Saturday, 26 September 2009

A new low cost and environmentally friendly way to cross the channel

Ryanair may be in trouble if this new, low cost and environmentally friendly way to cross the channel takes off.

There is still the need to hire a car when you get to France, but there can be no doubting that for members of the green parade this new mode of transport will be a big hit, and for the financially challenged it is difficult to see how a more economic option could be found.

Actually by going via Dunkirk you will find that the first motorway section down to Lille will actually be free, not the case if you go via Calais, so hiring that car at the other side should not be so much of an imposition.

Hope you find this new mode of transportation to your liking. By the way if the video doesn't run blame Google, they don't seem to be able to support their own software adequately, but it is worth persevering.



The source of the video is unknown to me, but I will be happy to give it the proper credit should the owner(s) come forward.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

An American Viewpoint of France

I wanted to help out an American friend who has a brilliant blog on the American political system called Dixies Political Blog a very insightful look at American politics and one which I think will help you understand a little more about the American Psyche. Its well worth a visit if for no other reason than to get a sensible view of the politics in the States.

Photograph courtesy of Creative Commons

Of course in my other role as super Internet Marketer extraordinaire, I couldn't just post about a political blog without finding some relevancy to the subject of travel, how I could I put such a black mark over my search engine optimization expertise.

So I looked for an American slant about travel to France to add to my post. This is when I stumbled across Guidelines for American Tourists in France which is one of the funniest posts I have read for an age. Here are a few extracts:

General Overview France is a medium-sized foreign country situated in the continent of Europe. It is an important member of the world community, though not nearly as important as it thinks. It is bounded by Germany, Spain, Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular consequence and with not very good shopping.

France is a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and EuroDisney. Among its contributions to western civilization are champagne, Camembert cheese and the guillotine.


Although France likes to think of itself as a modern nation, air conditioning is little used and it is next to impossible to get decent Mexican food. One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that the people willfully persist in speaking French, though many will speak English if shouted at. As in any foreign country, watch your change at all times.


Safety

In general, France is a safe destination, though travellers are advised that, from time to time, it is invaded by Germany. By tradition, the French surrender more or less at once and, apart from a temporary shortage of Scotch whiskey and increased difficulty in getting baseball scores and stock market prices, life for the visitor generally goes on much as before.

A tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath the English Channel has been opened in recent years to make it easier for the Government to flee to London.

Cuisine


Let's face it, no matter how much garlic you put on it, a snail is just a slug with a shell on its back. Croissants, on the other hand, are excellent, though it is impossible for most Americans to pronounce this word. In general, travellers are advised to stick to cheeseburgers at leading hotels such as Sheraton and Holiday Inn.

Conclusion


France enjoys a rich history, a picturesque and varied landscape, and a temperate climate. In short, it would be a very nice country if it weren't inhabited by French people.
The best thing that can be said for it is that it is not Germany.

Now you might be fooled into thinking he is just picking on French people but there are one or two clues that he might be taking the mickey out of Americans as well e.g. "American travellers are advised to travel in groups and to wear baseball caps and colorful trousers for easier mutual recognition."

There is one small problem with this blog and that is the owner David actually lives in the Wirral near to Liverpool in the UK and I have no idea whether he is in fact an Englishman or even if he wrote this article but I don't think we should let semantics detract from the hilarity of his post and I would urge you to visit the page and read it in full.

In the meantime I will contact him and invite a comment on this post with confirmation of his nationality and whether he was actually the author of said article.

Don't forget to visit Dixies Political Blog either as it was her postings that inspired me to find the American Guide to France.

Monday, 14 September 2009

French Life Summer Highlights

The summer season is drawing to a close in Languedoc Roussillon and it is time to have a little think about the best bits from this year.

Highlight number 1

I think it can be said without fear of contradiction that this summer was absolutely glorious, we did at times see temperatures touching 41C(105F), fortunately that was on the coast where you could benefit from a cooling breeze coming off the Mediterranean. Further inland temperatures maxed out at a positively balmy 36C(97F) where there was many an evening spent sitting out until midnight waiting for things to cool down for a better chance of sleep. Apologies to those in the UK that had to suffer the stereotypical British summer, but at least there was no flooding this year and I heard there were a few days of sunshine, so we haven't had it all our own way.

Highlight number 2

The odd electric storm or two, this may seem a bit of a contradiction but when you have been roasted for a couple of weeks or more then the arrival of a good storm with a downpour of rain and a spectacular lightening show came as a welcome relief, well as long as it didn't hang around too long. I think we only had about 3 of these little interludes but they were very nice when they arrived. I didn't quite manage a flash of lightening, but this is the sky lit up by the storm.

Highlight number 3

The sunflowers, this years crop in front of Le Moulin, which were pretty impressive if a little trifid like, the variety in front of the house were a good 6 feet tall and the flowers on the top were like huge saucers of sun. The flowers lasted for about 3 weeks from around the end of July through the beginning of August giving you that quintessential feeling of being in France.

Highlight number 4

La Cite Ablaze at Carcassonne castle to celebrate Bastille Day, one of the best pyrotechnic displays in the South of France which takes place on July 14th and kicks off at around 10.00p.m. Amazing fireworks that attract crowds of thousands and are almost as good as mother natures efforts.

Highlight number 5

The guests at our self catering accommodation here at Le Moulin, we have had some really nice people to stay again this year and have enjoyed both their company and their very nice comments in our guest book. Not that this means we will be getting complacent, attention to detail can make the difference to someone having a nice holiday versus someone having a great holiday. So a big thank you to the guests that have been and the ones yet to arrive.

All in all a lovely summer and we are now looking forward to the rest of the year and a few more bookings as we go into autumn. I think we need to get that log burning stove installed for some cozy evenings in.


Sunday, 6 September 2009

French Life - evening entertainment in Languedoc Roussillon


The summer is drawing to a close and the autumn is just starting to peep over the parapet. Evenings are getting a little chillier even though the sun is still very warming during the day.

We were drinking a glass of wine the other evening, sitting on the veranda and taking in the view when we noticed just how beautiful and blue the sky was and how it was contrasted by the most wonderful cloud.

How does the poem by William Wordsworth go ' I wandered lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o'er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd.....'

Well this evening we were the crowd and the cloud was our evening entertainment, as we sat and sipped and chatted, it still wasn't cold and we were still able to wear shorts and T shirts quite comfortably.

I have to say you can get the biggest wide screen, high definition TV in the world but you won't get a better picture than this one. I suppose I am waxing a little lyrical as I write this but I just needed a written account of just how wonderful this time of the year can be. It actually got better the later it got, the moon came up and was very full, shining through the trees and lighting the garden almost as well as daylight.


I am sure there will be a few people who will think I have lost the plot when they read this, but the last time I really stopped to consider the environment we live in and the peace and serenity it can offer, if allowed, was a little while ago now.


In our busy lives we can all too easily let moments and evenings like this pass unnoticed and that, I think, is a little bit of a crime.

So next time you get to relax for a while, stop take a look around and see if there is anything for you to appreciate. I am pretty sure there will be, even if you are not living in the South of France at one of the best chill out places I know.

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