Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for france

A Republic Within a Republic

By Linda Tancs

Sandwiched between France and Switzerland, Saugeais is a micronation in eastern France. Established in 1947, the self-declared nation in the Haut-Doubs region comprises 11 communes, from Gilley in the north to Arçon in the south and from the Swiss border in the east to Crêt Monniot in the west. Its origins lie in jest, following a French official’s anointing of the area as a republic after jokingly being told he needed a permit to enter the region. Today, visitors are granted a permit to enter, evidence that a good joke is one you can use over and over. The unofficial republic boasts a Prime Minister, a Secretary General, two customs officers, 12 ambassadors and 450 honorary citizens throughout France and Europe who promote its charms.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

France’s Surf City

By Linda Tancs

Located in the Bay of Biscay in the heart of French Basque Country, Biarritz is a popular seaside resort. Generally regarded as the surfing capital of Europe, its surf culture cannot be understated, with 18 surfing schools catering to beginners and pros alike. Its beaches, the La Grande Plage and Côte des Basques, both offer great surf spots. Now is the best time to ply the waters because it’s less crowded and the swells are more reliable.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Bubbling Over in the Indian Ocean

By Linda Tancs

Réunion is a French department in the Indian Ocean, an island known for its active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. Currently, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world, giving Hawaii’s Kīlauea a run for its money. This shield volcano standing at over 8,600 feet is a hiker’s dream, with challenging routes linking the coast with the summit. You can also reach into the bowels of the earth with a lava tunnel tour lasting over three hours or take in the Mars-like landscape from the Plaine des Sables. Then, again, why not do it all? You can rest up at the Volcano Lodge, less than a mile from the crater.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Fruit of the Vine in Paris

By Linda Tancs

Bordeaux, Bourgogne and Champagne may be France’s better known winemaking regions, but centuries ago Paris was the country’s winemaking hub. It would be easy to forget that bit of history but for the network of newer vineyards in the city paying homage to the ancient ways, the most famous being Le Clos Montmartre. Government-owned and largely tucked away in Parisian parks, the wines produced at these sites are not available commercially. Instead, they’re auctioned off and enjoyed only at select festivals.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

French Riviera Freebies

By Linda Tancs

The French Riviera is iconic, prized for its vistas and expensive real estate. You can live like a titan, but you don’t have to travel like one. The French Riviera Pass is a tourism card provided by the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitain Convention & Visitors Bureau. The pass entitles you to discover the main tourist sights and activities (museums, entertainment venues and the like) in Nice and the French Riviera free of charge, which means huge savings for your holiday budget. It also includes free bus and tram transport in the network and a transfer option from Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport. Available for purchase online or at various points of sale (like the airport, tourist information offices and some hotels), the card comes in three versions: 24, 48 or 72 hours consecutively from first use. Your card also comes with a guide to the participating venues.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Forest in France

By Linda Tancs

South of Calais in northern France is Crécy-en-Ponthieu. If that rings a bell, you might be remembering the Battle of Crécy, an event in 1346 that resulted in victory for the English in the first decade of the Hundred Years’ War against the French. The area also lends it name to the Crécy Forest, one of the largest forests in northern France (at over 10,000 acres) and the only one of such a size open to the public. Beeches and oaks reign there. The oldest, “the Ramolleux oak,” is reputedly over 600 years old.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Bayeux Tapestry

By Linda Tancs

France is no stranger to grand tapestries, like that found in Angers memorializing a book in the Bible. Head three hours north and you’ll find another treasure in tapestry in Bayeux. The Bayeux Tapestry (well, actually, an embroidery—but let’s not get too technical) measures a staggering 230 feet in length and depicts the Norman conquest of England. The UNESCO-listed artifact is on display in an 18th-century seminary.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

An Oasis in Paris

By Linda Tancs

Like New York City’s Central Park, Square du Temple in Paris’s Marais district is a lush oasis in the midst of a bustling city. It was designed in the English garden style in the 1800s, a site boasting over 82,000 square feet including an ornamental pool and waterfall, several walking paths, 191 varieties of plants and more than 70 trees. But what you can’t see is perhaps just as interesting as what you can see because the park is located above the remnants of the European stronghold of the Knights Templar. Free and open daily, the nearest Metro station is Temple.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Wall of Love

By Linda Tancs

Where else but in the “city of love” would you expect to find a “I Love You Wall”? A must-see for romance seekers in Paris (especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner), Le mur des je t’aime is a mural built on a surface of 430 square feet comprising 612 squares of enameled lava, on which “I love you” is rendered 311 times in 250 languages. Located on the square at Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, admission is free.

The Burghers of Calais

By Linda Tancs

France and England may seem like kissing cousins in modern times thanks to the Chunnel (the predominately underwater rail tunnel linking the two countries), but history reminds us that it wasn’t always the case. Consider the Hundred Years’ War, when Calais was under siege by the English for about 11 months. Facing starvation, the French decided to surrender, led by six noblemen who were willing to be executed for the cause, only to be spared by the English king’s wife. The episode is marked by Rodin’s sculpture, La Statue des Six Bourgeois de Calais, the most photographed monument in the city. It stands in front of the Town Hall, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, adorned with a massive belfry.

%d bloggers like this: