Paris Day 2!

So, on to the second day!

After a reasonably busy first day in Paris we got up again to face the sweltering summer heat.

Our first stop of the day was the Petit Palais where we were able to see some beautiful art exhibitors. One of the best things about Paris is that if you’re prepared to walk long distances you can see so much of the city and really feel like you’re having the full Paris experience just by walking past some of the beautiful cafes and apartment buildings.

After this we made the short journey over to the Jardin de Luxembourg. By the time we got there it was late morning and very hot. We wandered through the beautiful garden trying to find some shade, eventually deciding to stop and have lunch in the garden before returning to it hunt for shade. Eventually we were able to find some shade to sit in and enjoy some ice cream while we planned our next move.

The Panthéon was only a short walk away, so we decided that this would be or next stop. The former cathedral turned secular crypt had some beautiful art inside as well as exhibitions on deaf history and culture which we both really enjoyed learning about. If you venture down into the crypt below the main building you can observe the resting place of some of France’s heroes, including resistance fighter Jean Moulin.

By the end of the day we had walked around most of Paris and were ready for a more relaxing trip out in the evening in search of food. Once again we found ourselves searching Montmartre for an inexpensive place to eat and we were lucky enough to find a small tapas restaurant with some delicious food, including some vegan options!

Our second day was meant to be more relaxed so that we could fill day 3 with more of the big sites, so if anyone is wanting to have nice day out in Paris without getting totally exhausted then these sites are within an easy walking distance.

Anyone else been to Paris or seen these sites? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section if you have!

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Day 1 in Paris

Last month I went on a trip to Paris with my friend. We managed to get tickets on the Eurostar, sorted out accommodation with Airbnb, and off we went!

We stayed for a long weekend in the 18th arrondissement and managed to cram an awful lot into those three days.

So, I’ll take this one day at a time.

On the first day we woke up early and got the train down to London. After fighting out way through crowds of people we made it to the Eurostar. I’d never been before so this was a real treat! Comfy seats and a smooth ride, and within a couple of hours we were in Paris.

It would not be an exaggeration to say I’ve always been a bit obsessed with this city, and when I saw it this summer I fell well and truly in love with it. Despite the sweltering heat, we made our way to our accommodation and then headed out to visit Gallerie Lafayette. There was a heat wave so we stopped along the way for some cold drinks before we finally reached our destination.

Floors were filled with tourists and eager onlookers as we made our way upstairs to admire the ridiculously expensive clothes and other products. While I didn’t buy anything I’ve got to say it was fun just to look at all the beautiful things and to cool down in the air conditioned building for a while!

Since we were staying in the 18th arrondissement we also visited Sacre Coeur on our first day. The building was beautiful from the outside and even more beautiful on the inside.

In the evening we wandered out to find somewhere to eat, and we settled on a nice Italian meal after which we had a drink, also in the 18th. Our first day in Paris had been a wonderful success! The 18th was a beautiful place to be staying and meant that we could walk everywhere reasonably easily so I’d definitely recommend finding accommodation around here if you’re planning to visit.

My Trip to the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham

Hi, everyone! Sadly I’ve neglected this blog for quite a while… Hopefully that will change now that I have more time to go places and to write about things!

I thought I’d ease myself back in with writing about a trip I recently took to the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham. I went there a couple of weeks ago with my friend and, although I am not a ‘cat person’, I really enjoyed the experience.

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I can’t comment on the food here as I only got myself a coffee, but I can definitely comment on the overall experience. The cafe is very clear about house rules so the cats are protected. Staff were very friendly, and although I did not eat any food there seemed to be a lot on offer.

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This place is not short of furry friends to spend time with, although I wasn’t immediately sure of this when I first arrived. We were sat in the front room and most of the cats were asleep or seemed completely uninterested in the humans surrounding them. However, in the back room there were plenty of toys and the cats here were more up for playing and being fussed over. One cat in particular was very fond of a sort of crinkly toy that I kept throwing for him, which a member of staff later told me he’d only discovered existed that day.

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I’m firmly a dog person when it comes to my choice of pet, however it is impossible not to be charmed by these little ones. Time seemed to fly while we were there, and I was a little sad to go. I can definitely recommend this place to anyone who is looking for somewhere cheerful to relax after a stressful time.

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The cafe is open from 10am-6pm and it’s worth noting that you have to book in advance. Has anyone else visited the Kitty Cafe?

 

 

 

Spending a Month at the Edinburgh Fringe

Hey, all! This August I spent the month in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Once a month the city is filled with people all rushing to see as many shows as possible. The Fringe is famous for being somewhere where all manner of new writing, experimental theatre, and up and coming artists can be found.

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With so many shows on offer, you’re bound to find something you love. There’s more traditional theatre available, as well as some more wacky and wild shows. For example, there’s even one show titles A Young Man Dressed as a Gorilla Dressed as an Old Man Sits in a Rocking Chair for 56 Minutes and Then Leaves. This is exactly what happens – tickets go fast!

A walk along The Mile is a walk through a storm of flyers as everyone does their best to sell their show. But don’t turn away from this – it’s a great way to find the perfect show for you, or to find out which shows are about to start nearby.

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The Edinburgh Fringe provides a unique experience for everyone, whether you go for a couple of days or for the whole month.

Even if you’re not a fan of theatre, there are so many other things to do in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle is not to be missed, and you can’t visit Edinburgh without climbing the iconic Arthur’s Seat. In fact, there’s so much nature around that it’s a great place for hiking if you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Would anyone be interested in more specific posts about the Edinburgh Fringe? If so, what would you like to know? There’s so much to discuss that it can’t be condensed into just one post!

My Trip to Torino

Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted but I’m here now to tell you all about my trip to Torino in July.

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Located in Northern Italy, Torino is one of Italy’s most beautiful, historic city. There are so many beautiful plazas and cafes all through the streets, making wandering the streets a wonderful experience.

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Torino’s signature drink is bicerin, a delicious mix of coffee and hot chocolate topped with a thick layer of sweet whipped cream. There’s nothing better than sitting outside a cosy cafe drinking a hot glass of bicerin while watching the world go by.

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If you’re in the mood for some sightseeing, the Mole Antonelliana is of of Torino’a most famous landmarks. It’s also the museum of cinema, making it a must-see stop for anyone interested in film.

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I spent one night in Torino but it’s somewhere I’d definitely return to and I’d recommend anyone who’s looking for a good city break to do the same.

Visiting Dole in June

There are many beautiful towns and cities in France, but Dole was one that I hadn’t heard of until I was fortunate enough to make the trip there myself. Famous for being the birthplace of Louis Pasteur, Dole is steeped in history. When walking through the streets its remarkable to see how many of the historic buildings remain intact; you can almost imagine yourself walking down the same streets and having the same experience as people living over a hundred years ago.

‘Le Petit Venice’ is a beautiful restaurant which can be found down one such hidden pathway. Alongside one the town’s canals you can enjoy the sumptuous fish dishes while gazing down into the canal to see all the little fish swimming by. Even this little beagle enjoyed the restaurant as she stashed herself away under the table!

With a gorgeous river to walk alongside, Dole is a beautiful place to visit in the summer months. Flower boxes are overflowing along the river banks and boats are available to rent. I even spotted a boat acts as a nightclub in the evening!

Overall, Dole is a beautiful place to visit. There are some lovely things for tourists to do, although it is perhaps more enjoyable for those who enjoy walking round the city and taking in some general historic and natural beauty.

Making the most of summer days…

This summer Britain has experienced a very rare thing indeed: warmth. There has been sunshine and hot days, which are aspects of summer which normally bypass the British Isles. My friend and I have been joking for over a year that we should have a day where we go rowing on the lake. Neither of us know how to row, but I thought it would be safe to make this plan as the weather was just never nice enough to make it worthwhile.

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However, with the abundance of nice days this summer it finally became impossible to put off the event much longer. On a hot day at the beginning of June, we decided to blow away the cobwebs of exam stress and go out on the lake. It was decided that I would be the one to do the rowing, which I was all for. Surely it wouldn’t actually be that difficult, I thought to myself. It soon became startlingly clear that rowing is more difficult than I realised. There now exist some horrendous photos of me attempting to not crash out little row boat, as I struggled to keep us going in a straight line.

Nevertheless, thanks to the encouragement of my friend, who also kindly offered to take over the rowing despite my refusal of her offers, we managed to make it round the lake while maintaining some dignity. It became clear to me that this was something that we should have done much sooner, and we should have taken advantage of even the slightest good weather. Fun should happen all year round, and this was a perfect way of making the most of the day.

The lake on Nottingham University Park Campus is small but scenic, with beautiful views of the Trent Building. It’s relatively cheap to rent out a little rowing boat for either thirty minutes or an hour, but it is also possible to rent a kayak if you’re not confident with rowing. I’d strongly urge anyone in the area to have a go, as I am sad that I didn’t do this sooner.

Snow Day!!!

As anyone currently in the U.K. will have noticed, there has been a lot of snow over the past few days. Snow can cause inconvenience for some people. Anyone who relies on public transport will tell you the negative points involved. And yes, it is cold. But Britain is no stranger to cold at this point, as demonstrated by the fact that everyone wears shorts at the slightest ray of sunshine.

So, the point of this post is not to show all the negative sides of this mini snowstorm. On the contrary, while it may be a little out of place in late February, snow is one of the most beautiful sights in the natural world. For the past couple of days, it has been a pleasure to look out of my window only to find thick flakes fluttering and swirling in the air outside.

Personally, I enjoy the feeling that I’m living in a rather large snow globe. It can be completely calm one moment, and then a scene from a Christmas film the next.

While I don’t have any photos of the snow as of yet, I have included a picture of a snow covered town which I visited last December to help set the scene for these snowy days.

Visiting Checkpoint Charlie…

Visiting Checkpoint Charlie is a must-do on most people’s bucket list when they’re in Berlin. Situated near other attractions such as Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie is ideally located to mix in with the rest of your sightseeing.

Historically, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous checkpoint between the German Democratic Republic in the East, and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West. Those with permission could travel between the two states. Checkpoint Charlie, while famous in its day, has been brought back to life recently in films such as ‘Bridge of Spies’ which highlights its important role in German history.

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Today, Checkpoint Charlie has been destroyed, and a newly created replica is visited instead by tourists. Following the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided among the Allies. Berlin, the capital city, was also divided into sections controlled by America, the Soviet Union, Britain and France. Checkpoint Charlie was a checkpoint between the American and Soviet sectors. Therefore, by the replica which now stands, there is a double sided board. On one side, there is a Soviet soldier looking into the American zone, and on the reverse side an American soldier looks into the Soviet zone. In this way, they continue to stand guard at their posts.

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While it is free for all to visit, Checkpoint Charlie stands in the middle of a busy road, and is often crowded. Nevertheless, Checkpoint Charlie is not something to miss when seeing Germany’s sights, and won’t take long to visit if you’re in a rush.