Sunday, November 27, 2016

Paris Shines Brighter in December

Planning a trip to Paris in December is a great idea for a number of reasons notably decent airfares and hotel rates.  Not negligibly, the City of Light shines brighter during the holiday season and offers a slew of activities to make your visit fun and memorable.  Here are some attractions that will put you in a festive mood when visiting Paris in December.



  • Christmas decorations and lights throughout the the city.
  • Christmas market along the Champs Elysees
  • Ice skating rinks like on Place de l'Hotel de Ville or indoor at the Grand Palais
  • Whimsical holiday window displays at the department stores
  • Scrumptious holiday food.




Lights on everywhere!! The Champs Elysees Avenue, street markets, the monuments, department stores, boutiques and restaurants are beautifully decorated and illuminated for the Christmas season.






It's been a long time tradition for the Parisian department stores to decorate their windows with whimsical musically animated scenes that are sure to please the little kid in all of us.








Many streets hold a Christmas market but the largest one is to be found along the Avenue of the Champs Elysees between Concorde Square and the Champs Elysees roundabout.  Here hundreds of little chalet-like stands line up offering strollers a chance to buy holiday gifts, ornaments, regional products and all kind of delectable goodies like hot cocoa, roasted chestnuts, crepes, cotton candy and more.






Oh what fun!! imaging skating outdoor in front of the Paris City Hall or facing the Eiffel Tower on Place du Trocadero? There is even a small rink set up on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower; here you are sure to be awed by the view!!.  There is also a much larger indoor skating rink installed inside the Grand Palais, on the Champs Elysees; a beautiful building built for the 1900 World's Fair.



First, you will feast your eyes looking at all tantalizing displays of Christmas specialities and be sure to treat yourself to holiday pate, foie gras, fresh oysters, cheeses and the ubiquitous Buche de Noel (Christmas log).















For your custom holiday travel package to Paris, visit my website www.enchanted-france.com or email your request at contact@enchanted-france

#Paris #ParisinChristmas #ParisTravel

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fall Exploration of the Alsatian Wine Road

Fall is a great time to explore the wine road of Alsace.  You will enjoy the picturesque countryside of rolling hills covered in rust colored vineyards and picture-book villages. After the  summer trafic jams the scenic country roads of Alsace regain some peace and quiet to be  left for you to discover at a leisurely pace in pleasant Indian summer temperatures.

Alsace is situated in the northeast corner of France  on the west bank of the Rhine River and shares borders with Germany and Switzerland.


The famed Alsace wine road runs 170 km from north to south passing through seventy wine-growing villages, many being considered to be the most beautiful villages in France. Starting in Strasbourg , the capital of Alsace and ending in Colmar , its wine capital,  your journey along the scenic road will let you  explore historical sites, pretty villages, meet winegrowers,  taste their wines as well savor the many  local specialities that make Alsace a top gastronomic  destination.





Strasbourg makes for a great starting point for its easy access by air, train and roads.  In Strasbourg discover the picturesque historical center where stands for some 800 years the gorgeous gothic cathedral Notre Dame constructed from the pink-sandstone quarried in  the nearby Vosges Mountains. You will be charmed by  the picturesque neighborhood of la Petite France lined with flowered timber-framed houses and you will  delight at the many inviting squares filled with cafes and winstubs where you can sip a local beer or glass of wine and feast on Alsatian specialities like Choucroute,  baekeoffe or tarte flambĂ©e.







Historic sites and monuments
Just 40km southwest  of  Strasbourg  you can stop at Mont Saint Odile.  Named for the Patron saint of Alsace  this hill top is the site of a convent which has welcomed pilgrims since the  16th century.  You can visit the convent with its chapel and cloister and  enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Alsace plains and  mountains.  

Further south you will find the Chateau du Haut Koenigsberg.  This red sandstone medieval castle stands on top of a rocky promontory  over 700 meters high. The original 12th century fortress has been dismantled and rebuilt a number of times over the centuries in a land that had been bitterly contested. The present castle was rebuilt in the early 20th century by King Willhem II in the medieval style with turrets, towers, battlements, drawbridges and moat. There is plenty to explore inside and around the castle. 


 Picturesque Villages
 On your journey along the wine road, you will be beckoned by many picture-postcard worthy villages with their characteristically Alsatian  geranium-bedecked timber-frame houses. Villages considered the prettiest  of Alsace include Obernai, Barr, Dambach, Ribeauville, Riquewhir, Eguisheim, Kaysersburg , Turkheim just to name a few. Meander the villages'  cobblestone lanes to  explore their unique architectural heritage of ancient gates, medieval walls, churches, town halls,market places and attractive Medieval and Renaissance houses.


Vineyards

Meandering along the Route du Vin you will pass rows after rows of well tended vineyards.  Alsatian wines use specific variety of grapes; their AOC bear the name of the grape variety.
Alsace counts seven AOC  grape wines;  Six white wines:  Gewurtztraminer,  Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris,  Sylvaner, Muscat, and Pinto Gris;  and one red or rose wine: Pinot Noir.  In autumn during the harvest many wine related events take place and visitors are welcomed to visit cellars to meet the wine growers and sample the fruit of their vines. 






Colmar
A must-see on the wine route of Alsace is the charming town of Colmar, considered to be he capital of  Alsace wine. You will be enchanted by its old town lined with colorful houses, particularly in the picturesque neighborhood of La Petite Venise alongside the River Lauch.  Not to be missed is a visit of the superb Unterlinden Museum where you can admire a masterpiece from the 16th century-- the Isenheim Altarpiece



For travel planning to Alsace visit Enchanted France - call 323 9311769 or email contact@enchanted-france.com

#Alsace #vacationInFrance #AlsaceWineRoad #Colmar #Strasbourg




















Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Conquest of England by William of Normandy ( the Conqueror )



On this day September 28, 1066 after a two day long crossing of the Channel,  William I , Duke of Normandy and his army landed on the coast of England in Penvensey Bay to claim the throne of England from "usurper" King Harold.   He met the Anglo-Saxon army of king Harold at Hastings on October 14 and in the battle that ensues Harold was killed.  William, then went on to conquer England and was crowned King in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.

Ships set Sails- 

You can visit a colorful pictorial rendition of the Conquest of England by William the Conqueror in Bayeux.  Dating from the 11th century, it is believed the embroidery was commissioned by Bishop Odo, a half brother of William and for centuries it was displayed in the Cathedral of Bayeux.   This amazingly well-preserved needlepoint measures 70 meters long and 50 centimeters tall and is made up of fifty scenes which depict the preparation of the invasion, the crossing of the Channel and  the battle of Hastings.

Having survived for so many centuries the ravage of the Revolution and numerable wars, the tapestry is now  inscribed as a  UNESCO World Heritage site and can be viewed  at the Tapestry Museum in Bayeux, a visit you should not miss.

Battle of Hastings



#Bayeux #BayeuxTapestry #Normandy
pictures courtesy of BayeuxTapestry.org




Saturday, September 24, 2016

France Gastronomy Fair 2017

This weekend, France celebrates its gastronomy. Ever since UNESCO declared  France's gastronomy as a World Intangible Heritage in 2010, the country has devoted a weekend in late September to rejoice in its culinary traditions.  All throughout France and its overseas departments, people will get together to partake at banquets, picnics, chef demonstrations, even conferences.   The theme this year centers around the cuisine of the people.   It is not necessarily about Haute Cuisine, it is everyday cooking prepared at home
with care using fresh locally grown products and shared convivially with family and friends or eaten at the local bistro and country inn.  Each region has its specialties from the Choucroute of Alsace to the Fondue from Savoie, from the escargots de Bourgogne to Bouillabaisse from Marseille and what about the Cassoulet of Toulouse and Crepes from Brittany or the Quiche from Lorraine ?.  This sampling of specialities have been popularized around the world and tourists from far and wide have come to France to taste these famous dishes.   In France  these culinary wonders  are simply served at a family get-together Sunday meal and even in children's school lunch dining halls.  As we celebrate French gastronomy , let me
 call.. A table everybody!!




Enchanted France specializes in custom travel to France.  Visit www.enchanted-france.com

#France #FetedelaGastronomy #FrenchCuisine #frenchGastronomy


Friday, August 19, 2016

European Driving Holiday

While it’s nice to experience all that one single European city like Paris has to offer, it’s nice to branch out and see as much scenery and culture as you can. What better way than through an independent driving tour? After all, there’s truly nothing like driving amongst slopping and beautiful landscapes, windows rolled down, hair rustling in the fresh  countryside air. At Enchanted France, we strive to provide you with a truly unforgettable experience and driving tours are just that. 

When traveling within a new culture, you may be uncertain of which sights to see, which destinations to visit, and which direction to travel. Don’t miss out on the opportunity of seeing just as much as you can. With our selection of European driving holidays, you’re provided all you need to have a truly fabulous time, including a rental car, a personalized itinerary with map and directions, and accommodations within a luxurious hotel or chateau.



Explore France vineyards in Bordeaux, Burgundy or Cognac; view the majesty of the French Alps or Pyrenees mountains; or discover  the timeless beauty of Normandy or Provence, all from the comfort of your car. Traveling independently, either on your own or with a loved one, allows you to tailor the trip to fit your needs, stopping to see the sights, tasting the food and meeting the locals  along the way!  
So what are you waiting for?  fall is a great time to take the road and explore the beautiful countryside of France.


Visit us online www.enchanted-france.com today to browse our complete selection of independent driving tours and plan your retreat today.




#France #driving tours# # France Travel Specialist # European driving tours

Monday, May 2, 2016

Leonardo's Abode in the Loire Valley



Clos Luce
Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life at the court of Francois I until his death on May 2, 1519.  The Renaissance master, came to live in 1516 in Amboise to be close to the French king. He was given the use of the manor of the Clos Luce, located 500 meters from the royal castle of Amboise in the Loire Valley. Leonardo is buried in the Chapel of Saint Hubert in the royal castle.






You can visit Leonardo's  manor house and Park.   Inside you can view  rooms furnished with period Renaissance pieces  as well as a museum  exhibiting models of the machines the master imagined such as flying machine, the parachute and the helicopter.  The   6 hectares park also features larger renditions of Leonardo's  engeneering inventions like a double-deck bridge, a machine gun, a tank.



Did you know that the manor and the castle were linked via an underground passage which the King and the painter used to meet frequently?  The king and the painter became great friends and whether it is a fact or fiction, as reported by Vassari,  the King was at Leonardo's deathbed as depicted by later painters like Ingres. You can view this painting at the Petit Palais in Paris.

Of note, when Leonardo's left Italy, he took many of his works including  the Mona Lisa.  Upon his death, the painting was sold by his assistant Salai to the King and it's been ever since  part of  France's great art collection.

"Francois I Receives the last Breath of leonardo Da Vinci"
by Ingres (Petit Palais)


For your custom travel panning to France, contact www.enchanted-france.com 
#Amboise #travelFrance# #LoireValley# #ClosLuce #LeonardodaVinci

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Driving Vacations through the French Countryside

While Paris has so much to offer and is the  number one tourist destination in the world, it’s nice to take the road to explore France's countryside and experience much scenery and culture as you can. What better way than through an independent driving tour? After all, there’s truly nothing like driving amongst slopping and beautiful landscapes, windows rolled down, hair rustling in the fresh  countryside air. At Enchanted France, we strive to provide you with a truly unforgettable experience and driving tours are just that. 


When traveling within a new culture, you may be uncertain of which sights to see, which destinations to visit, and which direct to travel. Don’t miss out on the opportunity of seeing just as much as you can. With our selection of France driving holidays, you’re provided all you need to have a truly fabulous time, including a rental car, a personalized itinerary with map and directions, and accommodations within a luxurious hotel or chateau.




Explore France vineyards in Bordeaux, Burgundy or Champagne; View the majesty of the French Alps or Pyrenees mountains; or discover  the timeless beauty of the villages of Normandy or Provence, all from the comfort of your car. Traveling independently, either on your own or with a loved one, allows you to tailor the trip to fit your needs, stopping to see the sights, tasting the food and meeting the locals  along the way!  

So what are you waiting for?  Spring is a great time to take the road and explore the beautiful countryside of France.


Visit us online www.enchanted-france.com today to browse our complete selection of independent driving tours and plan your retreat today.

#France #driving tours# # France Travel Specialist # European driving tours