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.
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.
Throughout France, there are hundreds of abbeys, communities where monks lived and worked, and if you’re traveling between Étretat and Paris, primarily along the Seine River, you might consider taking the Route des Abbayes In Normandy, where you will see not only some famous abbeys but also some pretty spectacular ruins.
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.