The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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Glasgow city centre is full of wonderful street art, most of it commissioned in the last 10 years by the City Council in a bid to liven up vacant lots and ugly blank walls.  The idea has been to engage street artists to produce vibrant colourful works of art to help regenerate the city centre for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors alike.  And it seems to have been a huge success as every year more murals are added to the area in what has now become the very popular Glasgow Mural Trail.  I love street art and find exploring a city through its murals a great way to get under the skin of the place.  So with a free hour or so on a sunny afternoon, armed with a downloaded map of the trail, we set out en famille to discover parts of Glasgow we might not necessarily have seen otherwise.

Glasgow Panda by Kingatron

Glasgow street art 1

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Recently JF and I had a lovely long weekend away in Marseille.  We met my parents there who were trying out the direct Eurostar service from London to Marseille, something you can do during the summer months now, and we left the children at home.  What a treat it was to have an adult weekend, not that I don’t love travelling with my kids, of course I do, it’s just that this was different. My parents didn’t sulk once, nor spend their time finding wifi hotspots and snapchatting their friends; they didn’t need to be bribed with ice-creams or cajoled with “just 5 more minutes here and we’ll go to a playpark…” and there were no meltdowns at all! They were excellent travelling companions and as I’ve said before I hope I’m still travelling the world like them when I’m in my 70s.

le Panier Marseille street art

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Nantes and its fabulous giant elephant

Posted by on in European Travel

If you like the idea of wacky giant mechanical creatures set in an edgy industrial landscape with innovative architecture, urban parks and street art then you’ll love Nantes.  France’s 6th biggest city, straddling the Loire river, located in the west of the country, a few kilometres inland from the Atlantic coast on the southern edge of Brittany, is emerging as a centre of innovation and creativity.  It has a long history and complicated identity involving whether or not it is indeed part of Brittany, but that’s not what I want to write about.  I want to focus on the fabulous and absurdly original urban regeneration on the île de Nantes (Nantes island) symbolised by a giant mechanical elephant.

giant mechanical elephant Nantes France

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Zalipie, Poland's painted village

Posted by on in European Travel

When planning our road trip around Poland this summer I did a great deal of research on Pinterest, pinning pretty photos of interesting places to visit, and it was here that I first came across the tiny village of Zalipie.  It only came up once but that was enough, I was intrigued and set about to find out more about it.  Zalipie, in the Malopolska region not far from Kraków, is a village where almost all the houses and plenty of other buildings are painted with flowers in a naïve folk art style.  It struck me as fascinating, utterly unique and a must-see destination.

Zalipie painted house floral folkart Poland

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