France is the undisputed leader in global visitors, totaling up of 84 million annually (see this site). This surpasses the US, with approximately 75 million, and far outpaces Britain with approximately 32 million. What are a few of the reasons France is on so many travelers’ bucket lists? And which of those reasons might motivate you to follow suit? As a start, consider these three motives for taking a trip to France.
A trip to France is endlessly entertaining and intriguing. France is proud of its heritage and celebrates its foundation. Everywhere you go you’ll discover atmosphere and old-world charm and historical buildings with tales to tell. You will always be reminded that you’re walking in the footsteps of artists and kings, conquerors and queens. Every day will be full of discoveries.
A trip round the Loire Valley to see Châteaux will take you along the travel route of the extravagant 16th century King Françoise I, who mounted up amazing national debts so as to live large also. There are the huge round turrets, with broad spiral roadways inside to allow horse-drawn carriages to ride up into the castle grounds to provide its passengers-especially convenient when one of the queens was pregnant. Da Vinci himself lived out the last years of his life throughout the street from the king, in a fascinating mansion that’s now full of versions of his many revolutionary inventions. A secret tunnel connects the abodes of both of these close friends, used for late-night visits between the king and his brilliant friend.
In Blois, Françoise added an elegant wing into the impressive palace, obtained via an exquisite outside stone staircase. Here you’ll see the analysis of Catherine de Medici, wife to Françoise’s son and successor, Henri. The wood paneled walls supplied her with secret hiding places for her acclaimed group of toxins, the political”solutions” of these perilous times.
Then there’s the magnificent Chenonceau, with its glorious gardens and the huge ballrooms that stretch out over the river. But when Henri was murdered by a huge splinter in the eye in a joust, his wife, Catherine de Medici, threw Diane from her Château and took it over for herself. Not to be outdone by the mistress, Catherine then proceeded to build an even more glorious garden on the other side of the chateau from Diane’s, and an even grander balcony compared to Diane’s to miss it. This was a girl decided to make her point.
You’ll be intrigued and awed, captivated and enthralled. Every day of your trip will be intensely interesting, in addition to surrounded by carefully orchestrated beauty.
Your senses will be stunned for the whole time you’re in France. At night the tower is set aglow, best to be seen from a ship as it drifts across the Seine, passing under one beautiful bridge after another.
The Orsay, after an elegant turn-of-the-century train station which was built to welcome visitors into the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, now houses a startling collection of impressionist art – Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat – inside a building that is itself an historical, architectural treasure. Here you’ll have the ability to lunch at the grand ballroom of the previous grand hotel connected to the train station, and look through the glass of this giant clock which faces the river and leaves this construction distinctively simple to spot.
The remarkable stained-glass windows of Saint Chapelle Chapel… The gorgeous blossoms and statuary of Tuileries Gardens… The onslaught of visual expressions of this Champs-Élysées… The towering Arch de Triomphe, facing the smaller Arch in front of the Louvre in the opposite end of this five-mile grand boulevard where Napoleon envisioned himself directing a march of his victorious armies.
There’ll be the glorious tastes of the wine and food. You may hear marvelous music of all sorts, from the Vivaldi in Saint Chapelle, to the lively piano bars and ship bars along the left bank of the Seine in Paris and atop Mont St. Michel, to the mighty organ of Notre Dame. You may walk through flower markets, vibrant with colours and scents, and store at weekly markets, living with people and all manner of tempting offerings.
This assault to the senses will stay with you in memory long after your travels are over.
Reason #3: Intro to the Fantastic Life
The last, but certainly not the leastreason to see France is that it will introduce one to a different, and a much better, way of life. You may experience a different way of social interaction in France – more engaged, curious, outgoing, and revived. The French genuinely recognize the value of enjoying the best of life.
Here dining is a beautiful experience, not merely a stop to refuel. Food is an art form, combined consistently with the perfect wines to enhance the meal. Waiters enjoy their work, trying to make dining a memorable event by offering up their experience, and carefully guarding your best to take all of the time you will need to enjoy your meal without feeling hurried.
People in France are closely polite with one another, and will be with you. Cordiality is not just suggested in France, it’s expected and omnipresent. You will soon grow to expect and appreciate this.
From the very first moment you walk down a road passing all the umbrella-shielded outside tables of the cafés, you’ll discover that this is a culture where people gather together to enjoy each other’s company. Old, young, families, singles, wealthy, small, stylish, artistic, intellectual – everybody is out in the squares and along the paths, drinking in cafés and eating in restaurants. It becomes simple to join in and be aroused by the lively, friendly atmosphere. Musicians wander the streets, from old guys playing accordions outside the restaurants, to full jazz bands playing in town squares. And since the house wine is so cheap, stopping off for a glass or a carafe is a habitual, not an exceptional, event.
In the tables that surround you in these cafés, you’ll see couples engaged in animated conversation, looking intently into each other’s eyes. France is a culture of art and philosophy, science and engineering, literature and style, and of love. As you take all this in, you might start to find it has a direct effect on you and how you relate to others. You will notice yourself listening actively, expressing yourself more earnestly and obviously, paying closer attention, behaving more considerately, demonstrating more interest and curiosity.
The luxury of time for this collecting together is in part because of the French commitment to maintaining an optimal balance between life and work. Shops close for lunch so employees can concentrate their attention on enjoying a fantastic meal and the company of friends and coworkers. Employees who operate 39 or more hours per week must get more compared to legally-required five weeks of holiday annually.
As you’re traveling in France, you may come to enjoy and to anticipate this higher degree of connection, this improved appreciation of wine and food, this greater balance between life and work. You won’t ever forget what you’ve learned about another, and better, way of living life.
The Sum of those 3 Parts
Taken together, the cultural discovery in addition to the feast for the senses in addition to the introduction to the fantastic life, create a travel opportunity that’s second to none. You’ll have a excellent visit to France, especially if you travel independently and prevent the bus, possibly using a preplanned trip-in-a-book to guide your explorations and experiences, and to make certain you have the entire experience when you are there.
Your excursion will enrich you. And it’ll change you. When you return home, you’ll end up incorporating elements from your journeys into your lifestyle, and plotting to return to France.