• Europe,  France,  Travel

    I Love Paris in the Fall

    I love Paris in the springtime.I love Paris in the fall.I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles. My Grandfather used to sing me this song and replace Paris with Shelby. 🙂 Just as the song says, I love Paris all times of the year! It is my absolute favorite city. Until my teaching assignment, I had only visited Paris during the other three seasons of the year. Exploring Paris in the Fall with the beautiful changing leaves is something else entirely! Autumn provides great weather for exploring the city on foot (with a jacket of course), with significantly less tourists…

  • France,  Travel

    Best of Bordeaux

    Bordeaux is situated in Aquitane, the South-western region of France.  This is a prominent area for the wine industry – the region began producing wine in the 8th Century!  Bordeaux is a beautiful city to visit, with tons of wine-tasting opportunities for my fellow vinos.  This city has the second-highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France, behind Paris!  One really cool aspect of the architecture is that there are little faces scuplted into the facade of buildings throughout the city called mascarons. Below are some highlights of the city of Bordeaux.  Keep your eyes peeled for my post next week about visiting nearby vineyards and St. Émilion. La…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Paul Cézanne’s Aix-en-Provence

    Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful town in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. It’s about 20-30 minutes by train from Marseille, with tickets averaging $15 one-way. Aix-en-Provence (or Aix for short) is the home town of Paul Cézanne and offers many attractions relating to the artist and his paintings. Aix-en-provence is incredibly charming with a wonderful small-town feel, very contrasting to the large city of Marseille. The word Aix originates from Aqua + Sextius. Sextius was the name of an important military figure in the area, and water is very important and prevalent in the city. Aix-en-Provence was at one time part of Catalonia, and they still fly the “blood and…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    5 Must See Attractions in Marseille

    Marseille is the oldest city in France and the second largest city, behind Paris!  The city was founded in 600 BC by the Greeks.  This is one of the most stunning coastal cities I have ever visited!  As a port city, Marseille has a bit of a seedy reputation but overall it is a great destination to visit. Here is a list of the five can’t miss attractions in Marseille for first time visitors: Vieux Port The old port is beautiful from all angles!  The marina is very lively with waterfront restaurants, markets, and ferry boats offering rides to nearby destinations.  The large surrounding street became limited to pedestrians starting…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Nice, La Belle

    In my recent post about Monaco, I mentioned that it is an easy day-trip from Nice! It only seemed natural then to write about Nice as well.  Nice is a beautiful coastal town in Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera. There is so much to do and see in Nice, from it’s pebbled beach up to the Monastère de Cimiez!   This is the first place that I ever took a solo overnight trip!  There are cheap TGV tickets using Ouigo if booking ahead of time with flexible dates.  Throughout my stay, I met many generous and kind locals who gave me great advice and directions! Here are some of the highlights…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Lille, Ma Ville

    I lived in Lille, France for 8 months between 2016-2017 while I was a Teaching Assistant.  Lille is the capital of Hauts-de-France, the northernmost region of France. This region is relatively new, combining the two former regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy.  Lille is specifically located in French Flanders, close to the France/Belgium border.   When applying to the TAPIF program, candidates select three of their top choices of regions where they hope to be assigned.  Luckily for me, I wasn’t assigned to any of my choices!  I was assigned to the Lille region, and I immediately fell in love with it!  The city has so much charm!  Pin it: XoXo

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    An Afternoon in Honfleur, France

    When I visited Étretat last month, we rented an Airbnb in Le Havre.  Apparently, my landlady grew up in that town! During an afternoon apéritif with my family at their home next door, she recommended that we stop in Honfleur! She said it was a beautiful and historic french town.  It turned out to be great advice, as Honfleur is only ten minutes out of the way driving from Le Havre to Paris.  We decided to spend a quick afternoon there, before heading to Paris for the weekend. Honfleur is in the French Department of Calvados.  It sits right at the estuary that connects the Seine to the English Channel, just…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Returning to Étretat

    When I was 16 years old, I had an opportunity to go on a ten day trip to Northern France through my high school! Though I feel like I wasn’t old/mature enough to truly appreciate it, the trip was amazing.  We went to Paris (of course!) and then proceeded to other areas in the north.  There are bits that I remember more vividly than others. The one town that absolutely stuck out to me was Étretat! In this town we had a lot of free time.  I broke off from the group with a couple friends and we climbed up to the top of one of the falaises and explored!…

  • France,  Travel

    Only Lyon, France

    What I love most about France is that each region of the country is so different from the next.  There are so many different cultures and traditions within this country alone!  Lyon is the third largest city in France, behind Paris and Marseille.  Situated in the middle of the Rhône-Alpes region, this city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It used to be an important site for silk production.  This is where the light festival, Fête des Lumières, that I previously blogged about takes place.  Another interesting tidbit involving the term Lumière – Lyon was home of the Lumière brothers!  They were some of the first filmmakers in history. I visited…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Fête des Lumières – Lyon

    Every year, Lyon hosts the amazing Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights).  It takes place over a three day period on a long weekend.  About a month ago, I headed south to Lyon with a friend to explore the city by day and the lights by night! The Fête des Lumières website provides an idea of the different installations there will be ahead of time.  Before arriving, my friend went through the info on the website to make a list of the installations she wanted to see.  I didn’t have time to check out the website beforehand, but luckily all the hostels in Lyon are prepared with tons of pamphlets for the festival.…