Northern tours and detours

  

A cautionary tale to all men. Don’t forget the charging cable for you GPS unless you want a photographic tour and detour of wherever it is you might be trying to get to. Especially if she is French and especially if she loves taking photos as much as you do. The day may end up a lot longer than expected and you may end up talking to one too many cows. Still the photos were worth every moment of getting lost.

Cows of the north

'More lost tourists........ Quick look busy before they ask for directions"

Golden field 1

Serenity and piece. What a spot to get lost in

Castle

It's a castle, but it's not the one we are looking for

Your last hope

At least if we wash out to sea we will be ok

Golden field 2

Hang on, this looks familiar. Haven't we been here before?

Distance

Just the other side of that hill. That's were we need to be.... I think!

The better view

Wave at the helicopter. I bet he knows where we are

The beach

What is that over there? Is that the castle we are looking for?

Dunstanburgh castle

Dunstanburgh castle, you found it you smart little French thing

Dunstanburgh castle 2

WOW, just WOW

A place to stay

Maybe we should just see if we can sleep here

'More lost tourists........ Quick look busy before they ask for directions"Serenity and piece. What a spot to get lost inIt's a castle, but it's not the one we are looking forAt least if we wash out to sea we will be okHang on, this looks familiar. Haven't we been here before?Just the other side of that hill. That's were we need to be.... I think!Wave at the helicopter. I bet he knows where we areWhat is that over there? Is that the castle we are looking for?Dunstanburgh castle, you found it you smart little French thingWOW, just WOWMaybe we should just see if we can sleep here

 

French men don’t get fat

  

There is a best selling book you may have heard of, by Mireille Guiliano called “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. This very title kept rolling in my head as I was spending my very first romantic week end in Paris with my girl friend this Easter. And as hours were passing by, I started wondering if by French… she meant Parisians?

Spend sometime on any RER or TGV and you will be reassured that some French women do get fat. I have been there, all squashed against the window as they sit next / on top of you. Just like at home.

No its not French Women but Parisians that don’t get fat, men and women. You see, it is simply impossible, at least without a lot of work and dedicated gluttony, to get fat when you have to walk half a mile just to get your bread. And the French ALWAYS insist on FRESH bread.

I found this out the hard way. Saturday morning and I awake next to my long distance love.  “I will pop out and get une baguette and les croissants, ma chérie” says I, in the hope to impress her with my chivalry. Almost an hour later, I am back with baguette and croissants and she is happy. My feet however are not!

Look how far away we are still. My poor feet!!

Wind the clock forwards to later in the afternoon. After walking the length of the Champ de Mars to the Eiffel Tower and then along the bank of the Seine, she suddenly remembers she had promised her sister to pick up some more Nespresso for the coffee machine. Well… you know, this is not a case where you jump in your car and drive to ASDA. In the French version of this, she grabs my hand, pulls 2 metro tickets out of her handbag, and drags me down the stairs of the closest station.  “Where do we get the coffee ma chérie?” “Nearest shop is on the Champs” says she (NB: les Champs is local slang for Champs Elysées apparently).

By the time I know it, I am changing lines at Châtelet Les Halles, the worlds BIGGEST underground station. Really this thing is massive, looking after something around 750,000 passengers a day. You can walk for half an hour just to change lines, even more if you are blonde and find yourself looking at the wrong train.

Any one with a belly must be a tourist

By now I am thinking I must have lost a good few pounds in weight over the day. Using the mad rush as an excuse we  stopped at a very nice looking Café.

Relaxing and enjoying the simple pleasures in life, a cold beer, my French girl by my side and my throbbing feet were being forgotten about. But then who turned up but the pee pee fairy. Off I go in search of the local convenience only to find it wasn’t in the slightest bit convenient.

Little did I realise that just to use the loo would require climbing up and down 2 flights of stairs. Shattered and exhausted it was becoming very clear that even the belly expanding pastime of beer swilling could not produce excess calories.

Watching the thin and even thinner population of Paris passing by it was clear. It is not French women that don’t get fat, nor is it French men, it’s Parisians. It is almost implausible to think that a Parisian could get fat. A mile walk for bread. Several miles to get to and from the office and even a mammoth task to go for a pee.