Entries Tagged as 'France'

English Channel hit by earthquake


The English Channel experienced its strongest earthquake in a few hundred years today, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

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The quake struck at around 8am, and had a magnitude of 3.9. Its epicentre was just south of Portsmouth, according to the BGS. Local residents said they could feel buildings shake for a few seconds, but no major incidents have been reported.

David Kerridge from the BGS said it was the largest earthquake in the English Channel area for almost 300 years. “This is the largest earthquake in this area since a magnitude 4.5 event in 1734”, Kerridge said.

“Historically, there have been two other significant events nearby a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in 1878 and a magnitude 4.3 earthquake in 1750.”

(Via the BBC)

Image credit: Avia Venefica

P&O Ferries offer Disneyland Paris ticket giveaway


DISNEYLAND

Car bookings made this summer on P&O Ferries Dover-Calais service will entitle holidaygoers to a free, one-day Disneyland Resort Paris ‘Hopper’ ticket worth £51.

Make your booking now: the deal lasts up to the 29th September, and you can book as far ahead as next March. You can choose to set sail at any time of the day; the P&O service crosses the channel 23 times a day between Dover and Calais. The price of travel is £35 each way, a cost which covers both car and passengers for as long a stay as you like. This deal will be a great way to save a bit of money, which families are then free to spend at their leisure during their stay in France.

heatheronhertravels

Cycling in France and Europe


bike trip

With the Tour de France now under way you may be getting the urge to do some touring of your own. With P&O Ferries, the cycle paths of Europe are open to you for just £29 per passenger. You and your trusty steed can cross the channel and pedal your way through the cities and countryside of France and then on to rest of Europe.

A cycle holiday is great way to explore France at your leisure. Riverside routes (blueways) will take you through some major cities so you can sample some urban living, while scenic country roads (greenways) are superbly signposted so you can pick up a good pace without having to stop and check a map at every turn. Some of the old expressways in France have now been converted in to cycle paths so there’s no need to dread the dangers of speeding cars and trucks, these roads are maintained exclusively for cyclists.

The blueways link some of the larger towns and cities together so you can cross open country and stop in a different hotel for the night to rest up, before hitting the road the next day. Major rivers like the Rhône and the Seine each have ‘bike only’ roads that you can follow to the sea and relax on the beaches of Southern France If you link your journey with greenways all of Europe is open to you. For example, the Eurovélo project connects France to its bordering countries so if you feel like braving the Pyrenees you can cut right through wine country and stop for some tasting on your way down to Spain.

Alternatively when booking your Dover-Calais ferry you could plan your return by a different route, and cycle along the North Sea returning to England via Holland or Belgium. Using these cyclepaths you’ll be able to loop south into Europe and head as east as you fancy; the Eurovélo project also has preplanned routes for you to cycle safely and get the best out of your tour of Europe.

Image credit: sayamindu

P&O ferry’s Dover-Calais service runs multiple times a day, get an early ferry and really get some miles under your belt before the first pitstop on your bike tour of Europe.

Go on a Hemingway trail in Paris with P&O Ferries


Paris in the 1920s was the hotbed of literature and art – European and American artists flocked to the French capital to get inspired by the city’s unique aura, hang out in its cafés and bars, and enter into gloriously doomed relationships with each other. With a short ferry ride with P&O, you can visit Paris and revisit some of the places that represent this era of artistic splendour.t

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Ernest Hemingway wrote beautifully about Paris in his memoirs “A Moveable Feast”, and lists some of the people he met and the places he used to frequent with them. Among his Paris crew were poets like Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, as well as Pablo Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This clique of artists mainly hung around the Notre-Dame-des-Champs district or Paris.

It was at Gertrude Stein’s house at 27 Rue de Fleurus that Hemingway and Stein discussed the art of writing and became close friends. Stein was a voracious art collector, and in her flat she had works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Picasso and Paul Cézanne.

Her flat, which she shared with her art critic brother Leo, was only a few minutes away from the Jardin du Luxembourg, which Hemingway loved for the respite its green spaces and gravel walks offered. He often crossed through the park on his way see Stein when he was particularly hard up, so that he wouldn’t have to look at the cafés and restaurants.

Hemingway himself lived in the Latin Quarter on the other side of the Jardin du Luxembourg, at 74 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine. Then a dirt-poor area, it is now a bit more gentrified.

On the south corner of the Jardin du Luxembourg was the Closerie des Lilas, a café where Hemingway and his writer friends sank many café crèmes, wines and spirits. He also used it as an office – he wrote several short stories sitting at its tables, and started what would later become his first novel, The Sun Also Rises.

Another of Hemingway’s favourite places was the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, which was run by an American expat and contained hundreds of novels – a godsend for a reader such as Hemingway. The shop’s original location has changed beyond recognition, but the new incarnation, at 37 Rue Bûcherie (on the southbank of the Seine, next to the Ile de la Cite), is every bit as cosy and well-stocked.

To get to Paris and visit these haunts and many more, you can take a P&O Ferry from Dover to Calais.

Image credit: pablo.sanchez

Bastille Day 2011


Bastille Day

Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th each year; it commemorates the storming of the prison fortress Bastille (1790) and the subsequent celebration, Fête de la Fédération (The National Holiday) that marked the one year anniversary in 1780.
The holiday is still celebrated annually as a symbol of uprising – nobody quite does revolution like the French. The storming of the Bastille was a flashpoint in the revolution and one of the birth pains of modern society when old ideas of hierarchy began to crack with the subversion of the aristocracy.

Today, Bastille Day is celebrated with huge military parades in Paris from Cadets of the Royal Horse Artillery with international participation from Britain and Germany. As it is a national holiday in France, tourists should expect some areas to have closures, although hotspots should be fine for public transport and retail. We do recommend you make full use of a cash machine beforehand though.

The celebration starts early and throughout the day there are a variety of parties, dances, communal meals, live music and firework displays. One of the more unique traditions of Bastille Day is the Firemen’s’ Galas, where fire stations across the country open their doors to the public for a look around the stations.

Bastille Day is celebrated in French communities around the world, but for those of you wishing to pay a visit to the land of beautiful women and good food, P&O ferries’ Dover to Calais service can get you there and back at a low cost on a service that runs up to 46 times a day.

Image credit: irene

P&O Ferries: Netherlands MotoGP 2011 Assen


AssamMangalam
This June motorcycle enthusiasts will be flocking to Assen in the Netherlands to see the MotoGP 2011, Karim Beerahee gets the scoop.

The MotoGP bike races in the Netherlands is just a week away (24-27 June), drawing masses of people to see the Road Racing World Championship. The Assen track in Holland was first used in 1925 it has since been replaced, but the Dutch TT has continued on the road circuit through de Haar Hooghalen and a couple of other places.

If you intend to take a trip to the Netherlands to see the Assen MotoGP then transport on to the continent with your bike can be done at minimum cost with P&O ferries. The frequent passage between Dover and Calais opens up a great opportunity for a roadtrip, cross a couple of borders and arrive at Assen’s TT Circuit in time for the start of the race. This tour can be done quickly pulling in at Bruge, Ghent and Antwerp or you can take a coastal road and hop across some of the islands between Calais and Rotterdam before cutting through Utrecht on your way up to Assen.

The MotoGP attracts such a large viewing audience that hotels set up local packages that include roaming passes and invitations to street parties as well as special deals with local facilities. The ‘Night of Assen’ takes place on the Friday before a weekend of racing, the town turns in to one large fair with stalls, bars, bands and rides.

Image credit: adriaan4
P&O ferries can get you and your bike across the channel so you can get a taste of the open road and burn across northern Europe for the motorcycle Championships

P&O Ferries: The Tour de France – It’s a big bike race…in France


tourdefrance
The 2011 Tour de France approaches, Karim Beerahee takes an early look at what’s in store for this year’s race.

The Tour de France sets off on the 2nd July this year, cycling enthusiasts from all over will be in attendance at the opening ceremony. The course this begins by crossing of the Passage du Gois, the 4.5 km link between mainland France and the island of Noirmoutier, a road only accessible during low tide.

Coverage of each and every turn of the race is accessible online and via television but if you want to see this annual event in person, P&O ferries can get you there. Thousands of attendees will be there to give the cyclists a proper send off, a preliminary parade of the bikes before an extravagant opening ceremony will give a real kick start to the Tour de France. This 3 week endurance test covers 3,430.5 Km and circumnavigates France ending in the country’s capital at Paris Champs-Élysées.

What makes this bike race one of the most anticipated worldwide is the tactical aspect, with steep climbs and mountain passes, this year’s 22 teams will have a trying time climbing le Galibier twice on the course. The sprints at the start will test the mettle of the cyclists so you’ll get to see the very best cut ahead of the others, and if you intend to move about see the race all across France, there are some new locations that intersect the track. In the 2011 Tour de France there are 15 new stage towns, including Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, Mûr-de-Bretagne and Cap Fréhel, so followers of the race will get to visit areas of outstanding beauty and impressive architecture.

This year’s Tour de France starts 2nd July finishing on the 24th, for quick passage from Dover to Calais P&O ferries can get you there.

Image credit: malias

P&O Ferries Disneyland deal


DisneyLand Paris

P&O Ferries are offering a package deal for you and the family to get to Disneyland’s Magical Moments festival. At a discounted price, with hotel included, P&O ferries can get you from Dover to Calais on their frequent cross-channel service. Once at Calais you’ll be just a few hours away from Disneyland. With P&O ferries you’ll be able to load up your car and take the entire family on a fun filled Disneyland holiday at a budget price.

This package includes Accomodation and breakfast, at the Disneyland Hotel, 2 tickets for the Disneyland Park for each day of your stay, kids under 7 get free hotel and park tickets.This deal covers stays ranging between 9th of May and the 7th of November 2011. The only catch here is that booking closes on the 30th June.

The Disney Magic Moments Festival will see all the Disney favourites with specially created attractions such as Mickey’s Magical Celebration, Aladdin’s lamp, A Royal Invitation from the Disney Princesses and much more. In true Disneyland Style there will of course be an extravagant parade and fireworks display that you certainly won’t want to miss.

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