France By Marina – Innovative Tour Company of the Year 2018 in Paris

We are very pleased to announce that have France by Marina has been selected as a winner for Innovative Tour Company – of the Year 2018 in Paris! – by Travel and Hospitality Awards.

Travel and hospitality is a uniquely distributed guide to the best hotels and tour companies around the world. They carry out five programmes picking the best in each continent, Asia, Americas, Europe, and Australasia. TH process is carried out entirely online and is not bogged down by expensive events or prohibitive entry fees.

The Luxury Travel & Hospitality awards is an independent global awards programme founded in appreciation of tour companies, activity providers, transfer companies, hotels, apartments, restaurants, wedding planners & spa’s all over the world, from small boutique choices to the bigger more recognisable brands.

To find out more about what we do and to see some of our past winners follow this link www.thawards.com

 Carnival in Nice                17th February to 3rd.  March 2018

The main winter event on the Riviera is one of the largest carnivals in the world, offering a programme of unforgettable entertainment. 

The next edition will take place from on the theme “King of Energy”. In a unique setting, the elegant “flower battles” are part of the carnival not to be missed. On floats decorated with the most stunning floral compositions, extravagantly dressed characters throw out mimosas, gerberas, and lilies into the public.

For over 15 days, the city hums to the rhythm of this genuine, fairy-tale event. Get a passport for the celebration and let the magic do its work … come and forget the dullness of winter and take in the sun on the French Riviera! 

The carnival processions, comprising 17 floats work their way up to a crescendo of gigantic celebrations on the Place Masséna. These giant, colourful parades take place day and night, with entertainment provided by over 1,000 musicians and dancers from across the world.

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Christian Dior is a designer of Dreams. Exhibition in Paris until 7th of January 2018 is presenting a unique retrospective covering 7 decades of creation by the house of Dior.

I was in the exhibition today. It was the most amazing experience ever. 

Alongside the dresses is the most wide- ranging display to date of a atelier toiles and fashion photographs, as well as fashion accessories, including hats, jewellery, bags, shoes and perfume bottles. Reflecting the fact that Christian Dior was also a knowledgeable art lover who adored museums, designs from over 70 years interact with selection of paintings, furniture and objets d’art. 

France by Marina Tours has been nominated as a potential winner in the 2017 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards.

Over the past 12 months the Luxury Travel Guide have been inviting subscribers, hotel guests, travel agencies and industry experts to vote on individuals & companies throughout Europe whom they feel are deserving of recognition.

We are pleased to announce France by Marina Tours has been nominated as a potential winner in the 2017 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards.

 

Celebrating & rewarding excellence, these awards recognise all holiday & tour options from large operators to small, independent guides.

During the judging process our panel consider areas such as;

  • Service Excellence
  • Local Knowledge
  • Online Visibility
  • Use of Technology
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Diversity
  • Communication Skills
  • Disability Provisions 

Hidden gem in Paris- roses, trees and peacocks. 

Marie-Antoinette waged that the Count of Artois, who had bought this property in 1775, could not turn it into a park in 64 days. But he did.

Belanger designed it and Thomas Blaikie built it, to the day’s in-vogue anglo-chinois taste.

Bagatelle park and chateau only barely eluded obliteration during the Revolution, but a string of owners altered them considerably. The orangerie, gates and stables date back to 1835, and the guard’s lodgings were built in 1870, along with the Trianon and the two terraces.

The City of Paris bought this gem in 1905 and entrusted its head gardener, Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier, with the restoration work. He set out to turn these gardens into a botanical domain without upsetting the harmony that the existing layout had already established. He turned the subsistence crops into showcases for collections of roses, irises, perennials, clematises, peonies and other flowers. 
The well-known Roseraie de Bagatelle (rose bed) which has hosted an international competition every year since 1907, is also the work of his hand. Entrance fee is 6€.

We were yesterday in this beautiful  garden, in Bagatelle. There is much more than roses.

 

Pariis edasijõudnutele

Kui me Reedaga, kes oli kunagi minu õpilane, siis kolleeg ja nüüd üle 20 aasta juba parim sõber, 90.ndatel aastatel turismireise Pariisi korraldasime ja ise peaaegu kõiki reise saatsime, siis polnud aega päeva jooksul süüagi, sest kõik kuulsamad kohad oli vaja paari päevaga läbi käia. Kui Reet nüüd oma armsa tütre Emmaga Pariisis käib, siis Emma alustab juba teiselt levelilt ehk edasijõudnute tasemelt. Ja süüa pole meil jätkuvalt aega. Kui üldse, siis suvel ikka piknik mõnes nurgataguses pargis. Eile sai piknik peetud Eiffeli torni all, see pole küll mingi nurgatagune park, aga autoga saab lähedale ja pehmet murupinda on tornist kaugemal palju kus saab ennast hubaselt sisse seada. Ka see, rahvarohkena tuntud koht võib tegelikult olla rahulik ja inimtühi. Tähelepanelik peab ainult olema, sest põõsas võivad passida soovimatud külalised kes noolivad just neid turiste, kes oma asjad kasvõi korraks järelvalveta jätavad süües, juues veini ja pildistades. Mul varastati näiteks ükskord mobiiltelefon Eiffeli torni all istudes otse nina alt  ära nii, et ma alguses ise arugi ei saanud. Peen töö oli ja lugu juhtus nii, et äkki ümbritses meie murul piknikku pidavat seltskonda mitu poissi kes viskasid meile mingid võõrkeelsed paberid lauale ja meie kisa peale, et minge ära, nad muidugi jooksidki minema võttes kaasa nende endi paberid ja minu telefoni. Nüüd ma juba tean karta ja hoian telefoni kaelas, sest oma asjadel tuleb pilk peale hoida Pariisis, see on faktide fakt.Vaatamata sellele seigale julgustan kõiki võimalusel istuma murul, kuulsate kohtade varjulistes nurgatagustes. Ajalooline atmosfäär kandub üle ja lugu on ikka parem kuulata kui lärmi pole. Mina tegelikult nii teengi oma jalutuskäikudel. Räägin lugusid distantsilt, et vaatamisväärsus oleks hästi näha, aga samas pole ümber peaaegu ühtegi inimest ja on vaikne. Ja keegi ei pea jalalt jalale väsimusest tammuma…sest lugu võib olla ka nii huvitav, et lühidalt pole mõtet rääkima hakatagi…

Lühidalt, mida aeg edasi, seda rohkem küsitakse nõu minult põnevate muuseumite kohta, kus poleks masse ja kus saaks rahulikult ja turistidevabalt ringi vaadata. Näiteks üks selline koht Pariisis on kindlasti Le Petit Palais. See suure kuldse uksega näitusemaja  on ehitatud aastal 1900 Maailmanäituseks. Täna on siin head kunsti palju. Valgusküllastes ruumides on nii impressionistide töid /Sisely loodusmaalid, Pissarro, Berthe Morizot/ kui ka 19.sajandi varasemat loomingut. Lisaks tarbeesemed Louis XV ajast ja skulptuurid / meeldejäävalt kujutatud Dante ja kurvalt mõjuv Adama ja Eva poja matused/. Ja muidugi ikoonid, need on keldrikorrusel. Ja tasuta ja järjekorrata korralikud tualetid:)

Kui lähete Väikesesse Paleesse ehk Petit Palais sse, siis arvestage 2 kuni 4 tunniga, sest kui silmale ja hingele kosutust saadud, siis saab nende ülihubases kohvikus keha kinnitada ja raamatupoes ringi uudistada. Raamatupood on üks parimaid Pariisis ja muuseumisse sissepääs on tasuta. Lisan mõned pildid ikka ka!  Olge hoitud!


The Beginning

Everything has a beginning at one point. When 5 years ago I didn’t know how to move on, my youngest son Rauno told me: “I don’t know anybody who knew more about Paris than You do and I don’t know anything that would make you happier than presenting Paris to others. Why couldn’t You move to Paris and do what You really love?” That was the moving factor. I did move. First I tried to manage on my own and didn’t force Andres to come along and cut ties important to him. At some point it became clear that it’s not the same alone and together it’s much more fun and easier. And so it has been. Together. Things went how they did, but I started writing this blog this morning thanks to Rauno delicately advising me: “Mom, You tell such interesting stories, write them down for others to read.” That was it. That’s how today’s public blog began.

Many of my clients have said that I should write a book. I have no plans to write a book, beacause I am better at speaking than and people should do the things they are good at. About the clients, whom I greatly respect, I am not going to write because these stories are private. Also, I’m not going to write about my colourful coursemates because that is also private, although they all deserve a book, but I will talk about them, intertwining this with the stories on my tours.

I write here only about my new personal experiences in France and Paris through my eyes. I’ll also write down interesting facts about France’s cultural history, that I find out from studying at university and which might interest others. So, a beginning has been made.

I’ll start off with my first school presentation in French in The Basilica of St Denis and how I failed like the France national football team in yesterday’s final.

St Denis is not only a famous football stadium where 80 000 spectators cheered the final between Portugal and France and where the French became the World Cup winners in 1998.

St Denis is a holy place. In the face of being a suburb of Paris, where a substantial amount of non-French people live and where the Métro Line 13 brings millions of black people to sleep, here also lies one of the first Gothic churches in the world. In the middle of the town square. By the way, this church was built before the Notre-Dame de Paris. All of the kings and queens of France are buried there and the marble headstones are stunningly beautiful.

The church has an entrance fee. I hadn’t been there before either. The area didn’t seem safe enough.

But here comes story about my failure.

When I said in school that I’ll have the famous topic about the tombstone of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI in the Basilica of St Denis, then I didn’t know what I was doing. I honestly thought that this school was easier, that I know almost everything and getting the tour guide certificate would be just a formality. Absolute majority in our school had the same thought.


The reality was far worse. Art history and history of architecture five times a week and so on. And maybe it’s too easy in French, so some subjects were in English. In a word, I’ll be repeating that studying in school is hard but I’m also thankful that I undertook it because it is extremely interesting and educating.

As I know almost everything about the kings who lived in Versailles, I picked the topic about their tombstone. Because I knew that Louis XVI and his Austrian princess Marie Antoinette were executed by guillotine, buried in a mass grave like peasants and dug up after a regime change to have buried in the Basilica of St Denis. And how hard could it be to tell this? A little bit of research about the creators of the tombstone and to the stage!

This presentation took place in february. I think it was below zero Celcius and the church was very cold because they were restoring the stained glass of the rose window. There was two hours of freezing while standing and listening before my presentation. After exiting the cold crypt (where Louis XVI was buried with his wife), the professor hurried outside the church to the vestibule, to the only warm corner, and said: “Laikjõe, now your presentation, please.” How could one do a presentation about something which you passed by so that you didn’t even realise the passing? I’ll be honest, there was no tombstone in this corner. Tombstone was in the church and we were outside. And then everything went bad. I couldn’t manage it.

I couldn’t describe something that nobody had ever seen and I didn’t have a picture printed out, because why should I show a picture of something that we should be ablet to see ourselves? When speaking about Mona Lisa, everybody knows the picture, but a tombstone that shows a kneeling queen who is bent a bit too forward, like searching the floor for glasses – that’s hard to imagine. Anyway, the professor instantly corrected my first sentence when I started off confused, misnaming the first burial place. My preparation notes said in black and white “Cimetiere Madelaine” and I said loudly: “Cimetiere des Innocents.” Total defeat. I stuttered all the way to the end but it was no success story. Instead I was ashamed that the professor had corrected me, sad that there was no tombstone and I had the desire to do better next time. Like the football final. France national team must move on despite feeling terrible today.

 

Have a beatiful day and until next time!

Marina, outside of Paris, Monday, 11 July 2016

Cap Ferrat- Villa and gardens Ephrussi de Rothschild

There are 7 different gardens in Ephrussi de Rothschild  the French garden you can find musical fountains which makes this place one of the most beautiful  in Côte d’ Azur. 

Rich  interior design of villa from different styles and time.

Personal belongings of Baroness  Ephrussi de Rothschild in her bedroom.

Some flowers pictures of Spain garden with view. 

 Stone garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruising in Paris by boat

Ah..the Seine river- no other river in the world has been the subject of such poetical, picture-taking and all-around admiring. It’s a great way to get familiar with many of the city’s most stunning monuments, ornate bridges and historical buildings, including Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Museé du Louvre etc.

Let the beautiful city come to you when you’re eating dinner, waving to life-enjoying Parisians and listening some light classical music which makes everything come together.

It’s a memorable family activity on the daytime and romantic trip in the City of Light with your honey at night.

 

Prices : adult 14€, children 10€

Duration : 1h