St. Germain en Laye: Paris’s Royal Suburb

The Castle of Saint Germain en Laye

Saint Germain en Laye is an elegant, royal town located just a short drive (or RER line #1 trip) from Paris; a perfect spot for a day trip from Paris or for a quick overnight visit. Founded in 1020, Saint Germain en Laye is the birthplace of Louis XIV. The city features a vital, historic town center with 26 protected, expansive acres including many early 19th century arcaded houses. It is a lively ... Read Full Article

In Search of the Authentic Pint in Paris

Corcorans Pub in Paris

Of course there are great pubs in Dublin, Limerick and Galway, but what about Paris pubs? We have searched out the most authentic Irish pubs in Paris, because sometimes you just gotta have some pub grub and an authentic pint! Kitty O'Shea's Pub and Restaurant   One of the most authentic pubs in Paris, Kitty O'Shea's, is set right in the heart of Paris. The owner and wait-staff ... Read Full Article

Loire Valley: Ladies, Leonardo and Sleeping Beauty

Chenonceau Chateau in the Loire Valley

France's Loire Valley is renowned for its magnificent chateaux. Scores are scattered over the landscape and choosing which to see is a challenge. On this leg of our journey, John and I rented a car and made our home base in the quiet village of Chenonceaux, staying in a hotel just 300 meters from the chateau. Chenonceau Chateau is one of the most visited sites in France for good reason. ... Read Full Article

Luxury Hotel Barge Cruising on France’s Beautiful Burgundy Canal

Cruising on La Belle Epoque

I pedal leisurely along the towpath beside the Burgundy Canal, past neat rows of old oaks, maples, and poplars that form a tall, shady green cathedral along the flanks of the shallow canal. My bicycle’s tires crunch on the white limestone. Coming to a lock I stand on a small stone bridge that crosses over the canal. I’m waiting for La Belle Époque — the luxury hotel Barge that will be my home for ... Read Full Article

My Favorite Foods of Europe

Yummy Stroopwafels

To travel is to taste the world. And Europe presents a particularly eclectic hotchpotch of flavours. From the strange to the sublime, I’ve sampled various dishes and foodstuffs throughout my jaunts across the continent and here (in no particular order) are some of my personal favourites: Gran Canaria Though the Atlantic archipelago presents a popular European mix of English, German and Italian ... Read Full Article

Angoulême: Springboard to Southwest France

The Charente River

As one of four administrative regions that comprise the department of Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême is the capital of the Charente. Nearby Cognac, also in the Charente, is better known internationally but with its burgeoning hip comics industry Angoulême is giving Cognac a grand-cru run for its money. There’s plenty to see and do in Angoulême (see “Angoulême’s Fabulous Flights of Fancy” on ... Read Full Article

Five Movies to Watch before your Next European Vacation

Beautiful Austria

If you’re planning your next holiday in Europe but don’t know how you’ll get through the time before you leave, it’s a good idea to get settled on the couch with a travel-based film. Make some popcorn, put your comfy pants on, and indulge in a weekend movie marathon — only those shot in Europe though, of course! There have been dozens of great films set in European countries over the years, so it ... Read Full Article

Angoulême’s Fabulous Flights of Fancy

Angouleme City

One of the reasons I travel is to discover and learn. When I first visited Europe, I didn’t know what a rampart was. But as I travelled from one old French town to another I saw how towns, questing for invincibility, had fortified themselves with surrounding walls. They were standard issue in Europe of yore. As barbarous behavior diminished and towns grew, they eventually burst those walls leaving ... Read Full Article

The Five Best World War II Museums for Americans to Visit in Normandy

US memorial at Normandy

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 American, Canadian and British troops landed in rough seas along a sixty-mile series of flat sandy beaches on the French coast at Normandy. The liberation of France and Western Europe was underway. They fought their way up sloping white sand dunes, towering cliffs, and through small seaside villages until, after two month’s bitter fighting, they broke out of Normandy. ... Read Full Article

Back in Time to Villeneuve les Avignon

Sur la pont du Avignon

Peppered with gorgeous towns, lush vineyards and sweeping rural scenes, Provence remains one of France’s most sought after getaways. While soaking it all up through the window of a romantic TGV train remains an alluring option, we decided to hit the road and satiate our wanderlust in a hired black Volvo. While it wasn’t quite a DeLorean, it took us through Provence, and six centuries back in time ... Read Full Article