Today I found myself with the desire to search for les petits urbains détails and I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a nice way to get reacquainted with where you live and I also discovered lots of bands, events, political zines, and weird little french panneaux etc.
So recently I took a tour of the Reims Cathedral towers, and being a little (VERY) afraid of heights, it was a mix of terror and pleasure as experiences go.
The stairwell was enclosed which helped somewhat, as if I can’t see the heights I am ascending to I can pretend it’s not really happening. Off we trekked up 296 steps – yeow! The legs were sore in the evening. I got a little panicky towards the end as it’s hard if you have any physical sense of travel to pretend you’re not high when you’ve been climbing steps for maybe five minutes!! When we reached the top we were placed between the two bell towers like this.
So I thought to myself, okay, okay, no worries. Then Mr Justin-Bieber-hairtour guide says follow me out here to the balcony. My legs don’t want to work but they go. Luckily there’s a seat so I just sit there and stare at my knees, ignoring the beautiful view. French boy is not vertigo challenged (that doesn’t make sense, I made it up alright!) so here’s a few shots.
And my own personal favourite, situated around the other side of the Cathedral at which point I had managed to relax myself a small bit, there was a house sat on top of a building! Epic. A garden, a balcony, and a view of the cathedral, not too shabby. Continue reading →
Lille has the fourth-largest metropolitan area behind Paris, Lyon and Marseille, with an urban population over one million. It lies very close to the Franco-Belgian border, and it attracts students to it’s many universities from all over Europe. The atmosphere of Lille is the furthest I’ve encountered from a typical French city so far and that’s no bad thing! It felt a little more like Amsterdam in it’s ambiance, it’s shops, architecture and demography; throw in a tram and a canal and you’re good to go. But of course no one wants another Amsterdam, every great city is great because there shouldn’t be another like it. It’s the same for Lille, and while I didn’t spend enough time there to really get a feel for the place I would venture to say it’s one of my favourite places that I’ve visited so far in France. What can I say I’m a sucker for a big, bustling city. It didn’t feel as safe as other places I’ve visited but that’s one of the disadvantages of a big city anywhere in the world.
The light was just stunning on La Mairie around sunset, I don’t know if it’s the colour of the stone in France or the light but it’s really spectacular at dusk (visit the Pantheon in Paris at sunset after a sunny day and you will understand).Continue reading →