Travel to France
By Robin Darch
In writing a series of articles on worldwide travel, I have come to learn a lot about other cultures and about people in general. I strongly urge you to travel the world and experience some of these cultures for yourself. It will enrich your own life in so many ways.
Also the sights you will see in other countries are breathtaking and beautiful. There is so much history out there that you cannot fully appreciate it from books. Seeing these actual historical sights is the only way to create real memories of things past.
In this article, I will tell you a few things about a wonderful place to visit . . . France. France is actually a Republic that is located in Western Europe, but also includes islands and territories on other continents. Three bodies of water border metropolitan France. They are the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel and the North Sea.
The mainland borders nine countries, making it easy to commute to them as well. It borders England due to landmass within the English Channel. The other countries bordering France are Spain, Belgium, Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. For the purposes of this article on worldwide travel, we will be concentrating on Metropolitan France, only.
Let's begin with the geography of France. The top ten cities in France, population-wise are Paris, Nice, Strasbourg, Lyon, Versailles. Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Grenoble, and Aix-en-Provence.
Southern France is bordered by two sets of beautiful mountains, The French Alps on the east and the Pyranees on the west. The highest mountain in all of Europe is Mont Blanc and is located in the French Alps.
Northern France and Western France are mostly coastal plains that end in beautiful beaches frequented by world travelers. It's beaches are one of the attractions that France is best known for, especially for those beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.
Some major rivers of note are The Rhone, the Garonne, the Loire, and the Seine. Cruises down these rivers are another item you can add to your itinerary if you want to see France from that perspective. The beauty of the surrounding countryside is absolutely breathtaking.
France is a very old country and has drawn many people from many cultures to migrate here over the centuries. Celts, Roman Latins, Aquitanians, Franks, Burgundians, Vikings, and Visigoths have all came to this majestic land to create the culture we now call French culture.
In more recent years, the population of France has grown even more diverse as Jews from Eastern Europe, Arabs, Berbers, Africans, Chinese, Armenians, Belgians, Poles, Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese people, to name a few, have also migrated to France.
If you want to brush up on your languages, France is a great place to go. French is the primary language there of course, but many other languages are also spoken there due to France's diverse population and culture. Different dialects or Patois are spoken in different regions, such as Picard, Alsation, Occitan, Basque, Norman, Breton, Lorraine (a German Dialect), Caribbean Creole, Gascon, Catalan, Franco-Provencal Dialects, Corsican, and Flemish. Of course due to immigration, there are many other languages spoken there as well, such as Arabic, Portuguese, Berber languages, Turkish, Vietnamese, Khmer, several African languages, and many Chinese dialects.
Diversity is abundant in France with all of the cultures and languages mentioned in this article and more. The part of France you will be traveling through, will determine what languages, dialects, and patois you might encounter. The culture and customs of the people of France are just as diverse as the languages that are spoken. Traveling through this great country is almost world travel without leaving its borders.
Okay, enough about France's history and culture, what are some of the attractions we will want to visit during our trip? Glad you asked!
If you like art, you will have plenty to do while traveling in France. There is a very rich history of art in France from prehistoric times all the way to this century. You will find displays of Prehistoric, Medieval, Renaissance & Mannerism, Baroque & Classicism, Rococo & Neoclassicism, 19th Century, 20th Century
Contemporary French art, and even current art on display at a wide variety of places in France.
In Paris, alone there are around 28 museums and probably 5000 art galleries. We also don't want to leave out the architectural delights to be found in France. The cathedrals and Churches of Chartres, a town located about 90 kilometers southwest of Paris in central France are an attraction you won't want to miss if you enjoy architectural sights. And of course there is the Eiffel Tower as well as a lot of Gothic Architecture to explore all over France.
What about the food? Well, we all know food is one of the reasons to visit France. There are many types of cuisine to be tasted while you travel through France. Both Provincial and Haute Cuisine are to be experienced to be believed. Traveling to France for that experience is so much better than just going to your local French restaurant, even though most of the chefs that graduate any culinary school were taught French Cuisine, which is considered to have influenced all western cooking.
French breads, Soufflé, Blanquette de veau, Steak au poivre, Boeuf a la mode, Pot-au-feu, Coq au Vin, Raw Oysters, Lamb Navarin, Cheeses, and more await you at outdoor café's and restaurants all over France, so you will never go hungry in your travels here.
And last but definitely not least, no trip to France is complete without wine tasting! Once you are in France you will find an abundance of wine tasting tours, walks, and other opportunities or you can even book your entire trip around wine tasting tours. Do a quick search on your favorite search engine for wine tours in France and you'll find all the opportunities you could ever hope for.
We hope we have added some useful information and ideas for your trip to France.
Robin Darch, has a website, Worlwide Travel to help you find all the information you need about world travel related topics such as choosing a good travel agency, how to get good rates on airline travel, cruise line deals.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.