Every two years, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) holds the World Championships, a nine-day global event bringing together around 1,800 athletes from about 200 countries. This time round, it was London’s turn to host the Championships, and really our whole trip was based around this event, having bought the tickets many months in advance.
This weekend just gone, my family and I took a trip down to London, mainly to see the IAAF World Championships, but also for a little bit of a jolly! Pretty much as soon as we arrived, after dumping our cases at the hotel, my sister and I went back to King’s Cross station to relive our Harry Potter dreams at Platform 9¾, which was a lot of fun (aside from the hour-long queue), and of course we spent a further hour in the gift shop!
Roughly 40km north of Paris, you’ll find Chantilly, a commune that was once part of the historic Valois region. In May, I took a trip up to Chantilly for a plant festival in the grounds of the château, combining it with a nosey into the building itself. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the castle is now the home of the Musée Condé, which has one of the best collections in France.
To finish up this tour of the Île de la Cité, we headed to the Notre-Dame, one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. The first stone of this spectacular structure was laid way back in 1163 by either Bishop Maurice de Sully, or Pope Alexander III, no one really knows. It was built to replace the existing Parisian cathedral, Saint-Etienne. Bishop Maurice de Sully had it torn down as it wasn’t ‘worthy’ of the city, and so he began works on Notre-Dame. Well that’s the story anyway. Archaeological excavations suggest there was a huge structure there before construction began on the cathedral as we see it now.
We’re on the home straight now in this series on the Île de la Cité with this fourth part about the Palais de Justice. First things first though. The Palais de Justice is really two things. It can refer to the Palais de la Cité complex, which includes the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle. But it can also refer to the overground buildings containing the courtrooms. In this post I’ll focus more on the activities in the overground buildings, but there’s a little bit of a mix.
Here we are again, back on the Île de la Cité, and into one of the most colourful churches on Earth. Like the Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle is part of the Palais de la Cité complex which sits in the heart of the island.
Part 2 of my Île de la Cité ventures took me to the Conciergerie, has been at times a prison, a royal residence, and is now a museum and functioning courts. This, along with Sainte Chapelle, are the last remnants of the oldest royal palace in France, which is pretty awesome. Before starting this properly, this one will be more of a history lesson than photographical exhibition, so you have been warned!
A few weeks ago, my friend, Connie, and I spent an entire day on the Île de la Cité to take in all that it has to offer, which is a surprising amount for such a small piece of land. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting about and uploading my photos from this trip, in a sort of series, I suppose! Some of them may be heavier on the stories behind the locations, but today we’ll start more visual with the Marché aux Fleurs!
Throughout my time in France, I have been attending a language school who occasionally put on cultural trips to supplement our learning, which I think is great! Our most recent excursion took us from Chatou to Bougival, via Croissy-sur-Seine, to discover more about the Impressionist painters of the later 1880s.
There’s a well-known short walking route running from Pooley Bridge to Howtown, so when I returned to the UK for a friend’s wedding (which was so much fun!), a group of friends and I decided to make a jolly day of it!