Gabriele Kappus
Gedächtnissport & Gedächtnistraining

Startseite Seminare/Vorträge Memo A-Z Gedächtnissport Impressum


The very first


September 20th, 2008




Ecole Internationale de France


link to official site


trip to Paris
trip home





trip to Paris






My trip to France started from Munich's "Hauptbahnhof". And before the City Night Line to Paris left at 20:53, there was still some time to look at the attractive selection of goodies Munich's main station has to offer.








The hearts made of gingerbread
are typically seen around "Oktoberfest"-time, which indeed starts every year in September, and attracts lots and lots of people to our Bavarian capital.
But ohhh... I was more attracted
to leave to:
















The train arrived at 06:49 at the "Gare de l'Est", and I was really blessed, as the organizer of the championship, Françoise Thuillier picked me up right at the platform.






And guess what, the two of us had a nice breakfast inside of the station!

good choice, huh!?







leaving the Gare de l'Est...








on the way to the hotel:

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel













and all of a sudden


was in front of us...









and then we were approaching...







L'Arc de Triomphe






and onwards to Maisons-Laffitte,
a town in the surroundings
of Paris, with its very own castle:

Château de Maisons-Laffitte

straight ahead of you!
Shortly later we arrived at the hotel, and that is where my trip to France "ended".






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preparation day







those that know me know how
fond I am of the Famous Five
by Enid Blyton.

Now on the way to a supermarket
in Maisons-Laffitte I met this
fellow who very much reminded
me of Famous Five member
who quite looked like him.
And yes,
wished I could see him like...










 ...every day.








supermarket inside:

is this attractive or what?

v e r y  much so!








Back to the hotel with a good supply of water this quiet garden invited for preparation of the championship.














oh, my binaries...
I messed up with binary numbers
in several competitions so far,
not nearly getting to the amount I can do in training.

I had still not lost confidence in the memory route I used so far and believed in a breakthrough...









... which was not a drastic one,
but I managed to improve my best competition result from 318 digits to 387 digits in 5 minutes. And feel good about it. :-)








And there was still time to play around with the horsechestnuts in the hotel garden














and to create a new location route which ended up having 11 location points. Hm... I might use it to memorize the next formation of the German soccer team.
See location point #3 here. Found this one to be the most special of all.






around the hotel - Maisons-Laffite is close to Paris, yet offers nature and quietness - ideal conditions for getting prepared for a memory championship!











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Saturday: competition day






The venue of the first French memory championship was:

Ecole Internationale de France

I liked this house from the
beginning, which became clear to me when we were walking in and saw a classroom with the topic of the last lesson still being written at the board, walking up
the wooden stairs, meeting Mr. Trevor King, director of the College, all impressions made me think: Yes, this is a place where I would enjoy learning.








Françoise Thuillier, the organizer of the championship. She is a project manager, and I got impressed several times about how she would react on new information by making such quick and sound decisions.







Our competition classroom

See Idriz from Sweden on the left
and Ben from England on the right.









Nice place to memorize at!







Two members of the arbiter's team:

Phil Chambers, chief arbiter of the World Memory Sports Council, and Françoise Thuillier














And this is arbiter Dr. Warren Day from England in the arbiter's room.

If I happened to forget an arbiter, please send me a note, my visitors, and let me know as soon as possible!








Is that a nice picture of Ben Pridmore?

You bet it is!






I also like this one of Idriz Zogaj from Sweden with memorizer's cap and ear protection.

Before we started off with the most sensitive discipline "spoken numbers" I feared Idriz' special shoe soles might be heared in case he moved during the memorisation phase. Do you know what he did? He put his shoes OFF!
These are the things you do not forget although you never memorize them. Thank you, Idriz.






These are (from left to right) our french memory athletes Olivier Boucher and François Farzaneh.
It was their very first memory championship experience and I hope they already got as addicted to memory sport as the rest of us. Would love to see them again at the next French Open in January!
































And on the right:
Mr. Trevor King,
the director of the college









getting ready for lunch








And here we are all reading menu cards. From the expressions on the faces... can you guess which language we are trying to read?








"Olivier, lend me (Gaby)
your French vocabulary
for a minute!"






A ray of light for all of us that are not really fluent in French was this part of the menu.






...until this man with the winning
smile on the left...

...caused some Burger confusion, or, like Ben put it: bacon/Schinken/chicken confusion.
But we got over it, and this is what the folks in my neighborhood ended up with:


























Idriz and Griselda
(yes, both had their own dish, but I thought one photo was enough)

















I'm still impressed by these beautifully arranged dishes. Ah, if we could replace abstract images by food images, I'd do better, I promise...






I messed up with both trials speed cards and gained myself 0 points for that last discipline. Had also trouble with my favorite discipline "historic/future dates" with 37 dates in 5 minutes compared to 61 at the UK Open.
Yes, could feel disappointment on my way home to the hotel.
But several things lifted my spirit.
The first one was the shop window of this bakery.












The second one was this display
of flowers of a flower shop.

And the third one... is a little bit of a secret. It has to do with the word "grace" though.






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  1. Ben Pridmore, 5499 points
  2. Gaby Kappus, 4255 points
  3. Idriz Zogaj, 1882 points
  4. François Farzaneh, 1058 points
  5. Olivier Boucher 267 points







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still Saturday:








07:15 pm, footwalk to a restaurant that is specialised on crepes.
François and Olivier had already
had to leave, what was sad.








Griselda and Idriz from Sweden.
I got to know Griselda as an expert on and lover of both Espresso and double Espresso.   :-)









Idriz needed my internet adress,
but I had no cards with me.
There came Ben's surprise.
He took out at least 30 cards (probably more) that he collected through the years and found one of mine among them and gave it to Idriz.









best playing card memorizer in the world!









inside of the Creperie













Now this is Norwegian Salmon in a crepe with Creme Fraiche and lemon. Just in case you wonder where the Salmon is... I must confess I first thought it might me part of the dough...







Here it is, just wrapped, and incredibly tasty!





















yeah, this is my dessert with
Nutella inside! Sooo good!








Warren's dessert










and this one belongs to Françoise.









Françoise's dessert in action








prize giving ceremony:

Phil Chambers is reading
the results, starting here with Olivier, and we applauded both him and François and wished they could have been there with us as they would surely have enjoyed this evening. Well there is a next time!

















Idriz getting a fine bottle of Jurancon, 2004, for ranking
3rd place









For 2nd place I got a bottle of this fine wine and this beautiful trophy of a dragonfly, or in French:
une libellule.

I very much like my libellule!







photographing the winner...









...who got a bottle of Jurancon







...and this beautiful trophy of an elephant.

(photo taken by Phil Chambers)







He did get one more trophy, which is the winner trophy of the UK Open he won last month. Phil brought it to France, and so Ben blessed us with even more smiles.








I mean, you can really take good fotos of Zoomy!






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my trip home








Physically I was not in best shape this weekend, which you might realize looking at that Sunday morning photo. Therefore I was more than glad that Françoise offered to take me from the hotel
to the Gare de L'Est. I am still thankful for this and many other things that she helped me with.

Thank you, Françoise!








We ended the weekend like we started it with:
a cup of Espresso for Françoise
and a cup of Cappuccino for me.
Even went to the same
coffee shop.  :-)







And this starts my first time ever TGV experience. 320 km/hour and only 3,5 hours from Paris to Stuttgart!

Au revoir la France!
J'ai savourée le weekend.
Et je veux améliorer
mes connaissances en langue!
A bientôt. En Janvier!






If you don't like yourself on any picture, let me know and I'll take it off the site!
And if you as a competitor/arbiter like to have some of the pictures in their original
size, send me a note and I will e-mail them to you.


Stand: 3. April 2012