Great Touristy Things to do

Just a little climb

The Tour Saint Jacques is also called the Tower of Saint James of the Butchers, because that’s all that is left of their church.

I’ve wanted to walk up it the for eons but it’s only possible for a couple of months a year and then only on a couple of days each week.

Worse you can’t walk up on your own you have to take a tour with a guide.

The guides must be REALLY FIT!!!

There are ONLY 300 steps to the top of Tour Saint Jacques but as you can imagine, by the top everyone is probably a mite dizzy going round and round and round.

So far I’ve contented myself with taking really bad photos because it’s so tall you can’t get the building ‘in’ a photo and of course it needs to be a sunny day.

Walking to the dome of Sacré Coeur is also 300 steps and I did that with my Godparents who were in their early 70s at the time, OK we were desperate to know when we would reach the top but we managed it, so this is possible but you are warned that you shouldn’t do this if you are claustrophobic.

I’m really desperate to do this because I’m in love with their gargoyles, actually I love all gargoyles but obviously I love seeing them up close best. I just don’t know who I could invite to go with me because the achievement needs to be shared.

Unfortunately the Tour Saint Jacques currently is open only in July and the English tours are only on Fridays and Sundays – I’m sure tickets will disappear fast.

At the bottom of the ticket page there are also gift cards for those who want to offer this Tour to someone – would you offer it to your best friend or someone you disliked intensly?

BTW, this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Helpful Information

June 9th – Foreign Tourists arrive!

FINALLY! France IS opening up to foreign tourists from 9th June!

VACCINATED Europeans, plus a few other countries, will be able to visit France WITHOUT taking a PCR Test or even an antigen test. ‘Vaccinated’ means ADULTS who have been fully vaccinated more than 14 days previously by the Pfizer, AZ or Moderna vaccines authorised by the Agence Européenne des Médicaments(AEM) or 30 days after their 1 dose J&J vaccine.

Green Zones

This rule is for residents in GREEN zones and as at June 2nd 2020 ‘GREEN’ is : The European Area including Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore. These countries are considered “safe” in terms of virus circulation.

Orange Zones

The ORANGE zone includes the vast majority of other countries in the world, including the UK, the US and Canada.

All Adult travellers VACCINATED by one of the AEM approved vaccines (listed above) from Orange Zone countries are allowed to visit France from 9th June so long as they also have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old.

Minors (under 18) are classed as vaccinated IF their parents are vaccinated, whether they actually are or not. If minors are between 12-18 they need to take a PCR or antigen test before entering France. Under 12 years old children don’t currently need to take any tests but this is likely to change in July when the Europe-wide pass is accepted at which time any child over 6 will need a negative test.

Adults travelling who are not fully vaccinated will still need a ‘compelling reason’ to visit France and must self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. If they visit with their children they will also need to self-isolate.

Explanation or red, orange and green zones for travel to France

Red Zones

The RED zone includes South Africa, India and quite a few South American countries. To be allowed into France, foreign tourists from these countries will need a compelling reason to enter , even for vaccinated passengers. They will ALSO need a negative PCR or antigen test AND A MANDATORY 10 day quarantine is required for unvaccinated passengers. Vaccinated visitors will still have to SELF ISOLATE for 7 days.

Covid Map

Another positive thing for foreign tourists is that IF you’re required to take a PCR test to be allowed back into your own country, all PCR tests are FREE for locals and all foreign tourists. You can just bowl up to a local French pharmacy (you know there’s one on every street corner!!!) or I can organise an appointment with a local doctor or clinic because . That’s one less cost for you 🙂

As at today’s date the information from France is clear, it just needs to dovetail with the rules or guidelines for anyone leaving their respective country.

The US government has just changed their recommendations and have now agreed that vaccinated citizens can travel abroad to certain countries, including France, Spain and Italy but, for the moment, not the UK.

More information in French and this in English.

If you’re so excited you want to check out possible dates straight away LOL, click the big purple button anywhere on my website or these links for the B&B if you’re on your own or there are 2 of you or the Apartment if you are 2 – 4 wanting to stay.

Events Helpful Information

Anyone for Tennis?

I realise that tickets to watch the Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros are normally like Gold Dust. However this year Galeries Lafayette have decided to create their own socially distanced viewing point complete with deckchairs in front of a giant screen. You can watch the tennis games direct, via France Télévision without hacking out to the 16th arrondissement to watch this and it’s probably more fun than being at home!

It’s free, but obviously it’s first come first served for the deckchairs!

Buy your own deckchairs styled by the Roland Garros tennis tournament

You can watch every day until 13th June and if there is no play on the courts you can always turn your gaze to the Eiffel Tower. The tower has reopened to the public on the 20th of July after more than 260 days of closure!

Rendez-vous at Galeries Lafayette on their Rooftop Terrace which is on the top of the building with the beautiful glass coupole. Bring your own strawberries and cream 🙂

As tourists are meant to be able to vist France from 9th June, I might just see you there 🙂

By the way, click on the deckchair photo and buy your own deckchair!

A très bientôt,

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Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do

What’s behind the door?

Looks uninspiring? This is an excellent example of never knowing what is behind a door in Paris!

In reality there is a 1200m² / 40000ft² space hosting an exhibition dedicated to Banksy.

It’s an ‘immersive experience’. That means there are some of his paintings from private collections but also artists reproduced his art as if you were actually in front of the real thing.

This building, the Espace Lafayette-Druout, is practically round the corner, only as far as the Opéra Garnier, at 44 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre but a little further East. The exhibition is on until 31st December 2021 and late nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm (until the curfew is extended then it migh be later).

Don’t miss it 🙂

If you want more information and to see lots of the pictures, read a bit more here.

Good news on a real Banksy artwork – The painting of a young girl that was stolen two years ago from the door of the Bataclan has been found in the middle of Italy and 6 people have been arrested. (The Bataclan was one of the sites of the terrorist attack on 13th November 2015.) The Reuters article is here.