France Travel Guide
The furor over selfie sticks continues after a Disneyland guest whipped one out during California Screamin’, one of the park's fastest and thrilling roller coasters, forcing the ride to shut down for an hour. (The coaster has only one vertical but it’s still pretty
scary thrilling. We’re not even sure when you’d have the time to whip out a selfie stick. #idiots)
Airplane Crashes / Tragedies / Emergencies / Germanwings / Lufthansa / A320 / → All Tags
A flight operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airlines crashed into a remote area of the French Alps at 10:53am this morning, killing all 144 passengers including several schoolchildren and 6 crew members.
The Airbus 320 (A320) was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it suddenly dropped out of the sky. So far, there have been no reports of bad weather nor mechanical issues. However, there is some conflict over a distress call with Germanwings not sure if one had been made but France's aviation regulator said the plane lost radio contact and descended for eight minutes without explanation, thus prompting the controller to issue its own distress call.
Right now recovery efforts are underway in a fairly unmanageable section of the Alps. Making the process harder is that bad weather is expected for the area with rain and snow.
For now, Germanwings has changed their logo on social media from its usual happy orange and red to a somber black and gray.
They've also posted this statement on its site about the crash:
There’s plenty of blue, white, and red, as we learn from some fashionable French folks that the seatbelt will do more than just protect us from bumps and turbulence—it will also elegantly highlight our waistline.
The jokes are subtle and stylish along with the whole video, and we’re thinking that Air France has a hit on their hands with this one. They even remind us what is chic (not smoking) and what is trendy (turning your electronic devices to airplane mode).
Wine Travel / Wine / Wine Bars / Bars / France Travel / France / Learning Holidays / Europe Travel / Drinking Travel / Wine-Tasting / → All Tags
We have to admit: when we planned a trip to Bordeaux last year we expected a fairly conservative, overly touristy wine city. What we found, however, was a hip and happening sort of place where even the wine trade plays it cool at school.
Determined to get right into the wine scene, we booked a two-hour wine workshop at L’Ecole du Vin, run by Bordeaux’s official wine association, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (from now on known as the CIVB because we don’t want to have to type that out again). We walked into a high-tech, all-white and walnut laboratory of which Louis Pasteur would be proud.
(Check out the pics in the photo gallery below!)
Train Travel / Amsterdam Travel / Paris Travel / Thalys / France Travel / Netherlands Travel / Europe Travel / → All Tags
The Eurostar and the French TGV may take up most of the spotlight of Europe’s high-speed rail network, but there are other options for zooming through the continent’s patchwork of countries, depending on where you go. There is the sleek, white, and German ICE and, if you’re looking to travel between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, the shiny, red Thalys.
Thalys reduces Amsterdam to Paris, a 316-mile, 5-hour drive, to almost three hours flat (ok, 3 hours and 14 minutes) of high-speed comfort. It runs between Amsterdam Central Station and Paris Gare du Nord, giving you the advantage of city center to city center travel too. Stops along the way include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels.
Celeb Travel / St Barts Travel / Steve Martin / Vacation Homes / Real Estate / Island Travel / Caribbean Travel / SBH / → All Tags
With the holidays approaching, Saint-Barthélemy is about to become a hotbed of celebrity activity, with one exception. St. Barth regular Steve Martin will likely be vacationing somewhere else this winter.
The funny man listed his island home, Villa Au Soleil, for the second time in two years (his first try was last summer, but he was also open to $28,000 per week rentals.
The asking price is $9,015,012 and you'll find the house located in the hills of the exclusive Lurin neighborhood. Inside is a gourmet kitchen, formal dining room, a large living room with a media area, multiple terraces, and en suite bathrooms off of each bedroom.
Paris Travel / Architecture Travel / Street Art Travel / Bridges / Tourist Traps / Tourists / → All Tags
Travelers to Paris this winter (and from now on) will enjoy improved views as a popular form of tourist graffiti has been cleared from bridges over the Seine River.
The "No Love Locks" movement of earlier this year, which protested the practice of attaching a heavy-duty lock to a bridge rail to "secure" a relationship, has been successful. While gaining signatures for the petition, No Love Locks estimated that the Pont de Arts Bridge alone was covered with 93 metric tons of extraneous metal. Aside from their being unsightly, the heavy use of these locks is a problem for the structural integrity of the historic bridges.
Are they art? No. Are they romantic? Maybe for the fleeting minute you attach a lock and then leave the bridge, making its clean-up Paris' problem. "It's vandalism, and it's taken the ambiance away from the bridges."
City officials began a mass removal of the locks in September, replacing them with plastic panels over the bridge architecture to prevent tourists from attaching more. And the difference is definitely noticeable.
France Travel / Sex Travel / Travel Etiquette / Burgundy Travel / Paris Travel / Travel Tips / Romance Travel / → All Tags
Even tombstones get multiple kisses in France.
Every country, and culture, has its customs. The Japanese consider tipping after meals an insult. And in Germany, you should never—ever!—jaywalk, even if it’s 4:00 a.m. and there’s no traffic.
Meanwhile, in France, the cheek—or cheek-to-cheek or cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek—kiss is a sort of cultural delicacy, like fine wine. For example, you wouldn't order a Lyon wine in the heart of Burgundy, just in the same way you might want to be cautious when you kiss only two cheeks in Burgundy, when, typically, you should kiss four.
Oprah Winfrey and Robert Pattinson embarked on two very different European shopping sprees this week.
On Tuesday, Pattinson and his girlfriend FKA Twigs perused the clothing racks at Harmony in Paris, a retail store that carries mostly casual clothing for men and women. The couple, who were traveling through the city alone, was spotted laughing and trying on clothes before they moved onto a few other shops in the trendy Marais district.
Travel Contests / Paris Travel / France Travel / Free Stuff / Lists / Travel Contest Roundup / → All Tags
We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!
Here are 4 Paris contests to enter right now:
We have all been in that travel situation where things don’t exactly meet—or live up to—expectations. The place wasn’t as good as it looked in pictures, the folks weren’t as friendly, or that imagined utopia just doesn’t exist outside your mind. Apparently this is somewhat common for some visitors to Paris, and that’s why Paris Syndrome is a thing.
We’ve mentioned it before, and it even has is very own Wikipedia page—so you know it has to be true. There’s all kinds of signs and symptoms, but basically it boils down to culture shock and things not being exactly as what was imagined. Japanese tourists seem to be one of the groups that suffers from things the most, but now there are reports that Chinese tourists are getting bummed out as well.
First it was pickpockets, and now there’s another kind of pest hanging out around the Louvre over in Paris.
It seems like the inside of the museum is safe, but the gardens that surround the place are kind of infested with rats—gross. Apparently visitors and tourists enjoy leaving bits and pieces of trash and picnic debris behind, and that encourages the rats to come out and snack. Unfortunately a real life version of Ratatouille it is not.