What do they mean?
Do you drive on French roads or autoroutes? Have you noticed road signs with words that don’t really mean much to you?
Most road signs are iconic and easily understood in any language, but every now and then the French will throw one at you and the meaning is really not very clear. Many of these road signs are temporary (with a yellow background and setup because of unusual circumstances.Continue reading
Alsace is a famous region of Eastern France, having been a buffer between France and Germany for several centuries. As such, the region has a lot to offer about historical tourism. Interested in medieval architecture? Alsace abounds castles and old towns. Interested in World War One? Like during the previous war of 1870, France and Germany fought for almost every square kilometer of the land. Interested in the Second World War? It was the theater of bitter fighting between the Allies and Nazi Germany. But Alsace is also famous for its wine and vineyards, for its urban architecture, its vernacular languages, its cultural identity(ies) and its storks.
In May 2017, six history students made a trip to Alsace, visiting towns, castles and old battlefields. Here is a glimpse of what they visited.Continue reading
Visiting the battlefields of Verdun
Verdun is a small city in the French North-East. Its location, in a valley close to the Belgian, Luxembourgian and German borders, makes the city an important strategic place. Furthermore, it is one of the passage points to cross the Meuse river. As such, Verdun has throughout history been a battlefield in the numerous conflicts opposing France to its neighbours.Continue reading
What a great summer we’ve had.
Most of the time has been spent in Burgundy, our only problem has been the lack of time to explore everything on the list we made.
I really enjoy Burgundy, however when visiting we all tend to privilege the vine yards and better known monuments.
And when doing so, we forget lesser known places such as the Morvan.
The Morvan is a very wonderful place to visit, full of legends and contrasts, there is even a town called Avallon. The granite and limestone hills climb over 900 metres above sea level, there are very large forests with a mixture of pine and oak.
With lakes and streams everywhere, swimming in the fresh water is a must.
We have included some photos of the market town Autun.
The town of Arles is located between Nimes and Marseille, deep in the Camargue of southern France, with more than 2,500 years of tradition and history much of which is about Bull fighting and horses.
The “priority to the right” rule on the roads of France is complicated and misunderstood by many. In this article, we’ll try and explain some of the principles and “don’t forgets” to help you whilst you are driving on the left-hand side of the French roads.
The most simple tip to remember and use is :
When you are driving and unsure, slow down, and look to the right if there is a vehicle coming towards you GIVE WAY !
Every day in France there are accidents relating to “refusing the priority to the right” refus de priorité, and in most cases, if you’ve refused the priority then you’re at fault.
Although I’m not an insurance expert, as far as I know, if you refuse a priority, you’ll be the person responsible for the accident.
This can also result in a fine of 135 €, a loss of 4 points, and 3 3-year suspension of your licence. Like it or not, the rule does make drivers slow down at any junction.
So let’s have a look at some examples of this very French rule…Continue reading
The wines of Burgundy are very well known and appreciated throughout the world.
The next time you are in the Beaune, Nuits Saint Georges or Dijon, take the opportunity to discover all secrets which are in a real bottle of wine.
I would recommend the talent and enthusiasm of Mr Max Renau. He offers a unique insight and voyage through the Côte d’Or vineyards, sharing everything he knows with you.
Max took us on a tour at the beginning of June this year. Meeting us at our hotel in Dijon, with a warm greeting we climbed aboard the mini-bus and Max took us on an incredible voyage in to the heart of the Burgundian wine culture.
With a charming French accent, we were guided out of Dijon to encounter the first vineyards at Marsannay and soon arrived at the impressive Clos de Vougeot, home to La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. As Max explained the dates and story of the Abbey we began to understand the historical importance of the magnificent construction.
Max then guided us to the frontier between the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune in the domain of Clos des Langres. A mansion house built in the middle of a walled vineyard.
We drove through the charming village of Aloxe Corton and up to the famous Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru and then down to the red Pinot Noir Pernand Vergelesses. In the middle of the fields, Max explained the finest details about growing grapes and all the different stages throughout the year which are necessary to produce a wine harvest.
Our guide and now friend then drives us a few miles south of Beaune, through Pommard to the quiet village of Volany. He had promised us the most delicious Coq-au-vin (Chicken in red wine sauce). After the glasses of wine we had already tasted, stomachs were ready to savor some traditional French cuisine.
We entered the “Cellier Volnaysien”, which is a vaulted stone walled wine cellar that has been converted in to a restaurant. Max introduced us to the lady of the house Nathalie Pont, a tall and elegant French lady. We didn’t even have to use the menus as Max’s mouth watering description of the dishes left us no choice but to follow his suggestions. What a Meal !
During the meal we were able to pry into Max’s knowledge and asked many questions, the answers were always there and with some surprises, he was always ready to remove or change our prejudgments.
With our full and calm stomachs we continued to Mersault and then Chassagne Montrachet. This was to be the highlight of the tour. We were taken into a private house and a huge cellar to be introduced to Laurent. Here we tasted the finest white Chardonnay wines I have had the chance to drink.
I will not give you any more information about wine grower in Chassagne Montrachet, as I want this secret to remain so and be sure that some wine remains the next time we visit.
The clock told us that it was time to leave Max, but the hours had flown by to quickly, we still wanted more from him.
As I wrote at the beginning of this article… If you are every in Burgundy…
Give Max’s wife a phone call on +33 6 14 91 02 38
or check out the web site Wine tour in Dijon and Beaune.