When I was a teenager, my family went to France every summer. The different trips are all mixed up in my head. I don’t really remember which campsite memory belongs with which French castle memory. There is one visit that I do remember very well, and that’s our trip to Gouffre de Padirac.
Gouffre de Padirac is a deep chasm with a scary lift that leads to a magical fairy tale cave where you take a boat on an underground river. At least, this is how I remembered it, but according to a quick web search this is pretty much the most accurate description possible. As it turns out, Gouffre de Padirac is a bit of a mystery. Continue reading
I love science and travelling, so I often end up in the local science museum, or at an exhibit explaining the regional geography or flora and fauna. I thought it was time to open my scrapbooks and share some of my favourite science-themed places, starting with the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.
When people go to Paris, their first stop is usually the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. Maybe a stroll past the Seine, or along the Champs-Elyssees, followed by a coffee in a cafe in Montmartre. I do all that, too, when I’m in Paris, but I also try to fit in a visit to Cité de Sciences.
The last time I was there was a while ago, though. It was the summer of 2003. Europe was hit by a heatwave, and over fourteen thousand people died as a result of the heat in France alone. It was too hot to be outside for long, so museums in general were an attractive destination. Science museums outside of the touristy part of town even more so.
Cité des Sciences is in Park de la Villette, a subway ride away from the centre of Paris. It looks nothing like the Paris you know from tourism flyers, and that’s why I like it. This is where the locals take their kids on Saturday afternoon. It’s more “real”, in a way, than picture-perfect postcard Paris.