Europe by train
Travelling through Europe by train is a unique experience. Yes, you can basically go all over Europe, in various countries, only by taking the train. It is also a great way to meet people, either fellow travelers or locals.
Traveling within a country
In many European countries, people mostly travel from one city to another by train. It is often cheaper than flying and the train allows a better access to remote towns.
In France, for example, the SNCF has a monopoly over the rail network. If you do travel often, there are cards available. For a while, I had the 12-25 card, and I sometimes got trains for 25% to 50% off its original price, which is very nice! The card costs 50€ for the year, so you can easily imagine that it becomes profitable after 3-4 travels.
In Germany, I know that the Deutsche Bahn has the monopoly, being the main rail network used to travel around the country. I have never used it, mainly because it can be pretty expensive (bit more than in France). However, in Germany also you have cards such as the BanhCar 25 that grants you 25% discount on routes.
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Top things to do in Berlin
You’ve probably seen how much I love Germany, for the least I have seen -Hamburg. But I also spent a weekend in Berlin, in October 2013.
There are many things to do in Berlin, such a large choice, due to all its history I would say. Berlin is a wonderful city, and I absolutely loved it. Here are some of the best things you can’t miss out when visiting Berlin.
Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
The Brandenburg Gate is a majestic neoclassical triumph arch, dating from the 18th century, and which is one of Germany’s most visited landmark. It is Berlin’s icon, and it has had many roles throughout history. It has been a symbol of peace but also war and terror, because of WWII events. As of today and since 1989, it stands as a symbol of the reunification of Germany. This gate has often been a site for major historical events, as it is right near the Brandenburg Gate that John F. Kennedy gave his “I am a Berliner” speech and where Ronald Reagan affirmed America’s support to Berlin and its people.
–> I recommend that you go see it by night, as it looks even better when illuminated, and it will be less crowded.
Tour de France
As the Tour de France 2015 just ended, with the British Christopher Froome winning the tour for the second time, I thought I would tell you more about this event that I actually saw last year.
Beach bar hopping in Hamburg
Hamburg is probably the best city to claim itself as the home of the urban beach. Each year in April, tonnes of sand are imported to make create little seaside paradises all around Hamburg. Beach bars open their doors on May of each year as to welcome all the bar hoppers, doing it Hamburg-style.
Although you might not think at first of Hamburg as known for its beach bars, it can be explained. As you know, Hamburg is both a metropolitan city and a port city. Its residents have long been spending weekends on these city beaches, beside the Elbe River. These beach bars range from sophisticated to grunge, satisfying everyone’s tastes. Here is how your beach bar crawl could go:
Celebrating the passion for motorcycles
This week end, the Chacal moto club rally is happening in Villereal (Lot-et-Garonne 47). I want to share this mainly because it has been a passion for many years.
My dad was the one initiating me to these gatherings. He is a motorcycles lover, and even had his own club once, called Marmottes Biberon Club (Marmot Moto Club). I started very young, as soon as I could walk I guess, because my parents had a sidecar. We used it so much, even to go in holidays. I have so many good memories with this sidecar, I loved it so much! It broke my heart when my dad sold it… But I understand why he did.
French National Day
So, being a good French, I couldn’t miss the Bastille Day celebrations that went on in New York and Brooklyn on July 12th!
To be honest, I think it is pretty amazing all that is done to celebrate this French National Day! I mean, it is still the U.S. and I was not expecting that much enthusiasm for a foreign holiday but I am glad 🙂
A little history
I think that you all know about Bastille Day, but I thought I would write a brief paragraph about it!
In France, this day is called La Fête Nationale, meaning The National Celebration. If this day is that important for France it is because it commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille, which happened on July 14 1789. This pulled the end of the absolute monarchy and was followed by the end of the society of orders and privileges as well as the unity of the French people on July 14 1790.
This day is celebrated all over France with fireworks, and the largest and oldest military parade being held on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. If you ever get a chance, go see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, it is so wonderful! Although I do like, Bergerac– my little home town’s fireworks, which are music-themed each year (this year theme is “Bergerac a city, a port”).
Day of Celebration and Fireworks
This 4th of July was my second in the U.S. The first being in Rehoboth Beach, DE, at the beach and this one being in New York City.
For this 4th of July weekend, a good friend from Rider University, who lives and interns in New Jersey, came up to New York. It gave us time to catch up and have some fun.
On this day of American celebration, so dear to my American friend, he made me go through a U.S. trivia… Yeah, a little culture is not bad, right? Typical of him, he just knows so much that he wants to share his knowledge… I guess! Well it wasn’t so bad.
New York, New York
Hey folks! It has been a while seen I haven’t written an article here… Sorry about that, but between the graduation, the moving to New York, and the start and end of a job, I have been busy.
But here I am again, ready to write! So, I wanted to write a special article, about New York, as it is now the city I am living in. I must say that its pretty cool, New York being such an amazing and vibrant city!
College year: Retrospective
I don’t think I have ever mentioned it yet, but I arrived in the U.S. last August, and landed directly in New Jersey. Not so glamorous, I know ahah. So I have spent the year studying at Rider University, a quite small and cute university in Lawrenceville. I majored in Marketing and International Business, and this year has been my Senior year. Graduation is coming up, on May 15th. The end is so close now, that I wanted to finally share my experience here!
Picture 1: Rider University; Picture 2: Fountain at Rider’s lake
What is your definition of travel?
So with this article, I wanted to touch upon the concept of traveling itself, as that is what my blog is about. I hope this will make sense, and that you will recognize your traveler-self in there.
According to the Free Dictionary, traveling is to go from one place to another, as a trip; journey. This definition is pretty straightforward, but I think that traveling goes way beyond this.
Do you think that going somewhere must be of a certain period length to be defined as travel? Do you have to actually leave your country to be traveling? What if you go to the next town?