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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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French Country Travel Life Tips

French Country Travel Life Tips. Da Bg has given you many – has he not? So, in the interests of perspective (I LIVE HERE, remember)thought it might be interesting AND informative to get some French Country Life Travel Tips from another American. The kind who DOESN’t live here. But visits a lot. His name is Jerry Lanson.

Here’s his rant( from the Huffington Post):

1. Pace yourself
Today, the 17th of our 32-day adventure, Kathy and I sat by the pool of our lovely mountain chalet, Les Skieurs in the Chartreuse Mountains above Grenoble, and read. Then we took an hour walk, stopped at an outdoor cafe for a glass of wine, had a light dinner on the deck downstairs and called it a day. It was rejuvenating after a week of too much driving and too fast a pace: two nights in the village of Sarlat in the Dordorgne, two nights in the city Montpellier and two in Ansouis in Provence’s Luberon Mountains.

As a rule, we find it’s best to stay three nights at each stop — the first day to arrive and get our bearings, the second to unwind and take in a sight or two, the third to poke around and map out our next day’s travels. Two-night stays can work, but it’s best not to bunch them as we did this week.

A series of one night stays means too much tension, too much driving and too little time to explore. As a rule, see less and stay a little longer at each stop.

2. Use maps, not a GPS
A GPS can get you from here to there, but it doesn’t tell you what you’re missing along the way. Michelin maps are the best and, of these, the yellow maps give the most detail.

3. Be open to diversions
The best moments on any vacation invariably are those that are unplanned. We spent more than an hour at Rocamadour Fermier, a lovely goat farm in the Lot countryside we didn’t know existed. Had we been hellbent on getting to the hillside town of Rocamadour, just a few miles further down the road, we’d have missed it. And despite its dramatic cliffs and photo ops, Rocamadour was a bit disappointing because of its crowds of tourists. The only crowd on the farm was the goats and geese.

4. Try your hand at the language
The French may correct you or answer your most carefully crafted French question in English. But trying to speak their language opens doors, especially outside of Paris. Here at Les Skieurs, after we had a brief chat in French with Madame Jail, the owner, she offered suggestions on where we might eat and stay in Chamonix, two stops down the road on our trip. (She also promised that next time we visit, we’ll rate a room with a balcony.) At Un Patio en Luberon, our B&B in Ansouis, conversation came out in a melange of English, French, German and Italian as guests from four countries found a way to share stories as well as a three-hour meal. On this trip, my 10th or 11th to France, we’re finding many more intermingled French and English conversations than ever before, perhaps because English increasingly is the international language, but the French remain enormously proud of their own. We keep speaking French, even when the answer comes back in English and even though we’re far from fluent.

5. Don’t overeat
This is easier said than done in this country of gastronomy. But eating full meals at lunch and dinner is tantamount to divine death (I’ll spare you the digestive details). Often we skip hotel breakfasts, saving money at a local bakery by grabbing a croissant and an espresso (these cost half of an American coffee with milk). Or on getaway days we’ll pay the $10 or $12 each for a hotel breakfast while Kathy saves enough rolls to carry us through lunch. We eat one big meal a day, either dinner or lunch, depending on where our travels are taking us. Which leads me to No. 6.

Tip No 6 (and more) can be found HERE.


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5 Responses to “French Country Travel Life Tips”

  1. marshall thompson says:

    nice to get another travel writers feedback…but frankly, da bg’s info is more interesting for me.

  2. jack aubrey says:

    i hear you marshall…b ut on balance..for someone who doesn’t live in france..jerry did have some good tips.

  3. marshall thompson says:

    bravo jack…you said it better. i stand corrected.

  4. valerie ranmis says:

    marshall/jack….you’re both on the money as far as i’m concerned. Jerry did offer some good tips and insights..and, of course, daz bg, with his years of experience travelling all thoser country roads…
    constantly spoils us with his info and videos. (like this one!)

  5. lara greenspan says:

    for me, the best tip, was the most obvious.(the last one) don’t let your eyes control your stomach in the land of gourmet dining!

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