Exciting News For My Blog Readers! Enter For a Chance To Win An Annual Subscription To GPSMYCITY

Here’s a chance for one of my blog followers to win one of 10 annual subscriptions to the GPSMyCity Travel App, a $18.99 value.

CONTEST RULES:

All you have to do to for a chance to win is:

  1.  Follow my blog (if you already have, skip to item 2 below) OR
  2. Answer the following question in the comment section of this post:  Where do you plan to travel in 2018?

Entries received within 30 days of this post will automatically qualify for a chance to win a subscription!

GPSMYCITY TRAVEL APP:

The GPSMyCity app is designed for people who enjoy walking and exploring cities by foot.  The robust App offers both travel articles and self-guided walking tours for over 1,000 cities world wide.

This App is ideal if you don’t have access to the internet or you don’t have a data plan in country you are visiting. How do you find those famous landmarks or the local market? The App provide detailed turn-by-turn walking directions. If you do have data enabled, you can use GPS-Guided City Walks.

Now, with a yearly subscription (free to ten winning followers), you have access to all kinds of walks around thousands of cities.

Want to go shopping in San Francisco and specifically Chinatown? No problem. Here’s where to go and what to look for:

GPSMYCITY screen

Are you looking to explore for a full day in Rome? Again, no problem. You can work your way through multiple walks in a day or a week.GPSMYCITY Walks

With a subscription, you can download any travel article with a GPS guided map, and read it offline whenever and wherever you like…at home (before your trip), on the plane (before you arrive) or on a street corner(while on your trip)! Research your destination in detail and plan your trip and the must see experiences!

 

The app is a big time saver and super helpful to navigate cities and streets without using data or the internet!  There are travel articles and tips along with more than 6,500 walks in over 1,000 cities! Hopefully you’ll win a 1 year subscription but if you don’t, I highly recommend GPSMYCITY as a key part of your travel gear! Available in the App Store and Google Play.

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The Paris Series (Part 2) – Sainte-Chapelle

Among the many things that Paris is famous for, its collection of museums is second to none. There are over 50 museums and monuments in and around Paris. There are of course many very well known ones including the Musee du Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Musee Picasso and monuments including the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Chathedral, Chateau de Versailles and more.

One of Paris’ greatest jewels, and often overlooked sites, is Sainte-Chapelle. As you walk down Boulevard du Palais, you’ll see a line of people that appear to be waiting to enter the Palais de Justice (a large building from 1868 that still functions as a court house). Behind the entrance and in the courtyard is what they are actually waiting for – entrance to Sainte-Chapelle. (Unlike some other museum sites, your Paris Museum Pass does not get you queue-cutting access here).

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Sainte-Chapelle is a royal medieval Gothic chapel dating back to the 1200s and Louis the IX of France. Although damaged during the French Revolution, Sainte-Chapelle contains one of the most extensive and beautiful collections of stained glass anywhere in the world. As you enter the chapel, you’ll see some stained glass and a gift shop. Look for the stairs on either side of the room to get up a narrow staircase to the second floor and the main room. It is absolutely spectacular and breathtaking !

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The Paris Series (Part 1) – Like A Local

Although I had been to Paris before (through the airport and in the city when I was all of 7 years old) neither time really counts. In spite of the considerable travelling that I have done, Paris was a new destination. While it’s great to see the tourist sights like everybody else (i.e. the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre,  Notre Dame Cathedral), it’s also great to “get local”. Find the food stands, small shops, pubs and squares where the locals go. While you can find some great guide books, maps and apps to help (Rick Steves immediately comes to mind),  why not actually have a local take you on a tour and show you the neighbourhood favorites?

So I linked up with a local food tour called the “New Parisian Palate” (formerly “Bobo Palate”) with Context Travel. Context is a network of specialists and scholars who act as private guides and lead small groups on walking tours through some of the world’s greatest cities. Tours include archaeology, art history, cuisine, history, urban planning, environmental science, and classics.

Our small group met outside of a bistro in upper Marais. We began our tour with a walk and talk through the iconic “Marche des Enfants Rouges” (the oldest covered market in Paris dating back to the 1600).

Our walking tour continued for the next 2 1/2 hours and included various stops in the market, a bakery, butcher shop, prepared food and foie gras shop, a cheese shop, a wine and Armagnac shop and a chocolatier. All along the way, the small bites and samples never stopped.

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The French are proud of their history, culture and country. And so they should be. Our guide explained how French food tastes were slowly changing, becoming more modern and incorporating flavors and food ideas from around the world. She pointed out new shops and even food trucks to support the “new Parisian Palate”. With most stops, our guide either purchased samples or gathered food in a bag for our end of tour “party” (wine, cheese, pate, baguette).

446  If you’re thinking of a tour, here’s 3 bits of advice:

  1. Take a Context Tour. They are immersive and well worthwhile and get you feeling like a local (and less like a tourist). The group is limited to 6 and led by a local expert.
  2. If you take a Context food tour, don’t eat a meal beforehand (nor will you be able to eat a meal after).
  3. Take your tour in the first few days of your trip if you can. You’ll get a better feel for the city, culture, local area and the places that you’ll want to return to later.

I want that local perspective wherever I go. I want to dive into the destination and its culture. And I want to get local.