We’re sick of Middle European summer – rainy, cold and stormy it turned out to be one of the worst working months for years. We decided to travel in the direction of Portugal to enjoy proper sunshine and, as usual, we do it in chunks. This week we were in Cologne, Paris and tomorrow we leave Nantes. 

We stayed in Cologne for a couple of nights at Niki’s cousin place. She had even more dogs than last time, because during summer people very often ask her to take care of them. Nick was over the moon! He still wants to have a dog so much…

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Due to quite a cold weather we managed to work only once. We were also able to do some training in a garden, not mentioning goofing off. ^^

On Tuesday the big day came – we were on our way to Paris! Niki was really excited to see it, she’s never been there before and it was one of her little dreams – to see Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. We’ve already booked a room on Airbnb and we went to work right when we got there. The best place appeared to be… in front of Notre Dame! And that’s where we made our first and last show.

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We wanted to perform some more, but it was too cold and windy for people to sit in the outside gardens. However, we were really nicely surprised to finally see other fire artists on the street! They also performed in front of the cathedral. I’d say they were quite shy and their English wasn’t too good, but they had a skill with fire stuff. What they were missing, though, was… well, the show.

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They gathered some people around, but their show was too stretched in time and people started going away in the middle of it. Such a shame, as they had a really spectacular ending. We caught it on our camera.

The next day was all about sightseeing. Nick had to fight an outburst of migraine in the morning, but thanks to our miraculous drops we got from our friends in Aachen he dealt with it in two hours. First, we went to see the Notre Dame inside. The stained glass decoration was astonishing, as to be expected. We only hope to afford going to explore the towers one day, but well, not this time. All in all, it was as great as Niki thought, but smaller. Doesn’t take away the charm, though. :)

Next in line was the Louvre. The queue to go inside was unbelievable and the tickets – expensive, so we could only see the outside of it, but it was enough to make our desire to go inside increase by a little. ^^

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We left the Eiffel Tower for the end. It was so awesome to see it in person!!! We weren’t that eager on climbing it, so we just walked around and eventually went for dinner.

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In the evening we went to do Fire again. This time there was only one guy with fire and some other man helped him out with diabolo and positive energy. It was really great to talk to him, he was smiling and talking a lot. He was very happy to give us a spot so we could perform one show when they were having a break. And then… something weird happened. When we finished our set they started to avoid an eye contact with us and they seemed angry (?). We tried to figure out why and the only thing that came to mind was that our Show was better. But really…? That’s the reason? Half an hour ago the guy was so happy and curious about us, they even invited us to some Fire Party by the river, and then he just suddenly stopped. Weird and upsetting, it has put a sad glow over our evening. Maybe one of you would suggest a reason?

The nice thing this evening was that Niki got a rose instead of money from one guy in the audience. Now that’s Paris! :)

Before leaving the most romantic city in the world we visited the Little Prince shop.

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Our next destination was Nantes, we were planning to stay there with Niki’s Mum’s close friend. The road was pleasant but a bit long, so we sparkled it up and played some hide and seek during one of our breaks. You would never find us.

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Eventually we made it to Nantes. Blada (Niki’s Mum’s friend – we’ll use the name, otherwise it’s too long, teehee) lives in this amazing building designed by a famous architect Le Corbusier. You can see his work not only in France, but also in India and both Americas. The guy was pretty smart and his buildings were a huge help in cities that were very crowded.

As we arrived around 22.00 we didn’t work – we’ve had a lovely dinner and talked until late night. Next day was hot and relaxing, we went to see the two cranes that apparently are distinctive for Nantes – one is yellow and one is grey.

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The promenade that we walked on looked promising for our evening Fire Shows.

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Nick also walked on the moon that day. Really!

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One of the coolest facts about Nantes is that Jules Verne lived there. You can go and see his house, but that’s not all, oh no – there is a big carousel made in his name that consists of creatures from his books! But the biggest attraction I guess is The Elephant. Yes, The Elephant. THE STEAM PUNK ELEPHANT! It is a huge marionette or actually a machine! I think it is the size of a real elephant (actually it’s bigger – 12 metres and almost 50 tonnes of steel and wood – Nick being a smarty pants). It squirts water, toots and moves. You can even ride on it! Truly, truly impressive.

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And oh, there’s a video. ^^

It turns out it’s possible to work here, but the earnings are pretty average. It’s always something, though, we even got invited for free drinks to two clubs. ^^

On Saturday we went by the ocean. It was very hot, walking on sand seemed impossible! Water was of course beautiful, but very cold. Such a temperature difference between air and the ocean made it difficult to jump in, even for Nick.

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And so, tomorrow we leave Nantes more to the South. Probably we will land somewhere around San Sebastian in Spain, but everything is negotiable, as always. Do you know any places on the way we should visit? We would love to hear from you!