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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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Bicycle Gourmet’s Photo Workshop Lowdown.


The straight skinny on DA BG’s Photography Workshop Tours is headed your way because of, not suprisingly, this recurring question :

 What’s the lowdown on your French Photography Course Workshops?  Glad you asked. No, really. Because with everything in life that sounds too good to be true, there are some truths to be revealed.And with Photo Tours you’ve never been on before – in advance, being the best way.

Not to pour cold water on your French dreams, but having a more balanced view of the realities of this here land, will enable you to have a “mo beddah” experience.

Reality One : Strikes can, and do happen without much/any advance notice. Particularly with trains. Then there are the mini-strikes that we call “work stoppages” or “work to rule” (in the UK) Translation: The service you want and need is not available today.

Reality Two: While it cannot technically be considered a “strike” or “work stoppage”, just as irritatingly inconvenient is the “Fermenture Exceptionnell.” (translation: “exceptional closing”) You will find this sign on the window of whatever shop whose goods/services you absolutely, desperately want/need and will probably die without. But, sniff,sniff, they’ve decided , for whatever reason, or no reason at all, not to be open today.

Reality Three : Although there are approximately 30,000 words we have in common with those (usually)loveable latins, they ARE pronounced differently. For instance, our “fragile” is “Fraa- geeel.” so prepare your ears.

And also, prepare a few essential phrases. like “yes, no”, thank you” and the absolutely critical “where’s the toilet?” That said, you will find that  most Frenchies do understand more “eengleesh” than they speak. But if you make the effort, they meet you more than halfway.

Reality Four : Da Wine! While  French Wine is justly famed Worldwide, there is another(and for me) more interesting aspect of Froggie grapedom. That being the “cave co-operative.” A   Wine Co-op offering a grog from  growers in the local area. Sold “en vrac” (Translation: you bring an empty litre container (a “Bidon”) and “fill ‘er up.)

The advantages of buying from a local cave-co-operative are many. First of all: Convenience. Second: Quality/price ratio. Always under 2 euro@litre. Third:  Because the caves are outside the government  A.O.C. wine classification  system, they can blend the best grapes they have available. With no worries about  the “correct varieties.”

Reality Five : French Food. Is good and priced reasonably in the (non high traffic) countryside. Cities  are just what you’d expect. (Cannes, more. and worse -trust me -” been there – done that”)

Reality Six: Impossible to get a bad cup of coffee in France. They know their joe!

Reality Seven: The French Countryside is MORE fantastic than any/all photos you’ve seen. That’s what makes it such a “must do” destination for Landscape Photography.

Reality Eight:  After a million and a half  years(and counting!) of  an Endless Tour de France   – I can (and will) Absolutely make sure you taste the land and the people as well as the food and wine – plus go home with some awesome images, great memories, and (more often than not) a few new friends.

Anything else you’d like to know?


What are ya thinkin’?


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21 Responses to “Bicycle Gourmet’s Photo Workshop Lowdown.”

  1. megan ambrose says:

    so geri…..didya sign up?

  2. fran dennis says:

    anything else ?……no BG..you’ve waaay covered it all!

  3. yan wong says:

    looking forwards to be with you on this exciting venture mr bg.

  4. barbara billy says:

    all i can say is WOW!

  5. ed winston says:

    barbara..ya took the words right outa my mouth! Count on DA BG to overdeliver!!!

  6. ted danbury says:

    i’m already lost in the landscape of that photo!

  7. grady martinson says:

    i’ll be working overtime to get the cash i need for this….not to be missed folks..get your butts in gear!

  8. dave watzers says:

    hey..read on your twitter that the mlavender workshop is almost full….how many spots left?

  9. lani marshall says:

    yeah bg…same question as dave. i’d reallyt like to go on that trip..so please let us know!

  10. martin carlson says:

    do you still have availablities for the wine tour?

  11. barry stevens says:

    if your tours are anything like you sense of homor i can’t wait to meetr you and get started on this……

  12. trish muldoon says:

    i’m with barry 110%! no denying DA BG is a hoot!…so of course the tours will be even more of the same…let’s go!

  13. parks greene says:

    appreciate you giving us the much needed dose of reality….can’t be hyping the positive all the time!

  14. cheryl combs says:

    thanks for the info on buying wine. i had no ideaz that you could get good wine in quantity like that. and had such amazing prices too.
    already thirsty!

  15. mort wilbers says:

    hey there DA BG – good to know that most french speak a little english…only fair that we should arrive with a little french.
    n’est ce pas?

  16. karl endersly says:

    i’m with mort. i’m already stocking up on empty containers!

  17. geri walters says:

    i would have signed up just after reading this…but seeing the video really took me over the edge!…and a good way of course!

  18. geri walters says:

    megan: Absolutely!

  19. ab rosen says:

    hey ladies……i signed up too…;for the hilltop villages workshop…..gonna be fantastic!

  20. ray walston says:

    as one of your other commentors remarked, i really appreciate you giving us the “full picture.” the pros and cons of what we can reasonably expect.

  21. heather makepeace says:

    right on ray….life isn’t always sunshine and blue skies!..as DA BG was kind enough to remind us.

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