Spring                     2011
VOL. 15                  NO. 2
  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

                                         This newsletter is viewed best on a large screen and is not formatted for printing.
The Winning Photo in our First Annual Contest

The Winning Photo . . .
  ~ The photographer and story behind the photo

Paris Enigmas

Ici et Là

Paris: Twenty Meters Below Ground
 ~ The Catacombs of Paris
    by Arthur Gillette

The Bookshelf: 
  ~ Paris, Paris
    a book by David Downie

A Cultural Exchange
  ~ Two Australian Students in Lyon
 by Alice Crockett

FEATURING:  Burgundy Revisited
  ~ Part One of Two

Notes from Narbonne
  ~  Big City in Little Narbonne
  by Marlane O'Neill

Château d'Hospitalet, Narbonne.  Photo credits Gérard Bertrand.
       Winery at Château l'Hospitalet near Narbonne

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."
                                                                                                                                                           -   Hilaire Belloc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anglo-French writer and barrister

It's our pleasure to present the winning photo of France from the twelve we submitted to our readers to vote for their favorite.  Najac Castle, a photo by Garth Bailey of Alberta, Canada, was chosen.  Many wonderful photos were sent to us, and our thanks go out to all of you who entered our contest and to all our readers who took the time to vote.  We hope you will visit France again this year and take photos for submission in 2012! Garth will receive a one-year subscription to France Magazine published by the French-American Cultural Foundation in Washington, DC.  For information about this beautiful and informative magazine, please visit http://www.francemagazine.org.

Najac Castle. Photo © Garth Bailey/photosbygar 2008-2011.  All rights reserved.
Najac Castle - Photo by Garth Bailey

Now, a little bit about the photographer.  Garth Bailey and his family stayed in Aveyron for six weeks in 2008 about seven kilometers from Najac where this photo was taken.  Najac Castle intrigued him as he was a Medieval history major at university and loved the history of Europe and France in particular.  After settling in, they explored the village of Najac and found it fascinating.  The castle dates to about 1000 AD as a Cathar refuge, but was put under siege during the Albigensian Crusade and gave up without a fight.  As penance, the citizens had to build a church, which still stands and is in use.  The castle was then transferred to a royal castle and rebuilt with all the military defenses of the day...to no avail, as it was taken by the English during the 100 Years War!  It is a fine ruin, and visitors are able to get a real sense of what castle life might have been like.                                              continued on page 4

Please visit page 4 of this newsletter for an enlarged photo and 
more details behind this winning photo!

Look inside

> to explore Paris' world-famous catacombs with Arthur Gillette ~ an experience that is not for the faint of heart.  Read about it in Paris: Twenty Meters Below Ground.


> to share the semester highlights of two Australian college exchange students as they adapt to the life and culture of Lyon in A Cultural Exchange.


come along (after the many temptations of Lyon) to travel just north of Lyon with us as we return to Burgundy.


> to read more about the circumstances surrounding the taking of our winning photo and a little about the photographer The Winning Photo in our First Annual Contest.


> for The Bookshelf where we review Paris, Paris ~ Journey into the City of Light, a book by David Downie that everyone should read before their next visit to Paris.


>  as Marlane O'Neill let's us in on the Big City secrets of her small city in Notes from Narbonne.


Click here to order
Paris, Paris -
Journey into the city of Light

  PARIS ENIGMAS . . . A Quiz on Your Knowledge of Historic Paris
                                                                                                                                by Arthur Gillette

Question from the last issue:  In mid-June 1917, American troops led by General John Pershing arrived in Paris. According to legend, he made a point of going to Lafayette's grave and declaring, "Lafayette, we are here!"  Where is that grave, and what is wrong with the legend?

Answer: Lafayette is buried in the Picpus Cemetery where his grave is honored by the American Ambassador every 4th of July. And the legend's mistake? It was actually Pershing's aide, Col. Charles E. Stanton, who made the famous declaration. 

Our new question:  Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875) was a sculptor who specialized in wild animal subjects, popular in both France and the USA, where private collectors acquired a number of his works. Quite a few are still displayed in US museums. After his death, a square at the eastern end of the Ile St. Louis was named for him.  American admirers - creating a Barye Monument Association and Fund - helped finance this memorial to him boasting, atop a plinth, a statue of Theseus battling a centaur. When you visit the square today, what's missing?

Contact Arthur Gillette to take advantage of his amazing knowledge of Paris
by enjoying one or more of his Paris Through the Ages Strolls. 
Visit our Marketplace page for a complete list of strolls and information about Arthur.
Email: armedv@aol.com

[See the answer to this edition's question revealed in our Summer 2011 issue.]



Peniche Alphonsia Maria - Cruising in France's Loire

 Online French Video Immersion

Yabla French is an online video magazine for French learners who wish to improve their language skills. 
Authentic French videos include television programs, music videos, interviews, documentaries, and travel. 
Only Yabla French offers captions in multiple languages, pitch-correct slow play, 
integrated dictionaries and listening exercises. Click on the banner to sign up or learn more!

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