france

#105 – Eat Steak Tartare in France

Although popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the (now) modern variation of steak tartare was first served in French restaurants during the early 20th century. This version – which features finely chopped/minced raw beef, onion, capers, raw egg, ground peppers and, on occasion, Worcestershire sauce – is something that I had always wanted to try without ever really knowing why.

However, I knew that the only country I would eat this dish in was France. (more…)

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#46 – Visit the Eiffel Tower, Paris

‘The Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower. They’re monumental.
They’re straight out of Page 52 in your school history book’
–  Billy Crystal

The Eiffel Tower. The “Iron Lady”. A single structure that is synonymous with both Paris and France. This iron behemoth was once the worlds tallest structure, and is as beautiful as it is intimidating. Moreover no visit to Paris can be said to be complete without seeing it and, even though I have been several times now, my most recent visit was my favourite.

Previously I had only ever visited the tower during daylight hours, but Heather reminded me that at night it lights up, with a beacon at its peak, shining through the sky. So on a beautiful autumn evening we found ourselves gazing up at at the illuminated body (more…)

#44 – Visit the Louvre

‘What’s the name of that famous museum in Paris? The Louvre?
I went through that place in 20 minutes’
– Peter Falk

Growing up, the Louvre if often fantasised about as one of the “must-sees” for any trip into Paris – especially for art lovers of all backgrounds. The diversity of styles, and the eras that are represented are well documented, as is the vast underground and overground space that it consumes.

Although I had been to Paris previously, the opportunity to visit the Louvre always escaped me, which I found rather irksome. So, when I went to visit my friend Heather in October 2016, getting to the Louvre was a top priority which – thankfully – she was in agreement with me on. (more…)

Callum’s 2016 Adventures: Paris, France

‘Paris is the only city in the world
where starving to death is still considered an art’
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón

If you haven’t done so already, I would really encourage you to take the Eurostar. Not only does it visit plenty of destinations, if you pick the right trains it can be very inexpensive. For example, my return trip to Paris cost a grand total of £61 – and that includes a £3 booking fee.

The purpose of my visit to Paris was to see a friend of mine – Heather – who I had met in my hostel in Edinburgh. As I had mentioned in that earlier post, I had just clicked with everyone I met in that hostel and – with my upcoming trip to the other side of the world – it felt like an opportunity to good to turn down.

Rather than stay in Paris, I booked an Air BnB in Fourqueux, which can be reached via Saint Germain-En-Laye. I’d 110% recommend staying here as not only is it affordable, but the host is just one of the loveliest people you will meet.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Portes Du Soleil, France Pt.2

For part 1 of my Portes Du Soleil adventure please click here

Day 3: Morzine – Avoriaz 16.01.2015

The Route
Morzine -> Avoriaz ->  Les Brouchaux –> Pointe des Mosettes –> Les Crosets –> Croix du Culet -> Lechereuse -> Les Crosets -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Les Brouchaux -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Pointe de Voriaz -> Avoiraz -> Les Prodains (via Prodains Express) -> Morzine (via coach)
Total Time up Mountain c. 2.5-3hrs

Feeling fresh as a daisy after the previous nights activities – although a little creaky – we followed the same routine as the previous morning; breakfast, a short walk to get our gear and up the Super-Morzine. There hadn’t been any snow over night and the lack of snow was causing a few issues on the slopes, but the real issue was the weather. Diabolical.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Portes Du Soleil, France pt.1

Author’s Note

I’m not really sure how you’d talk about a days skiing because, in reality, all you’re really doing is going up and down a snow covered mountain over and over again with two long things attached to your feet. Still, it’s something I love and enjoy very much so I will give it a go.

The easiest way  for me to describe how skiing feels is for you, the reader, to imagine an activity in which you feel at home. Something that seems like second nature. With skiing, no matter how many people you go with, once you set off down the mountain you’re on your own. It’s just you and the piste. And it’s beautiful. When talking about skiing I have always told those interested that I have never felt more at home than I do on the snow, attacking a nice run down the mountain and this most recent trip to France just reinforced that concept for me. It relaxes me, calms me. Everything seems to slow down and I have all the time in the world. Even the feeling of performing on-stage pales in comparison! I mean, they both give me that rush of adrenaline, but the fresh air, the bite of the cold and the feelings of peace and calm that wash over me definitely tip the scales in skiing’s favour. It’s special. Unique. Something I am sure I will never tire of.

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