Transcript for Episode 470: Toulouse to Nice on the Train

Categories: Occitanie, Provence

Discussed in this Episode

  • Day trip to Albi from Toulouse on the train
  •  Toulouse to Carcassone on the train with one night in Carcassonne
  •  Carcassonne to Montpellier on the train with 3 nights in Montpellier
  • Day trip to Nîmes from Montpellier by train
  • Montpellier to Baulieu-sur-Mer on the train

[00:00:00] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 470, quatre cent soixante dix.

[00:00:22] Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent, and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France, everyday life in France, great places to visit in France, French culture, history, gastronomy, and news related to travel to France.

Today on the podcast

[00:00:36] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a trip report with Renee Bogue about taking a trip between Toulouse and Nice on the train. I get a lot of questions about train travel because it’s so appealing. You can’t do every trip on the train in France, but you can certainly do that one, as you will hear.

[00:00:55] This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my Itinerary Consult Service, my GPS self-guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app, or take a day trip with me around the Southwest.

Bootcamp, May 2024

[00:01:09] Annie Sargent: Right now, you can also join the bootcamp in May 2024. The idea is that you come to Toulouse on May 10th, 2024, hang out with Elyse and I, as well as a group of wonderful fellow listeners and francophiles for 10 days. You’ll also improve your French with the language classes in the morning. We had such a good time in May 2023, that we want to do it again.

[00:01:35] There are only a limited number of seats, but you’re in luck, there are some left.

[00:01:41] To find out about the Bootcamp 2024 go to, where you can click on the bootcamp image and read all the details and even reserve your spot right now.

The Magazine Part of the Podcast

[00:01:53] Annie Sargent: For the magazine part of the podcast, after the interview today, I’ll discuss some Olympic news, including Metro tickets. There seems to be a lot of people worried about that now.

Renee Bogue – Trip Report

[00:02:13] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, Renee Bogue and welcome to Join Us in France.

[00:02:18] Renee Bogue: Bonjour, Annie.

[00:02:19] Annie Sargent: Lovely to have you. Today, we want to talk about your trip in the South of France. So you went from Toulouse to Nice, right?

[00:02:29] Renee Bogue: Correct,right across the 43rd Parallel.

[00:02:32] Annie Sargent: Ooh, I see. Are you a someone into, what is that, geography? Are you a geographer?

[00:02:38] Renee Bogue: A little bit of a geographer, and then we have this friend that always says, the best place to live is in the Mediterranean on the 43rd Parallel.

[00:02:46] Annie Sargent: Well, there you go. He’s right. It’s not a bad life, I must say. So how did you get to Toulouse, to begin with?

[00:02:54] Renee Bogue: Well, we flew from, actually I found a really good connection, Seattle, Charles de Gaulle, and Charles de Gaulle to Toulouse, so we flew in. And we were going to take the tram into town, but it was a strike day, so we ended up just grabbing an Uber to our hotel, which worked out quite well.

[00:03:10] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. We do have those strikes, don’t we? So your trip took place in April to May. Wow, that was a long trip!

[00:03:18] Renee Bogue: Yes, April 17th to May 4th. We had 18 days.

[00:03:22] Annie Sargent: 2023.

[00:03:23] Renee Bogue: Yes.

[00:03:23] Annie Sargent: That’s very cool. And so once you got to Toulouse to make your way east, you rented a car, I presume?

[00:03:30] Renee Bogue: No, we actually took trains. We took trains the whole time. So we went from Toulouse, we took a day trip by train to Albi, and then we left and went to Carcassonne for a night, by train, and then Montpellier for three nights with a train…

[00:03:50] Annie Sargent: Montpellier is how you say that one.

[00:03:51] Renee Bogue: Okay, thank you. And then a day trip to Nimes by train, and then we took the long haul from there over to Beaulieu-sur-Mer. And that was a bit of a day, and we had some train cancellations, so it took a little bit longer than we anticipated, but we made it.

[00:04:08] Annie Sargent: Oh, that’s great.

Train issues April – May 2023

[00:04:09] Annie Sargent: So, yeah, let’s start by talking about train issues, because this year in April, May, things were hairy as far as strikes and things like that. How did it work out for you?

[00:04:22] Renee Bogue: It worked out really pretty well for us, because first off, we have the app on our phone, so that gives you kind of current, up to date information. Whenever I buy my tickets, and I try to buy my tickets in advance, once I know, to save some money. I put them in my Apple Wallet, but I’ve also learned to print a hard copy.

[00:04:43] Because when the train gets cancelled and everything else, and the language is a bit of an issue, it’s so much easier to hand a hard copy to somebody and say, help me.

[00:04:54] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. No. Totally, totally. This is such great advice. Yeah. I use mostly either Apple Wallet, or I will just take a screenshot of the ticket and have it in my photos, but it’s good to have a printout because when you have to go to someone and you don’t really know how to talk to them, I mean, I’m experiencing this in Spain because when I go there, I can’t talk all of a sudden.

[00:05:20] And it’s good to have a printout. Yes. It’s an excellent point. So overall, there were some cancellations, but nothing too bad.

[00:05:28] Renee Bogue: Right, nothing too bad.

[00:05:29] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And you had to reschedule, I mean, like you didn’t get stranded needing to spend an extra night or whatever?

[00:05:36] Renee Bogue: No, no, we ended up having to take an earlier train by 3 hours, which wasn’t preferred, which meant we had to be at the train station at 7 as opposed to 10, and then instead of having a 20 minute connection in Marseille, we had 3 hours.

[00:05:53] Annie Sargent: Ah, well, okay.

[00:05:54] Renee Bogue: So. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

[00:05:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. And why did you pick the train rather than car?

[00:06:01] Renee Bogue: We just thought it might be a little easier. We’ve rented a car many times in France and we haven’t had any issues, but sometimes the driver, which is my husband, doesn’t get to enjoy the traveling as much. It’s not as relaxing as just getting on the train. We travel light, so that’s not so much of an issue and we’re still able to haul our suitcases up and down stairs.

[00:06:24] Annie Sargent: Mm hmm. Yeah.

[00:06:25] Renee Bogue: And then there was also the issue with the gas shortage this spring, last spring.

[00:06:31] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s true.

[00:06:32] Renee Bogue: So, train just seems easier to us, and it’s a little bit more economical.

[00:06:36] Annie Sargent: Is it? Okay. Okay. All right. That’s good to know. Yeah, I mean typically, you know, sometimes trains get expensive, but I’m assuming that time of year you found some good deals and it worked out really well for you. That’s that’s very cool.

[00:06:51] Renee Bogue: If we can enjoy where we’re planning to go by public transportation, we try to do that. Because I have low vision, so I’m not able to drive. So my husband always is the driver, and I feel kind of bad that he’s, you know, always stuck doing that.

[00:07:06] Annie Sargent: He’s probably used to it.

[00:07:07] Renee Bogue: Yeah.

[00:07:09] Annie Sargent: When my husband and I are together, I’m always the driver for the same reason. He doesn’t have great eyesight, I mean, he can drive, but he doesn’t like to. So I do it all of the time and I’m, you know, it’s fine, it’s really not a big deal. Okay.

Difficulties Returning a Car at CDG on a Previous Trip

[00:07:23] Renee Bogue: The only time we ever had an issue is when we had to return a car in downtown Paris. And we could see the rental car place, but we couldn’t get there. That took a few years off our life. And a ticket.

[00:07:37] Annie Sargent: And a ticket! Oh dear. Yes. So yes, sometimes finding where you need to return your car is tricky. I mean, honestly, in Paris they hide car rental companies and gas stations very, very well.

[00:07:53] Renee Bogue: Yes, they do. Yeah.

Finding Gas Stations and Car Rental Places in Densely Populated Areas

[00:07:55] Annie Sargent: So, you know, there’s a gas station around here, but you’re like, where is it? And it’s usually underground is what it is.

[00:08:03] There’s usually a parking garage there and there’s going to be a tiny little sign somewhere at the entrance of the parking garage that says, oh, Hertz is here or Sixt is here, whatever. And you’re like, Oh my God, you know, make it bigger. I don’t know.

[00:08:22] Yeah, that’s how it works.

Things that you enjoyed the most

[00:08:23] Annie Sargent: All right. So, now I would like to discuss the things that you enjoyed the most on this trip between Toulouse and Nice.

[00:08:33] Renee Bogue: Okay, I think the thing that we, first off, we enjoyed all the cities we went to. They were lovely and I’d highly recommend them, especially when we had enough time to kind of really enjoy them.

Walking the coastal paths along the Riviera

[00:08:44] Renee Bogue: But our favorite thing was doing the coastal paths along the Riviera.

[00:08:49] Annie Sargent: So you walked it?

[00:08:51] Renee Bogue: Yes, we did a short coastal walk.

[00:08:55] We did four of them, so we did one a day. And they were absolutely beautiful. They were not very busy. You were walking literally just right along the edge of the coast with only the rocks separating you from the sea on one side.

[00:09:14] And then on the other side you have these huge mansions, that are sometimes blocked by fences, but you can also see them.

[00:09:22] And it just felt like it was a world away from the crowds and it seemed kind of timeless. It was just absolutely beautiful.

[00:09:31] And we did four of those walks while we were down in the Riviera.

Villefranche-sur-Mer to Nice

[00:09:35] Annie Sargent: So you went from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Nice. So Villefranche-sur-Mer is not very far to Nice, right? I mean, in a car, it’s minutes.

[00:09:45] Renee Bogue: Right, it’s actually, the walk itself, if you go all the way into Nice, is only 5 kilometers. We went about halfway, and then turned around and walked back. Because the view is completely different, each direction. And when you come back, you have a beautiful view of the harbor there, of Yves Saint.

[00:10:06] Annie Sargent: So, how did you find these coastal paths? Did you have an app? Do you? Okay, you googled them. Yes.

[00:10:11] Renee Bogue: Yeah, and I can, we can load the websites in the talk notes, if you’d like, show notes.

[00:10:17] Annie Sargent: In the show notes, yeah, that would be really good. The one I know about is the coastal path around Antibes, but it doesn’t look like you did that one. Did you do that one?

[00:10:28] Renee Bogue: No, we did not do that one because we didn’t have a car, and it’s really kind of like 3 miles or 5 kilometers to where the trail starts, and the bus just wasn’t working out. So that day, instead of doing that, we walked up to the fort, and kind of all along the fort and all along the marina, which is unbelievable also. We call it the 0.1% of the 1%.

[00:10:56] Annie Sargent: Oh yes, yes, yes, Antibes is like out of this world. It’s almost like Monaco. Yeah. It amuses me every time somebody refers to these places as a fisherman’s village, I’m like, are you kidding me? Have you seen these places? It’s nothing like a fisherman’s village.

[00:11:12] Renee Bogue: Right. I kind of expected Antibes to be kind of rustic, and kind of a fisherman’s village and maybe they have a harbor. And it is probably the, I don’t know, it was, kind of felt like the most touristy place we were.

[00:11:28] Annie Sargent: Yeah, possibly. I mean, it’s because it’s small, so it’s very concentrated, you know?

[00:11:33] Renee Bogue: But it is very beautiful.

[00:11:35] Annie Sargent: And you have Picasso Museum, and you have all these excursions. I’m interested in the fact that you tried to take the bus and it didn’t work out? Because people have asked me about this bus, and I’ve said, yeah, there’s a bus, but I’ve never taken it.

[00:11:47] Renee Bogue: There’s a bus, you take the bus, and then it’s like another one kilometer walk to the trailhead.

[00:11:54] Now, we might have been doing something wrong, but it just, it didn’t work out, and I said, well, let’s just go and enjoy Antibes. And it was very nice to go up by that fort, because I’ve never seen it.

[00:12:08] It’s a huge star-shaped, fort, Fort Carré up there, and gives you a beautiful view of the city also.

[00:12:14] Annie Sargent: Yeah, because it’s a Vauban fortification. So it is very typical of what he did to defend the coast. Yeah, very nice.

[00:12:22] Renee Bogue: And it’s in a James Bond movie.

[00:12:24] Annie Sargent: Oh, well, there you go. So that’s a good reason to go as well.

[00:12:28] So, Villefranche to Nice. You did this, like, it would take you what? Two, three hours to do this?

[00:12:35] Renee Bogue: Yeah, we went real slow and we stopped and took lots of pictures and sat and looked at the ocean, so I think it took us about two hours.

[00:12:42] Annie Sargent: Yeah. That’s what I would figure.

[00:12:43] Renee Bogue: It’s all the way through, so you kind of walk through the harbor, which is, you know, you go beyond the fort through the harbor, so that’s also kind of interesting.

[00:12:52] Annie Sargent: Was it hilly?

[00:12:53] Renee Bogue: No, it wasn’t hilly. All of these paths are really well maintained. They’re about two feet to three feet wide. There are stairs, and sometimes because I’m not a great fan of heights, sometimes I think, ooh, we could use a railing here.

[00:13:09] But I’m not very brave, so if I could do it, anyone could.

[00:13:14] Annie Sargent: You sound like me. I’m not brave at all. Like, I’m afraid of heights. I won’t do anything dangerous.

[00:13:20] Renee Bogue: Exactly.

[00:13:21] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So fantastic. So not very hilly. Easy to find the trailhead.

[00:13:27] Renee Bogue: Yes.

[00:13:27] Annie Sargent: Yes, I mean, if you have a map. Nowhere to get lost. Google is good at pointing these things. Did you swim along the way at any point?

[00:13:35] Did you get wet, put your feet in the water or something?

[00:13:37] Renee Bogue: No. There were a few times we put our feet in the water on the trip, but no, we didn’t do any swimming. But there were a lot of places if you were going when it was warmer where there is steps down to the beach or there’s sort of like a swim area, so there were lots of opportunities if you wanted to, to go get in the water.

[00:13:53] Yeah, and there’s plenty of French people, that’s the only beach they ever go to is like they, because they want somewhere secluded where it’s not super busy. Because these places in July and August, they’re going to get very busy. So they just go, you know, hike a little ways. And just the fact that you can’t park right next to it means lots of people will not go there.

[00:14:13] You know, it eliminates a bunch of people, which is good. It’s what they want, you know. Yeah.

Cap d’Ail coastal path to Mala Beach

[00:14:18] Renee Bogue: Alright, so Villefranche-sur-Mer to Nice, the second one you did is Cap d’Ail Coastal path to Mala Beach. Yes, so you get off the train at Cap D’Ail, and you walk a little bit, well you walk right, which I don’t know what direction that would be, but turn right coming out of the train station, and you walk for maybe about a quarter of a mile alongside, you know, immense mansions and beautiful homes. And then you come to, very clearly marked, the trail, which first takes you to Mala Beach, which looks like it’s out of a movie set.

[00:14:54] I mean, it’s located in this small bay, nestled in kind of this cove, surrounded by white cliffs. I mean, it is just striking. And there’s a resort there and a restaurant. We didn’t actually go into that, we just sort of gazed at it. And then you kind of backtrack a little bit and the trail takes you all the way into Monaco.

[00:15:15] It’s about three kilometers. And that is a very well defined path. It is, I think, all paved with stones. There’s a restroom along the way. There’s places to stop and have lunch if you want. It drops you off, actually, I believe you’re still in France when the trail ends.

[00:15:35] Because then you have to walk through the marina at Monaco and we walked up and through town and all that. But it was also just beautiful.

[00:15:44] Annie Sargent: So you take the train to Cap d’Ail and then you walk to Mala Beach, well, from Mala Beach to Monaco.

[00:15:51] Renee Bogue: Correct.

[00:15:51] Annie Sargent: Wow, that is one I had not heard of.

[00:15:53] Renee Bogue: It was the first one we did and we were sort of awestruck by how beautiful it was.

[00:15:58] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Well, and it was the right time of year too, because it probably wasn’t super hot. So, that’s really cool. I mean, on a super hot day, you would die, but if the weather is good, it’s fantastic. All right.


[00:16:09] Annie Sargent: So the third one that you listed was Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, you walked the coastal route, including Saint-Hospice.

[00:16:18] Now I know about Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, but I don’t know about the coastal route. So tell us about that.

[00:16:25] Renee Bogue: Well, there’s two walks there. One goes all the way around the peninsula and one goes out kind of around the part that juts out where the hospice is. I wanted to do the large one, but they’d had a little bit of a landslide or something, so they had closed that. So we were only, so we went and did the small one, which I was a little disappointed by, but in the end it was just lovely.

[00:16:51] It was actually May 1st. We picked that day to go out to the Cape because we were going to go to the Rothschild Mansion, and that was one place that was open on the holiday, as opposed to going, it was open.

[00:17:05] And the train was running, however we walked from Beaulieu-sur-Mer over there. So we didn’t have to take any public transportation and we knew that the mansion was open. So we did that walk. It was beautiful. I think we only saw like three people the whole time we were doing it. And we decided to walk up to Saint-Hospice and I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but you kind of come around the corner and there’s a World War I and World War II cemetery, I believe.

[00:17:33] And then this huge 50 meter high statue of Mary, that is copper.

[00:17:39] Annie Sargent: Yes.

[00:17:41] Renee Bogue: It was just like, oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it. Apparently, she lights up at night and you can see her from Monaco.

[00:17:48] Annie Sargent: Very nice, nice touch.

[00:17:50] Renee Bogue: So, I think that ended up being one of our favorite days.

[00:17:55] Annie Sargent: So, with all these walks that you did, and now we’re going to move on to another topic, but did you bring, like, lots of water and sandwiches and things, were you prepared for anything, or did you just go figuring, ah, we’ll find something?

[00:18:09] Renee Bogue: I think for this we might’ve packed some snacks or something, but no, we didn’t bring any special shoes or anything along those lines. Because you’re within a few kilometers of civilization. It’s not like you’re going to go out very far. And we get a little, you know, at home here in the Pacific Northwest, if you go for a hike, you’re going into the wilderness.

[00:18:29] There, there’s always something.

[00:18:31] Annie Sargent: Yeah, you’re right. I mean, it feels, because you’re on the coastal paths, it feels like you’re by yourself and, you know, it feels wonderful, but you’re really not far from civilization. I mean, there’s people’s backyards right there. Like, you know, if you scream, they will hear you.

[00:18:48] Renee Bogue: They might not come, but they’ll hear you.

[00:18:50] Annie Sargent: Oh, you never know, you never know. Okay, all right, fantastic. That’s wonderful. And it sounds like you don’t need to be super fit to do these. I mean, they’re not really long.

[00:19:02] Renee Bogue: No, you do not need to be super fit. We are in our 60s. We are, you know, not super fit people. It would only be a problem if somebody had trouble walking, doing stairs. So if you had like bad knees and stairs were a problem, then that would be an issue.

[00:19:20] But we saw people with children. Yeah, it’s not anything that’s physically challenging.

[00:19:26] Annie Sargent: But you couldn’t bring a stroller or go on a wheelchair or things like that.

[00:19:31] Renee Bogue: No, I don’t think you could.

[00:19:33] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s the sort of thing where you need to, you’re up and downstairs and sometimes the path is not quite even and things like that, but it is not physically super taxing. It’s a walk, you know, it’s a pleasant walk and you can take it at your own speed and enjoy the day.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

[00:19:48] Annie Sargent: That’s fantastic. All right. So the other thing that you list that you enjoyed was the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Rothschild as we say in French. Why did you like that so much? This is a famous one, I mean, lots of people go to that.

[00:20:01] Renee Bogue: Right, I liked it because of the gardens. I love going to gardens when we travel. And that, I just really enjoyed the gardens. Inside, it’s full of all kinds of eclectic collections and is kind of like any mansion. But I thought the gardens were just really beautiful. And we hit a time of year where even though they’ve had a lot of rain the day before, everything was just still blooming and pretty and there weren’t a lot of crowds and it was just a really lovely day.

[00:20:30] It was a beautiful place.

[00:20:32] To see it there, and to get the view from up above, if you go to the second floor, I believe, the view from there is just amazing, also.

[00:20:40] Annie Sargent: So, the villa is great as well, but I mean, what you like best is the garden, which makes sense to me. I know people go there to take wedding photos and things like that. So it is a beautiful place, family photos, whatever.

[00:20:53] Renee Bogue: Yeah, and we actually went inside, when we went inside, we had lunch there. Which normally I would think, oh, you know… But it was actually, it’s a very nice lunch. You’re kind of in a little, like, I want to say orangerie kind of like a glass room I can’t think of the word, sorry. But it was a lovely little lunch and a nice place to sit and look at the gardens.

[00:21:14] Annie Sargent: Like a breakfast nook, but just way bigger.

[00:21:17] Renee Bogue: Right, yes.

Private tour with Elyse in Toulouse

[00:21:19] Annie Sargent: Very good. All right. Next thing you list is a, you had a private tour with Elyse in Toulouse, so I want to hear about that.

[00:21:27] Renee Bogue: That was so good for a variety of reasons. First off, I always, when we travel, I do a fair amount of research. I like to know what I’m going to see. I like to put everything in context. For example, we listened to your podcast on the Cathars before we went, which was super helpful to help us understand.

[00:21:46] So I thought, well, let’s do this, let’s take this private tour. We’re starting to do a little bit more of that, as we get older, just cause it helps us kind of get our bearings. But it was fascinating, because she was able to tell us things about Toulouse that we would have never quite understood, like about woad and the blue dye, about the architecture, about the history, and I was telling our adult children, it’s when you put a history buff and kind of a person who’s interested in buildings together, which is my husband and I, we asked her probably I don’t know, a hundred different questions.

[00:22:26] It was just wonderful and gave us a really good understanding of Toulouse and kind of the lay of the land. We did that the day after we arrived.

[00:22:38] Annie Sargent: Ah, okay. Yeah. So you were, you were fresh off the plane.

[00:22:42] Renee Bogue: Fresh off the plane.

[00:22:43] Annie Sargent: That’s great. That’s fantastic. Yes, she gives a great tour. She also gives a great tour of Albi, of Carcassonne, and other places in the southwest. And she has a VoiceMap tour of Toulouse for people who can’t afford the private tour. The VoiceMap tour is also really good.

[00:23:01] I mean, obviously you can’t ask her a hundred questions if you’re taking her VoiceMap tour, but it is, it’s a good one.

[00:23:07] Renee Bogue: I did really enjoy being able to answer her questions too, and that was, I decided was a really, it really is the difference between like an okay tour person and a really great tour guide. Sometimes you can tell when the okay tour person is just sort of making up the answer. Yeah.

[00:23:24] Annie Sargent: It happens. It happens. Yes. Being a tour guide is a difficult job. You have to bring together a lot of skills and it’s not easy.


[00:23:34] Annie Sargent: All right, next you enjoyed Nîmes.

[00:23:37] Renee Bogue: We took a day trip up there and I was just kind of expecting, you know, the kind of, you see Roman ruins all over when you travel, but I was just really taken aback by how beautiful they were and how well preserved and how well used.

[00:23:55] And we bought the Three Monument Pass, which, and we maybe didn’t need to, we certainly used it for the arena, going in the, we call it the Square House.

[00:24:07] Annie Sargent: Maison Carrée. So it’s a square temple. Yeah, it’s a Roman temple.

[00:24:13] Renee Bogue: And inside is just sort of inside, the best viewing, I think, is from the outside and to kind of walk around on the portico and that sort of thing. And then we went up to the top of the park for the third monument. But it is, I couldn’t get up the stairs. It was a very steep, windy staircase that was not with me in my heights.

[00:24:34] So my husband went up and saw the view.

[00:24:37] Annie Sargent: You need long legs?

[00:24:38] Renee Bogue: No, you need to not be afraid of heights.

[00:24:41] Annie Sargent: Oh, well, that’s a good point.

[00:24:43] Yeah.

[00:24:43] I wondered if perhaps the steps were too tall or something.

[00:24:46] Renee Bogue: No, no, you just have to not be afraid of heights. Yeah. And the park there is beautiful. And in Nîmes, you know, you walk down along these beautiful canals and this pedestrian street and it was a lovely day, and it was a great city to explore.

[00:25:02] Annie Sargent: Fantastic. Yes, Nîmes is a beautiful place. There’s also a modern museum, oh, I can’t remember what it’s called now.

[00:25:10] Renee Bogue: I don’t know, but I know what you’re talking about.

[00:25:12] Annie Sargent: Yeah, it’s not far from La Maison Carrée. Oh, Le Musée de la Romanité is what it’s called. The Museum of Roman Life, or whatever. It’s a very good one. And you get a nice view from the top onto the arena. Yeah, it’s a good one to do. But on a day trip, you only have so many hours, you know, you can’t do everything, you know.

[00:25:33] Renee Bogue: We ate lunch there in kind of a little alley and it was a wonderful little lunch and we had the view in the background.

[00:25:40] Annie Sargent: Nice.

[00:25:40] Renee Bogue: Yeah, it was, it was really nice.


[00:25:42] Annie Sargent: You went to Albi next.

[00:25:45] Renee Bogue: We went to Albi, which was, I think everybody should see it because it’s just kind of hard to imagine how huge it is. I had read that it was sort of like a fortress of faith built to show the people who’s boss.

[00:25:59] Annie Sargent: Yep.

[00:26:00] Renee Bogue: And you can really, you really can see it does look a lot like a fortress. We went inside and of course this, the blue ceiling is beautiful, but I was just really struck by how it looked.

[00:26:14] I can’t imagine in those days building that after what had happened historically and just this whole Catholic Church and the French government or building this huge church, was kind of like, wow, because you can see it on the train almost before you even get there. It’s so large.

[00:26:33] Annie Sargent: It’s very, very big, yes, and it’s a very large brick building, which is unusual.

[00:26:39] Renee Bogue: Right. I think they said it was the largest brick building in the world.

[00:26:43] Annie Sargent: Probably is, yep.

[00:26:44] Renee Bogue: We were able to go also to the Berbie Palace Gardens, which are not very large, they’re just right over there within about a hundred meters of the church, but they are also beautiful, and it’s a beautiful view over the river.

[00:26:59] Annie Sargent: Yes, very much so. You see this, so did you go into the Toulouse Lautrec Museum or no?

[00:27:04] Renee Bogue: No.

[00:27:05] Annie Sargent: Okay, okay, so you still got to the gardens without, yeah, that’s right, the entrance is separate, yes, you can go to the gardens, you enter, you go left, and you’re in the gardens, and if you go straight, you’re in the museum, that’s right.

[00:27:17] Renee Bogue: Right, we just went to the gardens.

[00:27:19] Annie Sargent: Very nice gardens, very beautiful gardens, and you can walk around, and it’s lovely, it’s a very well tended garden, it’s like manicured, I guess is the word.

[00:27:29] Renee Bogue: It reminded me of Villandry, and that’s just always one of my favorite places. I just love those tailored boxwoods, anyway… it’s lovely.

[00:27:38] Annie Sargent: Fantastic. So that was Albi and you could do all this as day trips on the train. That’s really cool, because I tell people it’s doable, but you know, it’s good to hear it from you that you did it. It’s doable.

Buy Your Train Tickets on the App on Your Phone

[00:27:49] Renee Bogue: Yeah, and it was really easy, we kind of just decided what time of day we wanted to leave from our hotel room while we still had internet access. I bought the tickets on the app on my phone, which I strongly recommend. Don’t wait to get to the train station to buy your ticket.

[00:28:07] Because sometimes there’s a line, some machines were a little bit more technologically advanced than others. It’s just so much easier to decide when do we want to leave. And then when we kind of would get a feel for when we thought we would be done in the city, we would just find somewhere where I had enough service to buy the ticket again and we went to the train station.

[00:28:30] And I think it was only like 15 US dollars per person to take the train round trip.

[00:28:36] Annie Sargent: Wow, yeah. So it’s not too bad. Not too bad. Excellent. All right.

[00:28:40] Then you have two things that you enjoyed in Toulouse. I want to hear about those.

Things they Enjoyed in oulouse

[00:28:44] Renee Bogue: Well, I think overall, kind of encompassing both of them, is that we were just really interested and surprised at how much of a connection Toulouse had to the Camino de Santiago.

[00:28:58] The Camino that goes through Toulouse starts in Arles, and this was something that we learned with Elyse and we wouldn’t have known otherwise, and that is the connection with, and is it Saint-Sernin?

[00:29:10] Annie Sargent: Saint-Sernin, yes.

[00:29:11] Renee Bogue: As well as the Hôtel du Saint-Jacques across the street.

[00:29:16] So it was really fun for us to see that kind of Camino de Santiago history. We went across the river to the Hôtel du Saint-Jacques and we got to see the window where people would put their babies if they were not able to care for them, and how it rotates around.

[00:29:33] Another thing, we probably wouldn’t have gone to that side of the river if Elyse hadn’t told us about it. We really enjoyed that day. So, there was that connection which meant a lot to us. And then I think the Jacobin church, the stained glass and the way the sun moves and the stain, the colors move across those pillars.

[00:29:56] I could have sat there and watched that all day. It was just beautiful, just beautiful. and then we went into the courtyard there, which was also just a lovely place to kind of just sit and look at it.

[00:30:09] Annie Sargent: Yeah. It’s a cloister. It’s a cloister.

[00:30:12] Renee Bogue: It is. I also love palm trees. And in the church, if you look up, there’s like one of the arches that all comes together and it looks like it forms this big, huge palm tree, which I thought was very interesting.

[00:30:23] Annie Sargent: It’s in the shape of a palm tree. It’s lovely. I really enjoy, you know, I’ve seen it my whole life because I’m from here and you never get tired of it. It’s just a beautiful thing. Now, this used to be a church, it’s not a church anymore, now you have concerts there, you have visits there, they do events, they do exhibits, they do things like that, at the Jacobin, but it’s a very beautiful part of Toulouse that you should see. And also from the outside it also looks kind of stark. Lots of brick from the outside. Right? It’s not quite as big as Sainte Cecile but it’s that style of building like, you know, don’t mess with me because I’m strong.

[00:30:58] Renee Bogue: Right. Exactly.

[00:31:01] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Cool.

[00:31:03] Renee Bogue: The other thing we enjoyed doing in Toulouse was going to some of the historical bars. Like, we went to the Florida, and just sat and watched people in in the square.

[00:31:14] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:31:15] Renee Bogue: And we went to Le Bibent. So I like Art Nouveau also…

[00:31:19] Annie Sargent: The Bibent, you went to the Bibent. Oh, wow.

[00:31:23] Renee Bogue: Yeah, we love to just kind of sit and watch people, and both of those places were just really nice people watching, and good service, and good drinks, and it was just really lovely.

[00:31:34] Annie Sargent: Yeah, the Bibent is quite expensive though.

[00:31:37] Renee Bogue: Yes, it is. Yes, we sat at the bar.

[00:31:39] Annie Sargent: The Florida is not as expensive.

[00:31:41] No. We didn’t eat at Le Bibent. We just sat at the bar.

Monaco Race Track and Casino

[00:31:44] Annie Sargent: Cool. Very cool. All right, so for number 10, you went to the Monaco racetrack and the casino. Tell me about that.

[00:31:54] Renee Bogue: So when we finished our walk, we ended up going through the port and we went up to the old town where there’s the cathedral and the palace and kind of walked around there for a little bit. But then we went back down again because my husband is a person who likes to follow car racing. And they were just beginning to set up for the Grand Prix.

[00:32:14] So, we were able to walk the race course. He found it on the internet, you know, if you are someone that follows the Grand Prix, there’s this famous hairpin turn, so he actually walked the whole course, I walked part of it, and then I found a nice little bar to sit and have a glass of wine and wait for him. He really enjoyed that, to be able to kind of see it, so if you’re a car race enthusiast, it’s kind of cool for them to kind of experience that.

[00:32:40] Then we went into the casino, which, you know, is beautiful also. I think it was designed by the same person that did the Opera House in Paris.

[00:32:49] Annie Sargent: Mm hmm.

[00:32:50] Renee Bogue: We went to the bar and had our shaken, not stirred, martini of, like, James Bond and we joked that we thought it was perhaps, there was a bucket in the back of the room that said Martinis for Americans because it was perhaps not worth its 18 euros.

[00:33:07] Annie Sargent: Oh, why am I not surprised?

[00:33:09] Renee Bogue: But, again, a fun experience.

[00:33:12] Annie Sargent: Cool. But you can say I had a martini same as James Bond.

[00:33:17] Renee Bogue: I went into the casino in Monte Carlo and had a Martini.

What’s a French Martini?

[00:33:22] Annie Sargent: Yeah, Martini in France is not a thing that people drink, you ought to know this and actually Martini, the name Martini, it’s a type of fortified wine, so it’s kind of a bittersweet wine liqueur. So, to a French person, if you ask for a Martini, they mean this fortified wine, which comes in either clear or red.

[00:33:49] But to Americans, a Martini is a completely different thing. So probably, in Monte Carlo, they know that if it’s an American asking for it, you know, they know what they want. They give them the gin or the vodka or whatever they put in the Martini. Yeah.

[00:34:05] Renee Bogue: Right on their menu it says James Bond, Shaken Not Stirred Martini.

[00:34:09] Annie Sargent: There you go.

[00:34:09] Renee Bogue: So they were waiting for us.

Antibes, the Ford Hike and the Billionaire Harbor

[00:34:12] Annie Sargent: Excellent. That’s good to know. All right. And then number 11 was Antibes, the Ford Hike and the Billionaire Harbor, which you already mentioned earlier in our conversation. You did a really good job listing all the hotels and apartments where you stayed. Is there one that stands out that you particuary recommend?

[00:34:32] Renee Bogue: When we got to the part where we were going to be on the Riviera, I really wanted to stay somewhere where we had a balcony that we could sit and look out at the water. And when I started pricing those, they were all really far out of my price range. But then my son had been to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and he said, check it out mom, if you’re just looking for a home base.

[00:34:54] Well, it turned out to be a perfect home base for us because, first off, the hotel we stayed at, Hotel Freesia, was maybe like a four minute walk to the train station. And between the train station and our hotel was the Super U, which is a grocery store. So if we were kind of tired from our day of sightseeing and hiking, we’d stop at the Super U, we’d buy a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, and some hummus, and some veggies, and then we would go back to our hotel and sit on our patio and stare at 20 million dollar yachts.

[00:35:34] It was just a perfect home base for us, and it was a very economical hotel for, I thought, for what we got. I think we paid, oh, I would say about 150 euros, and that included a really big breakfast every day. So, I thought it was a really good home base if you want to go somewhere and spend the week on the Riviera and just go to all these little towns by train.

[00:36:00] It worked out perfect for us.

[00:36:02] Annie Sargent: So, I need to know these two things. Was the bed hard or soft? And how many pillows did they provide you with?

[00:36:10] Renee Bogue: I would say that the bed was kind of medium, not to be vague, but I don’t remember it being soft or hard.

[00:36:19] So, and I believe we had four pillows, because I usually need two.

[00:36:25] I’m not entirely sure, but I think so, because if I don’t have my own two pillows, that kind of, you know, sparks in my memory.

[00:36:33] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:36:34] Renee Bogue: It wasn’t like, you know, luxury, but it was clean, it was nice, it had been recently remodeled, and they had an English speaking staff that was very kind and helpful.

[00:36:46] Annie Sargent: That’s perfect.

[00:36:47] Renee Bogue: So that one really stood out. All the others were just fine. We always, we started to kind of splurge a little bit on our last night.

[00:36:56] So, we spent our last night in Nice, and we stayed at the West End, which is, you know, for us, that’s a splurge. And when we got there, I, of course, had gotten the room that was the city view, but when we got there, they upgraded us to an oceanfront.

[00:37:12] So, our windows opened up onto the, what’s it, the Passageria, what is it, the, right in front of the water. Opened up right on to that, and that was really a kind of a special way to end.

[00:37:24] Annie Sargent: That’s cool. That’s very cool. So you’ve been to France quite a few times.

[00:37:29] Renee Bogue: That was our fifth trip.

Conclusions After the 5th Trip

[00:37:30] Annie Sargent: Fifth trip. So did you learn anything? Did anything surprise you? Anything you want to share with listeners?

[00:37:37] Renee Bogue: Well, I would say that we didn’t have a lot of, well, as far as learning things, we learned, you know, a whole lot more about the South and the Cathars and the role of the Camino in the Southwest, all those sorts of things. We learned that we absolutely love the Côte d’Azur. And if we could afford it, we would go there and live, hands down, in a heartbeat.

[00:38:02] We are always really impressed with how clean all of the cities and villages are. It does strike me always a little bit, because some of our cities aren’t very clean these days. They’re very clean, and how, you know, I think sometimes the French get a little bit of a bad rap, people have this idea, but we have never…

[00:38:22] They’re always very patient with us, and we speak almost no French, and are usually, are very kind and seem to be helpful.

[00:38:32] Now, we try to be as nice and as patient as we can in all situations, and that certainly helps.

[00:38:38] Annie Sargent: Of course, it would help anywhere, wouldn’t it?

[00:38:40] Renee Bogue: Yeah, I guess, we learned that every area of France has something different to offer.

[00:38:46] And it’s just a country that we find very easy to travel in, so we like that. Now we made a few mistakes. I think post COVID, used to be you could go to a TI and kind of get a lot of information on the city and the map.

[00:39:02] Oh, Tourist Information.

About Tourist Information Places in France

[00:39:03] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:39:04] Renee Bogue: And now it appears that really the only thing they kind of have is a city map, which is always helpful.

[00:39:10] But you can just get that at the hotel. So, we’ve kind of decided we’re going to stop going. We usually checked in there to see if there was, you know, a local walking tour or what might be available. And it seems like after COVID those aren’t quite the way they used to be.

[00:39:25] Annie Sargent: So it’s younger staff mostly, you know, when you go to a tourist office these days, everybody there is really young and they don’t necessarily understand, or, I mean, their English is okay, they speak Spanish, they speak Italian, they’re picked based on the languages that they can speak, which is good, but they probably haven’t traveled that much themselves.

[00:39:49] And so they are not very good at kind of guessing what might interest a person.

[00:39:55] And if you have specific questions, if you walk in and you say, okay, what are events going on the next three days? They can tell you. But you just walk in and say, so what’s good here? That doesn’t work.

[00:40:12] You know, they can’t help you because they don’t know what you want, so…

[00:40:16] Renee Bogue: Right. So that, we learned that. That’s a little different.

[00:40:19] Another thing that happened to us on this trip that is kind of a post COVID thing is that, now when we travel, we almost travel with like a little medical kit. You know, we’ve got our COVID tests, we’ve got our thermometer, we’ve got all kinds of things, because we did a little bit of traveling during COVID. And my husband actually got sick in Toulouse, probably something he got on the airplane, and it was really nice to have all of that, and the little hotel that we were at in Toulouse was a great location, because we had a little patio where I could sit outside while he was recovering.

[00:40:51] So, I think that that’s something that we learned that we will always travel with our little medical kit. Because yes, there’s always a pharmacy, but there’s not one at 3 AM.

[00:41:00] Annie Sargent: That’s true. Good point. Good point. Yes, yes, yes.

Using UBER in France

[00:41:04] Annie Sargent: And you have something about Uber, in Nice you use an Uber…

[00:41:07] Renee Bogue: We were going to take the tram from Nice to the airport, but we thought, okay, well, we’ll splurge and we’ll Uber back to the airport instead of walking, you know, the half a mile to the tram station. So we ordered the Uber, and the Uber came back and said, we will pick you up in this location. So we’re like, oh, okay, maybe they can’t come to the hotel or something, it didn’t really make any sense, but we were getting ready to get on the plane. So we went around the hotel and into this parking garage and there was nobody there. And so then we tried to get ahold of the Uber. We ended up having to cancel that one and reorder another one. And we’re not really Uber savvy, we don’t actually use Uber a lot, so it’s just kind of new to us. Anyway, eventually, we’re standing at a corner and we got an Uber and we got to the airport. It was kind of a stressful last minute deal. And the taxi, or the Uber driver said, yeah, sometimes they send that message out. Just stay where you are, no matter what the message is. And I’m like, well, that would have been super helpful, but…

[00:42:10] Annie Sargent: Well, yeah, but if you don’t use Uber, I usually recommend people use Uber when they’re used to it at home. Because it works like exactly the same way. But otherwise, the app is going to give you errors and things that you don’t understand.

[00:42:22] With Uber, the issue is always the pickup point.

[00:42:26] That’s always the problem, like, people who try to do Uber at the airport, for example, to pick up an Uber at the airport to go into the city, well, good luck finding where that Uber is going to come, because there’s people getting dropped off and picked up every which way, and they cannot go where the taxis go, so you’re like, uh…

[00:42:45] Renee Bogue: The other challenge, for Uber in another country is it says, you know, your car, XYZ, will be picking you up, blah, blah. Well, that’s not a brand of a car we’re familiar with. It’s not like if they were to say, like, your Toyota Camry will be there. It’s always a model of a car that we don’t have any idea what it looks like.

Visiting the Château de Flaugergues outside of Montpellier

[00:43:06] Annie Sargent: Okay. One last thing that I see in your writeup that’s interesting to me is that you mentioned that you visited the Château de Flaugergues, outside of Montpellier.

[00:43:15] Tell me about that.

[00:43:17] Renee Bogue: Well, it, they made it, or I was under the impression that it would be easy to get to by public transportation, that you could take a bus there, and yes, you can, but you then have to walk quite a distance along a very unattractive kind of industrial road with no shoulder.

[00:43:36] So that wasn’t great. So if anybody ever wanted to go, I would say take a taxi or an Uber.

[00:43:42] Don’t try to take the bus, even though it makes it sound like it. And then it just was kind of tired. It might, I think in the notes I said it might have been a place that COVID was hard for. I had read about it in a France magazine years ago, and I had ripped it out and put it in my little file in case I’m ever there, so I was pretty excited to go and it was, it was just okay. The pond was kind of yucky and it just looks like they just didn’t have the means to keep it up for perhaps the way it used to be.

[00:44:12] Annie Sargent: Very good to know.

[00:44:14] All right, Renée, you have been super nice to talk to. Thank you so much for sharing so much. Your guest notes are also going to be interesting for people, because you do list all the hotels, and all the places, and all the restaurants. We didn’t get to the food, but I’m sure you had some good food, right?

Trying in McDonald’s in France

[00:44:31] Renee Bogue: Yes, we did. We had some good food. The food is so much better just because, I’ll tell you one quick story. We went, my husband wanted to go to McDonald’s because he had listened to a TED talk, or podcast, that in McDonald’s French fries, in France, there are three ingredients. Oil, potatoes, and salt.

[00:44:48] And in the United States, there’s 11 ingredients. With all the different chemicals and preservatives and everything.

[00:44:55] So we wanted to go to a McDonald’s and try your French fries.

[00:44:58] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:44:59] Renee Bogue: So your food is always so much better, I think, because it’s fresh, and I can eat your bread without getting a tummy ache, and so the food is lovely.

[00:45:09] Annie Sargent: So were the McDonald’s fries any different?

[00:45:12] Renee Bogue: They tasted very different, and yours tasted more natural potato, and I’m sorry to say he said our preservatives make ours taste better.

[00:45:22] Annie Sargent: That’s probably why they put them in there, you know.

[00:45:25] Renee Bogue: Yeah, yeah.

[00:45:28] Annie Sargent: All right. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Renée. I am very grateful that you talked to me on the podcast and well, have wonderful future trips to France. And thank you for sharing all those walks around the Riviera, because this is not something I have had a chance to do, but I’ve taken coastal walks in other places, and it’s always really, really pleasant. So that’s a great idea.

[00:45:51] Renee Bogue: Yes, I’ll send you the websites on those and thank you very much. We listened to your very first podcast back in 2014 on Driving in France.

[00:46:00] Annie Sargent: Goodness.

[00:46:01] Renee Bogue: Yeah I think it was like episode 86 or something.

[00:46:03] Annie Sargent: No, 16. 16.

[00:46:05] Renee Bogue: Oh 16 well, that was the first time we had rented a car in Europe so it gave us the confidence to do it. So we appreciate learning from you guys and from other travelers all these years.

[00:46:16] Annie Sargent: Thank you, Renée, and have a great rest of the day.

[00:46:18] Renee Bogue: You too, bye bye.

[00:46:19] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.

[00:46:20] Renee Bogue: Au revoir.

Thank you Patrons

[00:46:28] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for giving back and supporting this show. Patrons get several exclusive rewards for doing that. You can see them at Thank you all for supporting the show. Some of you have been doing it for many years, you are fantastic. No new patrons to thank this week. Hopefully, you will become a patron so I can thank you next week.

[00:46:58] Last week, I had a great Zoom meeting with my patrons, friendly conversations about France and why we love to visit. When I end this hour with patrons, I’m always really elated that I get to talk to them face to face.

French History Brief – Mont Saint-Michel

[00:47:13] Annie Sargent: This week, I intend to publish a French history brief about the history of the Mont Saint-Michel. It turned a hundred years old in 2023, a lot has happened there. I’m saying I intend to, because I’m in Spain and I’m recording this late on Thursday night.

[00:47:30] First thing tomorrow morning, a team of people are going to come replace windows and doors. And I’m afraid it might be noisy for a couple of days. So hopefully, it’ll be out this week, but it’s all written. It’s all done. I just need to record it when it’s not too noisy.

[00:47:46] And by the way, I’m loving the time I’m spending near the beach in Spain, in Villanova y la Geltrú is where I spend time because my parents bought an apartment here decades ago, and it’s now mine and I need to upgrade it quite a bit because it was very, very old.

[00:48:04] At any rate, going to the beach first thing in the morning with my dog is just, oh, it’s so pleasant. It’s so wonderful. I’m very, very lucky. So, to join the wonderful community of Francophiles and support the show on Patreon, go to

[00:48:21] And to support Elyse go to

[00:48:29] And of course, if all you want to do is buy my GPS tour or secure your spot for the bootcamp, go to, that’s where you can get anything from me that’s available.

The Olympics – The Metro Tickets

[00:48:42] Annie Sargent: So, the Olympics. Two bits of news I wanted to comment on. The first is that the price of Metro tickets will almost double while the Olympics are going to be on. This means for people who bought a single ticket for 2.10 Euros, during the Olympics, they will need to pay 4 Euros. While this sounds alarming at first, I want to point out that the price of a single ticket on the London Underground today, no Olympics going on in London, it’s just a little over £6.

[00:49:17] So the Paris Metro system is incredibly cheap all the time when you compare it to other nearby capitals. I should also say that if you own a Paris Metro card of any kind, Navigo Easy or the Navigo card, any of them, you can top it up at any time, using the Bonjour app, which is the official app of the RATP, that’s the company that runs the public transportation in Paris. Do that before July and you get the cheap price, so… and the price will go down again after August.

[00:49:53] So, you know, I’m going to get my refill of tickets before July. I’m all for cheap public services, but it cannot be cheap and world class at the same time.

[00:50:07] So I don’t see anything wrong with increasing the price of the ticket temporarily. They’ll need to invest a lot to move all of these people during the Olympics.

The Security During the Olympics

[00:50:17] Annie Sargent: The other thing people are concerned about is the security during the Olympics, and how it’s going to affect local residents. The Paris police chief Laurent Nunez, he had an interview with Le Parisien, the local newspaper on Wednesday, and he said that residents living near Olympic venues would need to apply for a QR code, allowing them to pass police barriers. He also said that people living in the restricted areas would also have to register any visitors who might want to watch the action from their balcony, window or rooftops or even a houseboat. Okay, why are they doing that? Because guns, because guns. It’s not that they don’t want you to look at the Olympics from the window. Okay? It’s about people getting shot. People entering a perimeter must be able to provide a valid reason for being there, Nunes said. He said ‘motorized traffic would be severely restricted for the duration of the games. Special rules will apply during the opening ceremonies on July 26, when high security or red perimeters will be very large’, nunez said. The only people getting through will be people with a valid reason.

[00:51:38] In other words, people going to their hotel or their home, or people with a ticket for the ceremony. So, be prepared, you know. Some Metro stops in areas of high vulnerability to a possible attack will be closed. You can’t have open Metro stations inside a protection parameter unless you then also body search everybody. And they can’t do that, obviously.

[00:52:06] Other stops may be closed if they are too small to handle big passenger numbers. So, small stations are probably going to be closed. Politicians are decrying these announcements as an attack against people’s liberties and possibly an excuse to spy on everyone.

[00:52:24] Remember the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996 for the Atlanta, Georgia Olympics? I was in Atlanta last fall, so I remember seeing the memorial. There are people who want to attack crowds, and if anything, it’s only gotten worse since 1996. Job number one of any government is to protect their population.

[00:52:46] So, while I don’t love all the restrictions, I understand them. I am relaying this to you, so you are prepared for a version of Paris that’s going to be quite different from other years. Going anywhere is going to take a long time. Be prepared to be asked for things we feel are an imposition. We did the QR code thing during the pandemic, you know, to enter the mall, you had to show a QR code that attested to the fact that you were vaccinated.

[00:53:14] It didn’t last for very long, but we had it, we had to do it. It works, you know. I’m okay with whatever they have to do to keep the crazies away because the one thing we don’t want is a big attack on the Olympics. That would be awful. And France is very, very likely to host the winter Olympics in 2030. We love the Olympics here, but it’s going to be more crowds and more security, and that’ll be in the French Alps.

[00:53:39] My thanks to podcast editors Anne and Christian Cotovan who produced the transcripts and tried to make me sound good even when I’m in Spain in a different room.

Next Week on the Podcast

[00:53:48] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, an episode about discovering the road less travelled in France with HeatherFrankiewicz. She was lovely to talk to, and one of the things that she did that doesn’t come up very often on the podcast is, they went to Le Puy du Fou, which is a kind of a historically themed park in France, so you’ll hear all about that next week.

[00:54:15] Thank you so much for listening, and I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together. Au revoir.


[00:54:22] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France Travel Podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2023 by Addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.


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Categories: Occitanie, Provence