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The French Sneer

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 6, 2008 in Commentary

A sign on a the window front of a cafe in Paris, France.

The Paris Sneer is it there. Oh it is.

Sean likes to take photos, particularly of signs and images that remind him of his own name.

So, while we were strolling down a French street, ambling towards the Eiffel Tower, Sean wanted to grab the above photo: a Paris cafe promoting its English. That’s where the trouble began.

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High school French lives on

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 20, 2008 in Travel Tips

Enjoying chocolate chaud et un sandwich at a cafe near Notre Dame on Oct. 13, 2008.

Enjoying chocolate chaud et un sandwich at a cafe near Notre Dame on Oct. 13, 2008.

We’re in Zurich, roughly the end of a solid week of French-speaking cities - from Brussels, Belgium to Paris and Lyon France.

Roughly a fifth of Switzerland speaks French, but here in Zurich German - the country’s largest national language - is king. A local told me we’d be better off with English than French in this city. Just fine, because, my French is limited.

See… Je parler un peu en francaise.

While in France, Paris to be more precise, We Don’t Speak the Language may be a bit of a misnomer. A little.

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Paris, France in three minutes

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 19, 2008 in Experiences

Me and Sean in front of the famed Louvre art museum in Paris, France on Oct. 13, 2008.

Me and Sean in front of the famed Louvre art museum in Paris, France on Oct. 13, 2008.

Shall we review on our whirlwind of a stay in Paris?

When undertaking this blog, Sean and I promised each other we wouldn’t fall into the habit of simply sharing our travel videos. We want to give advice - maybe entertain - and help make your trips better, more efficient and complete. Still, Paris is full of some of the best known locations around the world. We couldn’t help but give you a quick taste of those places you all know that call the City of Lights home.

Check the video highlights below.

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Eiffel Tower, shiney and blue

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 17, 2008 in Experiences

Me, Seans brother Brian, and Sean watch a bright blue Eiffel Tower sparkle, Oct. 13, 2008.

Me, Sean's brother Brian, and Sean watch a bright blue Eiffel Tower sparkle, Oct. 13, 2008.

We’re not in Paris anymore, but we didn’t get a chance to talk about something terribly important.

From Reuters:

PARIS (Reuters) - France will mark the start of its six-month presidency of the European Union by lighting up the Eiffel Tower in blue with yellow stars, recalling the EU flag, newspaper Le Parisien reported on Friday. [Source]

So you tell me, how does that look? It gets more ridiculous - check video below.

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Exporting basketball victory to Paris, France

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 17, 2008 in Experiences

Some Parisians and us after a game of basketball beneath the Eiffel Tower on Oct. 12, 2008.

Some Parisians and us after a game of basketball beneath the Eiffel Tower on Oct. 12, 2008.

We beat up on some Dutch guys in Amsterdam playing basketball last week. Then, in Paris, France, we came upon a similar group and couldn’t spare them. In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, we had a good match, shared some French and won outright.

Enjoy the highlights below.

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In Paris: Use Paris Viste

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 15, 2008 in Travel Tips

Paris is big.

2.2 million people, more than a fourth larger than Philadelphia. But what’s more, many of the sights you want to see, from the Eiffel Tower, to Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomph, are spread quite widely.

So get smart. Use its fine mass transit at a good cost.

The city’s Paris Visite pass is economical - 7 euros ($9 USD) per day for three days while we were in town. Three or four rides and you have paid for it - without counting cutting time on buying tickets and walking.

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Time Lapse: Lyon to Strausbourg

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 15, 2008 in Experiences

Lots of changes afoot, but those details will come soon.

This morning we caught a train from Lyon, France to Strausbourg, where we caught a direct line to Zurich, Switzerland.

Sean had some fun with time lapse along the beautiful views through eastern France to Strausbourg. Enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

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Preconceived Notions: Lyon, France

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 13, 2008 in Preconceived Notions

Nearly a half million people live in Lyon, in southern France, a large city indeed.

We should be arriving there from Paris soon - a two-hour train on a busy and well-trafficked line - but I am expecting a far more relaxed place.

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France and Brussels have funny keyboards

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 12, 2008 in Commentary

I’m usually a terrible speller, but my stupidy disorder is heightened in Brussells and Paris. Because WiFi spots are hard to come by, we have to duck in the occasional Internet cafe. The cafe’s are made for locals and all of the menus are in French or Dutch. But the real obsticle is the odd keyboard. Because Brussells is home to two languages, French and Dutch, they use the “AZERTY” layout. The AZERTY is very similar to the American except for a few subtle but obnoxious differences.  France, jumps on the AZERTY bandwagon as well.

Seriously, I dare anyone to try typing on this. There’s also the problem of typing using a French spell check that makes every word float on a red squiggly line of grammatical dissaproval, but I suppose that’s another post…

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We’re in Paris, France

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 12, 2008 in Plans

Chris, Brian, and I arrived last night via a cramped (but cheap) Euroline bus from Brussels.

If the blog has been looking a little stagnant lately, we apologize.  We have been having some technical difficulties in finding reliable Internet.  Plus, Chris is still learning his technology related French nouns.  We have tonights episode as well as a bunch of new videos to send your way.  Promise.

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