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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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Postcards: Amiens Cathedral (FR)

The largest cathedral in France (you could put two Notre Dame de Paris in it!) also possesses the tallest nave for a complete cathedral in the country. It stood proud before me on a glorious Wednesday morning when I was in Amiens and yet I was at lost on photographing it with Frédéric’s few-days-old camera. The small manual that I’ve grabbed on my way out of our apartment sat in my bag; I didn’t have the time to consult it page by page, nor the patience to. I would just have to make do somehow.

Amiens Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral which construction began in the 1220 under the instruction of Bishop Evrard de Fouilly, while three architects – Robert de Luzarches, Thomas de Cormont, and Renaud de Cormont – oversaw the works. These men are commemorated through an octogonal plate embedded within the floor of the cathedral, enclosed within a labyrinth. Standing at 112.7m in height, its nave stretched an impressive 42.3m, giving it the real meaning (esp back in the 13th century) of reaching for God and the heaven. With multicoloured stained glass and imposing sculptures that recount religious stories to the populace, the cathedral in its entirety was deemed worthy to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

(Hover over photos as usual for captions)

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

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Daytrip from Paris: Amiens

I must admit, I didn’t know much about Amiens. In fact, even after visiting the capital city of Picardy, I still have much to learn about it. My daytrip happened very much out of coincidence, suggested by Anne when we were chatting one day while I was searching for an interesting place not far from Paris that I could visit. At that point, I’ve been working on getting myself upgraded from the status of Voyageur to Grand Voyageur with the national train company, SNCF, and I was just a couple of train rides short from making it.

Travel time between Paris-St Lazare and Amiens takes just a little over an hour on the inter-city train, and as the train pulled into the station of Amiens, I could spot the one dominant building in the skyline – the Amiens Cathedral. My plan for the day then was to visit the cathedral, the historical centre of Amiens, and the Hortillonnages. I wish there was a walking tour that I could join, but a quick check on the eve of my visit showed that the sole walking tour available for the months of September to June runs only on Saturday afternoons. Visiting on a Wednesday, I was out of luck.

Amiens train station

Le Carlton

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Project 365 – Week 23

With a blink of an eye, we’re nearly half-way through the year. It feels like it should be summer already, but the weather is not showing signs of this sort, preferring to swing to and fro between a real scorcher of a day and a horribly wet one. Elsewhere, heavy rain had flooded numerous central European cities and towns, and those in the French Riviera were greeted by tornadoes! Sort of make me glad that we’re only dealing with either sunshine or rain in Paris.

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Hotel Belloy

3 Jun: The beauty of buildings in Paris often lies in lines and symmetry, but that doesn’t necessarily means something square or rectangular. Instead, they radiate in accordance to the layout of the streets. Paris doesn’t do organised repetitive blocks, which inevitably means a large number of apartments come with irregular shapes and could render them quite tricky to decorate on the interior or to maximise whatever little space there is in an apartment. Small hotels would have an even tougher time trying to fit, say, an ensuite bathroom in…

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