Travelog

FROM The man in the front seat / April 11, 2016

Saint-Jean-de-Luz

General Located at the mouth of the river Nivelle, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of the most visited place in the French Basque Country with it hugging one side of a sheltered bay. Throughout its history its beauty has attracted Kings and nobles with the highlight being the marriage of Louis XIV of France to Maria-Theresa in 1660. History Saint-Jean has been documented since the 11th century with its sailors hunting Whales off the coast of Labrador in Newfoundland. By the 15 century they had taken control of the cod fisheries which […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 6, 2015

Montmartre & it’s artists (Paris)

General Located on a 130m (425ft) hill in the north of Paris, Montmartre is one of the true icons of Paris. The district is famed for Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which crowns the hill, the church of Sainte Pierre de Montmartre, which claims to be where the Jesuit order was founded and of course it’s Place du Tertre, home of the artists. The districts present name recalls the martyrdom of Saint Denis, Bishop of Paris and today Patron Saint of France, who was decapitated there around 250AD thus giving […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 6, 2015

Giverny & Monet’s Gardens (Paris)

General Located on the right bank of the river Seine about 80km (50mi) west of the city of Paris lies the village of Giverny. This picturesque village was chosen by Claude Monet to be the location of his home and wonderful gardens which he would eventually immortalise on his canvases. Monet’s Arrival In 1883, Monet was passing through Giverny on a train and was very impressed with what he saw. He decided to return where he rented a small cottage, and its gardens, before raising enough money to buy the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 8, 2014

The Louvre (Paris)

With more the 60,600m² (652,300ft²) of floor space make the Louvre the one of the largest Museums in the world. As a result almost 10 million people visit each year to admire some of the 380,000 objects the museum has in its collection. The Building When people think of museums they normally think of stale, sterile almost hospital like structures, no in Paris. The Louvre is housed in the Louvre Palace, a fortress begun in the 12th century by the then King Phillip II and once residence of the King […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 6, 2014

Moulin Rouge (Paris)

Paris at the end of the 19th century was a place full of progress and optimism, industry was booming to the point where World Fairs were held in 1889, with unveiling of the Eiffel Tower and again in 1900, which gave us the expresso machine. This period in France would be later referred to ask Belle Époque or in English the “Beautiful Era” Origins It was in this atmosphere that on 6th October 1889, the Moulin Rouge opened in the Jardin de Paris at the base of Montmartre on the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 18, 2013

Éze Village – views to die for

Sitting up on its little ridge 427m (1401ft) above the Mediterranean, Éze village is without doubt one of the most impressive villages located on the French Riviera. The village is renown for its small shops and art galleries as well as attracting thousands of tourist who come to admire its views of the Mediterranean. It has been proven than man has occupied this site since 2000B.C, anyone who controlled this area has contributed to the history of Èze from the Phonecians, the Turks, the Genoans, the Monaguesqes and now the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 18, 2013

Café Terrace at Night – Vincent van Gogh

In mid September 1888 Vincent Van Gogh painted one of his most iconic scenes – Café Terrace at Night. Also known as – Café Terrace on the Place du Forum the painting now forms part of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. Today, visitors to Place de Forum in the Provençal town of Arles can still stand in the exact location where Vincent set up his easel all those years ago. Vincent, along with others of the impressionist and post-impressionist genre, was infatuated with colour and the effect that […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 12, 2013

The Lourdes Grotto – home of the faithful

On the 11 February 1858 a young girl, by the name of Bernadette Soubirous, had a vision of the Virgin Mary revealed herself with the words “I am the immaculate conception”. Bernadette would have 17 more such visions up to 16 July that same year. Four years later the visions where declared authentic by Pope Pius IX in 1862 and thus beginning the veneration of Mary Our Lady of Lourdes. These visions took place in the Massabielle grotto and today, along with other religious sites constructed within the Sanctuary, are […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 10, 2013

Château Chenonceau – The Ladies Château

The Loire Valley is renown for many things but standing head and shoulders above all else are its beautiful chateaus. Chateau Chenonceau would have to be one of the most romantic chateaus located in the Loire, spanning the river Cher, Chenonceau was for almost 100 years the centre of courtly life with numerous parties attracting nobility from not only all over France but all over Europe. Although having been begun in 1411 the Chateau gained it present form from the middle of the 16 century when the King of France, […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 9, 2013

Louvre Pyramid (Paris)

La Pyramid du Louvre was designed by the Chinese-American I.M. Pei, who also is responsible for the National Art Gallery in Washington, The Rock & Roll Museum in Cleveland and the Miho Museum in Japan, and today forms the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. It is located in the Main Courtyard (Cour Napoleon) and was commissioned by Francois Mitterand, the then French President, and took only 5 years to complete being finished in 1989. It was created because the Louvre original main entrance could no longer handle the amount […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 24, 2013

Eiffel Tower (Paris)

Location: Paris,  France Construction begun: 1887 Construction finished: 889 Opened: 31 March 1889 Contractor: Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel Engineer: Gustave Eiffel / Maurice Koechlin / Émile Nouguier Architect: Stephen Sauvestre Purpose: Built for the World Fair of 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution Total Height: 24m (1063ft), equivalent to an 81 storey building Foundations: 4 x 2m (6ft) x 6m (20ft) thick concrete slabs N.B. – the two foundations closest to the river are supported on 2 piles measuring 6m (20ft) wide x 15m (72ft) deep […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 23, 2013

Palace of Versailles (Paris)

Located 20km southwest of Paris is, the once sleepy, village of Versailles. In 1624 Louis XIII built a small hunting lodge in the village after having made several trips to the area to hunt with Albert de Gondi. Eight years later he enlarged the lodge tuning it into a modest château (summer home). His successor however, Louis XIV,  then turned it into one of the largest palaces in the world. In May 1664 Louis held a fair, Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée (Pleasures of the Enchanted Island), and he needed accommodation […]

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