How to enjoy sunny Autumn day in Paris

Jardin de Tuileries

Here comes the recipe:

  • Go see an Expo, preferably an exhibition that everyone is talking about. This way when your friends and colleagues ask what you did this weekend, you can casually say “on est allé voir l’expo…”, cite a name of the artist and drop a few comments about it. This weekend we went to see Mexique exhibition in Grand Palais, safe bet. I was bit disappointed that there was so few Frida Kahlo paintings but was happy to discover Diego Rivera and few others.
  • Take a stroll in a park, preferably Tuileries or Jardin de Luxembourg. If you go to Tuileries, have take away hot chocolate at Angelina, don’t be repelled by the constant queue, usually there is a cart outside that sells the famous hot chocolate. It’s like having liquid chocolate with a straw, yum yum. Sit in one of the green chairs and enjoy the sun, you know that next time you will see it, it will be February.
  • Wander more in the city and visit occasional book stores. For English books I’m fan of WHSmith which is conveniently just outside Tuileries. It’s not very hippy but I always go out with a new book (except this Saturday when my husband reminded me of all those books in our shelf that I didn’t read. Next time I go alone.)

Angelina

That was my Saturday, pretty good one. So that the weekend would not be perfect, today, just when I was having coffee with a friend in Odeon, it started raining cats and dogs. Having optimistic nature, I never carry umbrella with me just in case. Rain didn’t stop so we went to a tourist store to by umbrellas, but I thought it was a good idea to by a rain cape instead, Paris written all over it. It was not as cute and funny as I thought, it was actually pretty ridiculous, at least when I wore it in metro. Shame.

So there you go, DOs for a sunny Paris day and DONTs for a rainy Paris day! x

Louvre in the sunset

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Petit weekend in Marseille

Port of Marseille

Last weekend we headed for a Petit Weekend in Marseille. I had heard somewhat controversial experiences about Marseille and was not sure what to expect. Maybe because of that I was very positively surprised and I can truly say that Marseille is the most interesting city that I’ve visited in France, after Paris of course… Wondering from one neighborhood to the other you find so many different things, in one district you’ll find North Africa, in one black Africa, in one hipster area with small art galleries and boutiques, then typical French city with its big boulevards and statues, and finally an ultra hippy museum district. Not to mention the amazing arid islands outside Marseille, îles du Frioul and one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, les Calanques. We must have walked close to 20 kilometres per day during the weekend, from one neighborhood to the other and hiking on the coast and in the islands.

Marseille

Syrian restaurant in Marseille

Oriental store in Marseille

We stayed in Mama Shelter Marseille which ended up being easy and cozy option for the weekend. The hotel is not located in touristic zone and we ended up discovering the little side streets on the way to Vieux Port and the center of the city. Notre Dame du Mont area close to hotel was lively at night with many restaurants and even more bars..

Port of Marseille

We started the weekend discovering Mucem, Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations,and we were not disappointed. The entry is for free and you have amazing views to the sea to the harbor of Marseille on the top of the museum. You have to pay to get into the exhibitions, but since weather was good we contented to admire the beautiful architecture and amazing views.

Mucem Marseille

Mucem Marseille

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Later in the afternoon we took an Uber to give us a ride to les Calanques. Not totally recommended as our driver got lost on the way… On the positive note he had to stop the “meter” and we got a ride close to Cassis for 30 euros, not a bad deal. We got out by the restaurant Presqu’Ile from where we set off to hiking trails. We visited two of the Calanques and took a dip in the sea in Calanque de Port Pin. Highly recommended. On the way back we walked until Cassis and took a bus there to return to Marseille.

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Also Notre Dame de Garde garde church is worth visiting,  if only for the amazing view over Marseille and the Mediterranean.

View over Marseille from Notre Dame de Garde

Since we took evening train back to Paris and still had time, we took a ferry from Vieux Port,Marseille harbour, to Iles de Frioul. Highly recommended! These arid islands allow you to totally disconnect. Bliss. In harbour there are many restaurants and cafés if you get hungry on the way.

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We also liked a lot quartier du Panier, district just behind the Marseille City Hall. It is an interesting area with many art galleries, restaurants and cafés. Rue des Pistolets had a nice plaza with many terrasses, if we would have had more time we would have stayed for a verre.

Quartier de Panier Marseille

All in all, I highly recommend going to Marseille! So many things to see or do. And only 3.5 hour train ride from Paris… If you have a tight budget, you can get great deals with Ouigo which leaves from Marne-la-Vallée.

That’s it for now, good night! x

In the South

Cannes la Croisette

I spent the last week in Cannes for work. I was lucky to have a little time to discover the beautiful coast and managed to have a few previous hours of sunshine on the very first and last day of the trip. Well deserved after spending four full days stuck in -1 level at the exhibition center and only catching the sunset, I’d say. I know Cannes quite well since I spent there one month on a legendary EF language course back in 2001 (god I’m getting old!).I’ve been back to Côte d’Azur a few times ever since, I just love the palm trees, fresh sea breeze, turquoise water, sea food, expensive drinks and,of cours, the soleil. Also the fact that I used to watch Sous le Soleil or Saint Tropez, as Finns know it, often after school might have caused this affection with the Sud.

People often have this image that Côte d’Azur is for jet set, and it is true to some extend, where else you can get a cabriolet ride to work and you get invited to a yacht? But I’m sure everyone finds their favorite spot there, either in a small village or in one of the fancy beach destinations.

Cannes Ile Sainte Marguerite
Harbour of Ile Sainte Marguerite

Cannes is not my favorite spot at the coast, if you want to go discover the region you’ll do better by staying in Nice, which is very central and has better connections to visit nearby villages (Strong recommendation to beautiful Eze). Yet you can discover beautiful things in Cannes too, my colleague had a great idea to visit the Îles de Lérins just outside Cannes. We visited the bigger one of the islands, Île Sainte Marguerite. It is only 15 minutes ferry ride away from Cannes and it is definitely worth visiting. The smell of pine trees and crystal clear water is just amazing. I even took a dip in the sea, for a Finn the temperature was just fine in early October, a french colleague struggled a bit but eventually made it 😉 You will find a few nice restaurants on the island so you won’t go hungry or you can take picnic with you.

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All pics are from the island, taken by my Samsung, so quality is not the best. These picture make me dream, I already told everyone I’ll be moving to South soon, haha. Next weekend we’re actually heading to Marseille with my hubby, new city to check out! I hope the weather will be treating us as nicely as in Cannes..

Have a great week everyone! x