The Gigantic Stork Nests on the Rooftops of France’s Grand-Est

Across the Alsace region in north-eastern France, near the German border, the houses and chimneys are topped with special platforms. These are to accommodate the resident stork population (Les cigognes blanches), 1-metre tall migrating birds with long, slender beaks. Their elaborate nests on the rooftops can be gigantic – weighing 500kg and almost as large … More The Gigantic Stork Nests on the Rooftops of France’s Grand-Est

The Zouave Infantryman Of Paris – How One Statue Measures The Seine Flooding

There’s a statue in Paris that indicates how badly the Seine is flooding. Water level at his feet? No problem. Waist deep? Time to get very concerned. Shoulders submerged? Evacuate the paintings of The Louvre! Over his head? Time to take a boat to work! The statue is a Zouave infantryman, a form of light … More The Zouave Infantryman Of Paris – How One Statue Measures The Seine Flooding

Renting a SADcar in Iceland – My Experience Driving A Second-Hand Car Around Route 1

Meet Sick Car, our transportation around Iceland. It was the nickname we gave to a little Toyota-that-could, which we rented from Icelandic car rental company SADcars. SADcars is a car rental company that rents fairly new, second hand cars at very low prices, perfect for budget visitors who can’t afford hundreds of Euros for a … More Renting a SADcar in Iceland – My Experience Driving A Second-Hand Car Around Route 1

Gothic Cathedrals – Appreciating Europe’s Medieval Masterpieces

The Gothic style of architecture, which rose to prominence in the mid-twelfth century, represented a revolutionary new way of building cathedrals. Architects and builders during the High Middle Ages employed new architectural techniques, allowing buildings to be taller, with large stained glass windows, grandiose displays of sunlight and lofty interior spaces to amaze visitors. The … More Gothic Cathedrals – Appreciating Europe’s Medieval Masterpieces

The Cannonball Lodged in the Wall of the Hotel de Sens

On the 28th of July, 1830, a cannon was aimed at the Hôtel de Sens in Paris. The powder exploded, and the projectile, a lump of iron weighing several kilograms, collided with the stone with a hefty thunk. Instead of breaking the stone or bouncing off harmlessly, it embedded into the side of the hotel, … More The Cannonball Lodged in the Wall of the Hotel de Sens

The Tumbleweeds Living in Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

One of the most well-known and beloved bookstores in Paris is the Shakespeare and Company, tucked away in the shadow of the Notre Dame in the 5th arrondissement. In operation since 1951, Shakespeare and Company is an independent store specialising in English language books. But inbetween the shelves, you might find something unexpected – beds, … More The Tumbleweeds Living in Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

Roman Ruins in Paris: Wandering through the Arènes de Lutèce

With a muffled thunk, the petanque ball landed in the sand of the arena, landing next to another heavy steel ball. Sheltered from the stress and the noise of Paris, there’s often a group of older gentlemen playing petanque in the sands of the Arènes de Lutèce, a little-known Roman ruin in Paris. It’s a … More Roman Ruins in Paris: Wandering through the Arènes de Lutèce

Christmas In Haarlem – What To Do, Eat And See In The Spaarnestad

The Dutch city of Haarlem comes alive during Christmas, with the arrival of markets, parades, and of course, the arrival of Sinterklaas. It’s a time to explore the lights and decorations in the old town, eating gourmetten with family, going crazy with sweets such marzipan and pepernoten, For visitors and locals alike, spending Christmas in … More Christmas In Haarlem – What To Do, Eat And See In The Spaarnestad

Le Défenseur Du Temps – The One-Ton Automated Clock in Paris

In the quiet backstreets near Musée Georges Pompidou is one of Paris’ most unusual clocks – the Defender of Time (Défenseur du Temps). The clock is a mechanical scene of a brass warrior swinging a sword at a crab, a bird, and a dragon. Every hour from 9am to 10pn, the clock would initiate a … More Le Défenseur Du Temps – The One-Ton Automated Clock in Paris

Unusual Things To Do In Paris – A Closer Look At Paris’ Lesser-Known Sights

Paris is a city with endless secrets to discover. Visitors to the city naturally start their trip by exploring their favourite artworks in the Louvre, photographing the Eiffel Tower, and shopping in the Marais. But, for those looking for some more interesting, quirky, and lesser-known things to see, Paris has much more on offer. The … More Unusual Things To Do In Paris – A Closer Look At Paris’ Lesser-Known Sights