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Hello everyone,
 
Promise I'll keep this quick ..
Just thought I'd update you with what myself and the Bostock have been up to for the last two weeks.

Highlights have been Paris- the Louvre (managed to stop Simon boring me with rubbish about the Da Vinci code just about...) and Musee D'Orsay, best ice creams EVER!, Versaille (that Louis XIV was extravagant wasn't he?!). Went to Lyon and fell in love with the place- so gorgeous, little streets etc. and the most magnificent cathedral (de Notre Damn) I've ever seen...it has a full sized Cathedral both upstairs and a downstairs! Can you believe it?!
 
Quickly popped into the Alps and trekked up Mont Blanc (we had a spare afternoon) and generally enjoyed Chamonix (though not its expense). Then drove underneath Mont Blanc and found ourselves in Italy- which was quite a turn up for the books...
 
Italy has flown by, we've done Parma (for the ham apparently) Turin, Bologna, Perugia, Florence which was a complete Disney land- saw more Americans than Italians, however the Uffizi has to be the greatest gallery I have ever been into- highlights were definitely Botticelli's Spring and The Birth of Venus. Now we're in Rome and well...it cant be visited in one day so I can see how it wasn't built in one. It is swelteringly hot here- quite frankly ridiculous even the Roman ruins were threatening to melt today. The Colloseum was terrifying- I feel a bit odd admiring the breathtaking scale of it when you know how many deaths it was built for... It's all been a bit traffic-y and touristy but there we were, just turning down this side street and we met the Fonta de Trevi which is stunning (massive fountain of Neptune in an oyster shell being led by two flying horses).
 
We're paying the Pope a visit tomorrow.
 
So 2200miles and 12 days down the road, the van is still intact...and the best thing since sliced bread (which they don't appear to have in Italy).
 
The trick has appeared to be- stay in service stations. We are self contained entirely apart from running water (and toilet facilities) so it's all about kipping in a service station (and not driving between 12 and 6- too hot).
 
Scariest person we've met has to be the member of the Italian Carabinieri who took great offence to the particular way we had parked in the service station and decided to let us know at three o'clock in the morning by banging on the walls of the van until we woke up and demanded we move to another space.
 
Italian driving is also ridiculous, think beeping, lights on ALL the time, driving about an inch behind you, flashing you at every opportunity to get you to move over if you're overtaking anyione. Whereas the French were quite sane and excellent reverse parkers.
 
Then there was the incident... We were supposed to be having a slow day yesterday- you know clean the van (which I'm doing obsessively anyway) write postcards etc. Well, Simon (Ray Meares) Bostock has taken up making spoons etc. out of branches- he's got into the self sufficient thing a little too much I think, and he pretty much managed to chop his thumb in two...idiot! There I am desperately trying to find a hospital to mend my boyfriend, driving through small town Perugia and talking absolute waffle to keep him awake, he's got two belts tied so tightly round his wrist to staunch the flow his fingers are going blue...Quite an adventure. Still the Italian hospital service was awesome (no waiting for 5hours in an NHS emergency room). He's had five stiches and will be able to windsurf again which was naturally the main concern...
 
We are both itching to get to the coast, which is where we're headed next so I'll post here again soon,
 
Lots of love
 
Sarahxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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