Exploring The Caves at Aven d’Orgnac

La Grotte-Aven d'Orgnac-Caves at Aven d’Orgnac

The Ardèche region, often overlooked by visitors to France, is located in the southeastern area. It has the largest canyon in Europe, numerous opportunities for outdoor activities (ie. kayaking under Pont d’Arc), and villages designated “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (most beautiful villages of France). But what really stands out are the prehistoric sites and caves, some dating back over 35,000 years. The most famous: the caves at Aven d’Orgnac. Continue reading →

Don’t Miss These Hidden Gardens In Etretat (Jardins d’Etretat)

Hidden gardens in Etretat

If I hadn’t read about these unique gardens in Etretat, I would likely not have visited them and that would have been a shame. These hidden gardens in Etretat, simply called, “Jardins d’Etretat”, are rather unusual, to say the least, but they also offer amazing views of the town and the Etretat Cliffs.  I highly recommend a visit to the gardens and fortunately, they are located right by Falaise d’Amont, Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Gard, and Monument “L’Oiseau Blanc” (which honors the two French pilots who disappeared near Etretat during their flight from Paris to New York City), so you’ll have other sights to see nearby. Continue reading →

Is It Wrong To Attend La Course Camarguaise (Provencal Bullfighting)?

Razeteurs and one bull-Cocarde d'Or

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 →

Lunch with a view of Etretat: Dormy House

Dormy House Restaurant with reasonably-priced lunch with panoramic views of Etretat

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 →

Your Guide To Using Lavender and Lavandin Oil

Lavender at the Abbey de Senanque (J. Chung)

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 →

Where To See The Best Bastille Day Fireworks In Normandy

Best Bastille Day fireworks in Normandy- Etretat (J. Chung)

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 →