Good food, great wine, beautiful beaches, enchanting mountains, chic fashion, bizarre fashion, invigorating art and culture, great monuments, clean roads, few people well that’s France for you.
France can either intimidate you or embrace you depending on how you take it. People here are friendly unlike many contradictory beliefs. A fact that many of us don’t know but was revealed to me by a local during my visit to France was, in his very own words “ Not that we are snooty and don’t want to help the tourists by speaking in English; its just that we feel our English isn’t good enough and we are anxious that we might misguide the tourist”!! Now that gives a whole new perspective to the belief; doesn’t it? I had a ball in France be it be Montpellier, Bourg St Maurice, Nice, Paris, Mt Ventoux, Lyon…etc. Btw Monaco and Andorra which border France are also worth a visit.
Here are few beautiful picture narratives shared by Rishi Menon and Suchi. To each of the description I might add few pointers based on my experience… Enjoy
1. Louvre Museum, the world’s most visited museum, is located inside the Louvre Palace and has famous art works including “The Mona Lisa”, “Venus de Milo” and “The Nike of Samothrace”. Plan to be there at opening time latest as the queues can be quite long. Priya : There are 3 segments at Louvre each of it holding thousands of pictures. If you are really into art then keep 3 days 1 for each segment! I spent 1 whole day & finished just 1 wing, two more to go..:)
2. Eiffel tower- This icon of France was built in the 1800s and has spectacular views from the top. It has a restaurant “Le 58 Tour Eiffel” on the first level and dining there was an experience with a stunning view of Paris city. Priya: If you do choose to climb instead of taking the elevator; please note that you would achieve the feat of climbing 44 storey of a building I lived to tell the tale so don’t be afraid to check out this option!
3. This famous fountain “Fontaines de la Concorde” is located in the center of Paris in a square called Place de la Concorde close to the well known street “Champs-Elysees”. Since Paris is best seen walking, we walked from our hotel near Arc de Triomphe to Champs-Elysees, then through Jardin des Tuileries park to Musee de Louvre (Louvre Museum). Place de la Concorde square and Seine River is on the way. Priya: Champs-Elysees is where Tour de France, the famous cycling sport does it finale every year.
4. Place de la Concorde is one of the important squares in the city of Paris, France and is surrounded by the Obelisk, the Rue Royale, the Church of the Madeleine and the Hotel de Crillo.
5. Dinan is a quaint riverfront town in the French countryside with cobbled stoned paths.
6. In the North West region of France lies Brittany which has this beautiful medieval walled town called Dinan. There are several restaurants and stores to shop where you can pick up French artifacts.
7. Mont Saint Michel is a beautiful island in Normandy, France which was an abbey and later converted into a prison during the French revolution. Now it is open to visitors and has lovely restaurants and stores with cobbled streets. Fluffy omelettes are the specialty in the restaurants here. They have several nice souvenir stores as well
8. St.Malo in Brittany, France is a walled city located on the English channel. France is known for its Crepes and the best Chocolate crepes I had was here in Brittany. Priya: I have heard that Brittany also gives the galettes ..our host Jessica and Sebastian made some excellent galettes for us during our stay with them
9. St Saviour’s Basilica. Churches in France have amazing architecture and even more beautiful interiors with detailed stained glass structures.
10. One of Paris’s most famous monuments “Arc de Triomphe” was designed in the 1800s. You can climb on top, it has 284 steps or take the lift up and walk 46 steps.
11. River Seine in Paris which cuts through the city has beautiful bridges with views of some of the city’s famous attractions. We saw many newly wedded brides and grooms posing for pictures there since the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background. In the evenings along the river there are artists performing and locals who sit there for a chat or a glass of wine.
12. Notre Dame in Paris is a Gothic Cathedral with amazing architecture.
13. Inside of Notre Dame. This is the place where King Louis XIV stored relics such as Christ’s crown of thorns purchased from Constantinople.
14. The Pantheon in Paris lies in the Latin Quarter and was built in the 1700s. There is a beautiful garden, Jardin du Luxembourgon Boulevard Saint-Michel which has the French Senate and there is a beautiful fountain with sitting areas and cafes around it.
15. Eiffel Tower at night presents a different but equally beautiful view of this classic structure.
16. Moulin Rouge is a cabaret in Paris which features can-can type of dance. We watched the show “‘Feerie’ there.
Check out Rishi’s picture portfolio on Flickr