The Ghost of Van Gogh: A Tour through Arles and Saint Remy

Reproduction of The Yellow House

I rested my hands against the windowsill of van Gogh’s bedroom in the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul, an asylum in Saint-Rémy, and peered out at the painter’s Provence: rolling wheat fields bordered by olive trees, a purple-tinged mountain silhouette sweeping the horizon, a golden sun illuminating it all. I was mesmerized by this view, all the more knowing that Vincent van Gogh stood in this very ... Read Full Article

Uzes: a Treasure in France’s Languedoc Roussillon

Small cafe in Uzes

If you’ve never been to the Languedoc Roussillon region of France, you are missing a whole lot, including an opportunity to visit the beautiful town of Uzes. As a matter of fact, I recommend that you spend an entire week in Uzes and use it as a hub from which to explore the region. Why Visit Uzes? This beautiful town, set above the wild lands of Languedoc, is a place to discover “France ... Read Full Article

Paris: Beyond the Tourist Haunts

Fondation Louis Vuitton

This year, we decided to take a river cruise on the Seine into Normandy, spending four leisurely days beforehand in Paris. After all, I'd never pass up the opportunity to spend time in Paris. We travel to Paris regularly, so we are always looking for new and interesting things to do, beyond the regular tourist haunts. Here's a rundown of what we did this summer. Three of us arrived on a ... Read Full Article

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