WITH all this talk of politics and elections in the air, I thought I'd point out a different view of France from the cockpit of a light aircraft.
The Times' columnist Charles Bremner took his digital camera with him yesterday when he took a trip in his small Robin Aiglon 1180, setting off from Paris and heading out to the coast.
He can't resist the odd mention of the presidential race, but his photographs from a cloudless sky over the capital, the River Seine and the Channel provide a view of France from a very different perspective.
And with his trusty shaggy co-pilot by his side, he writes:
When you cruise in a small plane over the towns and countryside, the densely populated Ile de France is a vision of peace, order and prosperity. It is the ideal of candidates' speeches and the idyll envied by visitors.
The again if you are not a fan of flying and prefer to have two wheels on the ground then the Guardian takes a trip through the countryside around Calais, offering a view of the much maligned town from a bike seat.
Gavin McOwan and his cycling pal enjoy the delicacies of the sea, some stunning beaches and spend some peaceful hours discovering this corner of France, describing the area as:
...perfect cycling country: the volume of traffic is quiet compared to English country roads and in a land where cycling is revered, the respect motorists show cyclists is almost humbling.
And for those keen to jump on their bike to explore Calais and its surrounds more, SeaFrance are offering special deals for cyclists throughout the summer.