BRETAGNE – Notes & Photos

Bretagne is possibly the most underrated corner of France, at least among the far-abroad travelers. While you’ll find many an American book, blog and podcast singing paeans to the glories of Dordogne, Collioure, the Loire Valley, Alsace, Normandy, the French Alps and Provence, Bretagne evades their attentions. And for the life of me I cannot…

ALSACE – Notes & Photos

Alsace just might be the most visually Disney-like place I have ever been to. Every town and village is candy-colored. Every half-timbered storefront beckons like the Witch’s house in ‘Hansel and Gretel’, with their candies and pretzels and storytelling signs. Roses and wisterias snake up facades and fountains. It’s almost too whimsical, almost fake. But…

BEAUNE, BURGUNDY – Notes & Photos

Beaune is all about wine. Every other shop is a wine store. The bars are predominantly wine bars. At a restaurant, the waiters will proudly spend 15 minutes telling you the particulars of the terroir whence your wine came, down to the history of the family that owns that particular vineyard.  If you want to…

PROVENCE and CÔTE D’AZUR – Notes & Photos

It was in Provence that I actually liked France for the very first time. It was October 2003, and I had finally escaped the misery of Paris for a long weekend with my girlfriends.  I still remember catching that first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea from the road — its sparkling waters blending into cloudless blue…

On loving and hating Paris

Oh, Paris… Paris, city of light and love, of D’Artagnan and Jean Valjean, of escargot and Le MacDo. Paris, the ultimate destination for millions of people around the world. Paris, my first independent travel experience. Paris has its own mythology.  It is the setting for hundreds of world-renowned tales, from the Three Musketeers to Amelie.…