Books and movies can give you a general idea of what a place and time period are like. I had visited the D-Day beaches in Normandy, seen movies like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Schindler’s List”, and “The Longest Day” and read books such as “Suite Francaise” and “All The Light We Cannot See”. But being on a historical tour where you hear stories about life in Paris during WWII really brings it to life. I was transported back to the 1940s when Paris was occupied by the Germans when I recently took a walking tour highlighting this time period in Paris and I discovered much more about the city that I have come to love.
Since 2015, INSIDR, a Paris start-up, has been helping travellers in over 30 countries plan their trips and one of their products is a smartphone. But it’s not just any mobile device. It’s your travel guide and concierge all in one packed with enough content and apps to make one’s journey just a little bit easier. I got to try out this great little (but powerful) device in Paris recently and I will be very honest and say I was duly impressed. The INSIDR smartphone in Paris is all about making travelling easier. How they get you your device and how you return it is pretty creative too.
Travelling can be a wonderful experience when you rent a car. But not always. After 30 trips to France, I guess it was time for me to have an awful experience. My roadside assistance experience in France was not just stressful, but a shock to my wallet. I have a little
story nightmare to share with you about renting a car in France. Hopefully, you’ll never encounter the types of problems I did, but if you do, you’ll understand what to do to navigate the difficult task of renting a car and dealing with road assistance issues.
If you say, “Pont-l’Évêque” to cheese lovers, many will immediately think of the strong-scented (pungent), soft cheese that is often considered to be one of the 5 stinkiest kinds of cheese in France. It’s my all-time least favourite cheese. It smells really bad and fortunately, doesn’t taste that way. But good news! Pont-l’Évêque may no longer have a negative association to the stinky cheese. There’s a new tourist attraction in the village—a multi-sensory experience devoted to Calvados apple brandy, which has a much nicer smell.
I never really cared for the sciences when I was an adolescent. In high school, I almost failed chemistry and at home, my chemical engineer father would bug me by using chemical terms all the time. Instead of saying, “Pass me the salt”, he’d say, “Pass me the NaCl (Sodium Chloride).” He liked the periodic table of elements whereas I preferred pop music. Had he taken me to the Marie Curie Museum in Paris during my first trip to France, I might have had a greater appreciation for the sciences. This free museum is worth a visit, especially for young women. They will be inspired by the story of one of the greatest scientists in the world.
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.
It’s one thing to go to a museum and look at a famous work of art and be impressed. It’s another thing to see art immersed in sound and light shows in Paris and Provence. In this case, at Atelier des Lumières and Carrières de Lumières, you’ll be blown away. Imagine popular works of art projected onto gigantic walls and choreographed to classical and modern music. Here you have digital art exhibitions for the 21st century. This is what they’re all about and why you must visit them: