Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for france

The Light of Things in Bourges

By Linda Tancs

A popular medieval city in central France, Bourges is known for its half-timbered buildings. It’s also home to Saint Etienne Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Monument) and Jacques Coeur Palace, a national monument in the flamboyant Gothic style commissioned by an influential French nobleman. As if the view by day isn’t fine enough, the city outdoes itself in summer with Illuminated Nights, bathing the top attractions in a light and sound show beginning at dusk. Lasting almost two hours, the show starts at Le Jardin de l’Archeveche beside the cathedral.

Advertisements

The Island of Mimosas

By Linda Tancs

Noirmoutier is an island off the west coast of France in the Vendée Départment of the Loire Atlantique province. It’s nicknamed the “island of mimosas” (no, not for the drink) because its temperate climate allows for the flowering of Acacia dealbata (mimosa) year-round. Its captivating name is translated “black monks,” a reference to the black cowls worn by the order of St. Philbert, the island’s founder. A popular seaside resort, make haste before the madding crowd arrives. Treat yourself to a two-hour cruise around the island on a Portuguese tall ship, O’Abandonado. You can even help hoist the sails.

France’s First Flower Show

By Linda Tancs

King Francis I of France called the Erdre the most beautiful river in the country. Imagine what he’d think of the fabulous display of flowers along its banks during the international flower exhibition, Comité des Floralies. France’s first flower show, the event takes place every five years in Nantes. Running from today through May 19, the popular exhibition convenes more than 200 flower and plant experts from around the world to create stunning displays at the expo center along the banks.

The Ocean’s Call in Brest

By Linda Tancs

A popular port city in Brittany, Brest is known for its rich maritime history. Nestled in one of France’s most beautiful natural harbors, it boasts incredible quayside views as well as architectural wonders like Pont de l’Iroise bridge, holding a world span record for a cable-stayed bridge. You can take a cruise across the entirety of the harbor, connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Goulet de Brest channel. Among its other charms are the National Navy Museum, housed in the medieval Château de Brest, and Océanopolis, a unique ocean discovery center in Europe with enormous aquariums and a seal clinic.

France’s Fire Art Capital

By Linda Tancs

The international reputation of Limoges as a porcelain capital dates to 1768, when kaolin (a clay mineral) was discovered near this French city. Since then, the city has thrived as the top producer of excellent hard-paste porcelain (china) in France. You can learn more about the evolution of the city’s porcelain empire by visiting the Casseaux Museum, home to the Casseaux porcelain kiln built in 1904. You might also like the Adrien Dubouché National Museum, located in the heart of the city, where the history of art and civilization is examined through the prism of porcelain.

A Celebration of Citrus

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression, when life hands you lemons make lemonade. They’ve done one better than that in France with the annual Fête du Citron (lemon festival). Held in the city of Menton, the colossal citrus sculptures require 145 tons of fruit. Processions on the Promenade du Soleil feature of mixture of citrus-themed floats, dancers and folk groups. The Biovès Gardens are also clad with citrus fruit, forming temporary sculptures in dazzling yellow and orange shades, some reaching heights of 32 feet and more. Tickets are required for some events. This year’s festival takes place from February 16 to March 3.

Medieval Splendor in France

By Linda Tancs

Château d’Angers, a medieval fortress in Angers, France, is a massive fortification in schist and limestone. Punctuated by 17 towers, it extends over 1,600 feet, surrounded by gardens large enough to complement its size. The gardens include the usual box trees and yews, as well as a vineyard, vegetable garden, rose garden, hydrangea garden at the royal dwelling, the hanging garden with medicinal and tincture plants and a number of species depicted on the Apocalypse Tapestry. A magnificent work of art, the tapestry is based on the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. Like every other part of the castle, its scope is grand, measuring 338 feet in length and nearly 15 feet in width. Once the property of René of Anjou (of the ducal line who occupied the fortress in the 14th and 15th centuries), the tapestry is situated in a specially-lit room to preserve it.

%d bloggers like this: