Winter                     2016
VOL. 20                   NO.  1


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  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

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                            " . . . Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."       - Seneca                                                                                                       


Beginning our Twentieth Year!

Paris' Public Fountains
Part II in the series
    by Arthur Gillette

Twisted Tongues
      ~  Challenging French phrases

Ici et Là

Bringing Burgundy to You
~   Will the 2015 Vintage be the Equal of 2005?
by Lynne Hammond

Recycling in France
The Best Trash is
                   Trash People Don't Produce

by Arthur Gillette

Featuring Lorraine & Alsace
       ~  A land in dispute since the 9th century!

Riquewihr Horloge.  Copyright Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.
Horloge in Riquewihr, Alsace

Colmar Christmas Markets
       ~  Exclusive to FRANCE On Your Own
     by P J Adams

Beginning our Twentieth Year!

It was the Spring of 1997 when the first issue of FRANCE On Your Own was published in print format and sold by annual subscription.  Times have certainly changed!  Today's newsletter, still a quarterly, is free and online since 2004.   

Each issue of our masthead featured a different drawing of a scene in France by
our artist-in residence,
such as this one along one of France's many delightful canals.

The premier edition had articles on resources, research, planning your trip, driving in France, and more, and the featured region was Normandy, a part of France we loved then and still love today.  That first issue's goal was to promote independent travel ~ traveling without tour buses or preplanned itineraries from tour companies.  We wanted then, and still do now, to encourage you to get out a map, do research on your own, and see where you want to go and what you want to see in France.  This should not be a daunting task but actually great fun ~ how many times have we heard that 'planning is half the fun'?  Well, it really is. 

Now, with the Internet offering everything at our fingertips, planning is easier than ever.  Check on airline tickets, perhaps a rail ticket, travel insurance or that car you will need if you even think of leaving Paris and venturing out into the countryside.  Find a hotel in Paris, and for an authentic French experience, book a room at a chambre d'hôtes in a rural area.  You can read other travelers' reviews before booking, and we suggest you book on a web site that offers human interaction so that you can ask questions, request special amenities and receive personal attention.  Everything required for your trip is online and easy to access.

Today, many people read FRANCE On Your Own on hand-held devices and tablets as well as laptops and home computers.  We can easily include photographs and web links to useful sites.  But, we want to remind you that back issues of the print version of the newsletter are still available (with a few sold-out exceptions), and they are listed at, our web site's Archives page. 

We would appreciate it if you, our readers. would pass the word along about our newsletter so that more people will subscribe.  And, as each issue carries two banner ads reaching many thousands of subscribers, we invite anyone who would like to place an ad that pertains in any way to France to contact us


Look inside. . .  with a click  

>  for an insider's look at wine production in Burgundy, be sure to read Lynne Hammond's article about the 2015 Burgundy Wine Vintage written exclusively for FRANCE On Your Own.


>  to see how saving the planet involves dedicated people all over the world.  Anyone who has spent time in France knows that recycling is a long-standing  tradition.  Read Recycling in France in today's issue.

>  for our Feature on Alsace and Lorraine, a region of great beauty and culture that has had a tumultuous and often tragic history.

>  and travel along with P J Adams as she explores the Christmas Markets of Colmar in Alsace.  Enjoy the happy people, festive decorations and holiday spirit as you tag along with P J.

  Coming in our Spring issue. . .
Featuring the Limousin
and  France's Magical Villages

                                                                                                                                                     by Arthur Gillette

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

Answer from our Autumn issue:  "Un aller - retour"-  Does it mean "a return or round trip"?  Literally, yes.  But, in slang it means "a pair of slaps - one to each side of the face"!

Phrase:    "Avoir du blé" -  Does it mean "have some wheat?" Yes, it certainly does.  But what is the slang interpretation?

Look for the correct translation in our Spring 2016 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.

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to assist travelers with suggestions and web sites that we have found very useful.