France Off The Beaten Path

  • Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    by Redang
  • Pont d'Avignon (France)
    Pont d'Avignon (France)
    by Redang
  • Chateau de Rully near Beaune
    Chateau de Rully near Beaune
    by Beausoleil

France Off The Beaten Path

  • Walking Around

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Unfortunately, the problems facing the residents of the Cité Durmar have still not come to a satisfactory conclusion. Artisans and artists, the older residents in flats are still waiting for the outcome of a battle engaged against the developers that want to take over this little urban alleyway.

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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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  • 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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  • Outside Toulouse - Excursions

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    Another wonderful area just outside Toulouse is the the Cité de l’Espace, Ave Jean Gonord, Parc de la Plaine, its a wonderful place for me similar to EPCOT at Disney. The opening hours are change on the year so better to check the webpage, and the prices are now at 20.50,21 ,and 24 depending on the year so check again for your period. You need a...

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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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  • Montmartre & Sacré Coeur

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    A wonderful old Church next to the more famous sacre cœur at 2 Rue du Mont Cenis, 75018 Paris;this is the Church of Saint Pierre or Peter. While writing about Saint Denis, the Passio Sancti Dionysii, written in 835AD, Hilduin of Saint-Denis called Montmartre the Mount of Martyrs and designates it as the decapitation of Saint Denis and his...

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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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  • 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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  • Inside Toulouse

    Toulouse Off The Beaten Path

    small church in the district of Saint Aubin (bordered by bd Lazare Carnot and the canal du midi), nice to walk by and why not get in if times allows it..... Located at the impasse Saint-Aubin, not far from the canal du midi and close to the place pres Wilson. This church was built from 1847 on an old cemetery in a style that blends Gothic,...

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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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  • 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 t

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Galleries & Passages

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Opened only in 1860, the passage des Princes is the last covered passage built and has the agreement of Baron Haussmann. The bank Jules Mirès financed the building and part of the dog-legged passage was named after him. Unfortunately he soon went bankrupt and arrested. Shortly after the passage was acquired by an insurance company, today called the...

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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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  • Le Marais

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    On February 27, 1654, the poet, novelist and playwright Paul Scarron signed a rental contract for this house at the corner of Rue des Douze-Portes (now Rue de Turenne) and Rue Neuve-Saint-Louis (now Rue Villehardouin). This is where he lived for the last six years of his life with his gorgeous young wife Françoise d’Aubigné, and this is where they...

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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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  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This is the third biggest park in Paris, after Tuileries and Villette, and it includes such unusual features as man-made cliffs (the only cliffs in Paris, as far as I know), a man-made lake, a man-made grotto and lots of exotic plants all labeled with their name and place of origin. For several centuries the Buttes-Chaumont area was the site of...

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  • Parc Monceau

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Parc Monceau is a pleasant and interesting public park. It can be found at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. The park was originally the brainchild of Phillippe d'Orléans, the Duke of Chartres. He was a staunch Anglophile and wanted to create an English garden complete with follies. The garden was...

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  • Street Art

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This huge painting of a detective, by Jean Le Gac (born 1936) is also on the wall of a building at Place Fréhel, Rue de Belleville. "Accustomed to the allusive style of the painter, the young detective understands that the message tells him to continue the chase along the street Julien Lacroix." This is the street that goes off to his right (our...

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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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  • 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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  • La Défense

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The trip to the "island" of La Defense is several kilometers long, and somewhat boring. The monotony is broken in Porte Maillot with an ugly but simultaneously appealing building. A simulated odd door brakes a blind and flat facade, giving some expression to the whole. After the long minutes browsing your guides to discover what the hell is...

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  • Notre Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    We were staying near the Musée d'Orsay and the rue de Bac Metro station and one day decided to take one of the Paris Walks in that area. These are a box of cards and each card has a walk in a different part of Paris. Some are better than others, but all of them get you out into places you might not otherwise visit. On this one we walked down rue...

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  • Saint Eustache & Les Halles

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) was one of the principal government ministers during the reign of King Louis XIV. Like Louvois, his colleague and rival, Colbert had the reputation of being an able administrator and a workaholic. But he was also tyrannical, unscrupulous and over-ambitious, and he amassed a large personal fortune while conducting...

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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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  • Luxembourg Gardens

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    The Luxembourg palace was constructed by Maria Medici after death of her husband Henry the Fourth. She could not get used to an atmosphere of the Louvre and replaced it with an atmosphere of native Florence which she recreated in a palace and in a garden. You can watch my 5 min 09 sec Video Paris Jardin du Luxembourg out of my Youtube channel.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Saint Julien le Pauvre

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    This is different as it is a Greek Catholic rite church since the 19C in the quaint square Rene Viviani. The name is from the hospitalier of Saint Julien in the middle ages. Construction started by 1160, and even the University of Paris had courses here as well as the general assemblies until 1525. After many turbulents times, the church closed...

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  • Passy

    Paris Off The Beaten Path

    As I mentioned on my Wildbad im Schwarzwald page, one of the mysteries of operatic history is why the composer Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) abruptly stopped composing in 1829 at the age of 37, when he was at the height of his powers and had just scored a huge success with his opera Wilhelm Tell. Since he was a prolific composer who churned out...

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France Off The Beaten Path

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