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.

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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Hiking Around Bordeaux, Episode 144


4 women Hiking around Bordeaux

Hiking Around Bordeaux, Episode 144

Who hasn’t daydreamed about hiking or biking through the French countryside? Stephanie, Dawn, Krista and Barb made it come true and in late September 2016 flew to France to do some hiking around Bordeaux. They used a tour company that sold them maps and arranged for accommodations, breakfast and dinner, as well as  arranged for their luggage to be transported to their next stop every day. They would rather not name the company, so we’ll keep that vague on purpose. All they had to do is walk. And get lost. But they had a fun time all the same and they explain all about their adventure in today’s episode.

This episode is for anyone who wants to have an active vacation in France, and if you like this episode, you should also listen to Episode 52, Cycling in France with Marion Clignet and Episode 40 on Saint-Émilion, Episode 44 on Bordeaux. For more information on the specifics of what Stephanie and Dawn did, please take a look at their travel blog.

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

 Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

  • [9’47” ]  Start of hiking around Bordeaux interview
  • [11’50] You don’t need to be an athlete to do this, but you do need to prepare
  • [12′] Special equipment required: hiking boots
  • [13’30”] What’s the longest hike you did in one day?
  • [14’26”] How this trip got planned
  • [15’10”] How did your tour work? What was provided by the company?
  • [17′] Getting lost a lot!
  • [18’32”] Getting a ride from a stranger to get to the wine tasting
  • [22’20”] The types of terrain they hiked through
  • [23’11”] Dinners and accommodations were planed and luggage was transported from place to place
  •  [23’40”] Meeting a seasoned walking Scottish couple who knew about Randonnée Maps and kilometer counters
  • [26’30] GR stands for Grande Randonnée
  • [27’39] Doing this without GPS coordinates sounds crazy nowadays!
  • [28′] What did they enjoy the most and the least about their experience hiking around Bordeaux? Active vacation which is great when you’re eating French food.
  • [29’37”] There are different brokers all selling the same tours
  • [30′] Do you need to buy a tour? Couldn’t you organize this whole thing by yourself?
  • [30’52”] Other hiker gave them precious tips about when stores close etc., the tour company hadn’t warned them!
  • [33′] For people who want to do this by themselves, look for GR maps and IGN maps
  • [34’34”] Meeting people in tiny little towns, seeing how people live and enjoying the culture was great: you can’t do that from a tour bus!
  • [35’58”] No mosquitoes, really?
  • [38′] Dawn speaks French, the others do not. The French came in handy especially at restaurants
  • [39’45”] Outstanding accommodations and dinner at the Barsac Castle, Paul and Ginette were wonderful, the salt-water swimming pool was great too
  • [41′] All the places they stopped: Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Martin-de-Lerm, Caudrot, Saint Macaire (beautiful hike between Caudrot and Saint-Macaire), Sauterne and Barsac
  • [43’17”] Review of the Musée du Vin in Bordeaux
  • [44’58”] Review of L’Entrecôte restaurant in Bordeaux
  • [47’47”] Annie’s guess on what’s in the Entrecôte sauce
  • [49’32”] How to beat the crowd at L’Entrecôte (and many other French restaurants!)
  • [49’49”] Wine every day on this tour?
  • [51’52”] Most French villages will have a public restroom, usually where old men gather to play Pétanque
  • [52’55”] Luggage or carry-on?
  • [54’38”] Heated towel bars in France
  • [55’15”] What are packing cubes?
  • [56’27”] Did you feel safe doing this as women?
  • [59′] French Tip of the Week “Tu ne peux pas changer la tête avec laquelle tu es né(e), mais pas besoin de faire cette tête !”

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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!

Join Us in France Book Group on Goodreads

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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Sharing the Best of France