Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Every year, for the holidays, the main hall under the magnificent cupola is lavishly decorated with a Christmas tree and this year it is with an upside down one.
For a Parisian Christmas holiday visit www.enchanted-france.com
#Paris, # Galleries Lafayette, # Paris Christmas
Monday, December 8, 2014
|Photo: Enchanted France|
Today the the Church of Saint Germain des Pres sits prettily in the middle of one of the liveliest districts of Paris that attracts locals and tourists far and wide. Its belfry rises up proudly as a witness of one thousand years of turbulent yet colorful Parisian history. Hah, if walls could only talk!!
|Cafe les Deux Magots facing the Church of Saint Germain des Pres|
For travel to Paris and France's countryside, visit my website www.enchanted-france.com
tags: Paris, Saint Germain des Pres, France
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Musee: Hospice Comtesse de Lille
Office du Tourisme de Lille
The event is enlivened by music and other street entertainment and for hungry shoppers and vendors, the traditional mussels , french fries and beer are a "must" to keep going.
Office de Tourisme
Friday, March 7, 2014
Paris has been the center of so many literary works -Victor Hugo's "les Miserables" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame , the many novels of Balzac and Emile Zola ; Henri Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" and on and on. Here are two most evocative reads about Paris :
|Hemingway in front of Shakespeare &Co.|
Emile Zola "Ventre de Paris" (Belly of Paris) . This mid 19th century novel depicts the life and struggles of the working class in Paris around the busy central market of Les Halles . Zola was remarkably precise in detailling the sensations- smells, sound, colors of the market. This atmospheric neighborhood depicted by Zola is only a shadow of itself today. Gone are the central market Balthar pavillons and the workers and vendors that populated this very intense and picturesque neighborhood; they have been replaced by trendy boutiques and chic cafes. Other oeuvres of Zola featuring 19th century Paris include notably "Nana" "Au Bonheur des Dames" (Ladies' Paradise), "L'Assommoir" and "l'Oeuvre".
|Grand Hotel Plage-Cabourg|
Marcel Pagnol and Jean Giono are the quintessential authors from Provence. We hear the sunny and colorful accents of the south of France when we read the works of these two authors. Marcel Pagnol, evoked his early life growing up in around Marseille in two books: "Gloire de mon Pere" (my Father's Glory) and "Chateau de ma Mere" (My Mother's castle). In his other works Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources", Marcel Pagnol depicted the miserable and hard scrabble life of Provence countryside and its people, their superstitions and greed. Gionno, a native of Manosque described the countryside life of Haute Provence in his works such "the baker's wife" (adapted to the screen by Marcel Pagnol); the "Horseman on the Roof".
The more recent memoir, "A Year in Provence by English author Peter Mayle is set in Menerbes, a picturesque village in the Luberon hills where the author recounts through expatriate eyes his hilarious adventures with local customs when building a country home. The book and its sequels "Encore Provence" and "Toujours Provence" have brought on notoriety and many tourists to the little village and Provence in general.
If you want to channel the spirit of F. Scott Fitgerald, head to the French Riviera. In the early 1920's the american writer and his wife Zelda moved to a rented villa in Saint Raphael where he worked on the the Great Gatsby. They would often drive to nearby cap d'Antibes to meet friends for drinks and sunbathe on the beach. In 1926 , needing respite from the success of the Great Gatsby, F. Scott and Zelda retreated again to the peacefulness of the Riviera , this time renting the villa St. Louis in Antibes. It later became the art deco hotel Belles Rives, a much sought after 5 star Riviera retreat today. "Tender is the night' is a story of a wealthy American couple sojourning on the French Riviera and their tortuous relationship.
Happy reading and Happy travels !!
For custom travels to France visit us www.enchanted-france.com
#France #Paris # French Riviera, #Provence #books
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
|Nice OTC23 Light@H.Lagarde|
Vive Carnaval! Vive Nice! and Vive French Gastronomy!
Visit www.enchanted-france.com for your next vacation to Nice and the French Riviera
#Nice, #Nice Carnaval , # French Riviera
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Chenonceau is one of the most of the loveliest and most graceful chateaux of the Loire Valley. It is built over the Cher river and owes its elegance to women's influence notably Diane de Poitiers, the favorite of King Henry II. At the King untimely death during a joust tournament, the Queen Catherine de Medici expelled Diane and took over the castle. She then undertook to embelish it further,built the covered gallery over the river and enlarged the Italian gardens. The chateau was spared from destruction at the French Revolution because its then owner Madame Dupin (Grandmother of author George Sand) convinced the Revolutionary Guards that the bridge was essential being the only to cross the river for many miles
The Most Majestic
By far, Chambordis the grandest, most extravagant and most royal of the châteaux de la Loire. Built by Francois I in 1519 on the site of a hunting lodge in the Forêt de Boulogne this castle counts 440 room, 84-staircase, 365 fireplaces. A tour of the chateau will you take through many grandiose apartments but most stunning is the double spiral staircase possibly conceived by Leonardo da Vinci. The park is a national hunt reserve and enclosed by a wall, the longest one in france (20 miles)
Other medieval fortresses in the Loire Valley are Angeais and Loches. The former was built by Saint Louis between 1228 and 1238 and is home to the priceless tapestry of the Acopalypse; its surrounding moat is now a lovely garden. A tour of the medieval fortress castle of Loches, will include the dungeons and cells where louis XI kept prisonners in cages.
tags; #loire valley,# france castles; # loire valley castles,# Chenonceau,#Chambord, # Villandry, # Cheverny, # Chateau de Blois# , # Chateau du Rivau, #Langeais castle
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Rouen is situated on the curve of the Seine River, 140 km northwest of the French capital.
Its long and rich history dates back to its founding by a Gaulish tribe, the Veliocasses who named it Ratumacos. When the Roman conquered Gaul, they changed its name to Rotomagus and it became a thriving gallo-roman settlement. Flash forward a few centuries, in the late 10th century, the Vikings overrun the Lower Seine Valley and took over Rouen. In 911 Rouen became the capital of the duchy of Normandy until William the Conqueror built his castle in Caen in 1060.
For a time, Rouen was a prosperous town of a thriving independent Norman duchy until 1204 when the King of France, Philip Augustus entered Rouen and annexed it to the French crown thus ending Normandy sovereignty status. Two centuries later, during the Hundred Years War Rouen surrendered to the King Henry V of England in 1419 who reclaimed Normandy back to the Plantagenet Dynasty. As the capital of English power in occupied France, Rouen became the site of Joan of Arc's trial and execution. She was burnt at the stake on Place du Marche May 1431. Rouen was recaptured by the French King Charles VII in 1449, ending 30 years of English occupation.
Over the centuries, Rouen thrived as a commercial and artistic center. In the Renaissance and throughout the 17th century it was renowned for its cloth, ceramics and naval capabilities. During WWII Rouen suffered much destruction as a number of historical monuments were heavily damaged during the Battle of Normandy that took place between March and August 1944. The city was liberated by the Canadian on August 30, 1944 ending a four year German occupation. In modern times the historic center of Rouen has been meticulously restored and since 2002 has been labelled by France's ministry of Culture and Patrimony as a City of Art and History.
Its mainly pedestrian core is fun to explore starting with the gothic Cathedral Notre Dame dating from the 12th century and remodelled in the 15th and 16th century, its two assymetric towers- Butter tower and Saint Romain and the central Lantern Tower dominate the city skyline. The intricately carved facade has been the favorite subject of painter Claude Monet in his 30 painting series of the cathedral executed between 1892-93 at different time and light of the day. The paintings can be viewed at the Orsay museum in Paris.
|Palais de Justice|
|Gros Horloge- OT Rouen|
|Musee des Beaux Arts-OT Rouen|
Join Enchanted France small group tour to Normandy and Loire Valley Castles this spring for a visit of Rouen .Click here for details.
#Rouen, #travel France, #Normandy, #Normandy Travel, #Rouen Cathedral, #Rouen gastronomy
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Paul Cezanne grew up in the comfortable bourgeois life of Aix en Provence. He attended College Bourbon where he met his friend and future writer Emile Zola. Complying to his father's wishes he attended Law school at the University of Aix en Provence. However, Cezanne wanting to pursue his artistic inclinations left Aix en Provence for Paris 1861 at the objections of his father. After five months in Paris, he was gripped with self-doubt and returned to Aix to work in his father's banking house. This was short lived, as Cezanne returned to Paris in 1862 to paint.
During the 1860's Cezanne painted in a dark tonal palette reminiscent of painters he admired such as Courbet, Delacroix and Manet. Then in 1872, he moved to Pontoise, outside of Paris to be near his friend Camille Pissaro who encouraged him to paint outdoor to capture the natural light and impressions of nature following a new technique dubbed Impressionism. Cezanne's canvases started to gain lighter and more brilliant tones. Exhibiting in the Salon des Refuses in 1874 and 1877, he however, failed to gain critical and commercial success.
|Mont Ste. Victoire-|
In 1886, at age 47 Cezanne married Hortense; his father died the same year living him with a substantial inheritance. Subsequent years saw the painter secluding himself, painting still lifes, landscapes, portraits of locals and bathers. His quirky and troubled behavior led to a strained relationship between the couple who spent much time apart- Hortense living in Paris with Paul Jr. and Paul Cezanne living in Aix en Provence at Jas de Bouffan with his mother and sister .
Cezanne gained more and more status in the late 1890's; his painting were successfully exhibited in the Salon des Independents in Paris in 1899, 1901, 1902 and in 1904 he was given an entire room at the Salon d'Automne.
His legacy today is considered pivotal in the development of modern art being the bridge between Impressionism and the development of cubism. He was admired by Picasso and Matisse who are believed to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all."
|Jas de Bouffan-|
National Gallery- Prague
We invite you to join our small group tour to Provence to visit Aix en Provence and Atelier Cezanne. Click here for more details. Provence Escapde
Tag: Paul Cezanne, Aix en Provence, Mount Sainte Victoire, Les Lauves studio
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Paris and Ile de France Date: April 27-May 3, 2014
Provence Escapade Date: May 3-9, 2014
Normandy and Loire Valley Castles May 11-18, 2014
Enchanted France tours are designed to offer an intimate and authentic travel experience in France with a high level of quality and personalized services. These culturally enriching expeditions are perfect for first time as well as more seasoned travelers; for travelers who like a structured group program as well as independent travelers who like a certain amount of flexibility yet have a bit of structure.
10 reasons you will like Enchanted France Tours
- Authentic Experience
- Culturally Enriching
- Small group Size (no more than 12 people)
- Personal Attention
- Quality of Services in accommodations and tours
- Regional gastronomy
- Relaxed and well paced
- Free time for independent musings
- The company of like-minded travelers
We hope you can join us in 2014 for unique travel experiences in France.
Book before February 28 and save $100 per person mention code ST014.
Paris and Ile de France Adventure
This is a unique cultural adventure through Paris and the Ile de France, the historical cradle of the Kingdom of France. Since the time of Childebert I, Paris was the administrative and cultural capital of the French kingdom while the surrounding countryside was the pleasure ground of the kings and where they built beautiful retreats.
- In Paris visit: Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle,
- Walk in the footsepts of Impressionist painters and visit the Orsay Museum
- Explore Le Marais and 17th century architecture
- Outside of Paris: visit castles of Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte and tour Chartres cathedral
- Stay in charming hotel in Paris
- Gourmet meals
- Roman architecture : Pont Du Gard ; Arles' Arena and Vaison la Romaine
- Irresistible Provencal towns: Avignon ; St. Remy de Provence; Aix en Provence
- Picturesque perched villages: Gordes; les Baux; Roussillon
- Savoir vivre :: colorful markets ; Chateauneuf du Pape wine tasting; olive oil tasting
- Beautiful landscape : Alpilles Hills; Luberon National Park; vineyards and Olive groves
- Charming hotels in the heart of Avignon
- Gourmet meals
- A/C minicoach transportation in Provence
- Fully escorted and expertly guided
- Small intimate group
- Monet's Garden in Giverny
- Rouen Cathedral
- Normandy D-Day Landing sites
- Mont St. Michel Abbey
- Castles: Chenoceau, Amboise, Chambord, Villandry
- Manor Clos Luce