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Most read in 2013

I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to my blog stats, but since I noticed a few interesting questions that landed readers to the blog (and planning to write a post on that soon), I thought, why not make a list of ten most read blog posts of 2013? This should also fall nicely into the end-of-year-listicle phenomenon, so this is my minor contribution ;)

A number of general observations: the posts are mostly Paris-related, the number one post had been read more than the other nine combined (just to show how often it has also been searched for people needing such information), and these posts were mostly published in the first half of the year – I suppose those later in the year haven’t got the equal amount of exposure time thus not as widely read yet.


10. Daytrip: Paris to Amiens

Since I had a little free time on my hand (and I needed to grab some points for my SNCF frequent traveller status) I went to Amiens for the day to see the famed cathedral and to suss out the city in general. With a journey time of just over an hour, it’s a very do-able day trip from Paris. I wished I had opted for a late return rather than one in the late afternoon, for I lacked time to check out the Hortillonnages.

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Le Croisic

Early this month, Frédéric and I were back in his hometown in (historical) Brittany and taking advantage of the opportunity to see another part of the region which I don’t know, I suggested an afternoon visit to Le Croisic. Situated at the tip of the Guérande peninsula (just a little further down from Le Pouliguen and Batz-sur-Mer), it is a beautiful small town but a little on the quiet side during the winter – the visitors won’t be coming in until warmer summer months.

But first, we made a pit stop at Plage Valentin of Batz-sur-Mer, which we didn’t visit previously. It is not named after St Valentin (sorry to burst some romance bubble there) but rather, it was introduced by a certain Monsieur Killian who was nicknamed Valentin to be a small “bathing therapy” resort. It gained popularity and the venture took off. Today though, it is favoured by families for beach holiday, given the relative calm of water in this bay in comparison to the other beaches along the coast.

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

Le Croisic

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A peek at Pornic

When we left for Brittany, in the train, I told Frédéric that we must go to La Trinitaine at some point during the weekend we were there. I was flexible for any activities that he could think of, but I absolutely could not come back without my favourite goodies from the shop – nougats tendres au caramel au beurre salé. It has been many moons since I finished the packet that I bought in Guérande and the hankering was getting stronger. Unfortunately for me, La Trinitaine is not available in Paris. (Ok, I could have ordered online but we were going to be in the region anyway, you know…)

This search also gave us a good excuse to visit yet another town within the vicinity of F’s hometown. Instead of revisiting Guérande, we decided to head to Pornic for a little walk-about. The weather was less co-operative in comparison to the previous day when we were out for the long walk at the Côte Sauvage. The sun and the rain battled to trump one another. As a result, most of the photos I took were less than brilliant, but here are some anyway ;)

(Hover over the images for captions)

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Côte Sauvage: from Le Pouliguen to Batz-sur-Mer

Weather in Brittany is supposedly similar to the Irish’s, mostly rain-related, but I find a rather dissimilar point between them – in Ireland, we often get drizzle all day long whereas in Brittany, rain and sunny spell alternate in bursts. This trip round, I’ve been lucky. It rained when we were in cars etc, and it shined when we were out for walks. Long walks even.

One of the afternoons, Nico joined us for a walk at the Côte Sauvage. We trekked along the coastal cliff/path from Le Pouliguen to Batz-sur-Mer, and it took just a little over 2 hours in each directions after factoring in photo breaks as well as pauses to watch the surfers taming the waves that crashed in seemingly haphazardly.

Here are some photos from the day, and I love the last few on sunset. So dramatic, for something quite fleeting. ;)

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Daytrip from Paris: Chartres

Paris is wonderful. However, once in a while, it is also nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Even within a mere hour or so of travelling time (and I’m not talking about getting to the airport in order to be jet away!), there are possibilities aplenty. For those without a car, fret not, the rail system is extremely efficient and exploring France couldn’t be made any easier! Taking advantage of rare sunny spring days last weekend, we decided a day-trip to Chartres – famed for its magnificent 12th-century Gothic cathedral – should be the order of the day.

Given the impromptu nature of our decision (made on Friday, trip on Saturday), we bought our tickets at Gare Montparnasse just before our elected departure time and paid about €30 per person for return tickets (specifically, €14.90 each way). There were trains scheduled nearly every hour in both directions, which left us with a very flexible timetable on when to leave and when to return. Needless to say, we were not at all prepared and without even a basic map, we set forth on our adventure.

Médiathèque l’Apostrophe


Monument Jean Moulin

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