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France Travel News 02/25/2011

  • The French Alps Sans Skis

    For many, the French Alps are so fully associated with winter sports that it’s hard to imagine visiting them without buying a lift ticket. Chamonix and Mont Blanc are legends. Grenoble hosted the Winter Olympics in 1968, and Albertville followed suit in 1992. Annecy is a finalist for the spot in 2018. And when the first winter snowfall arrives, a blizzard of ski-mania blankets the region as enthusiasts pull their gear out of cellars and rent half-timbered chalets.

  • Where to Nap in Europe

    One of France's largest cities after Paris has to its credit not only the heart of haute French cuisine but also the largest urban park in the country. Golden Head Park, located just northeast of the old part of Lyon, boasts four rose gardens, a fairly large lake, greenhouses, and a zoo featuring semi-domesticated tiny deer that you can feed. Sundays in the park are a Lyonnaise tradition, but even when the green is crowded you'll find dozens of shady spots perfect for an afternoon nap.

  • Lemon Festival – Menton French Riviera

    During the day, the whole town seems to be holding its breath… All is calm, maybe too calm… As night falls, a float laden with oranges and lemons appears as if from nowhere, followed by another… the drums beat impatiently, a trumpet tosses a melody into the air. And then suddenly, the din stops. It’s time for the party! Fanfares, orchestras, folk groups and dancers incite disorder, bringing the kind of incandescent splendour normally found in the most extravagant festivals to this parade.

  • French alcohol consumption drops again as national statistics round-up released

    Between 1960 and 2000, alcohol consumption per person has halved. A spokesman for Insee said: "This drop rests entirely down to the drop in consumption of wine, which still remains the most popular, ahead of strong alcohols and beer." Check out this article for many more interesting facts about how the French live today.

  • The Rolling Stones as Documented by Tarle

    Dominique Tarle is a French photographer best known for his association with The Rolling Stones. In 1971 The Stones escaped the UK’s punitive tax regime and decamped to the South of France at Villa Nellcôte. Dominique Tarle was granted a six month long pass inside Villa Nellcôte and collected a large series of photographs (titled “Exile”) of the Stones as they created, recorded, relaxed and partied throughout the summer. Tarle documented those times of decadence and hedonism in very unique way.

  • National French Cheese Day

    The French do take their local cheeses very seriously – not only do they have a National Cheese Day (26 March in 2011) with events throughout France and elsewhere; but whilst the Brits have novelty Womens Institute calendars, the French produce one with 12 “Fromage” girls – and it is quite cheesy!

  • Brittany Ferries offers SW France link from Portsmouth to Bilbao

    STARTING on March 27, 2011 Brittany Ferries will start a service from Portsmouth to the Spanish city of Bilbao, offering a link to south west France. Two crossings a week, which take 24 hours, will operate from next month, enabling drivers to cross the Spanish border and reach Bayonne in around two hours and Bordeaux in four.

  • Games festival celebrates 25th anniversary

    After welcoming 150,000 visitors last year, the Cannes’ Festival des Jeux hopes to do better between February 25-27, 2010. The 25th edition of the event will feature tournaments, encounters with games in development, video games, mangas, special all-night sessions and much more. One of the highights will be a selection of the very best games of the past quarter century.

  • Apple iPads as restaurant menus

    It was only a matter of time. Our friend Patsey says they’ve started handing out Apple iPads as menus in a restaurant in Narbonne, a Michelin one-star place down the road from us in the Languedoc.

  • Real life Mario Kart on streets of France

    French prankster Rémi Gaillard has become a YouTube star for his hidden camera videos which have included infiltrating the Lorient football team at the 2002 French Cup final. Now Gaillard has taken on the persona of video game character Mario. The latest instalment, which sees him chased by police and security guards as he zips around in his Mario Kart, has already attracted almost four million YouTube views.