Your Essential Guide to the Loire Valley

Just over an hour south of Paris, France, is a place you might encounter in your dreams, yet you can go there and experience it for yourself. It’s the Loire Valley, known as the garden of France, a peaceful paradise of rolling hills covered by vineyards, fairytale castles, and charming, vibrant towns. So much awaits you to discover, eat, drink, and enjoy in the Loire River Valley.   (from the book A French Garden: The Loire Valley.)   For the last…

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Discovering Lyon

You’ve heard of Lyon, France, and maybe changed trains there. That was my only experience with Lyon, until recently. Many people told me how nice a city it is, how good the food, how much there is to do. I had to visit it for myself. Worth a Visit Lyon is a sprawling city, the third largest in France. There are a half million people, and more in surrounding suburbs. It’s also known as the second gastronomic capital of France,…

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Compiègne: History and Charm an Hour from Paris

Compiègne, France . . . Imagine you’ve just spent a few days visiting Paris when you get the urge to get out of the city for a day. You don’t want to go too far, but you’d like to experience a smaller town, yet one with history, beauty, and things to do. You’ll find all of this in the town of Compiègne, about an hour’s drive (or 40 minutes by train) northeast of Paris. You might not have ever heard…

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Nice: A Warm Heart in France

Nice, France Each time you visit a place it sets down new, deeper layers in your soul. My most recent trip to Nice, France, my third, was like this for me. The first two times I’d zipped through like so many tourists do, in a day or an afternoon. This last time I had the opportunity in a long weekend to soak it in, to wander the maze of Italian-flavored streets, their candy-colored buildings towering overhead. Getting Around Nice Nice…

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9 Nitty Gritty Tips for Traveling in France

Last month I published some tips for traveling in France, general tips to make your travels more enjoyable. But I’ve just returned from France and want to share nine more tips, the “nitty gritty” kind that you need to know just when you don’t expect it. And these are the ones that help you avoid a bump or simply add to your enjoyment. The Monoprix Sac: All over France is a supermarket called Monoprix. It’s a nice, upscale grocery store…

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5 Foods You Must Try in France

When you visit France, there are just some foods you have to eat. It’s like getting your passport stamped when you arrive. Some of these you know instinctively. You may make some of these yourself. But you know they aren’t the same. They aren’t made the same and they don’t taste the same as in-country. Treat yourself to French specialties and discover some new ones you didn’t know you loved! Eating is part of the experience! (And if you haven’t…

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