Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall in France

I had never visited France in the Fall, until this October when I spent five nights in the City of Light as a base to explore the countryside.

Don't expect the colorful leaves that you see in the Northeast this time of the year, but you can expect the best weather in this "not-so-crowded" season.

Eiffel Tower

My stay was like a pleasant marathon, since I wanted to visit sites that were on my bucket list, like Mont Saint Michel, Bruges and Giverny. It was challenging, with all the trains, taxis... but I made it and all I can say is that it was more than worthwhile!

Good planning is basic when you have a limited amount of time to cover a lot of territory. I carry with me for the first time a GoPro camera and I was able to capture the amazing images that you will see below.

To my visit to Brittany, I found a company called Link Paris (http://www.linkparis.com/) and they offer a one day trip to Brittany and Mt. Saint Michel by train. The guide meets you at St. Malo train station and that day was the highlight of my trip to France. It's a small group tour (8 people max) and it was very organized and pleasant.

Saint Malo is a little jewel that has a lot of charm and character and it's a must for any visit to France. 
Saint Malo
Inside Mt. Saint Michel
Mt. Saint Michel is more impressive than in the pictures and the interiors of the abbey are like traveling in time with breathtaking views.
Mt. Saint Michel

Another destination was Giverny, the little village where Monet lived for several years before his death and where he painted his masterpiece "Water Lilies". It's just a one hour drive from Paris (you can also get a train to Vernon).

Monet's Garden, Giverny

This is a magical place where I had a chance to enter in several of Monet's paintings in the property magnificent gardens. 

Walk around the little village is a charming experience and the locals are very friendly and knowledgeable of their history.

Another day trip from Paris is Bruges in Belgium. It's a 2:30h train journey from Paris and it's a charming city, with channels, a lot of history and the best chocolate in the world!

Bruges, Belgium

 It's amazing how many different places you can visit around Paris on day journeys and how much you can learn visiting these ancient places surrounded by amazing tales of war, death, vengeance and hope.

Travel is a magical thing, indeed.

Safe travels, everyone!


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