The Joie de Vivre in France

by Emma Hackwood
French Riviera, Cote D’Azur

Marissa Rother, France

Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, shopaholic or romantic, France has something for everyone. It’s geography stretches from rugged coastline to seemingly infinite beaches and offers a traveller like Marissa Rother a chance to discover the true meaning of ‘joie de vivre’:

France certainly isn’t the most unique destination. But after travelling all over the world to such places as Brunei and Bosnia, I can honestly say my recent 10-day trip to France was one of the best.

Having only been to Paris 10 years ago with family, I was a bit nervous to go back. Unfortunately, there are many negative opinions on the people, food, and safety in France. But I can honestly say, the world has never been more wrong. Firstly, French people were a delight. Helpful and excited to share their country with us, they made our trip a breeze. Next and most important, French food! I consider myself a foodie of sorts. I eat anything and everything. Half of a trip for me is tasting local foods. I must admit, I was a little scared that the portion sizes would be enough for a mouse. Long story short, I gained 5 pounds in 10 days!

For a classic French steak tartare, head to Polidor is Paris’ Latin quarter. Made famous in Woody Allen’s recent film “Midnight in Paris”, this restaurant has been the choice of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Salvador Dali to name a few. For the largest pasta dish you’ve ever seen in your life, look no further than La Favola on Nice’s famed Cours Saleya.

France truly is everything we imagine – romantic, artsy, picturesque, and a cheese haven. Everywhere in France has something truly amazing and different to offer. Paris has the most amazing sites in the world – the Eiffel Tower, the river Seine, le Louvre, Sacre Coeur, and Notre Dame Cathedral. There is nothing better than spending your days wandering aimlessly across Paris discovering new cafes, laneways, and boutiques.

Moving Southwest took me to Saint Emilion, a UNESCO protected village on the outskirts of Bordeaux. The cliché of French wine country. There is nothing to do but ride bikes to vineyards and taste fresh, French delicacies in this tiny 12th century ville. The highlight of my trip was staying at the Chateau Franc Mayne. A 16th century Chateau in the middle of the Gran Cru vineyards was our home base for 3 days. The staff were incredibly helpful at renting us bikes and arranging wine tours for us.

Next stop, paradise! The French Riviera, Cote D’Azur, the crème de la crème of France!
Marissa Rother, France

A few days in Nice and Cannes feels like forever. You can get lost shopping all over town, eating huge seafood dishes, or just gasping in awe at the color of the water. France is really a diverse country that caters to everyone’s tastes. Whether you’re a history buff or foodie, shopaholic or romantic, France is the place for you!

Marissa Rother is an International Travel Consultant at our Richmond Adelaide location in Toronto, Ontario and can be reached by E-mail or calling 1-866-521-1616. For more information about France, feel free to check out our travel guide.