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Analogue Photos Of Durham

I took my Analogue Camera with me when I went to Durham recently so I could shoot some 35mm photos, and here’s how they turned out!

We also went to Beamish which is an open air ‘living’ museum, where there is an 1820’s colliery, a 1940’s farm, and a 1900’s town etc. Here are the pics I got back when I got the film developed.

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Hotel Indigo- Durham

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Our stay in Durham was at the Hotel Indigo.  When I was looking up hotels I was a little surprised at how few came up but lucky for us Hotel Indigo was one of them.  We paid £207 for two nights at the weekend for a decent sized double room.  It’s all quite jazzily decorated with microscopes, and scientific and astronomical pictures around the bedroom.  My one critique (of this hotel and every other I’ve stayed in) was that the pillows were super uncomfortable.

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Around the rest of the hotel are more prints, as well as tiling, and stained glass.  The building used to university offices and that is apparent in the stained glass designs, as well as the coat hooks that were dotted around.  Our included breakfast was pretty decent, there was a continental buffet as well as a hot food menu.  We didn’t go for dinner in the hotel restaurant as it was a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse which I didn’t think would be great for veggies. But overall it was a great stay.

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Durham Cathedral

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We spent the Spring Bank Holiday in Durham which has some lovely old buildings combined with Greggs and Pound Shops.  It is also over run with obnoxious students.  But anyway, we only really had one day in Durham and spent the morning in the Cathedral.  This is an impressive building from the 11 century and home to shrine of St Cuthbert.  It has been expanded several times over the last few centuries and boyfriend was concerned that they’d never be able to fill it for the services.  Still there were quite a few tourists like us wandering around.

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You aren’t allowed to take photographs inside but you can get a glimps of the interior via this nice Lego reproduction on display in the gift shop.  Yes there is a gift shop, and cafe, and toilets all of which are pointed out to you several times while you’re there.  We also paid £7.50 each to look around the ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition.  This houses various artifacts from the cathedrals history, as well as allowing you to see the old Monks dormitory and kitchen spaces.  We spent a good few hours there before heading off for some lunch.

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Packing For Durham

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Another mini-break, this time to Durham and Beamish!  I’ve never been to Durham, it’s not huge but it has a Cathedral and Castle.  We’re only going for two nights so I don’t need loads of clothes, and I’m clearly over packing!  The weather has been HOT but has cooled a little leaving me in a quandry as to what to take.  So I’m taking jeans, shorts, and a dress.  Also a long sleeve top, two t-shirts, a cardigan, and a hoody.  And then underwear, PJs, shoes, a day bag, toiletries, camera, and a book.

This includes what I’ll wear to work on Friday and then wear to travel to Durham, so it’s three days worth of clothes.  So it’s not quite as crazy as it seems.  Below is my travel outfit and the Blacks City 30 bag I use for these little trips.

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Hebden Bridge

We took an enjoyable day trip to Hebden Bridge on the May Bank holiday weekend, and finally getting around to writing about it.

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We started with lunch, or course, at Green’s vegetarian cafe.  Boyfriend got a mezze, and I got a tofu sandwich which was pretty yummy.  The cafe is very cute, and it’s our go-to place in Hebden (erm…we’ve been there twice).

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After a stroll through town, we decided to go off the beaten path and walk along the canal (along with everyone else…).  I was pretty gosh darn tired after doing a long run in the morning, and it was hot, so I was flagging a bit. So we headed back, and walked through Calder Holmes Park to the train station and enjoyed all the cherry blossom (my favourite thing ever).

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Analogue Photos of Paris

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London Vs Paris

I thought I’d do a little comparison between two great capital cities; London and Paris, having fairly recently visited both.  We may think of Europe and it’s strange foreign ways as being a totally different universe but what was remarkable was how similar they both were!

Architecture

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Both of these cities are old.  London dates back to about 50 AD, but Paris was a small fishing village in around 250 BC.  Obviously, things have change, grown, and developed since then but not surprisingly there are plenty of impressive old buildings still standing.  On the right is St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and on the left is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  Construction start on Notre Dame in 1163, and St Paul’s was consecrated in 1300.  They both remain big tourist attractions.  Of course construction continues and St Paul’s is now crowded by modern buildings.  In Paris, there seems to be less of these modern abominations and more of the old town.

Tourists

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Paris drove me a little crazy as it was so busy.  This may be the main way it reminded me of London; there were people everywhere. It was always busy.  Apart from Sunday morning when it was absolutely dead!

Food

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Ah, food!  The most important thing!  The main problem for me in France is the lack of vegetarian food.  The UK isn’t always fantastic but at least I know I can go into any restaurant and they will be able to provide me with something I can eat.  Not so in France where meat remains a staple.  Our trip to London was quite hipstery and I did eat my first smashed avocado on toast with poached egg.  In Paris, the avocado did feature on a few menus although Google translate thought advocat toast was a toast lawyer…I did get some camembert though. In Paris a lot of the restaurants closed at 2pm and reopened at 7pm which was a little annoying, and weirdly they give you bread with your as not as a starter.  Both cities are expensive!

Culture

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On the right I’m at the British Museum, on the left is The Louvre.  Both London and Paris have a range of large art galleries and museums.  They both get busy at peak times, they both have great exhibitions, they are all worth a visit.  The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum in London are all free. The Lourve costs 17euro, The Cite des science et de l’industrie costs 12euro, the Musee d’Orsay costs 12euros, the Centre Pompidou costs 14euros.  That’s your difference.

In conclusion, they are both beautiful, interesting, busy, expensive, exciting places to visit.  In my mind London wins, because if I lived in France I might starve!

What do you think?  Any preference?

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Places to Eat In Paris (That Also Cater For Vegetarians!)

L’Amphitryon

11 bis, rue Blanche

Day 1 arrival

Amphytrion is a figure in Greek mythology, and has been the subject of numerous plays.  And L’Amphytrion the restaurant is in the theatre district so the name seems quite appropriate.  We ate here on our first night and it was lovely, albeit expensive.  It’s quite small and we were lucky to get a table.  There wasn’t much on offer for vegetarians tbh but what was offered was camembert so I was in! The portions were small (especially when you consider what you are paying!) but I think you’re supposed to do the whole three courses as is the style in France.

We ordered camembert, a rabbit dish, one desert to share, a coke, and a glass of wine. We spent about 58euro.

1ndix

47 Avenue Trudaine

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I kept calling this place ‘index’ but it is 1ndix.  I was doing my normal 4 hrs of vegetarian ‘where-oh-where-can-I-eat-tonight’ research so I learned a bit about the owners.  They’re twins, born on the 1st October, dix being French for 10, the name of the restaurant reflects their birthday.  It’s a pretty small place but was totally empty when we arrived.  We had a friendly server (spoke excellent English, kept getting distracted by stuff). There was some interesting hip-hop playing, and it was quite a hipster joint.

I ordered avaocado on toast with a poached egg, boyfriend had a hot dog, and we shared a delicious chocolate fondant for desert.  The food cost about 28Euro (a bargain by Parisian standards), and then we got some drinks.

Delirio

39 Rue Amelot

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We wandered past this place by chance, although it’s in an area full of shops and cafes.  The board outside was advertising their daily salad (one vegetarian, and one ‘classique’.  They also had a daily soup which most people were having as a starter, but we didn’t because we’re weird foreigners who don’t understand about courses.  The salad was nice, although mainly rice based and it came with wedges, and bread because in France they bring you bread with your main not before (it’s weird).  So it was quite a carby salad!

Anyway two salads and two cokes cost 28Euro.

Via Emilia

22 Rue la Bruyere

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It’s a little weird, perhaps, to go to an Italian restaurant in Paris but we did (actually more than one).  It was a lovely evening and everywhere else was full.  We got a spot downstairs next to the toilets which wasn’t a prime location but the food more than made up for it.  The waiter brought around a chalk board menu and explained the whole thing to us, he did this for everyone it seemed to be part of the process.  It was very helpful, and there were a few vegetarian options than actually sounded good!

I had the tortelli reggiani, boyfriend got medaglioni funghi, both types of stuffed pasta, mine with spinach and ricotta and his with mushrooms.  It was delicious, we both had deserts; boyfriend had a traditional (non-alcoholic) tiramisu, and I had a chocolate crostata that I found a little underwhelming.  I had a lemonade, boyfriend had a glass of wine and we spent 55 Euro.

Fuxia

51 Rue des Martyrs

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Fuxia, is Italian for Fuchsia if that helps you pronounce it.  It was a very busy Saturday night when we wandered in here.  Despite all the hustle and bustle we were served pretty promptly.  There were a few delays here and there but the hard working waitresses were running round constantly doing things.

I got a great veggie risotto, and a slightly boring polenta cake, I can’t remember what boyfriend ordered but he got a door slab of tiramisu (with booze).  And by this point I’d given up counting the bill I’m afraid.

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From The Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, Paris

After our visit to The Louvre we headed off to find lunch, wandered around for too long, realised that places in Paris close at 2pm and it was already 1:30pm and finally found an Italian place to get pizza.  The day was pretty grey and I wasn’t feeling well but after lunch we decided to head back to outside the Louvre and walk towards the Eiffel Tower.  (Full disclosure we never actually made it to the Eiffel Tower as we were both tired and realised we had to walk all the way back too!)  We started in the Jardin des Tuileries which is a large formal garden with statues and fountains.  Walking through it we could see La Grand Roue (The Big Wheel) on Place de la Concorde and the end of the gardens.

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Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris, delightfully it was the site of many executions during the French Revolution.  Now it is more famous for the Egyptian obelisk that once marked the entrance to a Luxor temple and was gifted to the French by Egypt in the early 19th century.   Of course your view of this is obscured by the big stupid wheel some idiot put in the way.  Also it is surrounded by a lot of crazy traffic, we witnessed a car crash (no one hurt) and a lady shouting at a taxi driver who was trying to turn in the space of about 10minutes.

Day 2

We kept going to the Flamme de la Liberte, a small replica of the torch of the Statue of Liberty, the full statue obviously gifted from France to the US. (Remember the days when countries would give each other giant statues instead of threatening to bomb each other?)  It was smaller than I expected, and I honestly wouldn’t go out of your way to see it.  It is also an unofficial memorial for Princess Diana as it overlooks the spot where she died so people have left photos of her and copious amounts of graffiti.  I can’t say I cared for it personally. Day 21

From the Flamme de la Liberte we could see the Eiffel Tower, took a few selfies, and then basically headed home.  Maybe it would have been nice to get a closer look, but we have both been to Paris before and I’ve been up to the top so I didn’t feel the need to do it again.  It was quite a miserable day weather wise and by this point it was after 4pm and we had over an hours walk back to our hotel.  So we headed back tired but not defeated!

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Visit to The Louvre, Paris

20180405_104134On our first full day in Paris we headed to The Louvre.  We booked our tickets online the night before, it was 17 euro each for a standard ticket (without entry to the special exhibition).   You get a timed slot starting from 9am, but the earliest one available to us was 10:30am which was actually perfect as it gave us time to walk there from our hotel.  I was feeling pretty awful that morning so needed a little extra time to get going!

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It was a grey, rainy weekday so not very busy.  A great day to spend inside a museum! We were quickly ushered through the initial security at the glass pyramid (a bag check and through a metal detector) and into the large underground foyer. I remember (sort of) when the pyramid was pretty new and hearing some unconvinced opinions on it.  But as we rode down the escalator, looking up through the glass ceiling with natural light coming in I liked it.  In the foyer there are some toilets, and some escalators up into the museum proper.  At this point they actually scan and check your tickets.  Top Tip: the toilets in the foyer are pretty busy, wait until you go through into the museum where they are quieter. Collages12

We entered the sculpture area first (by chance, we never managed to get a map!) I wandered around in a bit of a fog to be honest as I wasn’t feeling great all morning. But I do like a bit of sculpture and enjoyed looking around.  There was a lot to see from different periods and areas.  It did remind me a lot of The British Museum, and we are a bit spoilt having free museums in London (although London is far away and expensive).

Day 21

Of course no visit to The Louvre would be complete without seeing The Mona Lisa, so here it is!  As you can see it was quite a busy gallery space filled with boring paintings, filled with people taking photos of a famous painting they can get 100 different reproductions of in the gift shop around the corner.  I judge, yet I too took the obligatory photo and bought the obligatory book mark…P1050205

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