Sunday, 26 July 2009

One day in Paris, favorite places

A number of slowmoves posts mention passing through Paris, mainly from London on the way to somewhere else in Europe. Of course slowmoves means making the most of the places or are on route. There's a fun article we found about one day in Paris, it might give you some ideas if you are looking to spend a bit of time in Paris before heading on.

Aside, I highlight a couple of personal favourite things in Paris (without detailing the number one and known Musee D'Orsay):
  • Lots of tourists swarm the island in Paris, home of Notre Dame Cathedral. But far too many overlook its adorable little sister, the quaint Ile Saint Louis just a few steps away. Read more
  • Pass through the hidden doors of the La Mosquee Hammam and the culture and heritage
    of the Byzantine era presents itself.
    Read more
If you have any favorite things to do for a day or night in Paris, we would be delighted to hear from you.


Picture from:

Overland and sea to Morocco

It's a little more expensive (by approx. £150) than the budget flights now flying between the UK to Marrakesh but slowmoves gives reason for the extra expense of a train and boat ride. Imagine watching the way the land changes, mile by mile from urban London, through the green fields of Kent and Northern France. Crossing Paris, then in to the evening and south towards the jagged Pyrenees, direct to Madrid. From Madrid, it's down to Algeciras and Tarifa then the boat across the Gibraltar Straight to Tangier, Africa.

Some change in scenery and some difference between what you leave to what you find. slowmoves offers an intimate means of experiencing this. Of course time does not allow us to make such a journey regularly, which is a reason in itself for treasuring the possibility, as is the more practical consideration of a night's accommodation included in the ride, if leaving as below:

1404: London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord (1726) - Train
1945: Paris Gare d'Austerlitz to Madrid (0910) - Train
1505: Madrid to Algeciras (2033) - Train
2100: Algeciras to Tarifa (2145) - Bush
2300: Tarifa to Tangier (2235: 35 minute crossing and time change) - Boat

Of course, there's the option of spending more time in Paris or Madrid or Algeciras, depending what your scheduled, motivation or interest is.

Thanks to The Man in Seat Sixty-One for helping with the travel information and image. The relevant Seat Sixty-On page also tells you how you can travel on from Tangier, and how the cost of travel drops.

This justification of experience, is at the heart of many slowmoves choices. I for one think it's well worth it.


Friday, 24 July 2009

Picture of the month

I love the feeling of freedom this photo exudes. You can also sense the haste to get into the water. More on wild swimming coming soon.

Nam Khan River... Photo by Ra Song


Sunday, 12 July 2009

Grantchester by foot, boat, or bike from Cambridge

If you're looking for a day out of London, why not head to the university town of Cambridge. After only 45 minutes on the train, we were wandering around the streets of historic Cambridge. It took us a while to find the nice bits, as much of the main street was infested by high street shops and unfortunately made it look like any other town in England. But once you head over to the riverside where all the old colleges are, you'll understand the appeal. Amongst the most spectacular colleges that still exist, check out Peterhouse, which was founded in 1284, and Kings College that has an impressive chapel where you can catch a choir concert.

Getting to the slow travel bit... You can rent bikes at Cambridge station which I would highly recommend as it's a very bike-able city (if the thousands of bikes around the city are anything to go by). It reminded me of a Dutch city. Alternatively you can make your way to the riverside at Mill Lane Boatyard and rent a self-hire punt to go punting along the river. This is THE Cambridge thing to do and seems like a lot of fun, especially if you're in a big group. Then either cycle, punt or walk to Grantchester, a lovely little village 3 miles from Cambridge. Grantchester is a tiny village with thatched cottages, a few good pubs and the highest proportion of Nobel prize winners.

If you're opting for the walking option, I'd recommend walking through Newnham and stopping along Grantchester meadows for a picnic. Then once in Grantchester, treat yourself to a nice pint at the Red Lion pub or traditional tea at the Orchard in the garden.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Fin Going a very long way South by bike

How many people go about cycling from Alaska to Panama?

A Dutch TV company, deepeei, has prompted Andrew Finlay to take to his bike for the best part of a year and do exactly that. The story is not just about adventure and physical challenge but is inspired as a means of linking themes and specific projects that relate to climate change. Fin is joined by one other on his cycle south, while two others will ride from Colombia to Ushuaia in Argentina. In all, 16,765 miles, 26 projects and 17 countries.

From land usage to waste, there are six themes under the tag 'search for sustainable solutions'. slowmoves and opting for vehicles other than planes - as Fin and the others taking part in the project so grandly have - could be another.

Fin is blogging regularly, on every angle of his trip. Check it out: