FA­MIL­IAR SCENES

IT’S A THRILL WHEN A DES­TI­NA­TION YOU’VE VIS­ITED IS ON THE TV

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - ESCAPE EYE - WORDS: ANN RICKARD

In the news re­cently, the 100-year an­niver­sary of the Ar­mistice, Novem­ber 11, the end of World War I. Among the cer­e­monies and events was a visit to Com­piègne in the Pi­cardy re­gion of France where the Ar­mistice treaty was signed in a rail­way car­riage in a clear­ing in the mid­dle of a for­est on Novem­ber 11, 1918.

We had vis­ited that train car­riage (a replica now) in that for­est just a year ago on a tour or­gan­ised by crew on our Euro­pean Water­ways barge dur­ing a de­light­ful canal cruise into the Pi­cardy re­gion.

We knew noth­ing of the rail­way car­riage or the nearby mu­seum fea­tur­ing pho­tos and repli­cas of tanks in WWI, nor did we know much about the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice. How­ever, we took to learn­ing from our guide and walked through the car­riage — im­mac­u­lately pre­sented right down to the china and glass­ware on the ta­ble. We were not awed by its sig­nif­i­cance then. We are now.

There is al­ways a fris­son of thrill when a des­ti­na­tion you have vis­ited comes up on the TV. If not the same sig­nif­i­cance as the Ar­mistice sign­ing, but still a small quiver was a re­cent 60 Min­utes episode with Pamela Ander­son in­ter­viewed about her strange sup­port for Ju­lian As­sange. The in­ter­view took place in the im­pos­si­bly pic­turesque port of Cas­sis in the South of France where we had spent an un­for­get­table week in July.

Even though it was hard to take the eyes off Pamela trip­ping pret­tily around the port in a pink ging­ham sun­dress, the real star was the back­drop. Hun­dreds of bob­bing wa­ter­craft, end­less bistros packed with peo­ple eat­ing moules, busy wait­ers in cafes serv­ing Aperol Spritz, bas­kets of flow­ers hang­ing from poles — there was Cas­sis on the telly look­ing like a trav­eller’s dream des­ti­na­tion. But there is more. Even Mr. Bean’s Hol­i­day movie caused pleas­ant con­nip­tions in our house­hold when he ar­rived at the Avi­gnon TGV in the South of France, a train sta­tion we have vis­ited at least 20 times and nav­i­gated our ner­vous way out in a hire car on to the busy streets of Avi­gnon. “Look, we’ve been there,” we shouted at the telly. “There’s the street where we made a wrong turn. Look at those leafy plane trees … I want to go back.”

When Mr. Bean ar­rived in Cannes for the film fes­ti­val, our ex­cite­ment frothed over. There was the Boule­vard de la Croisette we had so re­cently walked.

In the same movie Mr. Bean dined at the gilded Le Train Bleu restau­rant at the Gare de Lyon sta­tion in Paris, and yes, we had been there re­cently as well.

“THERE WAS CAS­SIS ON THE TELLY LOOK­ING LIKE A TRAV­ELLER’S DREAM DES­TI­NA­TION.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.