Friday, May 30, 2014

paris in the the spring

We've been on a couple of trips lately that have generated some photos, so this is mainly just somewhere to hang the links from. A few explanatory notes, though:
  • Hazel and I went to Paris on the Eurostar at the beginning of May, a quick 48-hour jaunt organised (and, more importantly, paid for) by Utility Warehouse, who Hazel does some work as a distributor for in addition to her photography activities. I can't give you the promotional spiel for UW, but if you want to have a look at what they have to offer, start here. Anyway, the point is we got a free trip to Paris out of it, staying at the very nice Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile out at Porte Maillot on the north-eastern corner of the Bois de Boulogne. Not much time to do anything out of the ordinary run of touristy stuff, but we did take a twilight river cruise on the Bateaux-Mouches on Friday night, and took advantage of a glorious sunny day on the Saturday to do a walking tour of Paris, starting at the Eiffel Tower and heading out to Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur. Photos can be found here
  • A couple of weeks later we went off on a family trip (i.e. with Nia this time) to Bluestone in Pembrokeshire. This is a self-contained family holiday village complete with shops, pub (featuring excellent Doom Bar), swimming pool and various sporting activities. The best description I can give you is that it's a little bit like a cross between CenterParcs and The Prisoner, but without all that unpleasantness with the giant beach balls if one should stray beyond the boundaries of the complex. We verified this by venturing out a couple of times, once to cycle around Canaston Woods and once to go to the seaside at Freshwater East, which is lovely and - largely because it's not right next to a town with shops and toilets and amusement arcades and the like - very quiet. We also called into Tenby on the way back home, which is much more in the stereotypical British seaside town vein, but still very nice, and features the Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie Co.'s excellent shop just a couple of minutes' walk from the beach. Photos can be found here.

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