Posts Tagged With: France

7 things NOT to take with you on holidays

by Marie Drouvin, 10th of June, 2017.

Image: Working on vacationMy aunt visited us a few weeks ago. We had a great time, nothing to say about that. But what shocked me is the amount of time she actually spent doing the exact same things she would have done home. She left three days later, without really having been here at all.

I wondered what she could have done to avoid the situation, and I came up with a list.

Consider leaving these home while on holiday:

Anything that won’t pass at the airport

Taking the plane? Be careful of what you put in your suitcases. Depending on which companies, which airports, which country, or even the political state, we might want to leave some items home.

As a rule of thumb, it is better to avoid big bottles, aerosols, knives and jars. Generally there is a specific liquid limit. The airport website almost always has information about this, but you can phone the company or the airport if you are unsure.

And that applies for the return flight too! I have seen people throwing away gifts they bought their friends because security wouldn’t let them pass with it. So let’s try to avoid to splurge in duty-free giant perfume bottles on the way in! Or we will have to leave them at the airport on the way back.

Smartphones and Tablets

This may be the hard one for you. Do we really need to send all those pictures to our loved ones during our holidays or could it wait until we come back ?  Is that blurry Skype phone call completely necessary ?

We’d better enjoy the moment of peace, open our eyes and take in all the goodness about the scenery/people in front of us. Our loved ones will be happy to hear all about it when you come back. Our games will still be where we left them. And a map is surely better than a big surprise on your mobile bill.

Travel Girl on PhoneCameras

This one is difficult. If you are not a camera addict, or a passionate photographer, or only use it sparingly, you obviously don’t have to leave your camera home.

I know, bringing back home plenty of nice pictures is pretty much fixed into our holiday rituals. Although when I see hordes of tourist capturing everything they see through the lenses of their camera, I cringe.

Do they realise they are missing the best part of their holidays ? I don’t know about you, but the reason I travel is to discover, not bringing back pictures.

Travel Selfie on the beachEveryday Problems

Sure, not having our awful colleagues on our backs is great. But it doesn’t have to be the only thing we are thinking / talking about. First off, because it will bore every person we talk to and second, we need a rest. Let’s leave them where they are, and enjoy the moment. 

After all, holidays are a break in our everyday life. Right?

Which leads us to the next point:

Work

By now, you probably understood the general idea of this article. The success of a holiday lies in the principle of rest. Yet many people are taking last minute assignments, phone calls, or “short” Skype meetings and end up on their computers while they were supposed to enjoy themselves by the pool, or hiking in the mountains. 

It is such a shame to pay for holidays they won’t enjoy, don’t you think? Beside why are they taking a week off to start with?

Travel SuitcasesOver-packed Suitcases

I know how tempting it can be to fill our suitcases. « We never know », « We will be happy to have it if ever we need it ». And by all means take the essential in case of emergency. But we should avoid a scenario such as “me and my three suitcases when I first travelled alone”.

Five evening dresses, and two pairs of cocktail shoes are probably a bit too much for a week abroad. You can usually have access to a laundry service, which will cost less than a second suitcase in the plane, let alone a third one.

Nowadays, I try to still have room to bring back a few memories in my suitcase when I pack. Yes, it is possible!

Negativity

You don’t have to like everything. But trust me, no guide is going to pleasantly surprise you if you don’t want to. First of all because it would be unpleasant for him or her and second of all because you won’t learn anything no matter how hard he or she tries.

I have overheard a few times groups of tourists speaking badly about what they were visiting. They obviously weren’t aware that I was understanding them. How could they? French people don’t speak English right? The point is, whether they understand you or not, don’t speak badly of a local when you are in front of him or her. Body language can be rude too.

Without a certain openness everything is going to be bad anyway. Snails are going to taste bad if you already think it is disgusting. Impressionism is not going to be better in real-life if you dislike it. French people are going to be rude if you clearly expect them to be. 

Discovery is only accessible to the curious, so be curious, be open and ask questions. I promise, French don’t bite. (I obviously can’t say anything about other countries).

I hope you enjoyed this list, and I will see you soon for another article on World Traveling Joe !

About world Traveling Joe:  Joe markets memberships in a traveling social club that enjoys  over 1,000,000 members. He aggregates all things travel for super volume buying power. Members can choose from over 10,000 dream trips each year at prices that average 60% less than general internet pricing. PRICE GUARANTEE:  If you purchase a trip and find it cheaper within 7 days, you get a FULL REFUND and go on the trip for free!  see more http://www.worldtravelingjoe.com  http://www.worldtravelingjoe.dreamtrips.com/refer

Credits:  This article written by Ms. Marie Drouvin, Guest Writer. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marie-drouvin-528229140/

Travel Heart

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One day gourmet road-trip in the Somme The France tourist don’t see….. by Marie Drouvin

France dessertWhen it comes to France, I know that most foreigners think of Paris and Provence. However, I was born in Amiens, the capital of the Somme, one of the departments of Picardy, one of the 22 original regions of France. Since 2015, the 22 regions became 13 and Picardy was fused with the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the northernmost region of France. The Somme is the central 1 department of the new big region. Even if Paris is not that far, everything here is different. Think of the north as being the complete opposite of the south, culturally and culinary.

France Amiens

Here are a few things you should know: take a coat, your sunscreen, some walking shoes and a good camera. Be ready to see a lot: old, new, sad, happy, funny, natural and human made, the Somme is modelled on the human life.

Are you ready ?
From Paris, we pass Beauvais and we enter in the Somme. As we go on, the landscape slowly transitions. Meadows become rarer, the horizon spreads and you can now see quite far. From time to time the car passes next to a group of gigantic wind turbines. We are in the middle of agricultural land. Depending on the season the colours change: Summer is full of warm wheat golds and dark greens; Autumn of earthly browns and oranges; Winter of dark greys ; and Spring of crisp flowery yellows and bright greens. One thing is sure though, we won’t eat tomatoes and olive oil.

France sheep

Suddenly on the horizon a mountain ! And as we get closer, it isn’t anymore. It’s a white building. We are arriving in Amiens, and this building is its crown: the Cathedral of Our Lady. If you thought Notre Dame of Paris was magnificent, wait until you see Amiens’. It is twice as big, three times more decorated and a million times more beautiful. Amiens was once a glorious medieval city, and there were plenty of houses still standing at the beginning of the XXth century. Unfortunately, almost everything was destroyed in the two wars. Lucky for us, the Cathedral is still standing.

France Cathedral

Ah well ! All that medieval grandiosity whet our appetites. Time to eat ! And to find restaurants in Amiens, I know the best neighbourhood: Saint Leu. Further down the Cathedral, along the river Somme, Saint Leu is the oldest area of the city, stuffed with nice little restaurants and picturesque houses. No, the man in the river isn’t real, it is just a statue (dressed by first years of the universities each year as an initiation).  Choose a restaurant with the Ficelle Picarde on its menu. That is the most traditional dish around
here. A savoury crepe is stuffed with a piece of ham and finely chopped mushrooms mixed with béchamel sauce. It is rolled, sprinkled with cheese and put in the oven. Pure delight !  Disclaimer : to compensate our lack of oil, we use generous quantities of butter.

France Ficell Picarde For someone with a sweet tooth I would recommend Amiens’ oldest speciality : the macaron. Careful though ! It is not the macaron you probably have heard of. This one is not a meringue, it is rather a biscuit made with almond paste, eggs whites and honey (and sometimes fruits). Have a look around the Trogneux chocolaterie. 2 Full already ?

Let’s go back to the car and en route pour Abbeville! But before let’s stop in a little village called Quesnoy-le-Montant to taste another speciality : the Gâteau Battu (the beaten cake). I don’t know if I should tell you what the ingredients of this fluffy brioche are, but let’s say it involves a LOT of butter and quite a few egg yolks. The cakes are cooked in a high mould, giving them an unmistakable shape. More than its little vanilla taste, it is the texture you would be ready to sell your soul for. 3

France gatteau

1 https://www.frenchentree.com/news/map-of-france-redrawn/

2 http://www.trogneux.fr/boutique/liste_produits.cfm?type=6&code_lg=lg_fr

To digest a bit, let’s walk along the Somme. You will notice the many canal locks all along the river. It is actually possible to walk on a fully pedestrian path from Peronne (further East than Amiens) to Saint Valery sur Somme (mouth of the river Somme). It is the old towing path and it stretched on 120km.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

France bay of somme

Back in the car, and still following the river, the landscape changes again. We left the plateaus of Picardy in Amiens to follow the Valley of the Somme. Here we see a few meadows but mainly marshes. Chances are, you will spot quite a few animals: herons, hares, roes, hawks and pheasants.

Once in Abbeville, we can visit one of its many sites: the tiny but worthy museum of Boucher de Perthes, the Saint Sepulcre Church with modern stained-glass windows, or the Belfry. Let’s slow down and enjoy ourselves at the terrace of a café. We will taste the sweetness of the Picardy apple in a juice or something less common, a rhubarb nectar. This sparkling drink, very low in alcohol, is appreciated during the traditional french apéro, a snack centred around a drink before dinner. All gathered around the table, let me explain something about the region.

As you may have guessed already, the northern climate isn’t favourable to grape culture. And therefor, no traditional wine. Although we have abundance of something else: barley. The north of France, as Belgium and England, is a great producer of beers. You can taste local small brewerie beers around the Somme. Just ask for a El Belle, a Gueule Cassée Ambrée, Blonde or a Poppy. The Poppy beer is said to have a First World War taste. Do you know why the english chose the poppy as they commemorative flower ? Because it was the first flower to grow on the graves of their soldiers. It gave birth to a legend. Where there is a poppy, an english soldier fell. The colours at the beginning of summer will never let us forget about the massacre that was the Great War.

On a more joyful note: dinner! And I am taking you back to the car in the direction of the coast. Once again, the landscape is changing. The closer we get to our destination, the less common the scenery becomes. You won’t believe me but sometimes the sea covers the meadows up to the side of the road. And depending on the season, sheep are grazing the salty grass. Those sheep are a speciality around here: the pré salé lamb. It is a meat less strong than a regular lamb, and more tender. We are arriving in the bay of the Somme, the most poetic place around. The bay is a refuge for birds, traditions and mist. Picture vast stretches of white sand. Then imagine it even more vast. You would be half way through getting the real picture. Le Crotoy and Saint Valery are at both side of the bay, sometimes you can walk across the bay from one to another, sometimes.. not often. The tides are enormous. The water is a mix of fresh and salted. It is truly a place of transition. The perfect weather to discover it is a greyish, misty kind of day, with a bit of wind.

France Le crotoyLe Crotoy is a small fishing town, with a charming market. If you want tradition and authenticity this is the right place. Small local based restaurants, houses of dark red brick, and a long stretch of fine sand for a beach. The speciality ? Mussels. If you fancy something a bit more classy, I’ll take you to Saint Valery. Unlike Le Crotoy, Saint Valery is a town for upper class vacations. The marina is full of small white boats, apart from a few more authentic ones. Although, Saint Valery will offer you the best in terms of food. The market is filled with interesting stalls and shops that sell local products. If we have time, we will check out the tea shop and its wonderful smells, and the sweet shop, because they have lollipops of all flavours (poppy, cantaloupe, rose, mint, apricot, strawberry, violet..). In terms of history both villages have their share. But Saint Valery stands out for her myriad of famous names: Victor Hugo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Verne, Edgar Degas, William the Conqueror who went on to invade England and Joan of Arc before she was send to be burned in Rouen.

Regardless of which town you would have chosen, you will have a great time.
http://joepastry.com/2011/3 gateau-battu-recipe/
http://www.somme-tourisme.com/amiens-et-autres-histoires/histoire-du-gateau-battu

And it is on this last thought and after a final tasty lollipop that I will say: Goodbye!

A note from Joe:  HI everyone!  I am super excited to bring you this article from our uber talented writer, Marie Drouvin. I visited with Marie about her homeland and her passion about the beauty, history, and culture was overwhelming. I said “we must write this article”. I KNEW it would be good and I wasn’t wrong. Marie, through her writing brings us to the ancient cobblestone streets and the sites and aromas of Northern France, a France that almost no tourist will ever find. Bon appetit’!

About world Traveling Joe:  Joe markets memberships in a traveling social club that enjoys  over 1,000,000 members. He aggregates all things travel for super volume buying power. Members can choose from over 10,000 dream trips each year at prices that average 60% less than general internet pricing. PRICE GUARANTEE:  If you purchase a trip and find it cheaper within 7 days, you get a FULL REFUND and go on the trip for free!  see more http://www.worldtravelingjoe.com  http://www.worldtravelingjoe.dreamtrips.com/refer

Credits:  This article written by Ms. Marie Drouvin, Guest Writer. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marie-drouvin-528229140/

Categories: travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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