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10 step guide to Paris

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archived in Tips, fun activities ideas, love and romance

Now that the main juice of the summer, the sweet nectar has been syruped up, it’s time to pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, and get planning those autumn mini-breaks away!

It would be so sad to say good bye to the summer if autumn wasn’t so damn pretty! So as the more orangey sun grazes on the crunchy autumn leaves, it’s time to start thinking about where you would really enjoy spending the most romantic and aesthetically pleasing of the seasons.

Charming, elegant, full of class and culture… Where could you go? Paris, of course! Where every individual molecule hanging in the incensed air quivers with romance.

Located in the heart of the Île de France, Paris is easily accessible from the main European cities thanks to the many low cost airlines that fly there.

Moreover, as we have repeated many times now, you can save money by swapping your home with some Parisian type eager to visit the beautiful country … we have over 1500 French houses!

Paris is a city so alive and intense that not even a month would be enough to visit it all … but we will offer ten point guide:

1. LOUVRE

1louvreLocated within the former French royal palace, the Louvre Museum is one of the most famous and most visited in the world. It is a thriving artistic and cultural home to some of the most precious art treasures of Paris.
Musée du Louvre 99, rue de Rivoli, 75001, www.louvre.fr

2. ORSAY MUSEUM

2orsaySituated in the romantic heart of Paris, on the Left Bank, the Musee d’Orsay has a ripe old charm because it is situated in the old Gare d’Orsay station in the Belle Epoque, which houses collections of 19th century domestic famous throughout the world. Musée d’Orsay 1, rue Bellechasse, Paris 75007

www.musee-orsay.fr

3. TOUR EIFFEL

3eiffelThe most famous monument in Paris was completed March 31, 1889, and is the result of the work of the engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. As the Eiffel Tower was built, the public was not particularly satisfied by the its implementation because they thought that the structure was unattractive. Today, however it is considered one of the most remarkable examples of architectural art in the world. It receives in any season a great number of tourists from all backgrounds who come to admire it - in all its majesty - or to even climb it to enjoy the spectacular city views.
Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, Paris 75007, www.tour-eiffel.fr

4. POMPIDOU CENTER

4pompidouIn one of the oldest districts of Paris, President Pompidou wanted to create a cultural center that would give space to modern and contemporary art as well as fashion, design, film and literature. This was the genesis Pompidou Center, a curious structure that occupies an area of about one hundred thousand square meters, where it remains affected by its external pipes, each in a different color. This is because each color corresponds to a different one of its functions.

Center Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, Rue Saint-Martin, Paris 75004, www.centrepompidou.fr

5. LATIN QUARTER

5latinquarterOn the Left Bank of the Seine, you have the Latin Quarter, the heart of young life in Paris. It is full of shops, bookstores, film-clubs, and the most fashionable bars and restaurants amongst students are concentrated here. The name suggests a neighborhood full of Brazilian, Mexican and Columbian cafes,but this area of Paris actually takes its name from the Latin language spoken by the professors of the Sorbonne, the most prestigious universities in the world, where everyone has at least once dreamed of studying, Indeed for centuries, the life of this neighborhood revolves around its most important institution.

6. MARAIS

6maraisOn the Right Bank of the Seine, north of Île Saint-Louis, one of the most visited zones, a busy area full of trendy bars and clothing shops, where different lifestyles cluster together in the streets. These are punctuated by the great aristocratic palaces of the Renaissance, from grand hotels to small and characteristic medieval alleys. Other important points of reference for visitors are the Picasso Museum and his collection of works by the Spanish master, the Museum of art and history of Judaism.

7. MONTMATRE

7montmatreSituated on a hill 130 meters high, Montmartre in 1800 was the bohemian neighborhood where artists from around the world went to discuss art and politics. An irreverent district, crowded with tourists at all hours is a magical place, where Delacroix, Picasso, Modigliani, Utrillo and Van Gogh lived. But today, instead of the big names in art, there are painters and artists of all kinds of business trying to attract the attention of tourists. Then there’s Place Pigalle, a site famous throughout the world, seen and reviewed in numerous films, Moulin Rouge, known for “Dorissa Girls, girls strip and perform with ballet including the famous Cancan, is still an attraction for many tourists thanks to the increasingly rich offering of entertainment and dancing.

8. GARDENS

8-giardiniBesides being the city of a thousand lights, it is also a city full of green spaces, ideal for relaxing away sunny afternoons, spent for example in the most famous French garden. Known as the Garden of Luxembourg, a public park of 24 hectares, and founded in 1612 by Maria de ‘Medici, this garden is located on the border with the area of Saint Germain des Près, this is a beautiful green space full of thickets, tree-lined streets and culminates in a large panoramic terrace, with statues of French kings chosen by King Louis Philippe. Inside the garden is the Palais du Luxembourg, home to the Senate. It offers a luxurious landscape and is much loved by visitors of all ages, for a quick lunch in the open air, or for a leisurely stroll to spend happy evenings there, delighting in tennis courts and areas for children’s play. The Tuileries Gardens instead, were created in the seventeenth century at the behest of Catherine de Medici, and originally next to the gardens there was also the Tuileries Palace that were destroyed in a fire in 1871. Today the park, bordered by the Louvre to the east and west from the Place de la Concorde, is brimming with entertainment for children.

9. LA FAYETTE

9-la-fayetteWith their stunning Art Nouveau cupola, Galeries Lafayette are located in the district of works on the Boulevard Haussmann, and in general form a fascinating place full deputy shopping elite.
Galerie La Fayette 40, boulevard Haussmann, Paris 75009, www.galerieslafayette.com

10. FAVELA CHIC
10-favela-chicOne of the centers of Parisian nightlife, once famous for its prison that housed political and religious prisoners, and that was destroyed during the French Revolution of 1789, today is presented instead as one of the most vibrant areas of Paris. It is often used for concerts and other events where you can admire a wide choice of bars, nightclubs and live music halls.

The Holiday!

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archived in fun activities ideas, love and romance, tips for going abroad

Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet have done it. In the film The Holiday they are both single women desperately in need of a change in camerondiazclimate. To get this climate change, you simply sign up online and go and stay in someone else’s home, whilst they’re in yours.

In The Holiday, as neither Cameron nor Kate’s characters go particularly prepared, they each get to know a new charming man, fall in love with him and end their vacation with a new relationship.

Are you also single and fed up things? Maybe you feel that you need a bit of a break somewhere, because either at home or at work you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Then leave it to home exchange, and take advantage of a new environment. You can go to a new place, live like the locals, meet new interesting people, and maybe even meet a new partner! Even if it doesn’t come to love, you can definitely make some new friends ;-)

So, what do you say? Could it change your life, bring winds of change into your life, or simply help you get to know new places? Home exchange is a great way to take a cheap vacation. Give it a try.

Romance is dead. Long live home swap!

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archived in Curiosities and good stories

So Valentine´s Day is over, for another year. Thank god. Did you happen to receive any processed chocolates? Or Hallmark manufactured greetings cards? A Facebook gift perhaps?

It is at times like this that we do question whether the swashbuckling, heart palpitating romance of the earlier centuries might have just, you know, died. Romeo and Juliet, anyone? No? Okay, another pizza and DVD evening it is.

Obviously, the warm internal feeling that you have when you love someone is a feeling that has existed since when humans began living on the planet. But the efforts that we put into preserving the romance may well have changed. With a life-style that often leaves us either super-busy or super-exhuasted, the small touches that can go a long way are often put to one side.

Does anyone even believe in true love anymore? Or is it just speed-dating from now on? What with our-life spans constantly increasing, romance is something that we have to work hard to keep alive.

Weekend breaks and short holidays can be just the ticket to doing this. People often find that new environments bring out different parts of their personalities. If you and your partner spend your evenings sluggishly recovering from work, and the weekends doing your washing, then you might end up having less inspirational, tantalising conversations together.

Holidays and weekend gettaways provide stimulation and exciting environments, and most importantly, opportunities to share special moments together.

Home swaps are an incredibly cheap and easy way of achieving your perfect romantic weekend break together. Even making tea in the new home will feel special and idyllic. The weekend will be imbued with all the new hues of the different surroundings, so you get to see eachother in a new light and really appreciate the beauty of your relationship.

Romance is something that we have to work at. So if your work time-table and weekly routine is taking its toll on the throes of passion, then you should take this opportunity to give your relationship a new burst of life.