#6 Friends Theory

6 Friends Theory- trip of a lifetime!

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I had little idea what I was getting involved in when I received my invitation to the 6 Friends Theory event from Mercure Hotels.  A bubble of excitement rose inside me as I read the details and then watched the video.  If I understood correctly, Mercure were planning to send someone around the world!  I needed to know more.

How often have we said ‘it’s a small world’?  The Six Degrees of Separation theory is what lies behind Mercure Hotels initiative.  This suggests that everyone is six steps away or fewer, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.  A chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people, in a maximum of six steps.  Such is the theory set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929.  In this age of social media, Mercure are proposing to test the theory, offering one lucky person a round the world trip to do so.

Six Mercure Hotels will host the winner, on an unprecedented 30 day trip, starting in Paris, and scheduled for March 2015.  Could it be you?  I have wonderful memories of Paris last Summer.

Is there a more exciting city in the world than Paris?

Paris, in all its evening glory!

If you’ve watched the video you’ll know that Mercure propose to select an individual, and take them to meet an Aboriginal from the Bundjalung tribe in Australia.  They will meet through the chain of friends, and friends of friends, that connect them.  Exciting?  I’ll tell you how to get involved soon.

First I need to tell you a little about your hosts.  Mercure are passionate hoteliers, dedicated to providing a warm experience in their network of 707 hotels in 53 countries around the globe. Part of Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator with more than 3,600 hotels, the Mercure brand has a strong personal identity.  From the second I walked through the doors of the Mercure London Bridge, I was greeted with warm smiles.  This continued throughout my stay, and everyone from the receptionists to the hotel maids had a friendly greeting for me.

Click on any photo to see it enlarged. 

The bedroom was fully equipped, with tea and coffee making facilities and a plate of delicious fresh fruit.  The first thing I did was to kick off my boots, put the kettle on, and check out the free high speed Wifi connection, which worked to perfection.  Slippers and a towelling robe beckoned, and a full range of toiletries in the bathroom.  A hot shower, and London waiting on the doorstep. What could be better?

The reception area has sleek modern lines, with inviting vases of sweets on almost every available surface.  I don’t know how I restrained myself!  Perhaps the prospect of supper in nearby Borough Market?  The 4 star hotel is situated on Southwark Street and is just minutes from the London Bridge or Southwark Metro station.  I have yet to visit beautiful Southwark Cathedral, but I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, just around the corner on Bankside. Tate Modern and the London Eye are a wander away, while St. Paul’s Cathedral is just across the river.  The area is also perfect for a romantic evening stroll.

St. Paul's, across the Millenium Bridge

St. Paul’s, across the Millenium Bridge

I think it’s probably time I got to the competition details, don’t you?  Of course, it involves social media.  Mercure are interested in the question of human bonds in the digital era.  A societal study of friendship is being conducted alongside the Six Friends Theory operation.

To take part in the competition, you need to post a 60 second video on Facebook.  In this, you should describe your personality and motivations, and explain why you think you are the best person to undertake this trip.  As one of the judges says, ‘The candidate will be the nice friend everybody would like to go around the world with’.   Is that you? You have until 10th February to convince everybody and pull in the votes on Facebook.  Follow this link for full details.  It just remains to wish you good luck, or ‘bonne chance’!

Mercure were kind enough to invite me to their promotional event, as part of a group of bloggers, but all photos and opinions are my own.

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : London by Moonlight

The Golden Hind on Bankside

The Golden Hind II, on Bankside

I had a brilliant time in London this weekend, staying at the Mercure London Bridge hotel for a 6 Friends Theory event.  I’ll tell you all about it later in the week, but first things first- my Mondays always start with a walk.

You can imagine the amount of walking I did in London!  Let’s just say, my boots need re-heeling.  Friday saw me striding out along South Bank, the air crisp and bright!  On Saturday I took to the canal paths, sandwiching this with a superb guided walk round Old Camden Town. Judith, from London Walks, had a merry twinkle in her eyes as she shared stories of the neighbourhood- everything from George Bernard Shaw to George Melly!

I’m a little short on time to do those walks justice, so I thought I’d do something a bit different this week.  How about a moonlit stroll?   It’s not often that I get to see our capital by night, and it’s a glorious sight.  I had to cut it shorter than planned when the skies suddenly opened!

I've always loved a Tall Ship, and this one's so colourful!

I’ve always loved a Tall Ship, and this one’s so colourful!

Golden Hind II, an authentic replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship, has resided in her berth at St. Mary Overie Dock, Bankside since 1996.  She’s had her share of colourful adventures and has cicumnavigated the globe and featured in four films.  These days her chief activity is to provide living history lessons about Elizabethan maritime history.  The children can swashbuckle a little and dress up as Tudor sailors.  Details of her voyages, along with Drake’s own round the world trip, from 1577 to 1580, are provided in this Wikipedia link.

I love boats and rigging

A complication of rigging!

I mentioned moonlight, and the night was clear and crisp when I left the hotel, on Southwark St., for a short walk to Borough Market.  At Fish the food was delicious!  I needed a stroll afterwards.

From Borough Market, I headed through Clink St. towards Bankside, and lingered by the dock. The lights from the towering buildings and the bridges danced playfully on the water.

Southwark Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral

Southwark Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral

A shock of colour in close up!

A shock of colour in close up!

The air was turning damp and it seemed a good idea to head back towards Clink St.  A familiar shape loomed overhead.  It’s London’s latest landmark, The Shard.

The Shard is visible everywhere!

The Shard- visible everywhere!

Beads of rain blurred the sign

Beads of rain speckled the sign

The remains of Winchester Palace

The remains of Winchester Palace

The rain was gathering conviction and I hastened my steps, though still held in London’s night time spell.  Hood pulled up, it was time for my camera to retreat to safety.  Just a last couple of shots, then it was time to step out swiftly, back to the hotel.

If the weather had been better, I might have followed the Thames all night, so perhaps it’s just as well the rain came. The next day dawned clear and sharp, and I was off again.

But those stories will have to wait.  Next Sunday I’m off to the Algarve, so Jo’s Monday walk will be taking a two week breather.  I already have several walks lined up in the Algarve, so I hope you’ll join me when I get back. (16th February)

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I am so grateful to all the people who have shared walks with me.  You take me to places I could never reach under my own steam.  I only hope that you enjoy my walks as much as I enjoy yours. Please feel free to share them at any time.  My Jo’s Monday walk page will give you the details.

Time to put the kettle on for a cuppa.  There are some wonderful walks coming up!

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Paula has agreed to show us a little of her home city, Zagreb, currently cloaked in winter bareness

A fun walk by the lake

Richard has been a friend for the longest time, and knows the BEST places to go!

The Watergate Bay sunset walk

A walk that I meant to share after my trip to Paris, done beautifully by Debbie.  Thanks for the memory!

Promenading the banks of Canal Saint-Martin

Something I’m very familiar with, but Jude makes it look good!

Wintery Blues

Natural sounds, presented with flair, from Amy this week.  I adore a hibiscus in the rain!

Sounds in Nature

A first for my walks- some wonderful poetry from Esther!  She’ll make you smile, I guarantee  :

Walk in the Woods 

Elizabeth is walking home from work, but don’t feel sorry for her!  I certainly don’t  :

Walking home from work

Is it possible to walk with Drake without smiling?  I don’t think so!

Walkabout in Strasbourg

And Kathryn had me smiling so, with her sweetness.  Let’s go tracking, in the woods!

Monday walk with Jo in mind

Thank you to all my kind and lovely friends!  I’ll try to catch up with you during the week.  Then I may have earned a rest.  Happy walking, everyone!

Six word Saturday

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To be, or not to be?

'The Globe' theatre, in miniature

‘The Globe’ theatre, in miniature

This weekend finds me in London, on a blogging event with the Mercure hotel chain.  They are launching a major competition based on the 6 Friends Theory.  More of that to follow!

Just so that you know I haven’t been wasting my time, I popped into The Globe theatre at Bankside and did the tour.  It’s a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Globe, and I’ve wanted to visit for years. (another tick in box!)  Now I want to go back and see a play there. Maybe next trip?  The exhibition space was very interesting too, though I didn’t have nearly enough time. Here’s just a glimpse!

You could even be a model for a Shakespearean gown!

You could even be a model for a Shakespearean gown!

Fortunately, I didn’t have time before the bell rang for the tour, but the lady seemed to be enjoying herself.  I was disappointed with my photos of The Globe itself.  With dazzling bright skies (yes, I was lucky again!) and deep shade, I struggled to get clear images, but my memories are intact.  If I had longer I would love to visit the new indoor Jacobean Theatre in the complex. (one off the list, and two back on!)  Sam Wanamaker’s vision and tireless energy in driving the project has finally come to fruition.

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That’s it for now!  It’s time for breakfast and some more sight seeing.  Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to share your six words.  Apologies if I don’t respond to you for a while.  Home this evening!

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