Tag Archives: Paris

CRUISING PARIS – and losing my virginity on the Seine

The Viking Spirit at Les Andelys.

Now it’s over, I don’t mind telling you. That was my first time.

I’ve travelled on rivers by kayak, canoe, white water raft and once, in an hour of madness, on an inflated tyre tube, but that was my maiden voyage on a cruise ship.

You see, when I travel I like to be active, to challenge myself, to meet adventurous people and learn new things about the world. I thought cruises were for lazy sods who lounged in deckchairs sipping cocktails. I was wrong. Continue reading

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Filed under France, Travel- Europe

MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY – culture or ‘merely’ theatre?

A window on the world or just empty spectacle?

Through an accident of internet-apartment booking, we found ourselves living opposite one of Paris’s newest, biggest and more controversial museums.

We loved it, though a little internet research showed me that not everyone shares our enthusiasm for the Musee du quai Branly. Continue reading

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FREEWHEELING PARIS No.2 – Vive le Velib!

Lycra is not required for cycling the Tour de Paris. Neither is a helmet!!!!

No street scene in Paris is complete without them now. The chunky brown bikes, shopping baskets on the front, are everywhere. It’s a reminder of the days when archetypal Frenchmen wore berets, carried strings of onions and rode bicycles.

We’d never worked out how to use them, but when we saw that everybody else was getting round on Velibs, we had to try them too. It was pas difficile, monsieur! Continue reading

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FREEWHEELING PARIS No. 1 – Pari Rollers

Photography in motion.

The police motorcycles ride in front, the ambulances follow at the back.  In between come the in-liners, in a massive phalanx.

This was on a Sunday afternoon, so it was not the famed Pari Roller event. This roll involved only a hundred or so skaters, but it was impressive all the same. Continue reading

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CHEAP FUN IN PARIS No 3 – Montparnasse cemetery

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There’s nothing like a good cimitiere on a wet day in Paris.

We understand that cemeteries are intended to be places for grief, remembrance and quiet reflection. But when a cemetery is filled with the graves of people who moved us with their art, writing or music, visiting final resting places leads to ‘oh yes, I remember him/her and that song/film/book/play.’  We can’t deny that it is entertaining too. In a quiet reflective way of course.   Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Budget travel, France

CHEAP FUN IN PARIS No. 2 – Jardin de Luxembourg

Luxembourg

We cheapskates in Paris should be grateful to Marie de Medici for giving us a nice place to rest our aching feet.

In 1612 Marie planted 2000 elm trees. Quite possibly she didn’t do them all personally. She had enough money to throw a big barbecue and offer free drinks to friends prepared to bring their own shovels. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Budget travel, France