Posts Tagged ‘france’

It goes without saying that people are anxious to leave the less-than-sunny shores (in more ways than just the weather) of Great Britain lately. This blog has often pointed out the record stats of those flocking Down Under or departing for Dubai.

Close To Europe?!

Close To Europe?!

Now though, it seems some countries might be feeling left out of the population jumps and are advertising the pros of becoming a resident within them. A Brazilian tourist representative, keen to attract those moving abroad, has said of the Rio Grande Du Norte Francisco Cipriano de Paulo Segundo area (try getting that on your envelope) as having “a lot of good wonderful beaches, 410 km of beach with warm  water and we are very close to Europe. The Natal district is closer to Europe than all of Brazil.”

Given that the heart of Brazil is some 6,000 plus miles from the middle of Europe, even going edge-to-edge is still only going to carve a fraction off that. I don’t really think it’s fair to say that it’s close to Europe. It’s like saying the BNP are close to being the next government. Both a long way off.

Still, they’re pretty up there in the beach catergory though.

Meanwhile, there’s been an interesting claim recently that the Eurostar – a wonderful service, don’t get me wrong – has made international removals easier. The Times, infact, has noted that now it’s so easy to travel to areas of France, Germany and the Low Countries – thanks to connections with the TGV – has encouraged property buyers to look further afield.

In fact, Assetz Martin, an international property firm, even said that “Eurostar’s connection to the TGV has opened up areas of the south-west of France, which previously had been hard to get to.”

Of course it has, for holidaying. In fact, if you’re looking to visit Paris there really is no better, easier or cheaper way. However, connecting to the TGV and then trawling across France isn’t so cost-friendly as, say, a flight from Heathrow.

However, for international removals, unless you’re looking to move your entire life in the confines of a couple of suitcase, I really fail to see how the Eurostar is going to help. I recently assisted in an international move, from Paris to the UK. In a van, along the highways and across in a ferry. There’s no way the Eurostar could really have helped with that let alone if it were to Germany or the South.

And, trust me, having endured a hell-like weekend in doing so, I would thoroughly recommend getting the professionals in instead.


I’ve seen a lot of really nice castles, chateaus and historic buildings lately, both here and in France. One thing thats occured to me is that, free of the restrictions of film running out, people will now take photographs of anything as long as it’s old. 

Two prime examples. The first: Leeds Castle, England. This is a castle that dates back to 1199 has taken a pivotal part in many historical events, been lived in by Kings and Queens numerous and has extensive gardens and grounds. Picturesque, in the right weather, it really is. Why then do so many tourists take so many pictures in the Dog Collar museum? 

In the past it would’ve been one of those places that people walk through on their way to the rest of the attractions, maybe a single photo so as not to waste film needed for the falconry show? Not now, people are going home with their digital cameras holding photos of dog collars through the last 600 years.

Example two: Vaux-le-Vicomte, France. A wonderful and expansive château about an hour and a half’s drive from my place on the outskirts of Paris. Lovely place, built by Nicolas Fouquet and a pivotal place for the history of the French system and Lois XIV. Breathtaking gardens from the famous Andre le Notre – think Versailles.carriage house

Loads of stunning views, sights, paintings and history within its walls. There’s also the carriage house, (see image right) stuffed with model horses and coaches from the last few hundred years. Nice enough, a pleasant stroll-through thing I admit. But then there’s the rooms of horse harnesses and stables.

Really? A carriage house with maybe a dozen coaches in it, historic gardens and houses awaiting and people are taking digital cameras out for photos and videos of the display cases of reigns? They haven’t changed that much over the last couple of centurys have they?

Are people actually going home and poring over their computer screens and digital cameras and really looking back at dog collars and styrups from the reign of Lois XIV?! NO! They’re deleting them before leaving the house next because they realise only then that such things clog the memory.

Does the sheer availability of digital cameras mean that people will take pictures of anything simply because they can? What happened to taking a picture of something worthwhile? Not only that but by taking pictures of every single old thing on display, you’re getting in the way of everyone else who realises that, nice as they are, they don’t really need a photo of saddles from the 1890s.