Category Archives: Life in France

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Fête des vendanges on the French Riviera – October events in France – Alba Iulia in Romania

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

This week’s Blogger Round-Up starts with a great discovery. Every month, well in advance, The Good Life France gives a list of national events in France. I know we’re already halfway through October, but you can take a look at November while you are over at their website. Next, Chrissie from Riviera Grapevine invites us to participate in the annual grape harvest festival at Saint-Paul-de-Vence. To finish up, Anda from Travel Notes and Beyond shares her trip to the Citadel of Alba Iulia in Romania. Enjoy!

Major Events France October 2014

by The Good Life France, an independent on-line magazine about France and all things French, covering all aspects of daily life including healthcare, finance, utilities, education, property and a whole lot more

goodlifefrance_events-in-france-october-2014National Event in Paris – Nuit Blanche 4th October 2014. Held annually on the first Saturday night in October when museums, public buildings, monuments, swimming pools, cinemas, parks, universities  and historic sites are open to the public all night – an art an culture party!

National Event: Semaine du Gout – Taste Week: 13-19 October.  In Paris and throughout France, a foodie event featuring original and varied cuisines. Taste Week is an opportunity to learn more about the art of gastronomy, taste and learn to appreciate the diversity of flavours, and it also aims to increase public awareness of a healthy lifestyle. As part of the event, workshops for the public include cooking classes, tastings and entertainment. Website for details: Read more

EVENT 06: Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes

by Chrissie from Riviera Grapevine, a Sydney girl living in Nice with an insatiable thirst for the wines of the Var, Alpes Maritimes and Liguria. She happily sells, drinks and blogs about wine.

riviera_grapevine_wine_festivalWhat have you got planned for Sunday?

If you happen to be in the area, and fancy a chance to sample some of the unique wines of the Alpes-Maritimes, why not pop into the annual Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes in Saint-Paul de Vence?

October 19th marks the 2014 edition of this annual harvest festival for theVins des Baous et des Collines. Translated into normal speak, this term refers to the three vineyards found high in the hills behind the Riviera coastline, near the imposing cliff face above Saint-Jeannet. Read more

Reborn From Its Ashes – The Citadel of Alba Iulia

by Anda from Travel Notes & Beyond, the Opinionated Travelogue of a Photo Maniac, is a Romanian-born citizen of Southern California who has never missed the opportunity to travel.

travelnotes_iulia_albaAlthough a land of natural beauty, Romania wasn’t exactly the ideal tourist destination until after the fall of Communism in 1989. The country was struggling badly with poverty and the tourism industry was almost inexistent. The historic sites were badly neglected, the roads poorly maintained, food was scarce and lodging was primitive. So in spite of its great history and beautiful scenery, Romania remained in the often overlooked chunk of Balkan countries.

Although things have improved considerably lately, Romania is still largely unknown to the western traveler. Such is the case of the beautiful Citadel of Alba Iulia (also known as Alba Carolina), one of the biggest fortresses in Eastern Europe. Read more

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Best travel apps for Europe – 5 things not to like about France – Sibiu in Romania

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

This week’s blogger round-up brings us three completely different subjects. We start with favourite Europe travel apps by Marie-Eve from Europe Trip Tips, a girl after my own heart, because she, too, is addicted to her iPhone! Next, Janine Marsh from The Good Life France shares 5 things she doesn’t like about France and I’d be very interested to hear your own list. To finish up, Anda from Travel Notes and Beyond takes us to Sibiu in Romania – the more I learn bout her country of origin, the more I want to go there! Enjoy!

My Favourite Europe Travel Apps

by Marie-Eve from Europe Trip Tips is a something Canadian, full-time travel blogger, amateur photographer, translator and copywriter living as an expat in France who’s been to over 17 European countries and keeps adding new ones every other week.

apps_eurotriptipsAnytime someone asks me “What’s the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?”, my answer inevitably is “My iPhone” — what I commonly refer to as my other half (and yes, I am married to an actual human being). Saying that I am obsessed with my phone isn’t an understatement, and I am seriously considering a surgical operation in order to permanently attach it to my hand. I barely ever read guidebooks anymore — not because I don’t enjoy them, but because frankly, I cannot be bothered to go out and buy them when I can get the same insightful information for one third of the price and one tenth of the weight at the tips of my fingers. Considering travellers can book hotels, purchase flights, look up restaurants, take and edit photographs and plan an itinerary with their phone, it’s hardly surprising that I wouldn’t travel without mine. Read more

5 Things I Don’t Like About France

By Janine Marsh from The Good Life France, an independent on-line magazine about France and all things French, covering all aspects of daily life including healthcare, finance, utilities, education, property and a whole lot more

things-i-dont-like-about-francePeople say I’m always going on about how wonderful France is. They say “there must be something you don’t like” and there is. Nowhere is perfect. But first, let me just emphasise, I love France and having a home here, I can never understand those people who moan constantly about living somewhere they chose to live. Of course if they have bad luck I sympathise, and that does happen. But, most people I meet who are unhappy and moan would be so much happier if they could make more of an effort to integrate, learn to speak the language and accept that nothing is perfect – not even in France.

So here are 5 things I don’t like about France (but they are just little moans)… Read more

Transylvanian Trails; The Historic Centre of Sibiu

by Anda from Travel Notes & Beyond, the Opinionated Travelogue of a Photo Maniac, is a Romanian-born citizen of Southern California who has never missed the opportunity to travel

sibiuIt took me a long time after emigrating from Romania to become interested in exploring the land of my birth. Being born there, Romania wasn’t at the top of my list of European countries to visit. But I have to confess that every time I came across other people’s posts about my country of origin I felt a little jealous and ashamed. So here I am, trying to undo my betrayal.

A couple of months ago we took a road trip to Sibiu. Also known as Hermannstadt (in German) the city was the center of Romania’s German minority since medieval times. But the Transylvanian German population started decreasing after World War II and the process continued during the Communist Era. Read more

The French Post Office – a love-hate relationship

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

The French post office has changed. You used to spend hours waiting in queues in dismal-looking buildings hoping that the person behind the window in front of you wouldn’t suddenly close it just before you got there. I took to buying aerogrammes (remember them?) so that I wouldn’t have to go to the PO too often. I discovered that one of the reasons for the long queues is that the post office is also a bank, which is particularly popular in rural areas where there is a post office, but not a bank, in every village. Why anyone would have a post office account in Paris is beyond my understanding.

One of the most wonderful things about the arrival of the internet was that it freed me from my bondage to the post office. Before that, I was always having to worry about meeting deadlines for my translations, rushing out in the car to catch the last post at peak hour. There was a special “emergency” room behind the main office where you could make sure that already-stamped letters got there in time or else send them by Chronopost. I had dreams of buying a house next to the post office.

Then a couple of years ago, when the post office was practically bankrupt, they changed the concept. All the buildings were revamped with white walls and floors to offset the yellow and dark blue signature colours. The windows disappeared and were replaced with open desks. Stamping machines and a self-service area were added. It has taken a while for people to get used to the new system but it has gradually become more efficient and the queues have diminished slightly.

Recently, I had to collect a registered letter. I don’t know about Australia, but in France, they send you a registered letter whenever they possibly can. This was to confirm that I had signed the promise of sale for our new home in Blois. Jean Michel had one too but we obviously couldn’t collect each other’s! There was quite a long queue in front of one counter and no one at the other counter which was labelled “registered letters”. I went up and someone came out of nowhere to serve me almost immediately. Suddenly, people started shouting at me from the other queue that I’d jumped my turn! I am usually very respectful of queues but I just acted very French and ignored them. I collected my letter and scuttled out.

The final sale of the house was brought forward by a couple of months so I had to pick up another registered letter of course. We arrived to find that the PO doesn’t open until 10 am on Saturdays. With ten minutes to spare, we went to the dry cleaner’s across the street. When we got back, there were already several people waiting in front. Once the PO was open, we were served quite quickly but the lady took ages to find the letters.

They may have revamped the inside of the post office but they haven’t changed the staff. I also asked for a prepaid box to send my Christmas presents to Australia only to learn that they’d run out of medium-size boxes. God knows how I’m going to fill the ludicrously priced big box but I can’t bear the thought of going to another post office where they probably only have big boxes anyway. Why don’t I just make my own parcel you may ask? It’s because the same weight would probably cost twice as much.

The lady then gave me TWO FORMS to accompany the box which means, obviously, that I’ll have to go back to the post office to send it once I’ve filled it. I’m going to try and find a country PO in the hope that it will be less stressful, but with Christmas coming up, I think it’s a lost cause. I’m also hoping I’ll have a friendly little corner post office in Blois but that’s not for another two and a half years.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...