There are around a dozen still trading ancient shopping passages of Paris. Reminiscent of earlier days of a glamorous Parisian culture, they are a joy to experience. Some of them are sheltered by a glass ceiling, some lie hidden in side streets and some exude a bright, shining and glowing art deco persona that instantly […]
Finding myself with a few hours to spare in Paris in the middle of August on a sunny day I decided to join a bike tour. I had considered the implications of confronting mad Parisian motorists from the saddle of a bicycle. My faith was never tested though, their manners were perfect and I was […]
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When visiting Paris it’s a good idea to take a slow stroll down the Champs-Elysées. Parisians have always regarded their special street as the ‘Plus Belle Avenue du Monde’. And so it is. For most of us, the Champs-Elysées is a form of fantasy. We can look but never touch. We can’t really afford to […]
The Cross of Lorraine and Charles de Gaulle Memorial, Haute-Marne, Champagne-Ardenne. In the little town of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises in Champagne-Ardenne you will find an incredible monument, the Cross of Lorraine, and an exhibition centre dedicated to General de Gaulle and the main historical events that marked his life. De Gaulle was born in Lille in 1890 […]
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If you happen to be in the little town of Montreuil-sur-Mer on July 14, the major French public holiday of Bastille Day, you’re in for a treat. Every year on this day, the town stages a spectacular antiques market that spreads across the whole upper town centre. Montreuil-sur-Mer is a very handsome French town that has become […]
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It was the Romans who established vineyards in Paris more than a thousand years ago. Maybe it was the starting point for the vibrant French wine industry and culture that we know and love today. A Vineyard in Paris The earliest vineyards declined gradually as urban development progressed in Paris. The last of these Roman plantations […]
Many years ago I was working as an impoverished flying instructor at a country airfield, it was a job that enabled me to use the club’s Cessna plane and I loved to fly to France as often as I could. On one trip I took my boss with me and we landed our little aircraft […]
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A morning walk in spring in Paris is an inspiring event. I started at a café where I struck up quite a long conversation with a Frenchman I had never met before over a coffee and a croissant near the Place du Bastille. Beside the café stood the great monument to the Bastille, the prison […]
Montreuil sur Mer is situated just a little south along the coastline from Calais. Should you visit this lovely, ancient hill top town, take a walk around the medieval ramparts associated with their Citadel. The uninterrupted elevated circular stroll, embracing stunning countryside, will take about 30 minutes. Look below to observe a 21st century local […]
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President Francois Mitterand of France was a great instigator of modern planning and architectural ideas for Paris. During his tenure, he was the originator of many post war features including the apparently dead straight ‘Triumphal Way’. This alignment of celebrated structural icons stretches from the Louvre as far as the Grand Arch, some 10 kilometres away, […]