'show rooms', full of pictures and furniture,  including a silver table and chairs.

The onward journey to Croydon involved single track lanes and at one point we even passed through a cloud. Quite a surprise then to be suddenly surrounded by traffic and skyscrapers. 

We are now installed in a comfortable Travelodge and we enjoyed excellent Persian cuisine at Crystal Cuisine restaurant in the High Street. Thanks to Robert and Lyn for the recommendation - they were here a few days ago. Without that, we would have been spoilt for choice. 

Monday 8 July 2024

Monday 8 July 2024 - Montreuil-sur-Mer

The car was in action again today, with an uneventful 310 mile journey to Montreuil-sur-Mer, where we arrived at Les Remparts hotel at 3:30pm.

We took a roundabout route through Belgium, just for a change, and that excused us from the French tolls.

Our room looks onto the main square, and the hotel backs onto the ramparts. 

Sue and I set off on a traditional (we have stayed in this town many times) stroll around the town walls (ramparts). A short section was fenced off. We soon discovered why. We hope that nobody was on the path when it collapsed. 

The walls were otherwise happily intact.

The next picture was taken near one of the town gates, and shows the road to the campsite, visible in the distance. 

A view to the town inside the walls.

An area of deteriorated wall in the moat area has recently been repaired.

Elsewhere, ivy has a grip on the old bricks.

In WW1, General Haig spent time here during the time when thousands of soldiers were sent to their deaths. Despite this, a statue has been erected.

We spent the rest of the day in the familiar surroundings of this nice little town.

Sunday 7 July 2024

Sunday 7 July 2024 - Around Pont-à-Mousson

Today's text is a bit disjointed. I'll try to tidy it when back home.

Breakfast at a café in town: delicious coffee, plus croissants from a nearby boulangerie.

Then we headed up to the village of Mousson to admire views and ramparts. The area was sacked by the Germans in 1944, thus the new bridge and many other features of the town, some of which are pictured below, date from around 1949 or more recently.

A couple of relics for Alan (there are clues).

A mushroom for Sue!


Views down to the town.

The summit cross...

A memorial to the French Revolution.

This visitor seemed to enjoy our company!

We returned to town by way of a long distance path - GR5F, passing through a fruit tree arboretum. Cranes and Herons (or were those Great Egrets?) flew overhead and chiff chaffs and chats chatted in the hedgerow.
Back by the river. 

This building looked like a multi storey car park from the back. It's a college.

Here's our 6km route with about 100 metres ascent. It took ages, we weren't rushing.

Lunch was beer and salad at Au Balcon restaurant. Very nice too - €35. 

Then we enjoyed a 5km stroll beside the river and it's neighbouring canal that is accessed via a large lock.

We then lazed on chairs beside the river, as we couldn't get back into the hotel until 4:30 (they might have told us!).

Here's our riverside and hedgerow stroll.

Hedgerow flowers abound.

Wild Carrot


White Campion

Common St John's Wort

Vipers Bugloss

Hedgerow Cranesbill

Common Poppy