.All Trips / Europe / France

France’s Loire River Valley — l’art de vivre (the art of living)

Loire Valley-2013-001-intro Chateau Usse

Many find a visit to the Loire Valley to be the highlight of their trip to France, as did we.   When we were planning our journey I discussed our itinerary with my friend, Wayne.  Wayne and his wife had traveled to France for their honeymoon and he shared with me that the best part of their trip was the time spent in the Loire Valley.  With this recommendation alone it was worth planning some time in the Loire and we’re so glad we did.

Loire is actually an Arabic name meaning “unpassable”, coined by the Moors as this valley was the northern limit of their penetration into Europe.  The Loire Valley traditionally separates Northern France from Southern France.  It …

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.All Trips / Europe / France

The Sun King’s Legacy: a visit to Versailles

Versailles-2013-001 intro Apollo Basin

Among the many wonderful palaces of Europe, Versailles is said to be the greatest and grandest of them all.  It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and is on almost every traveler’s list of “must see” destinations near Paris.  Versailles’ an easy 35 minute train ride southwest of Paris (RER-C line, about 4 trains every hour); from the train station it’s only a five minute walk to the entry of the Palace.  While grand in it’s scale and design, Versailles is not for everyone.  I have to admit I don’t quite get what a lot of the fuss is about, but I’ll explain more about that later.  First a little background…..

A Brief History of Versailles:

Versailles was a …

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