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Europe

Madame Bessiere and the gypsies

Madame Bessiere and the gypsies

John Newton writes: This story was written in 1982. I was travelling from Rome to Barcelona on the way to Mallorca with my lover at the time (and for some years after) and her daughter.  We arrived in Arles at around ten o’clock in the evening in a sickening Seat Ritmo, having driven all the way […]

The bizarre Parisian love for table tennis, Parkour and roller blading

The bizarre Parisian love for table tennis, Parkour and roller blading

Emma Koehn writes: I wanted fancy pastries from Paris, but I got table tennis instead. This fact hit home as I sat marooned by luggage in an eastern Parisian playground, waiting for day three of a by-now routine session of ping pong spectatorship. The French might not acknowledge it, but they sure love alternative sports.

A bit of peace in former war-zone Normandy

A bit of peace in former war-zone Normandy

At their closest point England and France sit a mere 34 kilometres apart, a journey easily travelled by plane, train or hovercraft, if you have one. We opted for an overnight ferry when on a recent trip to Normandy, and it turned out to be a remarkably relaxed way to travel. I’m becoming increasingly anti-air in my old age.

A continent of migrant stories

A continent of migrant stories

Australia is a country of migrants, with an exciting mix of cultures and peoples that enriches our society and shapes our national identity. We've got nothing on Europe though.

A personal Anzac journey: finding a fallen family member

A personal Anzac journey: finding a fallen family member

Freelance writer Troy Wilkinson writes: For most of my life, G T C Williams was nothing more than a name. I wasn’t even aware of my great-grandmother’s brother existence until a family road trip aged 12. At the War Memorial in Canberra my grandfather found the name of an uncle he never met on the wall of […]

Markets, mandarins and figuring out the seasons: a (food) tour of Europe

Markets, mandarins and figuring out the seasons: a (food) tour of Europe

Jean McBain writes: Andrew and I decided to spend our first year of married life travelling in Europe. Something we’ve always looked for in our travels is interesting food experiences and over the last ten months we’ve certainly had some memorable meals, both for good reasons and bad (one word: airports). Sometimes self-catering means you […]

Escaping capitalism (juste un peu) in France

Escaping capitalism (juste un peu) in France

Carolyne Lee  writes: A friend from London says she often hears her compatriots complaining (presumably after visiting France), “Why can’t France be more capitalist? You have to go to about five different shops to buy your headache tablets, your newspaper, your fish, your groceries, and your bread. It’s so inconvenient.” The people who say this […]

Trials and tribulations of a trainee tour guide

Trials and tribulations of a trainee tour guide

Former Busabout tour leader Ben Oliver writes: My body screams for sleep, my mind is a scattered mess and I’m well past the point of breathing without my eyes closing of their own accord. In a never-ending effort to stay conscious, I pinch my leg — harder this time — sending a bolt of adrenaline through […]

The light of St Jean de Luz

The light of St Jean de Luz

Nicola Heath writes: We arrived in St Jean de Luz at the same time as a blustery squall. It was the afternoon and all we could do was find a place to stay and literally batten down the hatches. The following morning the storm persisted and the furthest we ventured was to one of the […]

The revelation of Bordeaux, the quiet Paris

The revelation of Bordeaux, the quiet Paris

It won't surprise those who have visited the city before, or those who are better researchers than me, but Bordeaux was a revelation, says Nic Heath.