France Trip Planning: Part III

Eiffel Tower at Night

I  have one VERY exciting piece of information to share with you, about a tour company for Independent Travelers–just our speed.

First a few odds and ends:

We’ve launched the France movie marathon on my Netflix account, using many of the recommendations you showered upon us when I proclaimed Amelie the best French movie ever.

  1. First up: Charade, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and despite those stars, plus the worthy costar of various Paris locations (about 20 listed in Paris Movie Walks), it was NOT made by Alfred Hitchcock, as I erroneously assumed. Despite a laughably phony background on a float down the Seine, you’ll see some great Paris scenery, and Hepburn and Grant at their charming best.
  2. Second: Paris, Je T’Aime. I did not really count, but I believe that movie was mentioned more than any other movie in the comments section of my post on Amelie. Thanks to all of you for the recommendations. We saw parts of Paris we’ll never see in person–and some we probably would just as soon NOT see. (Ken, by the way, has decided he will NOT go to the Tuileries stop on the Metro–and those of you who saw the movie may remember why.)

Brushing up Le Francais.

  1. I like the Lonely Planet Phrasebook because it seems easy to find things, and has a good section on food, which always tends to be my main interest in any foreign country. (What? You mean You don’t hide the phrase book under a napkin and surreptitiously look up chaudrée when your waiter isn’t looking?) On the other hand, I’m not sure what use I will make of “Tu es de quel signe?” “What is your sign?” or the more direct, “Est ce que tu as un fetiche?” “Do you have a festish?”  And hiding the phrase book under a napkin is one thing, but under the pillow while you’re looking for “Easy, tiger!” (pg.117) is something else again.
  2. Another recent discovery that has given me a lot of fun every day is the terrific blog, French Word A Day, by a fellow Arizonan who married a handsome Frenchman and lives with him and their two children on their vineyard where he makes wine and she writes and sells books. Sigh! This is a blog for lovers of France, lovers of dogs, lovers of photography, lovers of words in either French or English.

Books and Maps

  1. When we visited Carmel recently, my brother and his wife kindly loaned us their (autographed–which means they think we’ll be honor-bound to give it back) copy of Around and About Paris by Thirza Vallois. This volume covers the 1st through the 7th arrondissements in much greater detail than anybody really needs, but like the Strolling Istanbul Guidebook, it is meant to be savored.
  2. While buying a Michelin France road map, I spotted a new-to-me map of Paris, called MapEasy’s Giudemap to Paris, and had to have it, too. It claims to be waterproof and tear resistant and it is colorful and looks easy to read and use. The proof is in the pudding, so I’ll take both it and the Streetwise Paris map (which turns out to have such small print that I have to carry a magnifying glass.)

The Most Important Tip I am Going to Give You

Check the NEW web site of France Made Easy.  Marie Cruikshank, a lovely Scottish lady, started a company called Scotland Made Easy many years ago, and because she loves France and is fluent in French, she has added France to her trip planning business. She plans the kind of tailor-made, exclusive trips for discerning travelers that have large travel libraries and watch lots of travel movies and want to know about the real country and the people who live there, not just the people who sit next to them in the tour bus. (Just like you and me).

Marie is helping Ken and me with a lot of the details of our trip and I know that I can trust her advice because she has personally checked out these places and knows whereof she speaks.  I’ll talk more later about the details of some of the wonderful plans she has for us in Normandy and Brittany, but I’ve gone on long enough for today.

If you have questions for Marie, please feel free to post them here, and I’ll ask her to drop by and try to reply. But do take a look at her web site first to get a feel for what she does.

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler’s Library, recreating her family’s past at Ancestors In Aprons. She writes frequently for Reel Life With Jane and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

Vera Marie Badertscher – who has written posts on A Traveler's Library.


About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons. She writes frequently for Reel Life With Jane and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

13 thoughts on “France Trip Planning: Part III

  1. Hi all, I’m in the middle of helping Vera sort out her trip to Paris, Normandy and Brittany and all looks exciting!From “the vibrant city of light” to cows grazing by orchards in sleepy Norman villages and where the houses have interesting wooden beams — Mont St Michel and much more!

    I am also in the process of sorting out my own trip to France to check out hotels and meet the owners – by train from Inverness in the north of Scotland!! All exciting but it looks exhausting when I look at all the places —
    My trip starts with the Eurostar in London and then Paris for 3 nights, a week in the Colmar Alsace area, then Paris, down to Lyon for a couple of nights, then up to Annecy and Chambery to meet a wine specialist who takes my clients walking round vineyards to meet the owners and have lunch or a picnic in the actual vineyard –From Chambery back to Paris and immediately go to the Loire Valley to stay in a lovely chateau for a night — followed by 3 nights in Paris to catch my breath!!
    I think I may need a holiday after all that but can’t wait to begin my adventure!!

  2. Sounds like you are doing some superb planning and that is half the fun!

    We’re in beautiful Provence now ( 3rd time on our world tour since 2006 and STILL can not get enough, so we will be back) and it is lovely. Slowly we make our way to Paris again with another stop in the Dordogne, more in the Loire again ( for us but not kidlet) and Versaille.

    I just discovered a new classic French movie and it’s a must if you plan to go to the Camargue which is fabulous! We stumbled upon the most amazing women dressed in traditional costumes, riding side saddle fast and leading a heard wild horses down the main street of Saintes maries de la Mer at sunset. Wow.

    There we learned about Albert Lamorisse White Mane ( Crin Blanc) and it is as beautiful and moving as my other favorite of his “The Red Balloon”. It’s long been a classic in France, but you or your readers may not know about it. ( I have a clip on my post about those amazing horses).

    http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/08/stunning-horses-in-the-camargue-france-family-travel-ideal-vacation-holiday-saintes-maries-de-la-mer.html#more

    It’s near Arles which is also beautiful and charming if you are headed that way.

    Enjoy! When do you head this way? We will be in France until the end of August.

  3. There is a chance I may be visiting France as part of a fischertechnik tour. Thanks! -r

  4. Vera, is your edition of Around and About Paris from the 1990s? Or is there a more recent version available?

    Love the picture you used at the top of this blog.

    Libbie

    1. Yes, this is a 1995 edition, reprinted in 1999, published in London. I think I’ve seen others that are broken up in smaller segments. I used the picture once before. As usual, it is from Flickr, and if you click on it you can learn more about the photo and the photographer. Glad you liked it.

  5. Hi Jessiev, Richard and Roxanne – I hope we can help with a trip to France whether long or short and we can sort to suit your own interests and will be delighted to do so! If you want to drive, ok or if you prefer to go by train – we can arrange getaways round that too! Just contact us and we will see what we can do for you.
    Best Wishes
    Marie (France Made Easy)

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