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London 2012

A summer trip to London, UK, during the 2012 Olympic Games, with a sidetrip to Nantes, France, my hometown.

A Simple Cure for Homesickness

I’m usually happy to visit France. I enjoy traveling and I love seeing my family. The first few days there, I immediately feel very French as I reconnect with my roots—it feels like slipping into an...

Nantes’ Non-Tourist Spots

After a few days as a tourist in my hometown, I usually enjoy getting off the beaten track and finding new places to explore, no matter how far and how gritty they can be—basically, I need some non...

Nantes’ Tourist Spots

I wanted to see the world and I did. And now, I can look back and appreciate Nantes for what it is—a lovely city, really. I still wouldn’t live there again for many reasons, but visiting as a tourist...

“A Journey to Nantes” Art Project

This summer, “A Journey to Nantes” art project (“Le voyage à Nantes”) kept the crowd entertained. The 8.5 kilometre-long “cultural urban trail” across the city, from one landmark to another, was...

The Crazy Trip from London to France

When we organized the last-minute trip to London, we also decided to cross the channel and to visit my parents in France for a few days. It just made sense: we had already flown 5,600 kilometers to...

Nightime in London

In London, we took the time to check out a few main places after dark, including the Jubilee Gardens with the picturesque London Eye and views on the River Thames, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus...

London’s Tourist Spots

In London, we spent quite a lot of time in a few tourist spots, including Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Victoria Embankment and Piccadilly Circus, all within walking distance from each other.

The London Underground

The Tube is an international icon for London and its graphic elements, such as the station logo, have become easy-to-recognize pop culture symbols. There is even a popular London Transport Museum at...

London’s Parliament Square

Parliament Hill is one of my favourite landmarks in Ottawa : it’s a scenic place with great views on the Ottawa River, and there is always something going on in front of the Canadian parliament. So...

The Olympics Fever and Hyde Park

Even though we quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to attend any Olympics events, we still soaked up the London 2012 Olympics Games atmosphere. Indeed, it was impossible to ignore the Olympics...

The London Millennium Footbridge

I have good memories of both St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern from our last trip of London, and I wanted to have a look at these two landmarks again, even if we didn’t have the time to spend...

Never Take the British Weather with You

The first morning in London, we went out wearing our usual summer outfit: shorts and t-shirts. We took the Tube to Victoria Station, and as soon as we stepped out of it, we were greeted by a...

London 2012 and the Olympic Venues

Even though we were not in London to attend the Games, we were kind of hoping to have the chance to do something Olympics-related, such as going to a low-demand event. Well, no such luck. Sorry to...

Do You Speak British English?

I speak American/Canadian English, not British English. It always takes me a minute or two to tune to regional accents, such as Kiwi, Australian or British (for Scottish accent, it takes me a bit...

Green Park and Buckingham

In London you pretty much have to walk by Buckingham Palace—the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch—at least once. That’s what we did, after a torrential downpour...

The Queen’s Walk and Tower Bridge

On a quite stormy day (more on London weather later!), we got off the Tube at London Bridge and took the Queen’s Walk along the River Thames. The skyline is quite nice there, with the famous Tower...

London’s Camden Markets

After a busy first day in London and good night’s sleep, we woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and eager to explore the city. The weather was nice, so we decided to head to Camden Town to shop at the...

Jet-Lagged in London

After landing in Heathrow and convincing the immigration officer we were dutifully employed, we headed straight to the hotel we had booked just a few days earlier. While we are not picky when it...

Of a Last Minute Trip to London

It is 10 a.m. London time and we are standing below the huge blue “UK Border” sign at Heathrow Airport. Our plane just landed minutes ago and we sprinted to immigration control, expecting a long...