France Tag

paris, paris photography, banks of the seine, landmarks

Along the banks of the Seine

Paris, France Like many of the big European cities, Paris has two sides to it. In the smaller streets, through the quiet neighbourhoods and the suburban cafes, is the real city where the residents live and work. It’s a functioning metropolis where daily life revolves around the usual, where alarms in the morning get people out of bed, buses and trains get them to work, supermarkets fill their cupboards and bars provide some relaxation. The other city is for the tourists. You’ve seen it before on the postcards - the monuments and the museums. These are the landmarks the tourist buses will stop at for their get-on and get-off tours around the city. Paris has more than your average city and for most visitors there’s barely enough time to see them all. There’s certainly very little time to venture away from them to see anything else. But, by design or by good fortune,...

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23 August
Saint-Emilion, france, wine producing, wine in france, wine regions (10)

Wine in the French countryside

Visiting Saint-Emilion, France Thank goodness for those Romans. Who knows where I would have ended up drinking wine if it hadn’t been for them! Thankfully, because of their foresight, it was in the beautiful French country town of Saint-Emilion that I found myself. It was in the second century – almost two thousand years ago – that the Romans first planted vineyards here at Saint-Emilion. From that time the region has flourished and it is now one of the best known (and rightfully so!) wine-producing areas of the world. The three main grape varieties of the Saint-Emilion region are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. If that doesn’t mean much to you, don’t worry. All you need to know is that from these grapes are born some delicious red wines! And if you stay here, you can get a chance to travel around to some of the wineries and taste the best on...

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28 December
bordeaux, france, water, wine, quais, water mirror (10)

Bordeaux: The City of Water

Bordeaux, France It may be known as the region of wine but, to me, Bordeaux is all about the water. The sweet nectar of the vines may be its biggest export but the French city lives – and seems to literally breathe – by the water. Let’s start with the river: the majestic Garonne. Although Bordeaux is one of the most spread-out cities in Europe, all streets seem to lead towards the river. It is the heart of the urban sprawl, with is connected by the veins of the roads. And it is on this river that Bordeaux was able to build its wine empire, with easy transportation by boat straight out to the Bay of Biscay and into the Atlantic or around into the Mediterranean. The name ‘Bordeaux’ doesn’t translate perfectly into English, but it essentially means ‘water by the river bank’. I can’t think of a better way to capture the...

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05 December