Paris Wanderings

Another few weeks based with Elodie in Paris before heading to Africa left me with some time to do the things that didn’t quite make the A-list the first time around. Apart from the usual spots of Paris that deserved a second look, I also got to the other suburbs for a look.

Fontainebleau is world famous for its bouldering and I spent two days exploring not only the rock, but also the forest and nearby chateau. It was actually a bit cold to really ‘hang out’, but at least now I know the location and setup so as to return with shoes and chalk bag at the ready in the middle of summer. The rock is great and the place covers a huge area.

I’m a bit of an historic plane follower as well, and so I managed to track down some interesting little aircraft museums in the surroundings of Paris. The best day was undoubtedly getting a good look at an Avro Lancaster aircraft being slowly restored by a group very similar to where I used to volunteer in NZ. They still have a huge job ahead (even 20 years since they started) with the large four engined WWII bomber reduced to many parts, but the cockpit was very complete, along with rear fuselage and tail fins.

Finally I also made use of the cold and got down to the alps to go skiing and snow shoeing with my good friend Fiona who lives in Geneva. The ski fields were amazing with wide open pistes, and a huge range of terrain to choose from. I managed to scare myself silly going to the top of one of the lifts. Big drops off in every direction suddenly made the sign at the bottom make more sense… “This is not a ski run… it is neither tracked nor patrolled… be accompanied by an experienced mountaineer or a guide”. I got down ok and back onto the groomed slopes but I have new found respect for the Banff Film Festival skiers! A more relaxed time was spent wandering up to a real Swiss mountain hut for the night with my first experience of snow shoes.

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