Voyages

April has been filled with several lovely trips; the first of which was definitely not an ordinary one. We spent an afternoon at Laval Virtual, “the biggest exhibition and conference for virtual and augmented reality”, which was celebrating it’s 20th birthday this year. We tried out a few different things, such as a headset which transported you into a still-life painting that you could then edit, and one where you found yourself in the middle of the sky on top of a very tall building, as well as a machine which created a joint horoscope from two handprints. There were lots of other things on offer too, such as paragliding (without having to lift your feet further than one metre from the ground) and swimming with dolphins (you would’ve needed swimwear for this, as it was in a real pool). So although we only had to walk about 10 minutes from where we live, it’s safe to say that it felt like we had travelled much further.

Be it that we want to escape everyday life or explore something completely unfamiliar, virtual and augmented reality is a very clever form of technology that will undoubtedly become a part of our ordinary lives. Maybe one day people will just put on a headset and transport themselves somewhere exotic…

My trip back to the UK for a long Easter weekend was of the traditional sort (train, hotel, plane, car). No headsets for me! I stayed with Dan’s family and we celebrated his 21st birthday, including a guided tour of the Anfield stadium and afternoon tea at a lovely country hotel. We spent a day with my mum and nan too, which made being back in England after 3 months even more special.

And last weekend was a trip to Paris with Juno, who’s currently teaching English in Bilbao for her year abroad. We organised it over two months ago and we just so happened to choose the perfect weekend. I was thankfully not affected by the three-month national train strike – they’re running a normal service for three days then striking for two – and the weather couldn’t have been better. Along with main tourist spots such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées (I actually wonder if I will ever get sick of them…), we also visited la Rue Crémieux, full of colourful terraced houses (perhaps the only actual houses I can ever recall seeing in Paris, as opposed to flats and big buildings) and la Coulée Verte, an almost 3-mile long disused railway line that has been transformed into beautiful green spaces. An absolute must for sunnier days!

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