Iona Beach Regional Park

Just north of the Vancouver International Airport, at the mouth of the Fraser River, is Iona Beach Regional Park. Popular with walkers and cyclists, it’s a lovely place to spend some time in the sunshine.

The area is dotted with logs that have been washed ashore over time.

At the end of the trail you’ll find a secluded beach.

The tide was out, so we ditched our bikes and went for a walk out onto the sand.

Selfie time!

Yes, that’s really me. I’ve dyed my hair dark on a whim.

On the way back along the trail I noticed ladybugs all over some half-dead thistles.


One last photo from the parking lot before heading off in search of lunch.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Aerobics Cruise?

File this under WTH Did I Just See?

Just like this.

There I was minding my own business, looking out over the Seine when this coasted by.

A boat with an aerobics class going on?

In a city where I’ve only ever seen an handful of joggers, and certainly not a group shaking hot pink pompoms. Really?

It was pretty funny to see. If I hadn’t taken a video, I’d probably think I’d imagined it all.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Culture Crêpes

Confession time. I can only remember having crepes twice in my life.

I know, I know. This is beyond shameful.

My first time was over 10 years ago in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. It wasn’t intentional either. Basically, when I was hungry for lunch after a busy morning of sightseeing I learned the hard way that small town restaurants don’t always have continuous service. If I wanted to eat, it would have to be a dessert crepe.

Continue reading “Culture Crêpes”

Barnston Island

The only way to visit this tiny island is to take the free ferry, which consists of a small barge that is pushed across Parson’s Channel.

The ride takes 5 minutes and, once you arrive, you take the perimeter road by bike or foot. We brought our bikes, and started off along the country road.

At 32°C, the weather was a scorcher so we took advantage of the odd shade tree.

We stopped briefly at Mann Point, which looks out towards Golden Ears Bridge.

Accessing the point is done by way of a pathway through a wooded area. At the pathway entrance is a sign warning of a bear sighting which makes one wonder how a bear found itself on the island. Perhaps it took the ferry over like the rest of us?

We got back onto the road and continued on our way, eventually finding ourselves back at the ferry terminal just as the barge was arriving.

Cycling around Barnston Island was a nice leisurely way to spend an hour. I’d like to return once the weather cools down. Have you ever been to Barnston Island?

Bonne journée!

Marla

Suggestion Time!

While looking through my countless photos from past trips to Paris, I’ve found that I’ve covered several of the “must do” day trips from the city – Versailles, Fontainebleau, Chantilly, Giverny, Reims. I’ve also visited Normandy, which appears on many online lists – though I personally feel that it’s too far to go to and return from in a single day. Who wants to spend half the day in transit? Not me! But all of this got me thinking about future trips and I’m wondering what day trips I make note of.

So, what are you favourite places to visit that make an easy day trip from Paris? Specifically by train, bus or tour? Share your favourites in the comment section below – and if you’re a blogger and have a post about the place you recommend, share the post link as well.

Bonne journee!

Marla

Outside Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat

Sarlat-la-Canéda is popular amongst tourists, and the architecture is one of its main draws. It’s easy to be impressed, especially when you find yourself wandering around Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat.

While walking along the perimeter ledge, we saw the Jardin des Enfeus – Sarlat’s first cemetery – and decided to take a closer look.

We walked past several funerary niches, some with lovely detailing.

I liked this old cross carving. I couldn’t help but wonder if the person carving it so long ago ever imagined that people like me would stop to admire it hundreds of years later.

That’s one of the things I enjoy about travelling; learning about people from times gone by. Not just the differences between our lives, but also the commonalities.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat

Today we’re visiting Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat, a striking Roman Catholic church at the centre of medieval Sarlat-la-Canéda. Saint Sacerdos was the Bishop of Limoges in the 8th century, and his relics were brought to the cathedral in Sarlat, giving it its name.

The church is an interesting mix of styles, resulting from the several hundred years it took to build. Which makes me feel better about how long it takes me to clean the house!

The belfry and western facade are the oldest parts of the building, while the nave, organ and interior chapels are later additions.

Here’s an assortment of photos I took during our visit.

The organ is reportedly among the best preserved organs from its time, with the sound equipment being almost entirely original.

And you may recall this photo from my other blog, Fernweh Friday. I love this interesting bit of history.


I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. Tomorrow we’ll take a stroll around the grounds of the church. Until then..

Bonne journée!

Marla

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy le 14 juillet to all of my French readers. Or, as anglophones such as myself say, Happy Bastille Day!

Vive le France!

Bonne journée!

Marla

Sarlat-la-Canéda, by Day

Sarlat-la-Canéda, often simply referred to as Sarlat, is a medieval town in France’s south western Dordogne region. I visited Sarlat twice last year with my boyfriend, once during an afternoon and another time during an evening.

Here’s a selection of photos I took during our afternoon visit, after I fell in love with curry dip and we fought our way through the throngs of other tourists to take in the sights.

Continue reading “Sarlat-la-Canéda, by Day”

Roses and The Petite Cannon

Walking further into the grounds of the Palais Royale, you’ll find yourself surrounded by gorgeous roses. Or you will if you’re lucky like I was, and unintentionally time your visit with their bloom season.

And if you look closely, you’ll notice a small cannon installed on one of the lawns between the rows of rose bushes.

According to French Centre of National Monuments, “The meridian cannon of the Palais-Royal was designed by Sieur Rousseau, a watchmaker at the 95 of the Beaujolais Gallery in 1786.

The bronze cannon installed on the meridian line of Paris thundered at noon , thanks to a magnifying glass that caused the firing of the wick on sunny days.

Regarded as the best in Paris, the little gun attracted a large audience who came to adjust his watch.”

The gun was stolen in 1998, so what you see in the image above is actually a replica that was installed in the original’s place in 2002.

I love stumbling across random bits of history like this!

Bonne journée!

Marla

Les Deux Plateaux

I woke early one morning (not difficult to do when suffering through jetlag), ate my breakfast and hurriedly left my hotel. I was headed for the Palais Royale. Or more specifically, to its inner courtyard, Cour d’Honneur. My goal was to arrive before every Instagrammer in the city did because I wanted to take some people-less photos.

Photos of what? you might be asking yourself.

Several months before the trip I’d seen an art installation in an online travel guide for Paris that looked pretty neat, and decided to check it out myself.

Within the courtyard are 260 striped columns of varying heights, and I was interested to see the contrast between them and the classical design of the former 17th century Royal palace.

Les Deux Plateaux (or The Two Trays in English) are more commonly known as the Colonnes de Buren. Installed by French artist Daniel Buren in 1986, the columns proved to be highly controversial and not loved by all. Each is made of Carrara and Pyrenean marble, which was also famously used by famous sculptors such as Michelangelo and Rodin.

I enjoyed the installation, and after a quick look and a few photos I noticed that others were starting to arrive. I knew I was short on time when I spied a girl posing atop a column with an outfit coordinated with the stripes. So I took a quick selfie and made my way to my next stop for the morning.

Unintentionally dressed in stripes to match, I swear!

Bonne journée!

Marla

Nightfall at the Louvre

Strolling in Paris at night is one of my favourite things to do in the city. On one of our first nights there, my friends and I decided to head to the Louvre. Not because we wanted to head inside, but because seeing the pyramids and grand palace against the night sky are always a treat.

We entered the grounds via Cour Carrée, a courtyard enclosed to form a square of about 160 meters on each side.

Our excitement of being back in Paris was running high, and we decided to take a few fun photos. Like this one, which Baxter captioned, “When you’re too cheap to pay admission to get into the Louvre.”.

Here’s what our cameras saw while we stood on tiptoes.

Next we entered the more well-known Cour Napoléon et Pyramide du Louvre. Baxter and Karen replicated a photo that he had taken years previously.

Anywhere else, I’d probably have been slightly embarrassed for them and their fromage. But, this is where people go to take their cheesy photos.

Like this couple standing absolutely still, only changing their pose as a photographer shouted at them.

Here’s looking back at the entrance we came through.

A quick selfie in front of the largest pyramid (which is also the main entrance of the Louvre museum).

Oh look! Another photo shoot.

This one was more glamourous, complete with a small photography crew with lights and multiple cameras.

After a slew of photos taken of the two separately, they were joined for more awkwardly posed “romantic” shots.

Remind me that if I ever get married, I need to return to the Louvre for my own cheesy photoshoot. I’ll bring multiple outfits. Of course, Celine Dion will blast from my phone. Maybe I’ll practice a choreographed dance. Crowds will surround us, and everyone will clap and weep. It’ll be pure fromage magic.

I may have just vomited in my mouth a little bit.

Bonne journée!

Marla