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French Summer

Our 2010 trip to France, with a sidetrip to London, U.K.

Are French Rude?

I entered France with my Canadian passport and I decided to become a woman with a mission. I was going to find out if French were rude. About an hour after setting foot in my former country, I was...

London Shopping

In France, I bought a bunch of beauty products. In London, I found a t-shirt mecca at Camden Market. Originally a craft market, the Camden Lock Market is now a thriving shopping area and hundreds of...

The Walls Are Talking

Every time I go to France, I like to take the pulse of the population and to sound out current issues. Graffiti and stickers can be found everywhere, and these little words written or stuck on urban...

Europe in our Eyes

It started as a joke: Feng wanted to take a picture of the London Eye reflecting in my eyes. After a few trials (try opening your eyes as big as you can without blinking for several seconds!), we got...

A Parisian Bug Story

I pushed the door open, slightly annoyed myself, and let him in. "Ah oui, ah oui!" he exclaimed in surprise, suddenly realizing I was not a drama-queen after all. We stared at each other, unsure of...

French Bakeries

I love French bakeries. There is one at every corner and they all carry fresh bread, croissants, pains au chocolat and pains aux raisin. They also have their specialties, from elaborate cakes to...

St Nazaire

For our last week-end in France, Feng and I went back on the Atlantic coast. We spent a few days with my family and left to explore St Nazaire, a few kilometers away. The town isn't pretty: it was...

Nantes By Night

I love cities by night. Most change a lot and reveal a totally different atmosphere -- it's like traveling. I've already shown you snapshots of Ottawa by night, Toronto, London, Paris... Here is...

Nantes’ Elephant

The 12 meters high mechanical elephant is made from 45 tons of wood and steel. Several times a day, it takes passengers for a walk around the Isle of Nantes, located in the middle of the Loire River...

The Isle of Nantes

Jules Verne, the famous French author, was born in Nantes. And today, in the warehouses of the former shipyards of Nantes, artists try to recreate a travel-through-time world which borrow from both...

Whoui Spik Inglish

The other day, we went to see Kiss & Kill, a U.S movie. You may have heard of it: the English title is “Killers”. Why did the French bother changing the original English title to another English...

Bastille Day in France

This is a sleepy village 45 minutes from Nantes. Its claim to fame is the cookie factory. Other than that, there isn't much: a roundabout (French love roundabouts and even the smallest village has...

Paris By Night

Sunset is around 10:30 pm in France right now and with the summer heat, we had plenty of time and motivation to roam around Paris at night. I have my favorite spots, they are not so original but they...

Gardens of Versailles

Once we reached the doors of Versailles, we realized we were in trouble. The lineup was so long I couldn't even find where it started. I asked how long it would take us to get tickets: at least 90...

Sights of Paris (Part II)

We got extremely lucky with the hotel the first couple of days: we had booked online again from London with Expedia (which really should be paying me for all the times I mentioned them!). The hotel...

Sights of Paris (Part I)

After London, Paris. Don’t hate me for saying it, but at first sight, it felt like going from Peru to Bolivia. I have never liked Paris. Go ahead, call me a little spoiled French girl, I’m used to it...

London By Night

Aren't cities at night truly beautiful?
London didn't disappoint. Lots of lights, lots of sights, lots of amazing skylines coming alive before our eyes after sunset. Next, Paris and Nantes again...

Buckingham Palace

Coming from a country which executed Louis XVI, the last king, by guillotine, I tend to consider monarchy a custom somewhat obsolete and old-fashioned although harmless if a Parliament is in place...

Along the River Thames

The many bridges crossing the River Thames are all different. The Millennium Bridge is a modern footbridge steel suspension bridge leading to the Tate Modern, while the Tower Bridge, with its two...

The Tower of London

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London, is actually more a castle than a tower. It is among all famous for being the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The castle...

Oh-So-British

London was a great surprise to me. I had been to England many times as a teen, first by taking the ferry across the channel and later by the Eurostar train. England to me was buying "crips" with...

Art and Culture in the U.K

While the Louvre in Paris may be more famous, London also has awesome museums. We took the opportunity to visit the British Museum and the Tate Modern and I must said I was amazed by both. One really...

The Tube

The tube, the subway, the underground... London wouldn't be London without it, no matter how you call it. I usually have a love/ hate relationship with subways: while they are often the most...