France

When

  • Paris in December 2011 for six days
  • Risoul in December 2011 for six days
  • Paris/Lille in December 2012 for a weekend
  • Morzine in December/January 2012/2013 for a week
  • Morzine in March 2013 for a weekend
  • Paris in May 2013 for a weekend

Places

Paris

  • Free walking tour to get your bearings and to check out Paris’ main sights including Notre Dame de Paris, view of the Eiffel Tower, Tuileries Gardens, Latin Quarter, view of Champs-Elysées, view of the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Palais Royal, Musée d’Orsay and more (click here for the website of the free walking tour I did);
  • The Louvre is huge and a bonus that on Friday nights it is ‘student’ night (which also includes ‘youth card’ holders from STA Travel) so FREE entrance! Saw the Mona Lisa and I was quite disappointed (despite the no crowds) that she was so smaller than what I expected;
  • Take a picnic lunch and sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur – you will even get offered beer or drinks from guys doing a dodgy and selling them individually;
  • Walk up Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe and sit down on a chair at the roundabout to see the many near-misses – apparently insurance will not cover this roundabout and once you watch for two minutes you will understand why – its nuts;
  • The lovelock bridge is choc-a-bloc with locks with lovers throwing the key in the Seine river.
Tourist!!
Tourist!!

Risoul

  • Snow!!! I didn’t even venture into the town here I was too busy out on the slopes trying not to fall over!!
  • We pretty much only got as far as La Grotte du Yéti Bar which was right next to our accommodation;
  • Such a thrill discovery new runs and snowboarding all over the mountains;
  • Give snow angels a try – good fun except when the snow gets in your clothes!!
Beautiful..
Beautiful..

Accommodation

  • St Christopher’s hostel in Paris was pretty well set up and the rooms very modern. The only issue I would have with this place is that it is quite a walk to any sites – tube stations are close by though.
  • The chalets we were at in Risoul did the job – I can’t remember the name of it as it was through the tour company but it suited us fine and even had lockers downstairs for our ski gear etc which is very handy.
The little town of Risoul..
The little town of Risoul..

Language

  • French but English is widely spoken and you will not have any issues.
  • Hello: Bonjour (French)
  • Thank you: Merci
  • Good bye: Au revoir
  • Yes / No: oui/non

Visa

  • Visa not required for Australians for a stay of up to 90 days

Money

  • Euro (0.73 EUR = $1 USD)

Food

  • Croissants and any pastry you can get from a boulangerie (bakery/patisserie) – you will not be disappointed
  • Crepes are a great meal – sweet or savoury and especially delicious and warming when in the French Alps
  • Crème brûlée!
  • Mussels are a well known French dish
  • Cheese fondue is great as well as any other cheese
  • French onion soup is big here
  • Ratatouille (a vegetable stew with olive oil, aubergine, courgette, bell pepper, tomato, onion and garlic)
  • Fresh baguettes with foi gras, ham and cheese is delish
  • Macaroons from Ladurée is pretty special
  • Escargots de Bourgogne (snails baked in their shells with parsley butter) – they were delicious and we even used the bread to soak up the juices at the end!!
  • French wine is also pretty good.!
    • The list could go on and on…
Yes I ate them and they were delicious..!
Yes I ate them and they were delicious..!

Tips and tricks

  • I recommend catching the Eurostar if possible – pretty surreal to sit back on a train (which I also recommend taking your own picnic of French delights on board) and go underwater back to the UK.

France blog posts

A view like no other..
A view like no other..

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