Parlez-vous Anglais? Non.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Thursday we opted to dismiss city life, and head for the country. We arranged to travel on a regional train line to Fontainebleau, one of the best locations in the world for the sport of Bouldering.

We'd been told that once out of the city, not many people speak English. What we didn't realise is, you don't have to go very far at all. Fontainebleau is only 60km from Paris, and it took us 2 hours to find someone that could talk to us! (We forgot our phrasebook) Eventually we acquired the maps we needed, and walked into the forest just to the north of the township.

Hidden in the trees are deposits of sandstone boulders, not that different from Castle Hill's limestone. The setting is quite magic - we had the forest to ourselves, and a gorgeous warm day. The rock is well featured, and the majority of problems were easy, with obvious test-pieces. We couldn't push too hard, as we were without a crash pad, but we found some great V2's. We did around 20 problems in a very small area called Mont Ussy - part of a very large area of bouldering around Fontainebleau. You could spend weeks here and never do the same problem twice.

As beautiful as Paris is, we really enjoyed our reprieve from the hustle and bustle.

Yesterday we totally avoided the Pope on his visit to Paris. Instead of queuing with the masses (no pun intended), we visited Jardin du Luxembourg, a large park in the Latin Quarter, had lunch and attempted to shop for shoes. Last night we went night shooting at the Tour Eiffel, Arc du Triomphe and Le Louvre.

We've got a couple of clips from Fontainebleau and Amsterdam ready to upload, unfortunatly the internet at this hostel is too slow to upload. We should have them online tonight or tomorrow, so check back soon.


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