Biggsy Travels

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Tag: France (page 1 of 2)

9 tips to painting the road at the Tour de France

The Tour de France rolls into town in a few weeks’ time and once again you’ll see those magnificent men on their cycling machines taking on the best the mountains can throw at them. There’s no Mont Ventoux on the route this year but back in 2009 there was … and we painted a big Union Flag across the road near the top of it! And you could too!

Our Union Flag and WIGGO on Mont Ventoux

Our Union Flag and WIGGO on Mont Ventoux

We’d always planned to visit the penultimate stage of the Tour that year (Montélimar to Mont Ventoux), flying into Marseille and driving up the mountain before heading straight to the final stage along the Champs Élysée. I hadn’t planned to paint a flag in the early hours of the morning, but maybe my friend Al maybe had. So at the base of the mountain he suggested we buy some red and blue gloss paint, some white emulsion, a roller and a paint tray before heading on up the course. Continue reading

Dreiländereck – walk across 3 countries in 10 minutes

A friend of mine turned 40 recently and for his birthday he wanted to fly into Basel, head to the Black Forest to watch some snowboarding cross, and then watch FC Freiburg in a Bundesliga game. The perfect opportunity to walk from one country, into another, into another then!

The Dreiländereck monument on Swiss soil. Not much to do there but it was a dreary day

The Dreiländereck monument on Swiss soil. Not much to do there but it was a dreary day

Dreiländereck (also spelt Dreilaendereck) is a tripoint just outside of Basel where France, Germany and Switzerland’s borders all meet. This tripoint is one of the only ones within a major city (Basel) and an iron pylon monument shaped like a rocket celebrates the fact … even though the actual tripoint is 150m NW of it in the middle of the River Rhine (the Dreiländereck scuplture is therefore 150m to the SE on Swiss soil). Ever the stickler for detail I wanted to walk across the two actual borders. I had my passport with me as I’d just arrived from the airport but never needed to show it once as everything’s open for you to walk “to and fro” as you please.

In total from my starting point in France, across the bridge into Germany and then down into Switzerland it’s a 9 minute, 700m walk. From the French starting point to the actual Dreiländereck monument it’s a 32 minutes and 2.6km walk. Continue reading

Trying the French Open instead of Wimbledon

Here in the UK we love watching a bit of tennis in the Summer! Well … normally just those two weeks at Wimbledon and then most of us go back to not knowing that much about tennis for the rest of the year. However during that Wimbledon fortnight we talk fondly about ‘Murray Mound’, whether they’ll need to put up the roof on Center Court due to the imminent rain, and of course the delights of sampling strawberries & cream. But as with most ticketed sporting events in the UK it’s usually difficult to get actual tickets unless you plan well in advance .. or get lucky.

the-view-from-row-34-of-the-suzanne-lenglen-west-stand

However there is an alternative. Back in 2015 my mum and I decided to apply for May’s French Open at Roland Garros instead, sourcing the tickets through  https://tickets.rolandgarros.com/. Compared to Wimbledon buying tickets seemed somewhat easier with no need to enter a “ballot”. We simply registered at Rolandgarros.com and then followed the advice for oversees visitors from their timely emails. We purchased two tickets for the Suzanne Lenglen court west stand at €55 each (their equivalent of Wimbledon number 1 court) and then two €30 ground pass tickets for two days later giving us a day inbetween to explore the Palais de Versailles closeby. VIP style package deals were available too but we were happy settling for the standard ticket options.

Visiting the actual event seemed far easier too with the whole experience coming across as far more relaxed and chilled out. It was strange though seeing the orange clay rather than Wimbledon’s luscious green grass.

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