Good Spots In Paris

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Thursday, July 1 2010

Soccer World Cup

Sport The French soccer team has been eliminated from the World Cup in South Africa last week... After another defeat against the host nation our team, coached by Raymond Domenech, came home dead last in the group A and that's not the worst part of it. In fact I don't know what's the worst part of it : having one of our good players (Nicolas Anelka) excluded from the team for having insulted the coach in private ? having the team refusing to perform their daily training session to protest against this exclusion ? having our coach refusing to shake hands with the oposite team's coah at the end of the last match ? seeing our national team playing the worst soccer ever whereas all the players are individually good ?...I don't know.

But I do know what's good about all this (there's always hope !) : After six loooooong years Raymond Domenech is finally fired and will never ever coach our national team again !!! Maybe the French team'll start playing soccer again now. Moreover having our team eliminated from this world cup brings a second little piece of joy : I don't have to hear vuvuzelas anymore :-D !

Thursday, July 30 2009

A piece of Brittany

Gwen ha du As I told you recently : I'm going to Brittany in august ! And as I love this place I'm making a blog post out of it (sorry dudes, one more post not directly related to Paris but France...and a little bit to Ireland to as you'll see ;) )

So, first of all : where the hell is Brittanny ? It's in France, west coast (and even if it's "west coast" it's not exactly like LA :) !). On the map below it's the brown/red part surrounded with water ("La manche" on the North shore, which keeps GB apart from the rest of Europe, and the Atlantic Ocean on the South, which separates Europe from...America). There is a red part and brown parts because I wanted to be a little more precise about where I'm going : I'm going in the red part (I know : you had already guessed). This red part is called "Cote d'Armor" and even if the whole Brittany is historically a Celtic nation I like to think that this part is even more Celtic than the rest :)

Cote d'armor (as usual, Paris is more or less in the center of the green dot)

If you don't know anything about the Celtic nation I can give you some keywords to google : Ireland, St Patrick, and Celts ;) (here's the link with Ireland I was talking about at the beginning of this blog post ;) ). Every year in Brittany there is a big meeting where Celts from all over the world gather (Ireland, Brittany, North coast of Spain, ...) and it's definitely worth it...but I'm not going to see it in august ;) (Gotcha here, right ;) ?! You really thought I was going to say something like "and I'm going to see it :p" ?!). In fact in august I'll sail (Brittany is a great great great place to sail, even if it's considered like not an easy place to sail), and I'll rest (a lot !).

I could go on for hundreds of line about Brittany (for example : where in Paris are living people who immigrated from Brittany, or what they drink in Brittany, and so on and so forth), but I'll keep my others ideas for subsequent blog post :) ! So I'll conclude and hope that reading this blog post made you wish to learn a bit more about this cool place (or maybe about the relationships between Ireland and this part of France ? Or maybe about their great greasy cooking and where you can find some in Paris ;) ?)

PS : oh, by the way, the little black&white flag at the very top of this blog post is called "Gwen ha du" and it's the flag of Brittany.

Sunday, July 26 2009

Little trips to come

I think I've never talked to you about anywhere else in France then Paris, right ? I did talked to you about the main train stations in the town, but not quite about where you can go from there, and I think it's the right time to do so :) For this first "out of Paris" post I won't go very far as I'll stick to France (no Europe overview yet ;) ), so don't be too afraid to get lost ;)

Vendee - Region of France The first place I'll introduce : Vendée. "Vendée" is a costal region of the West of France you can see in red on the map beside (Paris being in the middle of the green dot, if you've forgotten). The two main reasons you would want to go there (in my opinion) are : historical monuments and beaches.

In fact, those are two of the reasons I'm going to spend a weekend there next week :) !!! Me and 3 friends of mine are leaving Paris (by car) at around 6pm, and should arrive there before midnight to be ready to enjoy the "puy du fou" and the beaches for the whole weekend ! I know, you're wondering what the "puy du fou" is, don't worry I'll explain : it's kind of a park which theme is the history of this region of France, so if you like middle-age, kings, knights, vikings, and peons, you'd like to go there (sometimes it's cool to live in an old country ;) ! ). After a whole day at the "puy du fou", we'll spend the second one at the beach I think, and we'll then drive back to Paris before the end of the weekend :)

Vendee - What I'll see there

It will definitely be a busy weekend, and I'll have to really get motivated to wake up on the following monday and go to work but it'll be cool to have a "beach break" with friends :) ...and after all it's not going to be my "real" holidays : I'm going to a special place of Brittany in august for 5 days, and to a town in the south of France for 3 days...but that's other stories (soon to come on this blog ;) )

Saturday, July 18 2009

14th of July

French Flag Yeap, you read it correctly : it's the fourteenth of July I'm going to talk about, not the fourth of july, and even if we're the 18th. Why ? Because the 14th of July is an important day in France. In fact it's the French national holiday (funny it's so close to the US one right ;) ?)

So, what happens in France in the 14th of July (which was last week) ? First of all : we do not work :D As this year the 14th was a Tuesday I let you guess how many French people decided to go on vacations "only Monday" ;) ... : this Monday we were only two at work (in a team of twelve). Second thing that happens every 14th of July : a Firework :) !

I know all this may sound a little bit like "it's a national holiday, end of story"...but hey, I can't do anything about it lol ! One more thing that happens every 14th of July : military parades ! That's something you can't miss if you ever end up being in France a 14th of July. By the way if you're in Paris and you planed to go on the "Champs Elysées" (most famous avenue in Paris[1]) try not to plan it for a 14th of July : that's were the parade takes place so no shopping's possible ;)

Last big event taking place the 14th of July : "Le bal des pompiers" (i don't know any translation for that). It's basically a ball that's organized by firemen (usually one ball per firemen station) for "everyday people" (nothing formal :) ). If I translate it word by word it's "firemen's ball" :) Usually young ladies like to go and have a dance or two there because firemen have quite a lot of muscles (true story), and young men like to go there two because...ladies are there :) !! So in the end a lot of different people go and have a dance or two there, it's quite a friendly atmosphere :) !

Well...that's it. We've seen the biggest events happening the 14th of July in France :) ....Oh no ! I almost forgot one : there's usually a big concert around the Eiffel Tower in Paris, just a couple of hours before the beginning of the firework. This year it was a concert by "Johny Hallyday", whom you can't have heard about if you're not French, or at least European, but it's a big big big star here in France (even if I must confess he's a little old fashioned and I'm really not a big fan...).

And to conclude : If you want to know what we celebrate the 14th of July go check wikipedia, I'm not in the mood for telling you that ! Just kidding lolllll : long story short we celebrate a storming battle around a fortress-prison (called "La Bastille") during revolution (18th century), which in the end allowed France to switch from monarchy to republic[2].

Notes

[1] It's in the middle of the green area of this map

[2] As you can see, I'm not always in the mood for History lol. Sorry about that.

Sunday, June 28 2009

Too hot to blog

Sunset As you may have noticed the past week was quite poor in terms of blogging for me. The reasons are numerous but one of them may interest you : it's too damn hot to blog...and I'm not yet on holidays so it's even hotter because I'm suited up all day at work :( !

Just to give you some landmarks what I call "too hot to blog" in Paris is 30°C (around 86°F), even if it's a temperature we reach every summer I'm still not used to it here in town (as much as I love Paris when it's 30°C I'd rather be on the beach..and/or eating ice cream ;) !). So let me apologize one last time for not having blogged lately, I'll post more in the coming days as my others reasons not to blog vanishes (at least I hope they will ^_^ !).

And to conclude this very small post : Rest In Peace Michael Jackson :(

Sunday, June 14 2009

Guinness Tavern

Tavern My favorite beers are definitely Guinness, and I don't know for others country but, sadly, here in France not every bar serves Guinness. Anyway don't worry anymore (if you ever started to ;) ) I'll give you the address of one of my favorite places to drink Guinness in Paris, and it's called : the Guinness Tavern !

It's a nice pub in the center of Paris where you can drink Guinness (as well as 14 other beers) and listen to music (usually played by a live band !!!). The musical style is definitely "rock" from the 60's to nowadays so you may end up singing out loud with the bands because you know all the songs ;)

Well, I know their website looks a "little" messy but make no mistake : the pub itself is spick and span, and this website is useful as you'll find there which bands are planned when, the dates of their next "special theme nights" and, of course, their address :

31, rue des Lombards
Metro Chatelet RER Les Halles
75001 PARIS

Wednesday, June 10 2009

After the Jolly Roger

Pirate Party Last weekend where the elections for the European Parliament. I'll spoil the results right now : the conservatives globally won. Now that this is spoiled I can talk about the funny thing I had in mind when writing the title of this article : what happened in Sweden :)

The Pirate Party ("Piratpartiet" in swedish), which is a Swedish political party vaguely related to the Pirate Bay and to cyberpiracy in general, had enough votes to send a deputy to the European Parliament !!! Sounds crazy, don't you think :) ?! Crazy but true : they do have a seat.

This party got arount 7% of the votes in Sweden , and is the first party among voters younger than 30. Funny thing : you can't tell if this party is right of left wing as they have absolutely no program for anything else than :

  • reforming copyrights law
  • protect privacy (both online and in everyday life)
  • improve transparency in the state administration.

And do you know the more astonishing about it ;) ? It's that nobody talks about it in the traditional media in France. You can find articles about it everywhere online, but turn on your french TV to see the news : all that you'll hear about the elections is that the right wing won and the left wing lost hard...Maybe we should see there a political will to deny the existence of "piracy" in the internet...shameful :(

PS : the title "after the jolly roger" refers to the fact that after having used a jolly roger for some times the Pirate Bay adopted a stylized "P" that the Pirate Party adopted just after, you can see it at the top of this article ;)

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