Six countries where it is easy (and legal) to camp for free

Sleeping alone under the stars and cheap camping trips are a dream for a lot of campers.

There are countries where it is legal and uncomplicated to camp (almost) anywhere in the wild, without spending a penny. You have to follow the rules of each country and take responsibility: you cannot leave traces of your passage and damaging the environment.

Here are six destinations that are particularly welcoming for adventurous campers:

1. Norway

Shores, forests, mountains, peat bogs. Under the right of access to nature[right to roam], it is legal to camp almost anywhere in Norway, as long as you stay 150 m from the nearest house and are not on cultivated or developed land. This applies to tents, but also to motorhomes. Want to camp for more than two nights in the same place? Permission must be sought from the owner of the premises unless you are in a very remote area.

2. Sweden

The same principle of access to nature applies in Sweden, which allows everyone to walk, cycle or ski, as well as to pitch their tent on any land, except private or cultivated area. It is necessary to remain 70 m from inhabited houses and, of course, to respect local prohibitions.

3. Denmark

This Scandinavian country also allows you to spend the night outdoors free of charge on Crown-owned wilderness, but you should be well informed. There is a list of forests where wilderness camping is permitted, and different types of camping permitted: under the stars, on small developed sites, on large sites.

4. New Zealand

Free camping or freedom camping is legal on New Zealand public land. There are more than 500 designated places, with few or no services, where you can spend the night free of charge in your campervan or tent, in the heart of nature. Each of these sites has its own rules.

5. Scotland

It is legal to do informal camping in Scotland if it is in small groups, with light equipment, and if you spend only two or three nights in the same place. Avoid historical sites, proximity to homes or roads, animal fields and some national parks which banned this type of wild camping.

6. The United States

It is possible to camp legally and free of charge outside developed campsites, in tents or motor homes, on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. That gives us a lot of choices. You will find tips and regulations online, depending on where you want to visit.

best travel of my life

Tips to spend less on travel

We are all trying to save a little bit on the money when traveling, but from experience, you must know that this is not an easy task.

We have a few tips for you to make sure you do not break the bank when traveling abroad!

Spend less before the trip

Skyscanner

Tick “Airports nearby” when performing a search!

You can, when looking for a flight ticket, check the box “add airports nearby” below your departure city. It can save you much money on your ticket, as prices vary depending on the departure city.

Flight promotions

Put the option “go anywhere” when searching for an airline ticket

It was a person during my world tour who showed me this option, and I used it for the rest of my trip.

You give your departure city, and for arrival, you check “flexible/anywhere” Skyscanner gives you the cheapest flights from where you are in other countries. It’s just great, and it can give you ideas of places to go that you might not have thought of.

Spend less on accommodation when traveling:

AirBnB

trip moneyYou can rent an apartment or rent a room from a private individual.

It’s a great technique for cheaper travels. The nights are much lower than in a hotel and even times cheaper than in a dormitory if you rent a room with a private individual. Also, you have, on top of that, a whole apartment for you!

For example, in New Zealand, I slept in a person’s house, in my room, for $15 with breakfast included. It was much cheaper than the dormitories in the city where I was.

Advantage:

You have a kitchen to cook for yourself, cheaper than going to a restaurant.

Meet the premises if you rent a room.

You can also rent your apartment during your holidays to earn some money.

Couchsurfing

It’s the same principle except it’s free.

People offer you to sleep on their couch for free. They are usually people who seek to meet and interact with travelers.

The principle is excellent, unless you want some peace, and not have to feel indebted. This means of housing is based on exchange.

Sleeping in dormitories

This is the cheapest way to pay (except sometimes also with bnb air). That’s the only way I travel and the best way to meet people!

You often have the choice either to sleep in a dormitory of 5 to 10 people or to have your room, with or without a shower (if you have a private shower the price will be higher of course).

We often see dormitories as dirty and dilapidated places, know that the majority now is very clean and even stylish!

Several sites to book from or look for dorms :

  • Skyscanner
  • Hostelworld
  • Booking.com

Home staying

Moreover, more specifically, keep the owner’s pets in exchange for housing. It’s very fashionable, and you can find yourself in incredible places thanks to this way of traveling.

Several sites :

  • House Sitting
  • MindMyHouse

Spend less on local travel

HelpX

We work four hours in exchange for room and board. The work can range from cleaning a person’s house, entertaining in a dormitory, riding horses on a ranch.

Woofing

It’s the same principle except it’s based in agriculture.

Eating at locals’ homes.

To not spend too much money and meet locals, it’s just perfect!

Shopping and cooking in the dormitories

Much cheaper than going to a restaurant every day.

Carpooling

To travel without paying too much, or to propose a route not to pay alone for its fuel.
If you want to rent a car and offer people to carpool, Skyscanner has a price comparison also for cars and campers here.

Working Holiday

To work 1 year in a country while traveling.

You will find all the information about this visa in each country here.

We hope you like these quick tips. Make sure to leave a comment, should you have any questions?

streets of dominica

After Maria, Dominica relies more than ever on tourism.

Last September, the passage of Hurricane Maria brought tourist activity on the island to a halt. Six months later, the destination takes stock of its reconstruction.

Despite Maria’s devastating passage, there is no way Dominica will ever forget her tourism.” At present, efforts to rebuild the destination have been colossal, says Colin Piper, director of the Discover Dominica Tourism Authority. Dominica welcomed its first cruise ship in Portsmouth at the end of December and in the capital Roseau last January. We have also confirmed the reopening of the main natural sites. Accessibility to public services such as water and electricity are in their final stages.” In detail, 19 of 23 natural sites such as Trafalgar Falls, Indian River or Cabrits are officially open and welcoming visitors. The diving spots are also accessible, says the Tourist Office. Regarding accommodation, 40% of the rooms are available for reservation, and an additional third should reopen by the end of the year.

Tourists can participate in the reconstruction.

maria stormThe progress of the reconstruction can be followed in real time on the Dominica Update website. A positive signal, the destination announces the imminent arrival of high-end hotel projects. The Anichi Resort & Spa (Marriott Group), Cabrits Resort Kempiski and Jungle Bay Resorts & Spa will be inaugurated in 2019. A significant sector of the Dominican economy, the tourist recovery is a crucial axis for the island,” stresses the Tourist Office. The devastating passage of Hurricane Maria was a blow all the more severe as the island was making an “excellent year for tourism”.

In the end, 2017 will have ended with a relatively moderate drop of 8.9% in tourist arrivals, all markets combined. Tourists who so wish are invited to participate in the reconstruction of the island through voluntary tourism packages: travelers can register with local hotels or operators to engage in targeted reconstruction and clean-up operations while discovering the island.

Réunion island

Reunion Island continues to promote tourism in Europe.

The IRT has just completed two significant operations with European tourism professionals: Germany at the ITB Berlin and metropolitan France at the annual roadshow in several major cities. The IRT continues the growth momentum that began with the excellent 2017 figures.

The meeting took place at German time from 7 to 11 March. Germany is one of the world’s largest emitters of tourists. “It is a market of vital importance in the tourism market diversification strategy successfully pursued by the Réunion Region since 2010,” explains the IRT.

German tourists now represent more than 6% of the total number of foreign visitors to the island in 2017, 1.5% more than in 2016 and the most represented European country (behind metropolitan France). The margin of progress is therefore real, and it was essential that this year again, Reunion Island be present at the most important European meeting for world tourism professionals.

south of africaThe IRT teams accompanied twenty-two Reunionese players (hoteliers, incoming agencies, and airlines) for a week to promote their exchanges with European and international tourism operators. Nevertheless, if the first three days of the show are only reserved for professionals in the sector, the last two days are open to the general public.

A stand of more than 150 m2 was therefore made available to these professional partners to guarantee them high visibility, maximize contacts and strengthen links with visitors interested in the destination.

All participants agreed that this week was “a real success for all”: many contacts were established between the IRT, its partners, and many international tourism professionals.

Similarly, more than 30 journalists expressed “their interest in our island and their desire to make it known to their respective audiences. More generally, visitor feedback has been very positive and testifies to the considerable gain of notoriety for the great island, perceived as a prestigious, preserved, confidential destination that still inspires the most distant travelers.

In its desire to make Réunion even more attractive and to promote it to metropolitan tourism professionals, the IRT also organized, as it does every year, a roadshow in three major French cities.

Accompanying this time twelve actors of the tourist sector of Reunion, the teams of the IRT gave appointment to the travel agencies, tour-operators, commercial, specialized journalists and ambassadors of the destination Bordeaux, Paris, and Lille respectively last March 13, 14 and 15.

These meetings with professionals, the first marketing relay for the destination Réunion aupreÌ s of the general public, have several objectives: to strengthen links with the prescribers of the destination, to transmit the most striking best practices and sales arguments, but also to generate maximum sales in the short and medium term.

Metropolitan France remains “the largest emitting market for tourism in Reunion Island”: in 2017 it accounted for more than 78% of the total number of visitors. It is therefore essential for the IRT to maintain strong links with French tourism players through operations like this one.

The Craze of Recreational Drones in 2017 !

News outlets and bloggers are talking about more and more about drones these days, and legislators of every country in the world as well as manufacturers are trying to shape up a drone legislation so that everyone can be safe when flying.

However, it is very easy to fly a drone abroad. How to do it? A few answers in this article

First, of course, it takes a drone 😉 Yes, but which one?

There are different models available on the market at various price ranges, ranging from 20 € to 10 000 $. You have to know that the entry-level drones will be difficult to fly because it is up to you to stabilize them and it ‘s hard to manoeuver them for this reason.

These toy drones also called mini drones are more suitable for indoor use and are not often equipped with a GPS system for the positioning.

Personally, I choose the Phantom 4 by the Chinese manufacturer DJI. Big fella of 1.2 kg but this one stabilizes itself thanks to an advanced GPS chip. I choose this model because it is one of the cheapest that stabilizes by itself and that it is not too big to be carried in a hand luggage on a plane.

On the contrary, I opted for the Professional version because it allows having a camera live feed up to 7 kilometers away while the classic and more standard versions boast a camera live feed of “only” on 300 to 500m. This model was purchased end of 2016 for 1500 € in a store.

mavic pro DJI

Besides the drone itself, different brands offer a whole range of accessories, bags, propellers, filters, … The best model on the market is currently the DJI Mavic Pro, as seen on www.le-mavic.fr

I chose a quality carry bag because although they are less resistant than the shell ones, they are highly customizable and allow me to have my drone and camera together. I also took a second battery which is much needed if you are planning on doing multiple flights per sessions. Today I regret a bit of not having taken any UV filters and a sun visor to avoid rays on the screen for the live feed when you are facing the sun.

Best practices to use a drone

Regarding the use, the most important rule remains on the “not seen, not taken,” even in the places where it can be legally used because generally, the authorities do not know much about the regulations concerning commercial drones. Another rule contrary to the first but sometimes useful: ask a law enforcement officer. Especially in Asia for example, if a police officer says yes, no worries just keep on shooting. Otherwise ask the next policeman 100m away! There is always one who will find it interesting to watch.

More generally, I advise you to visit this site that brings together the regulations of many countries when it comes to flying recreational drones:

We must recognize it, during a journey, between the moments when it is forbidden to fly, and the moments where time prevents it (wind or rain), we could not use it about 60% of the time. However I still recommend this purchase, the pictures are breathtaking!

By the way, speaking of the images, here is the last link, that of the youtube channel on which I put my videos of a complete drone without assembly to give an overview of what it gives in flight as well as two videos. Pictures and videos are from a trip in Ireland !

castle aerial shots ireland

san-diego-comic-con-2016

Rarest & Most Expensive Lego Star Wars Minifigures

As I just got back from a 2 months holidays in the US and after attending the San Diego 2016 Comic Convention, I wanted to share my love for the intergalactic favourite saga of all times.

there-are-a-broad-range-of-lego-toys-available-out-thereLego and Star Wars – a match made in heaven for any collector! For well over a decade, fans of both the construction kits and sci-fi movies have been investing their hard earned cash in the tiny pieces of plastic known as Lego Minifigures.
Over the last few years, the market in these Lego versions of well-known (and less well-known) characters from the Star Wars movies has taken off in a big way, with some of the rarest items changing hands for thousands of dollars. Here we look at some of the most precious and most expensive Lego Star Wars figurines on the market today.

C3PO – 14 Karat Gold

Everyone’s favourite droid has made several appearances in Lego form. However, this one is not only exceptionally rare but also incredibly valuable. Made from 14 carat gold, only five of these mini figures were ever made back in 2007 when the 30th anniversary of the movie was being commemorated.
These highly coveted collectables now change hands for thousands of dollars.

Cloud City Boba Fett

Boba Fett is one of the most well known and popular characters in the Star Wars universe, so it stands to reason that he is a favourite mini figure too.

Although there have been some versions of the famous bounty hunter, one of the rarest is the Cloud City incarnation who only made an appearance for a limited period in the 2003 play set featuring the city in the sky. This figure is also unique because of its printed legs and arms and has been sold for prices up to $9,000.

Yoda -New York I Love

The smallest Jedi of them all made a special appearance in 2013 in one New York branch of Toys R Us. This exclusive mini figure of the green Jedi master sports a New York I Loved shirt and was released only with purchases of that year’s X-Wing play set. Only 1000 of these exclusives were ever produced, explaining why they can change hands for up to $600 each.

Darth Vader – Nuremberg Toy Fair

star-wars-mini-figures-are-immensely-popularThe enemy that everyone loves to hate, it’s no surprise that Darth Vader is a popular mini figure. However, one of the most sought after is the Nuremberg Toy Fair exclusive of the black cloaked baddie. Although he is made from the original Vader mould, his rare German origins make him highly collectable, with eBay prices of up to $1,800.

Darth Revan

One of the more obscure characters in the Star Wars universe, this Sith Lord who retrained as a Jedi after losing his memory was never included in any Lego play set which accounts for its rarity. Only available online from the Lego store as part of a one-month promotion in 2014 in honour of Star Wars Day, this unusual figure is very hard to come by and has a price tag to match.

Find more on Han Shoots First – Star Wars Fan Site

camping and hiking trip

Backpacking Memories: An Amazing Encounter at Avalanche Lake

When I was younger, our family trips involved a four-person tent and a patch of lonely woods. I didn’t mind. I loved hiking, campfires, and sleeping in a tent. There’s one trip. However, that stands out as the most memorable.

A bit of background

our beautiful tent in the wild
Our beautiful tent in the wild

It was the summer I was eleven. My parents once took me on a trip to Avalanche Lake. Dark cliffs tower on both sides of this mile-long lake, and there’s no shore. The trail we took was an adventurous route of wooden catwalks bolted to the cliff face. The lake itself was smooth as a mirror, reflecting the tall cliffs and the narrow stretch of sky between them.

At the end of the day, we arrived at a cluster of campsites. Several other groups of campers were setting up tents and cooking meals. We picked a site of our own and got ready to eat dinner. We had the best franks and beans I’d ever eaten. Just about anything tastes amazing after a long day of hiking.

After dinner, my dad put the rest of the food in a bag. He tied a rope to it and slung it over a thin branch. He missed one thing, though: a piece of chewing gum I’d been saving. I had dropped it near the tent. I didn’t think such a small thing would attract any dangerous wildlife, though, so I didn’t say anything about it. I had no trouble falling asleep that night.

I woke up to a strange clanking sound. I looked around and realised my parents weren’t in the tent. I stuck my head outside. Lots of other people were up, including my parents. Everyone was banging on a pot or bowl or canteen. Then I saw something black moving through the trees, and I knew why. It was a bear.

A big fat bear!

Black bears are common in the Adirondacks, but I’d never seen one in the wild before. This one looked no bigger than a large dog. It was moving quickly among the campsites toward a stand of trees at the edge of the camping area. I grabbed a pot and began hitting it. The bear moved to the base of one of the trees and started to climb. I looked into the tree and noticed something else: three bear cubs.

Once they saw those, my parents got me out of there quickly. There are few more dangerous places to be than between a mother bear and her cubs. On the way out, I noticed the chewing gum I’d left out last night was gone.

I have no way of knowing whether the bear or another animal took my gum. But my misstep could have attracted her in the first place. Here’s an overview of what we did right and what we should have done.

Store your food the right way

our bear encounter, scary
Our bear encounter, scary!!!

Proper food storage. My dad put our food in a bear bag. To do this, put the food in the bag, close it securely, and tie a rope to one end. Tie a rock to the other end of the rope. Then throw the rock over a thin tree branch. Pull the rope up until the bag is hanging about eight feet from the ground and at least four feet from any tree trunks or branches. The tree branch you choose should be at least 150 feet from your campsite. Most people think this is enough to keep bears away. It’s not.

We made the mistake of storing only food in our bag. Bears have an incredibly fine sense of smell. If you want to keep them away, you also need to include all “smell-able”: shampoo, insect repellent, chapstick, soap, lotion, any container that’s ever contained a flavoured drink, bandages, clothes worn while cooking and eating, dirty cookware, toothpaste, deodorant, medication…and chewing gum. Also, you should never eat near or in your tent. Many parks suggest you don’t use sunscreen, insect repellent, shampoo, or lotion after 3 pm.

What to do if there’s a bear in your campsite. Grab a pot and make noise. If there are several people in your campsite, everyone should make noise at once while slowly advancing. It is intimidating for bears, and it will usually run them off. We did this by the book, and it worked. Our mother bear climbed the tree where her cubs were, giving everyone a chance to pack up and get out. If there are cubs, don’t get between them and the mother. It is one of the few situations where a bear will attack you.

Our encounter didn’t turn out to be fatal. Most bear encounters aren’t. However, it’s important to cut the risk by properly storing your food and other belongings. Bears often return to places where they’ve found food before, and our bear was probably used to raiding for food around that group of campsites. By taking care to store your food and other sellable items the right way, you aren’t just keeping the bears away from your site for the present. You’re also helping to prevent future encounters.

Oslo can be a lovely city during summer time

Six Fun Activities to Enjoy in Oslo

When choosing where to spend a holiday in Europe, your choices include some of the most beautiful and fascinating countries in the world.

One option you should consider is Norway as this is a country that can deliver both a visually pleasing experience and plenty of things to see and do during your stay.

Many incredible landmarks and monuments to visit in the old city
Many incredible landmarks and monuments to visit in the old city

If Norway is the destination of your choice, then a trip to its capital, Oslo, should be included in any holiday itinerary. In this city, you will find a diverse range of exciting activities to enjoy including stunning landmarks, beautiful parks, city tours and museums aplenty. However, if you want to spend your time doing things that are both fun and unusual, you ought to consider the following six activities.

1) TusenFryd Amusement Park

A trip to TusenFryd Amusement Park is a great way of satisfying the child in you. It is the largest amusement park in Norway and boasts more than 30 attractions. There are also shops, games and some great places to eat. Even better, if you are travelling with children, all children shorter than 95 centimetres have free admission.

2) Paddleboard Around the Fjords

The fjords of Oslo are one of the most famous and outstanding features of this beautiful city. While there are many boat tours on the fjords, there are some alternative ways you can appreciate your delightful surroundings. One fun option is to paddleboard around the fjords under the guidance of a qualified instructor. It gives you the chance to see one of the city’s highlights while also learning a new skill.

Paddle-boarding the Fjords is an amazing experience
Paddle-boarding the Fjords is an amazing experience

3) Oslo Reptile Park

Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to Oslo Reptile Park. Not only is there a wide selection of different reptile species, but there are also spiders and other creepy crawlies to see. This activity is educational, interesting and a little different to other attractions in Oslo.

4) Korketrekkeren

If you like speed and outdoor activities that have a certain element of risk to them, then a day at Korketrekkeren is one of the most fun days out you can have in Oslo. Here, you can spend hours sledging down the snow-covered hillside. The bobsled track from the Oslo Winter Olympics of 1952 is also open to the public.

5) Bubble Soccer

bubble soccer is super fun
Bubble soccer is super fun

A fact about Norway that many people are unaware of is that the game of bubble soccer was invented in this country. This sport involves wearing a huge plastic bubble on the upper half of your body while playing football. Bubble soccer has the same rules as regular soccer, except that full contact is allowed. It is a really fun activity to try if you are visiting Oslo with friends. Visit this Facebook Page or Twitter to know more on the game of bubble soccer!

6) Helicopter Tours

To see the sights of the city from a different perspective, a helicopter tour is an excellent choice. It is a fantastic opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Oslo and enjoy both the cityscape and views over the surrounding area.

If you choose to visit this beautiful and diverse city, then you can enjoy these activities and so much more. In Oslo, there is an activity, venue or event to suit everyone, regardless of their preferences and interests.

This is what a great summer barbecue is all about

Summertime means a lot of things – kids in the yard, time in the sun, relaxing afternoons – but one of the best things of all about summer is those evenings when you have friends over to your house for a few blissful hours of barbeque, conversation, and time spent relaxing together. If you want to plan a summer cookout at your house, you can ensure that the night will be a smashing success as long as you follow these few simple tips.

enjoying a bbq with your friendsFood: Having great food for everyone to dive into is, of course, the biggest part of having a good barbeque. If you have close friends over, the best way to handle the food situation is to purchase enough meat for everyone and to plan on grilling this on your own, and then to ask everyone else to pitch in with something specific such as chips or dessert or a side, or anything else you might want!

Drinks: Providing cold drinks such as punch and soda will be necessary on a hot night of barbequing – and depending on the crowd that is coming over for the evening, you might also want to stock a cooler with beer or have the ingredients for mixed drinks. As is the case with the food, drinks are another thing you can ask others to chip in with.

Lounge Spots: You do not want people to feel cramped in your yard, so make sure everyone has a place to sit and relax. Set up seats in different areas so that people can choose where they want to sit and consider stringing up a hammock or other relaxing seating arrangements so that everyone will feel comfortable kicking back and lounging!
With the proper mixture of food, drink, and lounge spots (and with the right group of friends!), you will have everything you need for a great summer barbeque.

watch a full moon under the stars

Family Tents For Outdoor Camping

Practically every decent outdoor shop in every town will provide family tents for outdoor camping. Camping being among the most liked and addiction outdoor activities amongst families today, there are no surprises here. Individuals want to evacuate their gear and take the kids, the dog and triggered to spend a weekend playing in the sand or the mountain, fishing or just unwinding by bonding with mother earth.

It is refreshing to understand that you do not have to pack up and head house at the end of the day; instead, you can roast some hot dogs over an open fire, toast a few marshmallows and tell funny stories till the family prepares to nod off to rest.

Find a Tent for your Family

beach camping is coolTop msr tents for outdoor camping can be found everywhere and are available in simply one huge room such as an eight individual camping tent size; they also can be found in spaces that are divided, and camping tents that have smaller sized dome camping tents that link to them using zippers. These tents frequently have screened rooms to allow the family to enjoy the quiet of the early morning or the late night without feeding every bug in the county.

The size and design of the family camping tents for camping are all personal choices that will depend on what your household likes and exactly what you need according to how large your family is. A family is a relative term and could explain simply two individuals, one grown up, and some kids, or an entire houseful of kids and grownups.
There are many different types of families today other than the “typical” 4 individual households, so the family camping tent for camping will need to be chosen relying on family size and personal choices.

When a kid reaches the age of about ten, they will get to know if their parents are allowing them to have their personal tent and personal privacy. This suggests you could acquire a tent that is a bit smaller if your kid will be sleeping in their tent in a near future.

Most family tents come geared up with individual pockets that are designed to run an extension cord through the side of the camping tent, so you do not have to leave the zipper partly unzipped to accommodate it. Many state parks now have electrical power offered at their camp sites for the operating of fans and portable cooling units. The tent designers and makers know this truth and have begun creating tents where these types of home appliances can be used safely within their structures.

Save Money with A Camping Tent

Some of the best times you will have with your family will be spent doing basic things like under the stars, and strolling along the sandy beach in the moonlight while you hold your child’s hand and pay attention to the sounds of the browse on the rocks. Camping is far more affordable than renting a hotel room and consuming in restaurants while you are vacationing. Campers can vacation near to the kinds of activities they enjoy participating in.

Doing so minimizes the general expense of your trip or weekend by eliminating hotels and dining establishments, and it provides more families with the chance to take an economical getaway. The camping tents made for family camping that are offered today offer a broad range of choices when it pertains to materials, size and rate.

the romantic deux cheaveaux on the french roads

Restoring the workhorse: Citroen 2CV

With an unmistakable profile the Citroen 2CV is not just a car with a heritage going back to the 1940’s, but a national icon and a highly sought after collectable. Having started as a workhorse in rural France, the ‘deux cheveaux vapeur’ (two steam horses) quickly became an affordable and easy to maintain method of transport across France. Before long it was being produced across Europe, with thousands sold globally.

Having ceased production in the 1990’s, Citroen has moved on to other things, but the 2CV is still a popular car for collectors with the chassis alone often being bought for a premium. Collectors can buy a refurbished model for a relatively small outlay and those with an old model rusting in the back yard may find that there are some surprising choices for that old ‘tin snail’ (as the 2CV has been affectionately called). So here are a few options for the budding 2CV enthusiast.

2cv car in actionPRET-A-ALLER: The old deux cheveaux can still be picked up on popular shopping websites (such as eBay or Gumtree), often pre-restored and ready to go. These are perfect if you are after this classic for a runaround or as a collectable item. There are also several companies dedicated to lovingly restoring the old ugly duckling back to its full potential. However if you are looking to get hands on there are still options for finding unloved 2CV frames in farmyards and driveways across Europe or even the above-mentioned websites. From a mechanical point of view, this is a straightforward car to play with with no electric parts and mostly straightforward engineering.

PIMP THAT RIDE: Anyone looking to turn heads with a unique look would do well to pick up an old 2CV and see what can be done. From crazy paint work and fat tyres to high torque motorbike engines, there is a world of possibility for the creative mechanic. If time and money are no object, there are plenty of companies that could come up with a very good idea for a tired old flying dustbin. As there is a surprising amount of room in these old cars so, you can have fun putting in extras such as sound equipment or plush seating to create a fast and furious ride that no one would forget in a hurry.

WORK THE WORKHORSE: Another idea is to take the old workhorse and take it to a new market. The modern taste for retro and vintage means that in the right hands a 2CV could become an integral centrepiece to the right project. Perhaps a pop-up coffee shop, posh burger stand or even part of a mobile vintage clothes shop. The sky is the limit. There are also several models of 2CV van that can be found if needed for the right type of project. The Citroen HY and the H van are both designed as more heavy duty workhorses in a similar mould and can still be found if you look.

TAKE HER FOR A RIDE: One thing about certain old cars, the 2CV in particular, is the fuel economy. A well-restored Deux cheveaux would make a fabulous long distance road trip companion with plenty of interior space, good suspension, and high ceilings. The original model was designed to do around 50 mpg, but one might find that new reconditioned tin snails have different engines with varying degrees of fuel consumption. If you’re looking to go on a tour with a difference this summer, then take a look at a restored 2CV.

These old cars are popular for a reason, mainly their accessibility and ease of use and the surprising amount of fun you can have driving one, especially with the top down. If you’re looking for a little bit of retro ‘joie de vivre’ or even thinking of an engineering project then finding one of these flying dustbins would be a great start!

streets of paris during winter

A potted guide to ‘La Belle France.’

As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, France has much to offer. With a rich cultural history, fantastic scenery and some of the best food and drink to be had anywhere on the planet, there is so much more to be seen that just Paris. So where else should you go to experience this marvellous country?

The Mediterranean Coast: You don’t need to be a billionaire with a pad in St Tropez or Monaco to enjoy the French Mediterranean.

view of the town of sete south franceMarseille has a reputation as a bit rough and ready, but the city has a charm all of its own. As a port with connections to North Africa, the cosmopolitan nature of the city is evident not just in its people, but it’s food and lifestyle. Take a stroll around the Vieux Port (old port) and sip a pastis as you watch the ships sail and then try a Bouillabaisse (fish soup) or genuine Berber tagine just off Canebiere boulevard.

Just down the road is Avignon, previous home of the Popes (before the Vatican). The city boasts fantastic Medieval forts as well as the famous Pont de Avignon (Bridge of Avignon).

The area around cool and trendy Montpellier is where the French come for their summer holidays. Long sandy beaches, cool coastal towns, and a genuine ‘laissez-faire’ vibe are the reasons to hit the beach here. Montpellier itself is a beautiful little city full of winding alleys lined with boutique shops.

Visitors to the region should also visit the Camargue, a vast protected natural area home to flamingos and other migratory birds.

amazing local producer selling traditional french foodThe East and the Alps: Fans of winter sports don’t need to be told of the fantastic opportunities to be had in the French Alps. Popular resorts such as Chamonix, Alpe de Huez and Courcheval have a reputation as some of the best skiing in the world and rightly so. No matter if you’re a learner or more advanced there will be something for everyone.

The region around Alsace and Reims is more famous as a farming heartland and where some of France’s most famous produce comes from. Reims is the centre of the Champagne region and is surrounded by beautiful lakes and farmland. The Alsace region provides some of the county’s most famous cheeses as well as exceptional beer thanks to the Germanic influence.

Normandy and Bretagne: The rugged north of the country is home to some of the most famous sights and food too. The stunning castle on the island of Mont St Michel is found close to Rennes or St Malo and is one of France’s most picturesque sights. The region of Bretagne (Brittany) is stunning and dotted with small fishing villages and rolling hills. After a day spent strolling the rugged coastline grab a crepe or a savoury galette (pancake) and wash it down with some local cider.

The Atlantic Coast: Bordeaux is a sleepy city world famous for it’s wine. Like most French cities it also has a host of exceptional museums, ancient churches and cathedrals and more than enough food to keep the most demanding gourmand happy.

In the furthest south-west is Biarritz in France’s Basque country. This pretty little town is famous for being the surf capital of France but has a distinct character thanks to it’s Basque influences.

If you’re looking for art, great food or adventure no matter where you head in this great country there will be plenty to keep even the most world-weary traveller happy.

the amazing city of carcassonne
The amazing city of Carcassonne