zondag 13 januari 2013

France collection (1)

Bonjour tous le monde! Today I'm featuring some of the French postcards I have received during the past years, and that's quite a bunch. Therefore this post will be continued with more postcards of France later on. I'm an absolute fan of anything that is related to France and a sucker for the French language. When I receive a postcard from France, I'm definitely a happy man! So you can imagine what joy the following postcards brought me. This time with a lot of information so you can submerge yourself in the history of places of interest I will show.

Dunkirk (Dunkerque), made famous and flattened almost simultaneously (in 1940), was rebuilt during one of the most uninspired periods in Western architecture. Charming it may not be, but the port city has two worthwhile museums, a mellow beach and several colourful pre-Lent carnivals.

Under Louis XIV, Dunkirk – whose name means ‘church of the dunes’ in Flemish – served as a base for French privateers, including the daring Jean Bart (1650–1702), whose hugely successful attacks on English and Dutch merchant ships have ensured his infamy in British history and, locally, his status as a national hero: the city centre’s main square, suitably adorned with a dashing statue (1845), bears his name, as does a high school.

To clarify, Midi is the word used for Southern France by the French.

A justifiably popular destination the region of Provence combines historic sites a warm climate striking scenery and some of the best restaurants in France.
From the beaches and posh towns of the Riviera such as Nice, Monaco or Cannes to the hilly and mountainous hinterland constantly smelling of perfume and thyme, the Provence offers something to every kind of traveler.
Marseille is the largest town in this region and is really the capital of the South. When you talk to one of the locals, don't mention that you like Paris.
The Dordogne river valley and de Ardeche offer great hiking and water sport opportunities. Ancient towns, most of Roman origin, such as Orange, Avignon or Arles dot the countryside.
Among the wonderful culinary regional specialites are anchoiade (anchovy oil and garlic paste) daube (braised meat poultry fish or game) marcassin (young wild boar) and panade (fruit tart). Provence is also prime truffle territory. During the season (fall through December) stop at a truffle fair—the prices are steep but the taste and mystery surrounding this delicacy are definitely worth the cost. At any time of the year you can enjoy a variety of markets including the Marche des Antiquaires at L’Isle sur la Sorgue (Sundays).
When you go closer to the Pyrenees, you enter the Languedoc: the land where they say "Oc". The Occitans are still proud of their own language and culture. A visit to Toulouse, Montpellier or Carcassone gives you some impression of the richness of their culture.
Further in the east, the Atlantic coast region is quite spectacular as well. Bordeaux is famous for its wines, Gascogne for its cognac. But also for those not primarily interested in alcoholic beverages this region has a lot to offer, Beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees, great beach resorts such as Biarritz and many medieval towns and castles.
Lourdes deserves special mention as well, this is the place to go if you need to be cured of something and you think religion is your best bet. For other travelers the town is also a fascinating place to visit.
The Basque region is the country of the Euskari people as the call themselves. They have lived in this region since the dawn of times and their language is apparantly unrelated to any other language in the world. Their battle for independance has been going on for centuries, but on the French side of the norder things are safe. 

The Côte d’Azur, otherwise known as the French Riviera, has been synonymous with chic elegance and lofty living for well over a century, however, its heyday was during the 1950s and ’60s, when practically everyone who was anyone seemed to have upped sticks and bought a duplex apartment along its pebble-strewn shores. It’s still a playground for the rich and beautiful, especially at stylish resorts such as NiceCannesSt-Tropez, and of course the epitome of extravagance, Monte Carlo – but less well-heeled visitors will find plenty to entertain them too. Elsewhere there are the perfumed streets of Grasse, the balmy beaches of Menton and the history stained cobbles of Fréjus & St-Raphaël to explore.

The Ardeche is known for its fast-flowing river that has carved narrow gorges into the valley creating one of the most breathtaking canyons in France.
The gorges can be explored by canoe or on foot along the many tourist trails. White water rafting is also popular.
The department has a gentler side to it - with castles, picturesque villages, gracious Belle Epoque spa towns, historic caves & rolling vineyards.
Protestantism has left its mark in the many austere churches of Les Vans, Privas & Lamastere. The Ardeche is France's leading producer of chestnuts enjoyed in soups, ragouts and gratins and more commonly sampled under the guise of 'marron glace'.
The Ardeche is France's leading producer of chestnuts, enjoyed in soups, ragouts and gratins and more commonly sampled under the guise of 'marron glace'.

This blessed island roughly takes the shape of a cross on the map. Its name, Monks’ Island, derives from the fact that it was owned through medieval times by the monks of Redon Abbey, in southern Brittany. L’Ile aux Moines isn’t battered by ocean waves, as it lies, like neighbouring Arz, within the protective arms of the Golfe du Morbihan. The boat crossing to the island is extremely short, just a few minutes from Port-Blanc. This, plus the exceptional beauty of the place, makes l’Ile aux Moines highly popular with tourists.

The horsemen of the Cadre Noir in Saumur, the beautiful Loire valley, and the Royal Abbey at Fontevraud with its Plantagenet tombs are just some of the delights that attract visitors to the Maine-et-Loire.
The historical towns of Angers and Saumur are overflowing with churches, castles and museums and serve as a great base for exploring the region.
Here you'll see rows of vineyards and sunflowers which get you in the mood for wine-tasting. Almost every wine imaginable is produced here from just two varieties of grape, so take your pick!
To the east and west of Saumur you'll find impressive troglodyte dwellings which are generally used today for storing wine or growing mushrooms.

- Lonelyplanet
- Justtourfrance
- Iles du Ponant
- World66

Sent by: Margaux, Anastasia, Dominique, Christine & Cathy

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