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Bryce Corbett: The Paris You Won’t Read About in Guide Books

Paris by day is elegant and refined. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the picture postcard surface of the City of Light to discover there is a deliciously louche, borderline seedy side to the world’s most-touristed city.

How do I know? Because I have been living here eight years, because I have spent an inordinate amount of time and money in cafés and bars conducting “research,” and because the fruit of that labour – a new book called A Town Like Paris – has just been published.

At the heart of the book is a love story. My love story. I came to Paris from Australia as a swinging bachelor – a young man bent on adventure, determined to foist myself upon an unsuspecting French female population and, in the process, eat my fill of Hemingway’s fabled moveable feast.

Photo of Shay courtesy of Carla Coulson.

London to Paris in Record Time

If you’ve ever done the Eurail trip through Europe, you know that train travel can be an adventure in and of itself. Now Europe has a new option. The high-speed Eurostar train that used to whisk you along from London to Paris in a sluggish three hours has now outdone itself. Today, a Eurostar train traveled between Paris and London in just two hours, three minutes, and 39 seconds, at one point reaching speeds of 186 miles per hour, according to ABC News.

For the record attempt today, the train had the track all to itself, and had stripped off unnecessary weight to achieve even more speed. Passengers will be able to have croissants and coffee in Paris and be in London for an early fish and chips lunch starting in mid-November, and should expect the journey to take a nice two hours and 15 minutes.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member monbryn.