9 Fun Facts About Paris

One of the biggest things you get out of travel is the culture. Meeting people, trying new and exotic foods and embracing the manner and lifestyle of the place you visit all can make you feel like you’re part of the country rather than just a visitor.

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When you are an avid traveller, you make a point of embracing new places and one of the best types of break you can have is a city one. It’s more than paying for visas and travel insurance and packing your bags ready for an adventure. Travelling is about the memories and the experiences. You get to immerse yourself in the culture of a new place and city breaks really get you into the heart of the country you’re in.

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Paris is one such place that is dripping in history and culture. There’s so much about France that is more than just Paris and Disneyland, but Paris is the capital city and the cultural factor is huge. There is so much about the City of Love that many do not know, so we’ve put together ten facts about Paris you may not have known:

  1. Did you know that the famous Eiffel Tower was never supposed to be a permanent fixture in the city? It’s one of the most famous world icons that there is and it brings a massive amount of tourism to the city. Originally, the Tower was supposed to stand for twenty years. It was so popular, it’s still there now!
  2. It’s widely believed that Paris only has one stop sign. Is it true? Well, book yourself a trip to Paris and scout around to see if you can find more than one! The one that is widely known is situated at the 16th arrondissement.
  3. Notre Dame is one of Paris’ biggest monuments, and the bells are what makes it so popular. The largest bell in the towers is named Emmanuel and weighs a stunning 13 tonnes.
  4. The Eiffel Tower may not seem tall in the pictures, but it takes 1,665 steps to get to the top if you choose not to use the elevator provided. Who would choose not to use it, though?
  5. French people are famed for their taste, and Paris has over 400,000 trees, making nature a priority in such a city. Every tree in the city is referenced and measured for aesthetics!
  6. Coffee – and food – is a specialty of the French and there are nearly 200 places across the city you can get an espresso for just a Euro!
  7. Paris is lesser known for its shadow town under the southern part of the city. Underground tunnels and galleries are there for your exploration.
  8. You can define Parisians by which side of the Seine they hail from. Most northerners won’t venture south of the river, much like in London!
  9. Paris was originally a Roman city – and it had a much nicer name! Lutetia was what is was known as and the remains are currently buried underground.

There is so much to see in Paris, it’s easy to put together an itinerary and get exploring the city. The city of love, baguettes and art is a wonder that everyone should behold at least once.

 

A True Taste?

The majority of countries have a national dish. That one dish has the power to tell us an awful lot about each country’s values and attitudes. But, it’s getting harder to distinguish what dishes are native. Why? Because the majority of destinations now offer a multi-cultural choice of foods.

Chinese and Indian are top of the list for a surprising majority of Western destinations. Thai food has also been growing in popularity over recent years. While a Thai restaurant would once have been a hard thing to find, there’s now at least one in any major Western city. No one can deny that this variety of food is good for us. We all aim to experience different things, and now we don’t have to travel halfway across the world to do so. But, are these takeaway options an accurate representation of the cuisine in each country? The chances are, a visit to each destination would tell a different story. Let’s look at why.

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INDIAN

Indian is a top takeaway for a lot of us. Who doesn’t love those exotic spices that pack such a punch? But, anyone who’s visited India for real will tell you that authentic Indian food would be a surprise for your tastebuds. In fact, you could go so far as to say that many of the curries we enjoy have never been seen in the country that’s supposedly their origin. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is an English creation which few Indians replicate. The spices we use may be roughly the same, but the tastes created are incredibly different.

CHINESE

Our Chinese taste is a little closer to the real thing, but they’re still not exactly accurate. The Chinese are a resourceful people. As such, they eat a lot of stuff we would never dream of. We’ve all seen Chinese food markets on television. Foods on offer include tuna eyeballs and scorpions to name a few. You don’t find them on a standard Chinese menu, do you?

THAI FOOD

As a newer addition to the takeaway tastes, Thai food is the closest you’ll get to the real deal. But, even that has some variations to suit our sensitive palates. The main difference is that our Thai takeaways come in neat foil containers. In Thailand, though, the majority of food is served in food markets. Large batches are cooked up and placed on display. The experience is a much more inclusive one than our private experiences at home.

So you see, eating exotic takeaway is far from the real taste of a country. Don’t think you’ve experienced the cuisine of a place because you’ve eaten a home-produced variation. Nothing beats jetting off and experiencing the cuisine of a country first-hand. You’ll learn a lot about the values of the nation as a whole that way. Plus, you’ll find yourself living life like the locals. If you want to know what matters in a country, there’s no better way than taking a taste of what’s on offer there.

Vancouver: Spiritual Home Of The Adrenaline Junkie

Vancouver was once considered the best city to live in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The city itself is beautiful and wealthy.

But that’s not all the city has to offer. The furnished apartments in Vancouver central and the outer suburbs provide a great base for the surrounding countryside – an epic adventure land for adrenaline junkies.

Epic Hike Up Blackcomb Mountain

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Wikipedia

To the East of Vancouver are thousands of miles of mountainous terrain including, of course, the Blackcomb Mountain. The mountain itself is more than 6000 feet tall, making it one of the highest in the area. Not only that, but it’s also home to one of Canada’s highest restaurants, the Crystal Hut which serves up baked dinners to tired hikers near the summit. The views from the top of the mountain are pretty spectacular, and if you do make the climb, you’ll be treated to a panoramic backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty.

Kitesurfing Paradise At The Spit In Squamish

Another favorite spot in the backcountry beyond Vancouver is the kitesurfing destination at The Spit in Squamish. To get to the Spit, you’ll have to take on some of Canada’s most rugged dirt and gravel roads, but once you get there, it’s totally worth it. Although it’s inland, the lake has a sort of beach vibe: it’s laid back, and it’s all about people letting their hair down and having fun. It’s arguable a better experience than going to the beach, however, thanks to the stunning views and the tranquil waters of the lake. If you go along at the right time, you can catch a glimpse of surfing competitions and watch the pros compete to be the best kite surfers in all of North America.

Hiking Trails In Squamish

Squamish is home to a beautiful lake, but it’s also surrounded by mountains, making it a great place to go hiking too. There are dozens of trails which lead off in all directions from the lake and take you right out into the Canadian wilderness. The area is one of outstanding natural beauty, and there is little evidence of human impact on the land. As a result, you get to experience nature in its raw beauty. For animal lovers, it’s a great opportunity to go animal spotting. Here you’re likely to see deer, otters, beavers, all sorts of different kinds of fish as well as the odd bird of prey.

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The most adventurous hikers will want to heave to the summit of Stawamus Chief. This climb is a lot harder than the climb to the top of Squamish.

Lynn Canyon Park

Another beauty spot outside of the city is Lynn Canyon Park. Thanks to the geological features of the park, it’s home to some stunning lakes and pools. One of them, the 30 Foot Pool, is a great place to take a plunge and cool off on a hot summer’s day. The waters are as clear as they could possibly be, and when the sun reflects off the rock underneath, they take on an azure blue-green tinge that feels oh so tropical.

A Night In The Great Outdoors Made Simple

Camping is one of those things that people tend to either love or hate. You may think that camping isn’t for you if you’ve been used to 5-star luxury on all your vacations thus far, and you may be of the opinion that it can’t possibly ever be comfortable. But this is where you may be wrong. The concept of camping as a viable holiday has blown up in recent years, partially due to the increased cost of spending a week in a luxury resort. Plus, more and more people are becoming increasingly interested in getting away from city life to a more rural setting – and camping is something that can deliver on this front. Thanks to the expanding camping market, there are now more products than ever available to make your nights under canvas as full of comfort as possible. Still, aren’t convinced that a tent can be your home away from home? Here’s everything you need for a great night’s sleep while camping, guaranteed.

A waterproof tent

Your tent is arguably the most important part of your entire camping set-up. It’s your vessel and your home for the weekend, or for however long you are spending al fresco. There are plenty of different types available now to meet just about everybody’s needs. When it comes to tents, it is worth it to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. Cheap tents are exactly that: cheap and flimsy, and will probably let you down within seconds of you erecting them. Spend a little more money on a quality tent, and you won’t be disappointed. Look for something with multiple sections if you’re sharing with others, and a porch section, so you have somewhere to put your muddy boots. Finally, a double skinned tent with a high HH rating is essential, so you’ll stay dry and cozy whatever the weather.

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A sleeping mat

Sleeping on the ground isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, even with a groundsheet between you and the earth. If you want to feel like you’re right back at home in your bed, go for a blow-up mattress. Sure, it takes a while to inflate them, but there’s nothing quite like coming back from a long hike and being able to flop onto a soft, squashy bed. If you’re trying to travel light, visit a site like Score Survival for more information on alternatives to mattresses. Mats and pads are often just as good and take up far less room too.

Something to sleep in

Forget bringing your duvet from home and throwing your thickest sweater on; when you’re camping, you need plenty of solid insulation throughout the night. A sleeping bag is the only real way to achieve this level of warmth and comfort, so look for one with a high warmth rating. It can also be worth investing in sleeping bag liners – as that way, if you do end up getting too hot (in the mornings for example), you can simply wriggle out of the bag and just sleep in the liner.

Famous Quotes on Famous European Cities

Well, let’s just say this is more like a research post. I was looking up some cities in Europe and got distracted by what famous people have to say about some of my favorite cities from that continent. And boom, I thought I should put together all these nice quotes with some of my pictures, that maybe somehow represent those sayings. Again, it’s hard to pick and choose most appealing cities of Europe, but here are some of my tops ones:

  1. Prague: “The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plaster-work and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Mozart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.” ―Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone 
Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

2. London: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. ” – Samuel Johnson

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Millennium Bridge on River Thames in London

3. Venice: “There is still one of which you never speak.’Marco Polo bowed his head.’Venice,’ the Khan said.Marco smiled. ‘What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?’The emperor did not turn a hair. ‘And yet I have never heard you mention that name.’ And Polo said: ‘Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.” ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

One of the inner canals of Venice, look at those beautifully decorated windows

One of the inner canals of Venice, look at those beautifully decorated windows

4. Rome: “Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”
– Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter

Trevi Fountain - The largest and the most spectacular fountain of Rome

Trevi Fountain – The largest and the most spectacular fountain of Rome

5. Paris: “Paris has history, it has art, it has wonderful architecture, it has literature, but much more important than all these, it has freedom! If a city cannot offer freedom to its dwellers, all its other beauties will be meaningless!”  ―  Mehmet Murat Ildan

Moulin Rouge in Paris

Moulin Rouge in Paris

6. Granada: “How lazily the sun goes down in Granada, it hides beneath the water, it conceals in the Alhambra!” – Ernest Hemingway

Alhambra overlooking Granada

Alhambra overlooking Granada

7. Amsterdam: “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” – John Green

Endless canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands

Endless canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands

8. Salzburg: “Framed by mountains, crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress and divided by the turquoise Salzach River, the Salzburg landscape is pure drama.” – Frommers

Stunning view of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Fortress

Stunning view of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Fortress

9. Edinburgh: “Edinburgh suited Ann; she liked the tall, dignified buildings of grey stone, the short days that sank into street-lamped evenings at five o’clock, and the dual personality of the city’s main street, which on one side had glittering shops and on the other the green sweep of Princes Street Gardens.” ― Maggie O’Farrell, After You’d Gone

Walking on Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Walking on Royal Mile in Edinburgh

10. Copenhagen: ” If Copenhagen were a person, that person would be generous, beautiful, elderly, but with a flair. A human being that has certain propensities for quarreling, filled with imagination and with appetite for the new and with respect for the old – somebody who takes good care of things and of people.” – Connie Nielsen

Burst of colors in Nyhavn (New Harbor) of Copenhagen, Denmark

Burst of colors in Nyhavn (New Harbor) of Copenhagen, Denmark

 

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