In late June en route from Lyon to Provence, I thought about breaking up my trip by stopping somewhere for a few nights. I wondered, what could I see and do for 2 days in the Ardèche? I was amazed at how many interesting sites there were and to my delight, I saw much more than I ever expected. It was well worth the stopover.
Let’s be honest. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s creepy. It’s filled with millions of human bones and yet it’s a pretty popular site for tourists. I never cared about going yet went because a friend wanted to see the macabre attraction. In the end, it wasn’t the skulls and bones that I remembered. It was the Sculptures de Décure–the wall sculptures in the Paris catacombs.
Where are the designated “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”? And how many have you visited? While Paris, Bordeaux, and Lyon are grand and have much to see, many visitors to France often overlook the small villages. Although France has over 32,000 villages, only 158 have been given the prestigious designation of being one of the MOST beautiful villages of France. In 1982, the French government created the list to promote the small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage.
During my last trip to France, I had lunch at what is considered to be Europe’s largest restaurant. I haven’t made a decision yet on whether my dining experience was fabulous, great, good, or mediocre. Perhaps I should have eaten more. I can, however, share my restaurant review of La Felicità Paris: my meal and the venue.
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.
For years I’ve been interested in visiting the Relief Map Museum in Paris. Before you say, “BORING!” you should realize that these are 3D maps and during my recent visit I was treated to an extra special feature: augmented reality. I “experienced” Mont Saint-Michel inside and out using a unique headset where I learned about the history and development of the Abbey through visuals and audio narration.