The French are sometimes unfairly accused of being stubborn, unfriendly, or difficult to deal with. And they love to debate. I can see this if you enter a store and do not say, “Bonjour”. You might not get any response and could even be treated with rudeness. Customs should be followed, no matter what country you are in. I get this and try not only to speak French all the time but also act politely and proper so that I don’t come across like that “obnoxious” tourist. During all my travels to France, I have never had a bad encounter with a native French person. That is, until a few years ago in Paris. I was put to the test and had a lovely argument in French. Continue reading →
One of Google’s experimental workshops, simply named “Area 120”, has recently launched a new travel tool and Paris is one of the 20 top travel destinations to be featured in the initial launch. This travel tool, however, has a twist. It’s not all about booking tours. There are lots of recommendations from locals and experts and one additional benefit that I’ll discuss later in this post. I am happy to announce that after almost 10 months of collaborating with Google, you can now find many of my France Travel Tips experiences on “Touring Bird”. Here’s what it’s about and how you can benefit.
I got flack back in July on a social media platform after I shared a photo of an event that I went to in Arles, a popular town in the south of France. The criticism stemmed from the use of bulls in “La Course Camarguaise”—Provencal bullfighting—stating that the spectacle was cruel to the animals. The event that I went to was the finale of the Arles Festival and this event has been going on for decades. Was it wrong to attend la course camarguaise—-the Cocarde d’Or? You be the judge. Continue reading →
When I first arrived in the seaside town of Etretat at my Airbnb, my hostess pointed out a hotel that had exceptional views of the cliffs and the village. She said having lunch or dinner, or even having a drink at the Hotel-Restaurant Dormy House (just around the corner from my house) would be worthwhile. As I wanted to have a meal with views of Etretat, this sounded like the place to go, especially at lunchtime when it would be a bit less expensive. Even though I did not have reservations, I got a table outside, overlooking the sea and town. Everything was perfect as it was a reasonably priced lunch with a view of Etretat. Continue reading →
When you are in Provence during the lavender season (late June to early August) not all those purple fields may be lavender. There is another plant called lavandin that is a cross between lavender and other species. It is basically a hybrid. When I was in Provence recently, I purchased three small bottles of lavender oil. I plan to give these as gifts to friends or family members. Do they know there’s a difference between lavender and lavandin oil? Will they even know what to do with their gift? Hopefully, after reading this, they will. Continue reading →
Do you want to see the best Bastille Day fireworks in Normandy? Start planning your trip to Etretat because I don’t think anything can top what I recently saw in this seaside town which is surrounded by some of the most famous falaises (cliffs) in the world. I looked into other places, but I think my plan for enjoying a lovely dinner and seeing impressive fireworks worked out beautifully. If you’re going to celebrate the most important day for France, do it in Etretat. Continue reading →