Autumn                    2013
VOL. 17                    NO. 4


  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

       This newsletter is viewed best on a large screen.  It is not formatted for printing.
                        "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."    -  St. Augustine


Love at First Sight
    by Jo Anne Marquardt

Twisted Tongues
     ~  Challenging French phrases 

Ici et Là 

The Bookshelf
  My Trip Around the Hexagon
  and Falling in Love with France
    ~ books by Jo Anne Marquardt

Rekindling An Old Friendship
  by Charlie Heckstall-Smith

Happy 100th Birthday to Paris'
   Théâtre des Champs Elysées
  by Arthur Gillette

Théâtre des Champs Elysées. Photo copyright 2012 to present Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.

Art Déco Interior of the 
Elegant Théâtre de Champs Elysées

Normandy 2014  ~ Main Events!

Special Lifestyles Feature:
  The Renaissance of a Loire Valley Château
  by Marnie de Vanssay


                                                                                                                                             by Jo Anne Marquardt

Many of us are repeatedly attracted to France ~ we find it seductive, cultured, and
learn that even after many visits we still haven't gotten enough of it.  Maybe we never will! 
There are those special memories of our first time in Paris or our first night in a country inn 
or some sweet little moment that remains with us forever.  France has a way of drawing us in, 
and here is the story of one person's love affair when it first began . . .

How did I fall in love with France?  It began with a captivating travel article about the village of Saint-Cirq Lapopie and a friend's impassioned description of her recent trip to the village of La Roque Gageac. In May of 1994 with no French-language speaking skills, my husband and I flew to Orly airport, rented a car and drove south to the Dordogne Valley. 

La Roque Gageac, Dordogne.  Photo copyright by Jo Anne Marquardt.  All rights reserved.It was lunch time when we pulled up to what looked like a restaurant in a sunlit golden stone building overlooking the Dordogne River in La Roque Gageac. Up a flight of stairs, we were seated in the center of a picturesque dining room at an elegantly set table. The only word I could decipher on the menu was thon - tuna.  We selected the three-course prix fixe menu and were not disappointed with what we were served. After a long lunch and some wine, we realized there was a hotel above the restaurant and haltingly inquired if a room was available. Our room was located in the front with three windows overlooking the river. The French franc price for the room, at the time, was the equivalent of about $35.

                                                                                             Hôtel la Gardette in La Roque Gageac

The next morning we pulled ourselves away from the view to drive on and explore more of the area. We "oohed and aahed" at scenery that called out to us to stop and admire. By late afternoon we had made a 50-kilometer loop and decided to return to Hôtel la Gardette for another night in our room with the view. The following morning Saint-Cirq Lapopie was beckoning us, and the Lot Valley wasn't far.

Approaching St-Cirq Lapopie we wondered if we had made a mistake in judging the distance. The drive up the steep and winding hillside was slow and torturous. As we rounded a final curve our jaws dropped open at the sight in front of us. We pulled the car over to marvel at the drama of the Lot River cutting a swath through the verdant valley below with St-Cirq Lapopie perched high above on the cliff with the church steeple and chateau ruin creating a memorable silhouette. We eagerly drove onward toward this mesmerizing sight, well worth the slow route to the top.

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Look inside. . .
     with a click 

>  to see what's new on The Bookshelf  ~ collections by Jo Anne Marquardt from her travel journals ~ her discoveries while wandering around France.


>  for Rekindling an Old Friendship ~ how the Internet brought together two old friends who are now in business together in the Côte d'Azur.


> to join Arthur Gillette in wishing Happy 100th Birthday to Paris' Théâtre des Champs Elysées.


> to find out about very special events taking place in Normandy in 2014.


> for our Feature Lifestyles article, The Renaissance of a Loire Valley Château ~ the rebirth of a 600 year-old family home in one of France's most treasured regions.

                                                                                                                                                     by Arthur Gillette

Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play.  See if you can come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question.  You may be quite surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.

Answer from our Summer issue:  Avoir sa langue dans sa poche = "have one's tongue in one's pocket"?  No!  It means to refrain from speaking, remain totally silent (secretive).

Phrase: Chercher midi à quatorze heures = "to look for noon at 2 PM?"  Literally, yes.  But how often does that occur?  There is a more frequent usage.  Can you guess what it is?

Look for the correct translation in our Winter newsletter.  Have fun!

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.


au Château - the Ultimate Lodging Experience in France

Find France's most special places  to stay from a web site that offers
personal service from your first inquiry to confirming your reservations.

 The au Château web site presents over 85 unique properties offering
bed and breakfast accommodations, weekly rental lodging, or self-catering 
 gîtes on the grounds of a château.  Experience the most delightful
places in the countryside and hidden-away French villages.
Visit au Château today with a click on the above link.

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Recommendations are not guarantees of satisfaction and are made only
to assist travelers with suggestions and web sites that we have found very useful.