Tag Archives: france


It’s a Monday night and no one that lives here goes out for dinner. Most of the restaurants are shut for one thing.

It’s dark and starting to get a little cold so I don’t feel like wandering around for too long. I manage to find somewhere open on a square near a tram stop.

The restaurant is pleasantly busy. There’s a family and a few couples. There are also three men, other than me, dining alone.

One arrives after me and finishes his meal super-humanly quickly. Then he fastidiously counts out a large pile of coins on the table and pays the bill with them. I don’t think he enjoys eating out alone.

Another has a huge fist of rings. I wonder what he could possibly do for a living. I invent a backstory for him, which includes a leadership position in an organised crime syndicate. He’s unhurried, finding plenty of entertaining activities on his phone. As you might expect of a mobster.

Meanwhile, the family wish their daughter would find their phone entertaining. She enthusiastically moves around non-stop. They keep shushing her and finding new programmes for her to watch, largely unsuccessfully.

The couple next to me speak English to the waiter, French to a waitress and German to each other. They eat their burgers with a knife and fork. I suspect they’re Swiss.

Me, I read on my phone and people-watch. I laugh when the waiter notices my English accent and automatically brings me ketchup rather than the mayonnaise he’s brought for everyone else.

Landscape 2014

Pink Granite walk between between Perros-Guirec and Ploumanac'h

While a landscape is more typically about land, I didn’t really visit anywhere very far inland in the last year, hence this image of a walk between Perros-Guirec and Ploumanac’h in France as my entry in this weeks PhotoFriday challenge, “Landscape 2014.” In any case, the landscape here is influenced by the nearby sea so I don’t think I’m too far from the mark!

Please also vote for my entry in last weeks challenge, “Twilight.” I’m entry number 98.

Paris (Part Deux)

It’s been a while since I got back from Paris but things have been so hectic since then that I’ve not found the time to document my trip.

The last time I was in Paris as a tourist I did most of the obvious stuff which meant that this time I was able to just hang out and wander around without any particular aim. That I also had great weather and some luck factored in to make a great weekend.

I started by walking by the Seine, near Îlle de la Cité, not far from where I waited for my train when I was in Paris a few weeks ago with work. While there I passed these roller-blading Policemen. Not something you see every day back at home.

Policemen rollerblading

My major concession to visiting the “obvious” sights was climbing the Eiffel Tower. Last time, expecting long queues, I looked around the base of the tower and went up the Arc de Triomphe instead.

View from the Eiffel Tower

Despite booking online beforehand there was still a fairly substantial queue. Still, it was a much shorter wait than for those who had not planned ahead.

View from the Eiffel Tower

Of course it’s a popular location. Even booking ahead I didn’t get my pick of time slots and ended up a little earlier than I might have chosen otherwise. No matter, the view from the top was very much worth getting even if the light wasn’t perfect.

View from the Eiffel Tower

Of course one disadvantage of the view from the tower is that the Eiffel Tower isn’t in it. I was quite pleased with myself for getting a good number of shots with the shadow across the Parc du Champs de Mars until I realised that pretty much everyone with a camera had exactly the same idea.

View of the Eiffel Tower

On the Sunday I found that the Champs-Elysees had been turned into a huge farm. On the Avenue de la Grande-Armée — on the other side of the Arc de Triomphe to the Champs-Elysees — everything looked normal. The usual Parisian chaos as traffic approached the Place Charles de Gaulle.

Nature Capitale on the Champs-Elysees

On the other, trees and plants, fruit and vegetables and people. Lots of people. I guess it shows the influence of the French farmers as I don’t think they’d ever manage to persuade the Mayor to give over Oxford Street for a few plants. It seems that there’s a fight just to hand over the place to pedestrians for a few weeks as Christmas approaches.

Nature Capitale on the Champs-Elysees

Overall it was a good weekend. Lots of walking. Lots to see and eat and do. It’s not often I get to be able to extend a work-trip to cover a weekend but it’s worth it when I do.