Kayaking with ‘New Forest Activities’ – Fair bit of exercise, fabulous fun, and you get to see jellyfish!

Last summer Ms B & I decided to venture to the New Forest again as it was the start of the pannage season when local farmers have permission for two months to let their pigs roam free around the woodlands. The idea is that the pigs eat all the acorns that are harmful for other animals like the free-roaming ponies, horses, and donkeys (in principle the acorns are harmful to pigs too, but these smart badasses simply spit out those bits). Anyhoooo.. didn’t see a single pig, so resorted to other activities. Besides horseback riding (post here), the most fun activity was our 3h kayaking trip with New Forest Activities (£39.90 per person). The starting point is at the beautiful Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum (open air, admission included) on the banks of the Beaulieu river.     At the start of the 18th century a highly ambitious and (following his […]

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“Paris’ Best Flavours” Marché Aligre Food Tour

During our recent visit to Paris we booked the “Paris’ Best Flavours” food tour with operator “Anto’s Paris” via Tripadvisor (£61.50 each). Anto’s Paris Like a Local had received some great reviews, which alerted us to the tour (even though the tour itself we had not found any reviews on, except for a solitary 5 out of 5 rating here and there with no weight). Our tour was larger than average comprising eight paying guests. Our guide was a bubbly lady in her early thirties who had been living in Paris for ten years but initially hailed from Mexico. I can’t seem to remember her name. After a short introduction and a brisk five minute walk we arrived at our first stop: Blé Sucré, a bakery known for their out-of-this-world croissants and other fine pastry. We all opted for the pain of chocolat, one each, and it sure turned out […]

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Staying at the four-starred Le Mareuil in the Haut Marais district, Paris

During our recent visit to Paris, we stayed at four-starred Le Mareuil. Located in the Haut Marais district, squeezed in between the historical Marais district and the recently revamped Place de la République, it is walking distance from our beloved Place des Vosges, Le Marche des Enfants Rouges, and pretty much all of central Paris, including the Ile de la Cité, which is roughly 40 minutes’ walk away. Rue Oberkampf is very close. Unbeknownst to us, the Haut Marais has recently developed from a nondescript grey mass into a hip fashion design hotspot with lots of fancy clothes shops, restaurants, cafes, great nightlife, and more high-end barber shops than I have seen in my whole life.   The hotel only opened in 2013, so everything feels reasonably new and modern. We didn’t really get a chance to check out their spa or their bar, considering we were on a tight […]

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Not ideal if scared of heights, but hell.. ton of fun: Canyoning near Porto

It’s been nearly three years since the Barbarians went on a one-day canyoning trip near Porto with Latitude41. Back then we had been involved in a number of collaborations with other providers of adventurous activities and we did not want to take any of the shine from them. However, now is the right time to start singing the praise for the good people of Latitude41. Considering that our blog is featuring plenty of activities involving height, including skydiving and rock-climbing, it feels silly to mention it again and again, but here we are: I’m terribly scared of heights. I’m not at all being cute or joking. If I’d have to pick one thing that scares me more than anything else it would definitely be heights. After more than ten years of happy marriage, Ms B, who is totally not scared of heights, still does not understand how I can be […]

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The Barbarians started with carbon-offsetting, better late than never

The Barbarians fly a lot. Or at least used to. For the past two years I’ve been working mainly abroad, which meant that most Monday mornings, I got up at 3:30am, took a cab to Heathrow at 4:15am, then hopped on an airplane, just to return to London on Friday evenings. Sometimes Ms B and I also met in other locations, so I would take a plane from Frankfurt to New York or Paris while she would do the same from London. Ten years ago, we were even worse, we used to treat ourselves to overseas holiday trips two out of four weekends per month and even added some inland air travel to places like Newquay or Edinburgh. In short, we’ve been doing an awful lot of damage to the planet during those past ten years since we met, and we’ve not been feeling great about it. Could I have […]

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