Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where frogs are eaten

Paris is only a 3 hour train ride or a 1 hour flight, so finally I made this short trip to see some family visiting there. It was an extremely short weekend with so much to see, looks like another trip is in order.

Pictures include:

  • Outside Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Outside the Louvre
  • Arch De Triumph - In 1806, Napolean, the French emperor who conquered most of Europe at the beginning of the 19th century, decided to build a very big arch of triumph which stands at the top of the Champs-Elysées. The purpose: To gather his Army and have them walk through the arch in front of cheering Parisians after a victorious war… The only problem, the event never happened because Napolean was defeated at Waterloo. What would make a ruler like Napolean bring on this kind of inspiration?
  • Pompidou Modern Art Museum - Jamie and I checked out an exhibit on modern architecture then scoped the works by, Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, Dali, and many more. I'm actually becoming a fan of modern/contemporary art, because seeing the main man Jesus and Mary all the time is becoming a little redundant.
  • The Pantheon - Is now a burial place for famous French heroes. Includes Geneva born, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's tomb. His most popular work is 'The Social Contract', which was a major influence during the time of the French Revolution.
  • The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart) - Fantastic views where Claire and I overlooked the city.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sharing is Caring

Ever give some random stranger your keys to your car and said 'have a go! I'll find another'. Ok, this may sound a little ridiculous, but trading a bike is common in the larger cities around Europe. It is an idea that began spreading in 1995 from Copenhagen, Denmark to all around the world today. Use the bike, you can leave the bike at any bike lot and pick another one up somewhere else.

There is a big bike movement in Paris with the 2007 launch of Velib', the bike sharing program.
"With 10,500 bikes at the end of 2007, expanding to 20,600 in 2008, an even 1,000,000 bikes for 2009. This would surely make Paris the most bike-friendly city in Europe and the world. Parisians are elated by this possibility, however, the citizens of Copenhagen and Amsterdam which are traditionally Europe’s most bike-friendly large cities are revolting."
Source: http://bike-sharing.blogspot.com/

I am a big fan of the bike. Geneva has bike lanes that is always faster than the car traffic. You can even take it on the trains if you want to venture off and explore another town, vineyard or onto a trail in the alps. You will most likely shed a couple belt sizes as well. Best of all... it doesn't take from your wallet.