France

When, Where, Why:

My visits to France have sadly been limited to Paris twice and a bit of the surrounding area – 2007 to see art and architecture, 2009 to visit friends and nap beneath the Eiffel Tower. These boundaries will undoubtedly expand in coming years.

In under 50 words:

Openly mocked in America for its poor luck in war, France has excelled in culture and public health care. The Louvre documents both history and art, fashion dictates what western women wear, and the café experience is unrivaled. Parisian pretentiousness is matched by country charm. Live well, say the French.

Experience:

Ahhh Paris, la ville d’amour. Although there is much to see and do in the city of love, it seems to be a place that people either love or hate (I for one love it). If Paris is too overwhelming, too big, too dirty, too [insert adjective here], then take a train to any of the other wonderful places France has to offer.

Nice, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lille, Dijon, Toulouse, Cannes, and many more. See the Pyrennes and tour wineries by bicycle. Swim in the Mediterranean and speak as much French as possible – it’s like a ticket into a hidden world.

Food & Drink:

Where could you possibly go wrong? Roast duck, fresh baguettes, crêpes both sweet and savory, assorted bon bons, pastries galore, bouillabaisse, red wine, champagne, … we hold France up as the pinnacle of perfection when it comes to food and drink. If it’s fresh and French, odds are it’s worth trying.

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