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Visions of France – Laon

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Laon - parapluies
Laon Umbrellas

Several towns in France (Laon, Aurillac, Lens, Mâcon…) displayed Parapluies dans la rue (colourful umbrellas in the street) to brighten city streets in the summer of 2019 – here in Laon (02 Aisne, Hauts de France), orhwerwise famous for its 12th Century cathedral. The city lies on the edge of the Champagne region,

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – Colmar

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Colmar, Alsace (Grand Est)

Colmar (68 Haut-Rhin, Grand Est) styles itself as the capital of Alsace. Famous for its mainly white wines made on the pretty slopes and villages of the region, lies on the west bank of the Rhine river opposite Germany and the Black Forest. Aklthough the bottles and some labels look Germanic, most of the wines finish dry, except for the late-harvest dessert wines.

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – Vines

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France,pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Bergerac vines
Vines in Bergerac

France is famous for its wines, but explore some of the lesser known wine regions such as Bergerac (24 Dordogne, Nouvelle Aquitaine) to enoy great value wines and explore beautiful landscapes, meet enthusiastic wine-makers and discover the real France.

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – Les Baux- de-Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence

The vineyards of Mas de la Dame at Les Baux-de-Provence (13 Bouches-du-Rhone) south of Avignon

Visions of France – Saint-Remy-de-Provence

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France,pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Bicycle, Saint-Remy-de-Provence
Bicyclette, Saint-Remy-de-Provence

The beautiful Provencal village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, a few kilometres south of Avignon – famous for its weekly market, and connections with Vincent Van Gogh.

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – Cahors, Lot

Cahors Pont Valentre
Pont Valentre, Cahors, Lot

The iconic medieval Valentré Bridge across the Lot River at Cahors, Occitanie

Visions of France- Sauzon

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France,pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Sauzon, Belle Ile
Sauzon, Belle Ile. 56 Morbihan, Brittany

Sauzon (56 Morbihan, Brittany) is on Belle Ile-en-Mer just off the Brittany Coast and the Quiberon peninsula. Appropriately named as “beautiful island in the sea” . The holiday home of the actress Sarah Bernhardt was on the island and there is a museum dedicted to her (summer only). Belle Ile hosts an annual Opera Festival in mid summer.

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – St Valery-sur-Somme

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

St Valery-sur-Somme
St Valery-sur-Somme, Hauts-de-France on the Baie de la Somme

See all the photos in this Gallery here

Visions of France – Montagne Ste Victoire

Whilst our usual menu of practical information on visiting France is on hold during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are showcasing some of our favourite photos of la Belle France, pending the day when we can get back on the road or autoroute

Montagne Sainte Victoire, Bouches-du-Rhone,Provence
Montagne Sainte Victoire, Provence often painted by Cezanne

See all the photos in this Gallery here

£1 buys €1.16 (28 February 2020) with Transferwise

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At this rate 1 €uro is worth about £0.86 GBP

1 $USD buys about €0.90 EUR

Stay at  a top Bordeaux Wine Chateau at Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

B&B in a Saint Emilion chateau

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£1 buys €1.19 (25 February 2020) with Transferwise

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this rate 1 €uro is worth about £0.84 GBP

1 $USD buys about €0.90 EUR

Stay at  a top Bordeaux Wine Chateau at Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

B&B in a Saint Emilion chateau

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Sending and spending money abroad e.g. to pay deposits?

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Fuel (Petrol/Diesel) in France

 

£1 buys €1.15 (9 February 2020)

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pexels-photo-248933.jpeg

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this rate 1 €uro is worth about £0.87 GBP

1 $USD buys about €0.90 EUR

Stay at  a top Bordeaux Wine Chateau at Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

B&B in a Saint Emilion chateau

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French Roads and traffic in January 2020

Citroen 2CV2020!

January is a quiet month on the roads in France – just the days around the offcial and unofficial   New Year public holiday when roads out of Paris and some other major cities will be busy before the holiday and then again after the holiday when roads back into the city will be busy. As a guide the French Government classifies days according to expected congestion. Although mainly based on anticipated Paris traffic it also applies to other major cities.

Public Holidays in France:

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An)

Traffic status:

    • 2 January  Orange
    • 5 January  Orange

Orange = difficile (difficult)

Red = très difficile (very difficult)

Official French Govt. traffic adviceFor the latest info see the Bison-Futé (clever buffalo?)website – for official French Government Traffic advice.

 

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Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue – The favourite village of the French

Each year viewers of a French TV series vote for their favourite village in France. In 2019, many  viewers voted for the winner: Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (50 Manche, Normandie) which lies on the eastern coast of the Cotentin Peninsula. Named after a naval battle of 1692 (which the French lost to the Anglo-Dutch navies in the Nine Years War) Vauban bult two towers to protect the port.

Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue truly is unique! With its narrow streets, good restaurants and shops (including the famous épicerie (grocer) Maison Gosselin), gorgeous setting, relaxed atmosphere, UNESCO-listed Vauban Towers and its very own Tatihou Island, it’s a seaside village unlike any other. [Normandie Tourisme]

Saint Vaast la Hogue

Normandie Tourisme

The Vauban Towers – The towers of la Hougue and Tatihou: splendid examples of Vauban architecture. One is continental, the other is built on an island; the towers of la Hougue and Tatihou are two stone sentries, built by Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban, the architect of Louis XIV.

UNESCO logo

Listed “World Heritage” by UNESCO in July 2008, the two towers and the whole Vauban fortifications were built to protect the harbour, which Vauban himself described as “the safest in the entire kingdom”.

From the quay of Saint-Vaast embark on this strange vehicle: an amphibious boat! Tatihou can be reached on foot at low tide, but this boat sails to the island at high tide… and runs on the sand at low tide. The island hosts an impressive Maritime Museum – Le Musée Maritime de Tatihou

On foot or aboard the boat, you will see the oyster beds at low tide. Seafood of the Val de Saire is much sought after.  Mussels from Barfleur grow in pure and rich waters, which give them an incomparable taste. Saint-Vaast Oysters are well known for their subtle nutty flavour and have always delighted gourmets! [Manche Tourisme]

The port lies about 20 miles/32 km east of Cherbourg

Stay in a cottage on the harbourside at the holiday home  Quai Vauban in St Vaast

other accommodation in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue

TGVBy Train/TGV to Cherbourg with Rail Europe

Quai Vauban

Quai Vauban

French Roads and traffic in December 2019

Citroen 2CVDecember is a quiet month on the roads in France – just the days around the offcial and unofficial  Christmas and New Year public holidays when roads out of Paris and some other major cities will be busy before the holiday and then again after the holiday when roads back into the city will be busy. As a guide the French Government classifies days according to expected congestion. Although mainly based on anticipated Paris traffic it also applies to other major cities.

Public Holidays in France:

  • 25 Deember  – Christmas Day (Noel)
  • January – New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An)

Traffic status:

    • 20 – 21 December Orange
    • 24 December Orange
    • 27-28 December Orange

Orange = difficile (difficult)

Red = très difficile (very difficult)

Official French Govt. traffic adviceFor the latest info see the Bison-Futé (clever buffalo?)website – for official French Government Traffic advice.

 

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Pyrenees Pig Festival

Pig Festival posterThe ski resort village of Saint Lary (85 Hautes-Pyrenees, Occitanie) celebrates France’s oldest breed of pig (Le Porc noir de Bigorre) with its Pig Festival (Fete du Cochon) 18 January 2020

Black Pig logoThe Black Pig of Bigorre has appellation status (AOP) for this indigenous meat which is prized for both its ham and pork.

A day full of festivities including tastings, cookery workshop, market, music and games for the children will be on offer culminating in a Grand Banquet where the Black Pork, the local delicacy takes centre stage.

In the  high Pyrenees (830 m/ 2,700 ft above sea level) in the valley of the River Aure, Saint Lary is a proper year-round village with great ski slopes and charilifts in winter.

Saint Lary is about 70km/ 33 miles  south of Tarbes.

www.saintlary.com

By Train and Bus to France with Rail Europe

flyAirport: Perpignan PGP

 

£1 buys €1.14 (20 November 2019)

see also: Travel Money in France

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this rate 1 €uro is worth about £0.88 GBP

1 $USD buys about €0.91 EUR

Stay at  a top Bordeaux Wine Chateau at Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

see also:

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Gaillac Festival of Lanterns

The town of Gaillac (81 Tarn, Occitanie) has a Festival of Lanterns as the highlighy of its winter celebrations –  le Festival des Lanternes de Gaillac 1 December 2019 – 31 January 2020

2019 has a very Chinese flavour – with a display of Chinese lanterns in the shape of pagodas, temples and flowers – over 40 displays celebrating Chinese culture and heritage.

2019 sees the third year of this spectacular event held in the historic Foucaud Park close the the centre of town.
Gaillac is less than 60km/38 miles from Toulouse  and 30km/19 miles from Albi. 
For more info see festivaldeslanternes-gaillac.fr

The area is home to the wine appellation of Gaillac AOC. You can stay for Bed and Breakfast (B&B) in a medieval chateau at Chateau Mayragues

By train via Toulouse with Rail Europe

French Roads and traffic in November 2019

Citroen 2CVNovember is a quiet month on the roads in France – just the days around the offcial and unofficial  public holidays when roads out of Paris and some other major cities will be busy before the holiday and then again after the holiday when roads back into the city will be busy. As a guide the French Government classifies days according to expected congestion.Although mainly based on anticipated Paris traffic it also applies to other major cities.

Public Holidays in France:

  • 1 November  – All Saints’ Day (Toussaint)
  • 11 November – Armistice Day (Armistice 1918)

Traffic status:

    • 3 November Orange
    • 8 November Orange
    • 11 November Orange

Orange = difficile (difficult)

Red = très difficile (very difficult)

Official French Govt. traffic adviceFor the latest info see the Bison-Futé (clever buffalo?)website – for official French Government Traffic advice.

 

.

 

£1 buys €1.13 (23 October 2019)

see also: Travel Money in France

pexels-photo-248933.jpeg

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this rate 1 €uro is worth about £0.89 GBP

1 $USD buys about €0.91 EUR

Stay at  a top Bordeaux Wine Chateau at Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

Chateau Franc Grace Dieu

B&B in a Saint Emilion chateau

see also:

Travel Money in France

Sending money abroad e.g. to pay deposits?

Try Transferwise

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Fuel (Petrol/Diesel) in France