Tour the South West of France, Episode 147

Tour the South West of France with your friends from the Join Us in France Travel Podcast. And if you’d rather do it solo, we tell you about the places you must be sure to visit because we’re nice and we like you!

If you like this episode, also listen to Episode 43 on Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and Episode 62 on Cahors, and Episode 78, a Trip Report that includes some of the same places.

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

Places mentioned in this episode: Toulouse, Aeroscopia, Airbus, Bonrepos-Riquet, Carcassonne, Mirepoix, Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Château de Saurs, Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Puycelsi, Penne, Bruniquel, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val.

Tour the South West of France, Episode 147

Tour the South West of France, ornamental bicycle

Episode Highlights

      • [53”] Thank you Patreon Supporters! New installment of Lunch-Break French.
      • [1’56] Resources to Get Started in French: Duolingo App, Coffee Break French, Lawless French.
      • [2’46] Extended Show Notes will be out within a few days
      • [5’15] Related Episodes: Episode 43 on Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and Episode 62 on Cahors in the Lot
      • [6’] Annie’s Personal Update: How Easter works in France
      • [7’10] I invite you to connect with me and the Join Us in France community on Facebook.
      • [7’55] Start Annie and Elyse Conversation
      • [8’25] Tour the South West of France with Annie and Elyse!
      • [10’14] Visit Aeroscopia and Airbus
      • [10’44] The Tour will also take us to the Pierre-Paul Riquet Château (Bonrepos-Riquet)
      • [11’08] Carcassonne and Mirepoix
      • [11’39] The tour will take us to Albi
      • [12’] Cordes-sur-Ciel
      • [12’40] Wine Tasting at the Château de Saurs
      • [13’] Informal French Class
      • [14’31] Cahors and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
      • [14’55] Why We Can Only Have 7 People
      • [16’40] Introduction to Puycelsi, Penne and Bruniquel
      • [18’36] Puycelsi
      • [22’51] La Forêt de Grésigne
      • [26’13] The War Against the Cathars, Raymond VI and Baudouin de Toulouse
      • [29’38] Glass-making in this area
      • [30’56] Small Place Yet Full of History
      • [32’27] Next Stop: the Village of Bruniquel
      • [35’34] Bruniquel and Queen Brunehilde
      • [43’40] Stop in Penne if Time Permits
      • [44’53’] Last stop of the day in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
      • [50’] The Hundred Foot Journey Was Shot in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
      • [52’15] A Day Tour of the Medieval Riches of Gorgeous Villages Near Toulouse
      • [52’43] All the details of the tour the south west of france with Annie and Elyse  are on Addicted to France

Conclusion

Thinking about going beyond Paris and seeing the rest of France? A great place to start is the South West, aka Occitanie. France is a big country and those who look outside of major attractions are rewarded with sweet, genuine experiences of France. Whether you join this tour or decide to travel solo, Puycelsi, Bruniquel, and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val are places you need to put on your list.

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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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Conclusion

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!

Honeymoon Ideas: the French Riviera, Episode 145

Honeymoon Ideas: Gary and Leslie in Èze
Gary and Leslie in Èze

Honeymoon Ideas: the French Riviera

This episode is full of great honeymoon ideas for people who want to have the best of both worlds: a vacation where you explore a new country and city, plus spend plenty of time relaxing at the beach and enjoying one another’s company.

In the episode Romantic Paris, Gary told us about their time in Paris, but as fun as that was, Gary and Leslie also wanted to spend time on the Mediterranean Sea. Why? Because that’s where all the celebrities love to go because it is so scenic and pleasant. So, settle in with the drink of you choice and find some of the best honeymoon ideas for 2017!

If you like this episode and want to visit the French Riviera, you should also listen to Episode 118 and Episode 37 about Marseilles; Episode 33 on Aix-en-Provence; Episode 83 about the Baux-de-Provence, the Lubéron and the Abbey de Sénanque.

Hotel recommended in this episode: Hôtel La Pérouse in Nice. Also check out Gary’s new blog on Romantic Vacations.

Places mentioned in this episode: Nice, Cannes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Èze, La Turbie, Monaco.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
 Episode Highlights
  • [2’06] Announcing Enhanced Show Notes for Patreon Supporters
  • [8’12”] 4 days and 4 nights in Nice, on the French Riviera
  • [9′] The idea was to explore Paris, but also add a relaxed but take time for the romance as well
  • [10′] The French Riviera where the elites go to vacation and some of the most beautiful places in the world
  • [11’31] Nice seemed like a good place to be based out of because it is so central, and old-town Nice is so quaint
  • [12’15] Thinking about renting a luxury car but changing their mind after learning some specifics about driving in France, and especially parking on the Riviera (listen to the episode in full for more reasons not to do that!)
  • [13’42] Booking private tours just for the two of them on Viatour instead and finding out some interesting historical facts from the drivers/guides
  • [14′] You can see strong historical ties between France and Italy when visiting the Riviera, and it looks like Tuscany in places
  • [15′] Great Pizza and Italian food at the French Riviera, and how they don’t slice it for you
  • [16′] Their driver took them to Cannes (you can also listen to the episode about the Cannes Film Festival) to get a quick taste
  • [17″15] Antibes, which has a lovely Picasso Museum, but if you want to see amazing yachts and boats, this is the place to go
  • [19″] Saint-Paul de Vence, the Jewel of the French Riviera, a walled medieval city with a lot of history, cobblestone streets, and art galleries
  • [21′]Èze, another medieval city with a beautiful not-to-be-missed garden at the top of the hill, great gelato, great cheese and meat platter, and the Parfumarie Galimard where you can get a free tour of how they make soap
  • [23′] Parking in Èze is difficult, La Turbie is very close to Èze and also very nice to visit
  • [24′] Monaco, second smallest country in the world, extremely rich, very interesting to see, you can see sites where they filmed To Catch a Thief, you can see the Casino and all the luxury cars, they drove on the road where the Grand Prix de Monaco takes place, there’s also a great aquarium, you can tour the Palace
  • [29′] Is 4 days enough? Just right? Too much?
  • [30’15] Hôtel La Pérouse in Nice, Gary describes the wonderful view and great services
  • [33’44] Local food and restaurants: a lot of seafood, pastas with octopus
  • [35′] Popular drinks in Nice:  a “Monaco” (beer + grenadine) and a “Panaché” (beer + limonade), Pastis or Anisette (anis-flavored apéritif drink)
  • [36′] La Fougasse: bread with onion and anchovies or other items, pizza is also very good, great ice-cream parlors (Fenocchio is a favorite of Annie’s)
  • [37’30] Beach clubs: a highlight of their honeymoon, they went to Castel Plage, you pay for lounge chairs, umbrella, towels, and you have service, food, drinks (including a very large Blonde de Saint-Tropez)
  • [44′] It’s a rocky beach in Nice, so it’s good to have a beach chair and have beach shoes, and then you don’t have to worry about messy sand!
  • [46’30] September was great weather in both Paris and Nice
  • [48′] Old town Nice is lovely, has great restaurant, great to walk around and explore
  • [49′] Spending 4 full days in Nice would be too long, but breaking it up with visits to other areas makes it just right
  • [49’30] How listening to the podcast was critical in helping Gary get inspiration

Conclusion

To sum it all up, to come up with great honeymoon ideas, you have to bring a mix of the following magical elements:

  1. Beautiful surroundings: both Paris and the French Riviera have an over-abundance of that!
  2. Pleasant weather: September in France is not too hot, not too cold, it is just right!
  3. Be willing to pay for a lovely hotel in a great location.
  4. Plan on some tourism, but limit those activities to 3 or 4 hours per day, so there’s plenty of time to relax.
  5. Don’t try to do it all yourself: driving yourself can be fun, but it can also be stressful. Let other people take care of anything stressful for you.
  6. Take into account the preferences of both spouses, you can have plenty of exploration mixed in with relaxation if you plan it right as Gary did.
  7. If you enjoyed the show be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss a single episode!

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