VOL. 21 NO. 3
Independent Traveler's Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:
Châteaux - Treasures of the
~ Challenging French phrases
Ici et Là
"Little Pompeii" Discovery by the Rhône
Renaissance performers at
The Bookshelf: A Taste of Paris
~ A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food
by David Downie
In our next issue:
Little Gems off the Beaten Path
newsletter is best viewed with a Firefox
browser with a full screen. It is not
" I was
chased through a château in the Loire Valley by a bunch of
American school girls."
CHÂTEAUX - TREASURES OF THE LOIRE . . . in France's Valley of the Kings
Many visitors to France focus on Paris, venture out to Normandy to see the historic sites, go east to Burgundy for the wine and cuisine, and yet others go south to Provence for the sun and Mediterranean climate. There are those, of course, whose curiosity takes them to the Loire Valley to tour the grand and royal châteaus ~ perhaps visiting one or two in a day, a maybe a third the next day. The visits can be tiring, much like a whole day at the Louvre. They may never return to the Loire again, believing that if they've seen a château or two, they've seen them all. We will attempt to disabuse those people of that belief as we devote this issue to the grand châteaus of the Loire ~ and illustrate that whether a château is family-owned in the countryside or a grand open-to-the-public royal palace in the Loire (there are about fifty of the latter), each is unique and special, most likely with a fascinating history and worth your attention.
traveling through France following a planned itinerary often wish they
had done a little more research on places they were going to
visit. Recently, we read the comment of a writer who promised
himself to thoroughly research the places he was hoping to see before
leaving home, but he didn't always manage to keep his own
resolution. Once in France he was often disappointed he didn't
know more about the sites along the way. We suggest that
you take his advice to get the most out of your travel experience
in France. Perhaps our feature highlighting several of the Loire
châteaus will be just what you need to make your visits enjoyable
Several years ago a good friend of ours in France took us to Amboise to visit Le Parc Mini-Châteaux. Forty-one of the Loire châteaus can be see here in exact miniature, re-created to the last detail. Although children are naturally fascinated by the parc, adults enjoy a birds-eye view of these magnificent castles ~ a good way to preview those that are most appealing before visiting the actual châteaus. For the exact address of the Parc, the hours it is open and entrance fee, along with lots of photos, visit their web site.
You may choose to stay in the Western Loire where you will have easy access to the châteaus in Nantes, Angers, Les Réaux (currently a B&B and not open to the public), Ussé, Langeais, all of which are located along or very near the Loire River. As you travel eastward, the rivers Vienne, Indre and Cher split off to the south, and it is on these rivers you will discover Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Loches, Chenonceau, Selles-sur-Cher and others.
If you prefer to stay in the Eastern Loire near the Sologne, the châteaus of Amboise, Chaumont, Blois, Cheverny, Chambord and Beaugency are among the many located there, some along smaller rivers such as the Cosson and Beuvron. At the end of this article, we will suggest places to stay ~ privately-owned châteaus each offering incredible experiences for guests.
Château d'Amboise in miniature at
Le Parc Mini-Châteaux in Amboise.
matter which you
choose to explore, you will be impressed by how each is different from
the other, how their histories and the famous people associated with
them add a personal perspective to each, and how proudly they represent
devotion France and the French have to their unique historic legacy.
LOOK INSIDE . . with a click
> and perhaps find an event or activity that interests you in the US or France in our Ici et Là column ~ and be sure to see our newest Ici et Là feature: Did You Know?
~> The Bookshelf: our review of David Downie's most recent book, A Taste of Paris. We have reviewed other of David's books on Paris, each bringing his incredible knowledge of his adopted city and giving the reader David's refreshing and insightful perspective.
~> to learn a little about the recent archaeological discovery along the Rhône near Vienne ~ along with a personal anecdote from a time when we stayed very near this discovery.
FRANCE On Your Own is always happy
to receive articles from our readers
about their experiences in France. We
can't guarantee when we will publish
those we receive, but we will do our best to
include them for our other readers to enjoy.
[No payments are made for submissions used, but
we will promote your France-related book or project.]
TONGUES . . .
contributed 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.
from our Spring issue: "Tirer ses grègues" Does that mean
"to pull up one's socks"? Literally, yes, but the slang meaning
is "Skidaddle away."
Phrase: "Faire gaffe" may mean to "make
a mistake". But what do you think the slang meaning is?
Look for the correct translation in our Autumn 2017 newsletter. Have fun!
will continue to include Arthur
Gillette's "Twisted Tongues" in our newsletter
The Château de la
jewel of 19th century architecture having been built over 200
Click here or
on the photo for more information and reservations.
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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.