France Off The Beaten Path

  • L'Institut du Monde Arabe
    L'Institut du Monde Arabe
    by shrimp56
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
    Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
    by TrendsetterME
  • Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    by Redang

France Off The Beaten Path

  • Montmartre & Sacré Coeur

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The vinyards have been here long, once it was a flourishing wine trade supplying Paris and beyond. Then they were left in disrepair and desease came in, almost wiping out the entire vinyards; The city took charge and a committee of loyal citizens of the Butte or hill took command. In 1935 , they began in the second weekend of October do a feast to...

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  • Islands

    Cannes Off The Beaten Path

    The "Iles de Lerins" are two islands just off the coast of Cannes and a regular boat connection goes to both Ile Sainte-Marguarite as Ile Saint-Honorat. Both island are very worth while to go to in historical, cultural as well as spiritual sense (see my "Ile Saint-Honorat" page).

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  • Hidden places in Lille

    Lille Off The Beaten Path

    Maison Coilliot looks a little different to the average house in Lille. That is because it was designed by famous Art-Nouveau designer Hector Guimard, best known for the elaborate metro station entrances in Paris. This type of design does look a bit overblown on a house but it’s a fascinating sight nonetheless. Maison Coilliot, a private residence,...

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  • Perouges

    Lyon Off The Beaten Path

    Pérouges is a typical village of the Middle Age located on top of a hill at about 35km of Lyon. A lot of efforts have been made to preserve its medieval character and all the historic buildings have been restored. It's very charming.

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  • Outside Toulouse - Excursions

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    the official France walkers assoc site is here with contact info http://www.ffrandonnee.fr/_68/contact.aspx For Toulouse area contact bottom side http://cdrp31.free.fr/rando/ and do visit the tourist office at Square Charles de Gaulle near the capitole, see photo 2

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  • Chamonix Valley

    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Off The Beaten Path

    Discover the oldest tramway of the valley! The little rack-train departs from the village of Le Fayet, a few kilometers West of Chamonix, for a journey of over an hour. The panorama is alternating: pine woods, villages with chalets and traditional farms... and then it opes to pastures, before getting rocky. The Nid d'Aigle is the last stop, at...

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  • Castles

    Tours Off The Beaten Path

    I would have to admit that it's quite a while since I studied French at high school. One of our books was called 'La Belle France' and one of the few things I can recall from it was a photo of Chenonceau. I'm not sure if it was the lilting name or the fairy-tale appearance, but for some reason it stuck with me over the years. In early February...

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  • Walking Around

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    I don't much care for Pigalle etc. but I like the area south of it. Between Metro Pigalle & Blanche (it's actually in the upper 9th arr. as opposed to the Montmartre 18th) and south of Pigalle / Clichy madness is an area filled with older houses, some parks and pawnshops, mostly around rue de Douai / rue Victor Masse, rue du Fontaine, etc. It's a...

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  • In town

    Cannes Off The Beaten Path

    We hadn't planned our trip to Nice according to the schedule of the world famous Cannes Fílm Festival, we didn't even know what time of the year it is held! Again, like with Formula 1, we seemed to be lucky. When making the day-trip to Cannes we noticed the crowd and the rush on the car routes and started to wonder...until we saw all the...

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  • Wazemmes Market

    Lille Off The Beaten Path

    Another thing to do every Sunday morning is the fantastic Wazemme market which is located off rue Leon Gambetta a major road that cuts through the centre of Lille. Make sure you get to the market by then time it closes usually around 1pm or 2 latest. Nearer the end you will get the amazing bargains as the perishable goods are sold off at knock down...

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  • Lyon City

    Lyon Off The Beaten Path

    One of the few museums we could find, the Miniatures museum is in old lyon. For a nominal fee (we don't even remember what it was!), you can walk through various rooms that hold tiny exhibits -- models of room after room made with painstaking detail of everyday life. My wife enjoyed guessing what things were used to make tiny brooms, phones,...

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  • Inside Toulouse

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    The Hôtel d’Assézat is a wonderful mansion of the 16C at rue de Metz, it houses the seat of the Académie des Jeux Floraux, showcasing the langauge of occitan since 1323AD. http://jeuxfloraux.fr and the Fondation Bemberg, a private museum with a permanent collection and portraits as well as bronze and objects...

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  • Outside Chamonix Valley

    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Off The Beaten Path

    If you travel in the Alps in the Fall, keep a look-out for signs advertising "Bataille des Reines" (Battle of the Queens). These are cow fights, where naturally agressive and territorial cows (yes, cows - not bulls) are brought together to see who is the 'queen of the fields'. Late September-October is the time to look for these contests...

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  • Museum

    Tours Off The Beaten Path

    Aquarium of Turen is the biggest in Europe aquarium of fresh-water fishes. I visited such a big aquarium for the first time. To tell the truth I chosed an excursion to this aquarium because castles of Loire by this moment had already a little bothered... It was necessary to distract a little from historical and architectural sights. The aquarium...

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  • Galleries & Passages

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    With a large and rich history in glass manufacturing, Baccarat is a respected name. If you pass by the United States square, you may enter and see a couple of great pieces, well displayed in a beautiful palace. I must confess That I expected more, and took a morning expressly to go there. Somewhat disappointed, but I didn't regret the time. Why...

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  • Outside Cannes

    Cannes Off The Beaten Path

    It was years before I discovered this most beautiful hidden gem just two miles north of Cannes. It takes a little effort to get there - but its worth it ten times over. Take a bus from Cannes centre to LeClerc Le Cannet (end of the line) and follow signs up for old Le Cannet. The highlight is the magical Place Bellevue and the rue Le Sauveur....

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  • Citadelle

    Lille Off The Beaten Path

    Memorial tombstone for a Leon Trulin at the Citadelle park. The tombstone reads 'Here Leon Trumin, died a hero November 8, 1915 at the age of 18. (In the last letter to his mother he wrote) I forgive everyone, friends and enemies.'

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  • Palais du Facteur Cheval

    Lyon Off The Beaten Path

    The Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval in Hauterives in the department of Drôme in central France is my kind of palace. It was built by and for a hard working man as opposed to royalty. This palace was built by a mail carrier who, during years of mail delivery, collected stones of all shapes and sizes during his daily route by wheelbarrow of 40 miles...

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  • Views on Toulouse.

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    Voici une particularité qui étonne toujours les visiteurs : Toulouse est constamment survolée par des avions qui atterrissent ou decollent de l'aéroport de Toulouse-Blagnac. Les avions passent au dessus d'une partie (au sud) de la ville, et du périphérique. Lorsque l'on est en avion, et que l'on arrive, du côté droit de l'appareil le panorama est...

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  • Movies and Paris

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    On the corner of rue des Trois Freres and rue Androuet is the well known ( in Montmartre) grocers, familiarly called "La Maison Collignon", now the "Marché de la Butte". This is the site of the grocers where "Amelie Poulain" did her shopping. Inside the shop is an incredible bric-a-brac where souvenirs of the film abound midst the usual fare of a...

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  • Out of Lille

    Lille Off The Beaten Path

    Nord Pas de Calais & Lille do not have to claim to be the crossroads of Europe ! I personally met quite a few persons working in Lille and live in Belgium, or vice-versa. Why not take a nice drive to Bruges, the "Venice of the North" for dinner one evening, or go have a great time in Antwerp or Gent..

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  • La Dombe

    Lyon Off The Beaten Path

    Take the Dombes Lakes Route Tour (by car). Dombes is about 45 minutes drive north of Lyon. The area has thousands of little ponds used for crop, cattle and fish farming. The local government developed two Dombes Lakes Loop Tours. One is 65-km long and goes from Villars-les-Dombes through Chalamont to Saint-Marcel; the other, 70-km, from...

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  • Festivals-Celebrations

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    Every year the Garonne invites a stream of the world. After the Ebre, the Nile, the Mekong, the Ganges, the Arno, the Volga, Mississippi, the Rio of the Plata, in June 2003, the Garonne invites the Rio Cauto, that means Cuba. 100 Cuban artists are waited in Toulouse for 6 days of feast. Bureau du Festival 18, rue St-Rémésy 31000 Toulouse -...

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  • Père Lachaise Cemetery

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This large cemetery in the 20th arrondissement is popular with tourists because some famous people are buried here. If you go in at the main entrance you can get a map to help you find the graves of people like Gioacchino Rossini, Maria Callas, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde or Jim Morrison, and also to help you find your way out again. I think one of...

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  • The Statue of Liberty

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    If you like to jog, picnic or just enjoy a quiet moment in Paris with great view of the Eiffel Tower, visit L’ile des Cygnes (The Swan Island). This green oasis right in the middle of the river Seine, host a small replica of the famous New York landmark, the statue of Liberty. In October 2012, the new sport facilities have been installed on the...

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  • Disneyland Paris

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    At 25 kilometers of the city of Paris you will find Disneyland Paris. And ever since the opening of Space Mountain and the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Disneyland Paris has a variety of good fear-and-thrill rides. There are a much wider variety of things to do than at a funfair or ordinary theme park too, and many of the sets are incredibly detailed....

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  • Le Marais

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This is a “hôtel” in the old sense of the word, meaning mansion. It was built from 1475 to 1507 for the archbishops of Sens. From my favorite guidebook, the Michelin Guide Vert, I have learned that from 1689 to 1743 the Hôtel de Sens served as the arrival and departure point for the service of stage coaches (diligences) between Paris and Lyon....

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  • Moufftard/Arène de Lutèce/Mosque/IMA

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Rue Moufettard- has a night market and lots of restaurants in the Latin quarter. It is the hangout for students from the university of Paris. A great place to spend an evening and get a feel for real paris

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  • Street Art

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    In February 2011, Jana & JS (Jana Balluch and Jean-Sébastien Philippe) were commissioned to make two large wall paintings on these new buildings at 110 rue Jeanne d’Arc in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. The paintings show the artists themselves, taking photos. On YouTube there is a nice time-lapse video showing how they made these...

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  • Versailles

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Adjacent to the big palace, a wing with the name of Grand Trianon was built in 1687 to replace the "Trianon de porcelaine" used by Louis XIV in his unofficial loving affairs. The building has an Italian look, and it is famous mainly for its gardens.

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  • Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    If you are in Paris for more than a few days why not pay a day visit to one of the many wonderul Castles, Chateaux or Cathedrales located on the Paris outskirts? With some only from a short 40 min to an hour away. You can either take the metro, RER or join a tour. I would recommend trying to navigate your way on your own as you can go at your...

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  • Literary Paris

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    a new artistic center in paris, performers, expositions, walks on passarelle,conferences, concerts, and all this is the new Eléphant Paname. It is in the building done by the ambassasor of Russia in the 1920's and now renovated. It has a superb restaurant managed by a sommelier champion in 2004 Enrico Bernardo. 10 rue de Volney, 75002 tel resto...

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  • Saint Eustache & Les Halles

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This sculpture of a VERY large head lies in a plaza between St. Eustache and one of the entrances to Les Halles shopping mall. It seems to serve many purposes in better weather -- children love to climb on it -- and graffiti "taggers" like to leave their mark also! It is titled l?Ecoute (?The Listener?) and is by the artist Henri de Miller . I've...

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  • La Défense

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The Arch at La Defense is on a straight line with L'Arc du Triomphe and The Carrousel Arch in front of the Louvre. It is one of Francois Mitterand's "Grand Projets." Access is as simple as taking Metro Line 1 to either La Defense, or if you want the experience of walking towards the Arch, get off at Esplanade de La Defense. The name refers to the...

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  • Centre Georges Pompidou

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The Centre Georges Pompidou, AKA the Beaubourg, is one of the famous modern buildings of Paris. People tend to either love it or hate it but few are ambivalent. It is a bit jarring to see the stark modern building with its innards on the outside taking up 5 acres in the historic center of Paris, but it is also a very fun visit. The Center is named...

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  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont is without a doubt my favourite Parisien park. No matter the season it’s always a lovely spot to escape to for a bit of nature and a break from city life. A lot of Paris’ other parks are either quite tiny in size or take on a more formal French garden style but Buttes Chaumont has nothing in common with other Paris...

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  • Les Puces

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    These well-disguised flea markets are tucked away in courtyards along rue St Paul in the Marais area of the 4th arrond. The merchandise ranges from dumpster-ready trinkets to really fine antique furniture. They also offer tasty food for hungry visitors which is several cuts above the hot dogs found in flea markets back home. What is most amazing is...

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  • Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This is a huge park enclosing several places, day and night activities. Main entrance is at 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, the easiest way to get here is by metro once in Paris.line 5 at Porte de Pantin (Grande Halle) on Bobigny and Place d'Italie OR line 7 Porte de la Villette on Villejuif-Louis Aragon / La Courneuve. by car, you have two parkings at...

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  • Les Égouts

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This inconspicuous kiosk at the south end of Alma Bridge looks as though it might be the secret entrance to some underground world – which in fact it is, since it is the entrance to the Museum of the Sewers. From here you go down some steps (not wheelchair accessible) to some parts of the Paris sewers that have been fixed up as a museum. The cost...

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  • La Seine and Its Bridges

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    yes wonderful place as you already got the ile de france site here is the Paris tourist site for the promenade http://en.parisinfo.com/museum-monuments/1382/promenade-plantee?1 At the end you can stop by this place in the old rotonda water pump tower now an artsy ,entertainement place by the same owners of St Christopher hostel and Belushi bar,...

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  • Basilique Saint Denis

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    When I was researching what to see and do in Paris, I came across the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris. I read it was the burial site of French monarchs, which makes it comparable to Westminster Abbey in England, and there was a collection of 70 sculpted recumbent statues - the only set of its kind in Europe, I was sold, I had to go there. So...

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  • Romance & The Erotic

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    It should not be a surprise that Paris has a Musée de l'Erotisme ("Museum of the Erotic"). If this genre of art appeals to you, you will find this museum fascinating. The collection is extensive, multicultural, and spans all ages of humanity. Open daily, from 10 AM till 2 AM. There are four floors of exhibits, plus a museum shop. 72, boulevard...

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  • Parc Monceau

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    200-300 kms is a long radius to travel and see gardens, there is a site that has them all ;its the offical committee site and have descriptions of thousands of toenjoy it, many in big towns too http://www.parcsetjardins.fr/ and this site list what they say are the most beautiful in France Versailles included ::)...

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  • Parc de Belleville

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The singer Edith Piaf (1915-1963) grew up in Belleville and sang in the local music halls before becoming world-famous with such songs as "Mon Légionnaire," "La Vie en Rose," "L'Hymne à l'Amour," "Milord," and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien". Second photo: Above the door of 72 rue de Belleville is this plaque which reads: "On the steps of this house...

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  • Musee Nissim de Camondo

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    While taking a walk during lunch, a few blocks from my office, I discovered the Musée Nissim de Camondo. I didn't know this place existed, but now I have to place it high on the list of my favorite Parisian museums. The museum was once a private home belonging to the Camondo family. Count Moise Camondo donated his Parisian home to the Musée des...

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France Off The Beaten Path

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