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Posts in ‘Things to do in Paris’

French circus gives a tour de force in Paris

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Ever since Cirque de Soleil emerged onto the world stage, French circus has been in rude health and the International Circus Festival of Tomorrow will once again wow the gathered Parisian crowds early in 2009.

From January 29th to February 1st, Festival Mondial de Cirque de Demain will celebrate its 30th birthday at Cirque Phoenix in the Peouse de Reuilly, with this special anniversary sure to be the most spectacular yet.

The festival is in essence a talent competition which gives a specially-selected jury the chance to seek out and reward the circus superstars of tomorrow.

As such the event has consistently been a breeding ground for the best young performers in the field and this looks set to continue as it finalises the line-up for this very special occasion.

Cirque de Soleil has several sell-out shows in Las Vegas and has performed for packed audiences at a number of top venues across the world.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894862-ADNFCR

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Get fabulous, darling, at Paris Fashion Week

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Possibly the most important seven days in the entire fashion year, Paris Fashion Week gathers together just about everyone who’s anyone in the world of couture from January 22nd to 29th.

While the fashion shows are for professionals in the field only, during the event the whole of Paris comes alive in a flurry of chiffon and needlessly high heels as the glitterati of the industry turn out to celebrate in inimitable style.

Across the French capital parties and events far outnumber the fashion shows and every visitor is sure to catch a glimpse of someone famous or, at the least, very thin with excellent bone structure.

Split into three sections – Haute Couture, Pret-a-Porter and Men’s Fashion – the designer’s shows will feature everything from extravagant evening wear to the latest in smart men’s suits.

Paris is considered by many to be the fashion capital of the world and is the historic home to a raft of the biggest names in the business, from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-18885199-ADNFCR

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The City of Lights smiles for the camera in November

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Paris”s biennial Month of Photography will once again be held through November this year, marking its twentieth anniversary.

It was founded to promote the photographic arts on a global scale and ensure it was considered as a refined and legitimate art form alongside more traditional mediums.

The festival unites the best that the photographic world has to offer in exhibitions, masterclasses and events from the best-known photographers in the world.

All of this is, of course, set against one of the most beautiful and most photographed cities in the world.

Such is the scope of the affair, many events spill over into December and even January,

The Paris month is part of the wider European Month of Photography, which began in 2004 and now includes events across the continent including Berlin, Bratislava, Luxembourg, Rome, Vienna and Moscow.

At the centre of the festival is the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, which is a major centre for contemporary photography.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18814359-ADNFCR

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Art and culture illuminate the city of lights

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In a city as well-known for its art as anywhere in the world, Nuit Blanche, or White Night, represents one of the latest additions to Parisian cultural history.

White Night is the nocturnal cultural festival [that] will again take place over the first weekend of October this year[does this have actual dates yet?].

It was founded in 2002 by the mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, who was also responsible for opening the Paris Plages – a series of urban beaches along the banks of the Seine in the same year.

Around the city centre art galleries, museums and other institutions open their doors and offer free entry to all in a celebration of culture.

Throughout the event other venues not normally associated with the arts are given over to the cause, becoming galleries and performance spaces for the duration.

Public transport is also specially extended until the small hours to make getting around the city easy, safe and affordable.

The idea has spread to several of destinations across the world, with such cities as Madrid, Chicago, Toronto and Sao Paolo all holding their own celebrations.

But the event in Paris stands as one the biggest and most famous of all night-time festivals.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-18792163-ADNFCR

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High School Musical heads to Paris

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The cast of television sensation High School Musical will be performing special sets at Disneyland in Paris.

With the performance live at the world-famous theme park, the audiences will be given the chance to sing along and dance to the music.

High School Musical began as a modest addition to the Disney Channel”s television schedules, but instant success saw it become one of the most-watched TV shows that year.

Two sequels have since followed, the latest of which received a cinema release across the world.

The Disneyland show will feature a collection of the best-loved songs from the TV series, as the Disney looks to spread enthusiasm for the format across continental Europe.

Disney”s High School Musical franchise has become a huge winner for company and sports one of the biggest merchandising lines in recent memory.

The studio is clearly keen to repeat the process across the world, with a touring version of the show having already travelled across the United States.

Visit Disneyland Paris anytime between October 4th and November 2nd to enjoy Halloween at the theme park.

Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.
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Celebrate the great outdoors in Paris

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Visitors are invited to celebrate the great outdoors in Paris when the Festival of Paris Gardens runs over September 27th and 28th.

The two-day event, held annually in the French capital, opens up many of the city”s most stunning private gardens that often remain closed to the public for the rest of the year.

Hundreds of free events are held across the city, with tours, exhibitions and concerts organised to promote the city and introduce its hidden wonders to new eyes.

Picturesque gardens such as the Jardins des Tuileries the Jardins du Luxembourg, the Parc de la Villette and the Jardin des Plantes are all open to the public to showcase the city at its most beautiful and opulent.

Also of note is the Garden Festival Village, which occupies the area outside Notre Dame for the duration of the festival and promotes environmental techniques, landscape gardening and a host of other ideas which are communicated through demonstrations, shows and one-to-one discussions.

In addition, October 4th will see Prix De L”Arc De Triomphe held at Longchamp Race Course in the city.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".
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Really low fares from London to Paris? Try the train!

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I have been flying across Europe for years, both for business and leisure, and I have to admit I have never had any amazing flight experiences. Not one single great story to tell about equipment, food or service. Sure, I have a slight preference for major carriers due to greater amount of leg room and (usually) easier to reach gates, but I most often end up travelling on low-cost carriers due to the price difference.

But now, I have something to say. Since my move to Paris I have been using the Eurostar train very frequently. THIS is travel!!!

To start, obviously, the train goes from Paris city center to London city center, so I avoid wasting time and money to reach remote airports terminals.

Next big thing: the Eurostar check-in is fully automated and takes about 10 seconds. Security is slightly faster than in airports but a similar process.

The next step is simply to sit down in your comfortable, wide seat and enjoy (or work, as I often do). No queuing up at the gate, no queuing up at the aircraft, no seatbelts, no security demonstrations and, more specifically, if you have to work on a laptop or can’t live without music (or both), no downtime switching off during take-off and landing. No complimentary coffee spilling over your book, no toilets for contortionists, no shaky situations.

Even more significantly: there is relatively little engine noise, so you can enjoy music, focus on work and have real conversations. Not to mention a large bar/restaurant area, where you can stretch and walk around.

The Eurostar booking process is also quite easy. The website is not top notch modern and sometimes goes bezerk, but it allows you to find the best fares and to select your own seat. You can pay online and just pickup your ticket at the machine once you show up for departure.

The Eurostar fares can be just as dramatically low as they can be high. Booking 3-4 weeks in advance gives you fares for 77 euros (60 pounds) Paris-London or London-Paris round trip! But booking within one week can take you north of 600 euros (500 pounds). If you’ve missed the good fares, try to search for ‘secondhand’ tickets on Google: there is one French website where you will easily find tickets. The fine print says that Eurostar tickets cannot be resold (the name is printed on the ticket). In practice, check-in and passport control are separate, and I have never heard of anyone being caught.

The only bad news is there can be queues at peak times.  If you’re travelling on a Friday evening London to Paris, for example, the station will be full of cosmopolitan commuters going home for the weekend.

Bottom line: I am surprised there are still flights operating between London and Paris at all. Unless you live or work next to an airport, or are on a connecting flight, there is no doubt in my mind: you should book early and ride the train.

Oh yes, and one more advantage: at arrival, get off the train, and you’re done! No taxing to gate, no shuttles, no luggage belts, no passport checks, not even customs….

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Last chance to catch Grace Kelly exhibition in Paris

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Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III were married in 1956An exhibition dedicated to Oscar-winning actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, is set to end on August 16th.

Showcasing the star”s story through anecdotes, photos and movie memorabilia, the display at the Salle Saint-Jean de l”Hotel de Ville includes her wedding dress and various other gowns she wore on the red carpet.

The exhibition is open from 10:00 to 19:00, and admission is free.

Born in the US in 1929, Grace Kelly studied to become an actress at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, whose alumni include Katharine Hepburn, Lauran Bacall and Spencer Tracy.

In 1952, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM Studios, winning an Oscar two years later for her performance in The Country Girl.

In 1956, she married Price Rainier III of Monaco, ending her film career.

Princess Grace was tragically killed in 1982 after she suffered a stroke while driving, causing her car to fall off a mountainside.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18729870-ADNFCR

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Balloon in Paris tests air quality, becomes tourist attraction

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At 150 metres above ground, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of ParisA hot air balloon tethered above Paris is providing information about air quality, as well as becoming a tourist attraction.

Floating at 150 metres above the ground, the balloon scans the air for harmful contaminants like nitrogen dioxide. It changes colour using an easy-to-understand coding, with a spectrum ranging from red for high levels of pollution to orange for polluted, yellow for moderate, light green for clean and green for very clean air.

Tethered in the Parc Andre Citroen, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the balloon can also lift up to 30 passengers at a time to enjoy great views over the French capital.

Manufactured by Aerophile of France, the balloon is filled with some 6,000 cubic metres of helium and attached to the ground with a movable cable controlled by a hydroelectric winch.

The balloon is visible from more than 20 kilometres away and offers fantastic views over the city.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".
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Unique Learning Holidays

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Are you aching to break free from the office mundanity?

Do you ever daydream about that hobby, vocation or artistic skill that you never took the time to pursue?

Then why not combine relaxation and leisure with personal development on one of these unique learning holidays………

1. Get Creative in Paris

If you’ve ever strolled through the bustling Montmarte area of Paris—and witnessed the artists happily immersed in their craft—then you’ve probably romanticised your own potentials as a painter.Next time you’re in Paris, rather than purchasing a postcard of a painting, why not paint a pretty postcard yourself!

Get creative in Paris on a half day painting tour, through which you will learn the compositional basics of watercolor painting as you replicate a charming Parisian scene on a postcard.

Make mum proud!

2. Learn to Cook in the Mediterranean.

Do you dream of the fresh fish, cheeses, olives, and fruits of the Mediterranean? Want to learn how to recreate the deliciousness of Eastern Spanish cuisine in your very own kitchen?Then I suggest first embarking on a trip to Malaga, Spain, where you can partake in a Mediterranean Cooking class.

Shop for fresh veggies at a local market, learn to make authentic dishes from a local chef, and at the end of the day, enjoy a nice sit down meal, as you taste your very own creations—and some delectable wines—with your new friends.

3. Pottery Making in Africa

Get down and dirty…behind the pottery wheel…in Tunisia. Immerse yourself in the culture of Nabeul, known for its pottery and ceramic making, as you develop talents of your own!

You will not regret having immersed yourself in the therapeutic process of pottery making; the beauty of this course is that it runs daily—you can pick and choose which days you want to learn and how much time you wish to relax and soak in the beautiful scenery of the Tunisian coastline…It’s time to get creative!

Other Courses:

Photography Tours

Cooking Lunch with the Countess in Paris

Bumbu Bali Cooking Class

Belly Dancing in Tunisia

Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok

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