Autumn                  2010
VOL. 14                  NO. 4
  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

                                         This newsletter is viewed best on a large screen and is not formatted for printing. 
Autumn Potpourri . . . 

Photo Contest . . . 
 ~ Deadline to enter is December 31st!

Paris Enigmas

Ici et Là

Our Readers Write about France
  ~ Bonjour. It's the law!
  by Arnold Hogarth

Côtes de Provence 'Discovery
Rally' - November 
   by Anita Rieu-Sicart

Discover Select Paris Suburb
   with Arthur Gillette

Colombage Homes, Vitre. Copyright 2006-2010 Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.
           Colombage Homes in Vitré

The Bookshelf: 
  ~ Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves: 
  Culinary Adventures in the Dordogne
   a book by Kimberley Lovato

FEATURING:   Brittany 
  ~  Returning to Brittany - time and time

Notes from Narbonne
  ~  Famous and Infamous Visitors
  by Marlane O'Neill


" Everything ends this way in France - everything . Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, 
diplomatic affairs - everything is a pretext for a good dinner.   - Jean Anouilh, French Dramatist

With Autumn upon us, many people have taken their vacations and are back into familiar routines at home.  But, there are those of us who know that now is the time to plan for our 2011 adventures, so we thought that this edition of our newsletter should provide you with a look into the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Brittany and Aquitaine - a diverse menu from which to choose for your next holiday in beautiful France.

From the charm and warmth of Brittany and the Bretons to Provence's amazing rosé wines and golf courses - from a polite moment in Paris to the hidden treasures of its suburbs - from the active lifestyle in the wonderful Languedoc city of Narbonne to a gastronomique visit to Aquitaine's Dordogne département offering perched villages, meandering rivers, prehistoric sites and exquisite cuisine - we hope to tempt you to discover some or all of these French locales for yourself very soon.

Paris, the 'City of Light' (not lights), got its nickname because it was the center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. More tangibly, a century later, in 1875 it became the first city to install electric street lighting.  To enlighten us all today, we are adding a new mini-series to our newsletter, Discover Select Paris Suburb Treasures.  We begin with Vincennes, visiting with the expert guidance of Arthur Gillette and his extensive knowledge of Paris and all things Parisian.  In future newsletters he will take us to St. Denis, Meudon and other interesting neighborhoods to see how they came to be and how today's Parisians have made them home.

Monbazillac Wine.  Copyright Kimberley Lovato 2009-2010.  All rights reserved.Also, you will catch a glimpse into the cuisine of France's Dordogne département with our review of the recently released book, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves, by Kimberley Lovato with recipes by Laura Schmalhorst.  Fine cuisine and the enjoyment of it isn't simply one of the reasons people travel to France; it is also what makes France and the French so unique in the world.  Bon appétit!

!!REMINDER!!  FRANCE On Your Own is sponsoring a photo contest for amateur photographers who submit their own photos of France.  We know you have great photos...even if only one great photo...that you could enter, so please do.  We are looking for photos that truly represent France or the French...a photo that makes you recall fond moments of your visit.  If we do not have a good response, we may have to cancel the contest.  PLEASE send us your special photo of France.  We're waiting to hear from you!  The submission deadline is December 31, 2010, and photos must be the sole property of the sender. 

Photos should be emailed to us in .jpg format.  They must be fully described in the email as to date taken, exact location and include the complete name of the subject of the photo (building, monument, village, beach, national park, people, etc.).  The name and country of residence of the photographer must also be included.  Send to with Photo Contest in the subject line.

We will publish our choice of the best photos in our Winter 2011 newsletter, and we'll ask readers to vote for their favorite.  The top three winners' photos will be featured with an accompanying story in the Spring 2011 issue of FRANCE On Your OwnThe first place winner will receive a gift to be announced in our Spring issue.


Look inside

> to travel with us to the Var for the Côtes de Provence 'Discovery Rally' beginning in mid-November...and find out about the great golf courses nearby!


> as we begin our new series to expand on the Paris we already know and help you to Discover Select Paris Suburb Treasures


>  so that you can join us for a tour to one of our favorite French regions - historic and beautiful Brittany.


> for The Bookshelf where we review Walnut Wine and Truffle Groves, a culinary adventure in the Dordogne.


>  as autumn arrives in lively Languedoc-Roussillon in our series Notes from Narbonne by Marlane O'Neill.


Click here to order
Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves

  PARIS ENIGMAS . . . A Quiz on Your Knowledge of Historic Paris
                                                                                                                              by Arthur Gillette

Question from the last issue:   Across the main (western) façade of Notre Dame Cathedral parades the 
'Gallery of Kings', officially to recall the successive rulers of the Hebrew 'tribe' of Judah. The statues were beheaded during the French Revolution but faithfully reproduced in the 19th century by restorer Viollet le Duc. He replaced the 28 kings placed there by the Medieval masons.  Wrong number!  But why?

Answer: Depending upon sources, the Kings of Judah numbered up to 22.  The 28 statues - originally placed by Medieval Free Masons - may just recall the lunar cycle, linked with the then-still-widespread worship of the pagan goddess Isis.

Our new question:    Why does the Pont de la Concorde, leading from the Place of the same name to the Left Bank just in front of the National Parliament, have no ring-bolts, used in the archways below all other old Paris Seine spans to help boatmen haul their craft through against the current when navigating upstream?

Contact Arthur Gillette to take advantage of his amazing knowledge of Paris
by enjoying one or more of his Paris Through the Ages Strolls.

[See the answer to this edition's question revealed in our Winter 2010/2011 issue.]


au Château - the Ultimate Lodging Experience in France

 After you've read our article about Brittany or are considering a visit to Provence,
the Dordogne or Languedoc, we suggest that you visit the au Château web site 
to find an authentic place to stay.  Historic, luxurious (and affordable) châteaux, manoirs and 
village mansions are awaiting you - experience the real France with friendly, helpful proprietors.
Click on the link above or email to

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Recommendations are not a guarantee of satisfaction and are made only
to assist travelers with suggestions and web sites that we have found very useful.