Category Archives: Episode w/ Elyse

The Millau Viaduct and Nearby Attractions, Episode 146

Millau Viaduct day-time photo
Photo Jérôme Pellé

In this episode Annie and Elyse discuss one of the lesser known parts of France, but at the same time an area that is full of wonderful surprises and genuine culture. We know you’ll love the gastronomy, you’ll learn about the birth of Roquefort cheese, you’ll get to walk inside of a Knight Templars fortress,  and, of course, you’ll learn about the biggest, tallest bridge ever built, the Millau Viaduct. This area is particularly well suited for people who are traveling with children because of the many opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, and Micropolis, a new park/interactive museum on the theme of the life of bugs. So, Millau is a great place for sure. The question is, is it the right place for you? Listen to the episode to find out!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Places Mentioned on this episode: Millau, Gorges du Tarn, La Couvertoirade a Knight Templars village,The Abbey de Sylvanès, Parc Naturel des Grands Causses, Millau Viaduct, Micropolis

The Millau Viaduct and Nearby Attractions, Episode 146

Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

[1’] This Week’s News and Updates
[1’20] Thank You Patreon Supporters!
[2’28] Related Episodes
[2’59] Addicted to France Tours
[4’01] Thank You for Your iTunes Review!
[4’46] It’s a Beautiful Spring in France!
[5’10] Join Us in France Closed Group on Facebook
[6’07] Millau Introduction
[7’34] Millau’s Geographical Location in France
[8’22] It is Best to Visit Millau with a Car
[8’36] The Aveyron Department and the Causse
[10’33] Where is Millau Again? Draw a Line Between Paris and Montpellier
[12’12] A Brief History of Millau
[13’16] Graufesenque Archeological Site
[17’43] Monasteries Bring Back Business
[19’47] The Local Leather Industry Started in the Middle Ages and Is Still Going!
[21’29] How Millau Became Part of the French Kingdom
[22’29] Huguenots in Occitanie
[24’15] Millau During WWII
[24’40] Millau Today
[26’54] Things You Can Visit Near Millau: Roquefort-sur-Soulzon
[33’45] The Roquefort Controversy and the Trashing of a McDonald’s Restaurant
[39’15] The Many Brands of Roquefort Cheese
[40’32] Touring a Roqufort Cheese House
[41’13] The Story of the Millau Viaduct
[43’41] Is this a Viaduct or a Bridge?
[44’39] Common Types of Bridges
[46′] Uncorking a Major Bottleneck
[47’40] The Problem of the Wind
[52’38] The Millau Viaduct Visitor’s Center
[54’58] Materials Used in the Construction and Costs
[56’50] How Much Does It Cost to Drive the Millau Viaduct?
[62′] How Long Did It Take to Build?
[64’25] Was It Worth Building?
[67′] Also Visit Nearby and Great Visits to Do with Children
[69’17] Parc Naturel des Grands Causses and Local Wines
[70’08] A Great Place for an Active Vacation
[73′] Endives Recipe

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Millau is an outstanding destination for people who are seeking unusual and interesting destinations in France, especially if they want an active vacation that includes children. In Millau you will find opportunities to discover Roman Ruins, a fortified Knight Templar fortress, great natural beauty, opportunities to kayak in the Tarn Gorges, Roquefort power-houses, high-fashion manufacturing, and last but not least the amazing Millau Viaduct. It is a little bit out of the way and you probably should plan to rent a car to make the most of the area, but those who take the trouble will have a great time!

Top Attractions in Figeac, Episode 143

Top Attractions in Figeac, happy family in Figeac, France
Figeac, Place des Écritures, photo Manuel Alende Maceira.

Top Attractions in Figeac

Today, Elyse and Annie want you to meet someone amazing. Let’s see if you can guess who it is: He changed linguistics forever. He was an Egyptologist. He was born in Figeac, France, a small town in the Southwest.

Did you guess Jean-François Champollion? That’s correct! Champollion is the reason most people visit Figeac today. Either that or they have a job in aeronautics. Figeac is a small town in the middle of nowhere, completely off the beaten track, but we wanted to tell you about the top attractions in Figeac today because we happen to love it and we want to share. The Champollion Museum is also outstanding and we tell you why in the episode. Enjoy!

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Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
 Episode Highlights
  • [5’39”] Where is Figeac?
  • [6’39”] How big is it?
  • [7’10”] Figeac is in the Lot Department, 2 – 2.5 hrs drive North of Toulouse
  • [8’05”] One of the top attractions in Figeac is the home of Champollion
  • [8’40”] The meandering landscape of the Célé river
  • [9’08”] 8th century monastery founded by Pépin le Bref
  • [11’47”] The home to two major aerospace industry companies: Ratier Figeac and Figeac Aéro
  • [12’13”] Figeac during the War of Religions in France
  • [13’10”] Figeac during the French Resistance
  • [14′] Thriving town because of the aerospace industry
  • [16’52] Restored city center with lots of Medieval and Renaissance homes
  • [18’46”] Jean-François Champollion and his museum
  • [18’50”] One of the top attractions in Figeac is for linguistics nerds
  • [20’16”] A recap on the Rosetta Stone
  • [24’11”] The life of Jean-François Champollion
  • [27′] Champollion, the Egyptologist
  • [30’30”] Champollion and the Obelisk on Place de la Concorde in Paris
  • [31’30”] Champollion died young
  • [32’38”] What will you see inside the Champollion Museum?
  • [35’32”] Top attractions in Figeac for food and local specialties
  • [36’51”] Can you speak Ancient Egyptian?
  • [38′] Archaeology as a science didn’t start until Napoleon
  • [39′] We love travel because it helps us learn new things
  • [40′] Announcement on the new Join Us in France Book Group on Goodreads
  • [41’10”] “J’ai une mémoire de poisson rouge”

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Paris Packing List, Episode 137

Paris Packing List

Fancy older woman wering a hat and jewelry
You may run into this person in Paris, but she’s the exception, not the rule.

Some people fret about what’s acceptable to wear in France, and it is true that there are some things you should NOT wear in France. Annie is in a good situation to talk about that because being someone who doesn’t worry much about clothing, she’s made every mistake in the book since moving home to France. But she’s working on it! Being an artist, Elyse worries a lot more about being stylish and has excellent tips to share. Click Continue reading to see our recommended Paris Packing List!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Paris Packing List Episode Highlights

Packing list below the fold.

  • [4’11”] Americans tend to dress more casually than French people.
  • [6′] There is a Paris Style.
  • [7’50”] How to dress for Paris specifically.
  • [8’30”] No Bermuda shorts, sexy short shorts only for very young women.
  • [10’50”] Paris brings out the dressiness in people, but don’t get too dressy.
  • [11’30”] People don’t dress up to go out at night as much as they used to and you will not get turned away for not wearing a jacket and tie in Paris.
  • [13′] You can wear business casual even at the Symphony in France.
  • [14’10] Scarves will dress up any outfit as a decorative element for both men and women.
  • [15′] Practical tip: bring interchangeable items in dark solid colors and add colorful scarves or wraps. Women can bring summer dresses and capris.
  • [16’20”] Shoes: no sandals with socks, no clunky “nurse’s shoes”, but it’s OK to wear sandals and casual shoes.
  • [17’45] Men wear capris in France!
  • [18’20] Annie’s faux-pas at the Disneyland Hotel and at Louis Vuiton in Paris.
  • [22’44”] How to up your clothing game as a tourist in Paris: accessorize, wear a leather jacket (or a crochet jacket, or any sort of jacket), clothes that are cut closer to the body.
  • [24’20”] Change your outfit at the end of the day, women don’t wear t-shirts with words.
  • [26′] Some women in Paris wear dresses and high-heels, but they are not the majority. When walking a lot, wear closed shoes where your feet can’t move around too much.
  • [28’27”] No shorts for women over 30 in the city. Capris are fine. Sun-dresses and skirts are commonly worn in France.
  • [29’25”] Whatever you wear, you MUST have a bag that zips and goes across your torso. Men should not have their wallet in the back pocket of their pants.
  • [30′] Clean pants and a nice polo shirt works great for men, even if you are going to a nice restaurant.
  • [31′] A lot depends on who you hang out with. Fancy situations call for fancier clothes and accessories.
  • [32’44”] Layers are important in the winter.
  • [35′] French people wear fitting clothes, but don’t do it if you’re uncomfortable.
  • [38′] No baseball caps, berets are for old folks, Panama hats are stylish and can be worn by both men and women.
  • [40″] If you’re a “fluffy person” (aka fat) do what you want, wear what you want, don’t worry about what other people think. You don’t have to wear black.

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