In honor of starting work on a middle grade set in France, I thought I would mention my favorite places I visited in France. My sister and I did a trip together and it was simply amazing. I love France. The whole country smells like flowers and fresh baked bread. Is there anything better?
Well, chocolate I suppose. But have you ever had their chocolate croissants? *Faint* We found a little bakery that would open its doors and sell steaming chocolate croissants. We'd grab one with a cafe ole and off we'd go sightseeing!
1. Eiffel Tower- You really need to hike this. Don't wait for the elevator because the line is atrocious. And go early so you don't have to fight the line. The view is amazing and it's a great way to start your visit in Paris because you can see the whole city spanning out before you.
The Loire valley was adorably quaint. We stayed in Tours at a restored bed and breakfast. The food was fabulous in Old Town.
2. The Chateaus- We went on a castle tour (highly recommend this!) and both came away with a favorite- Château de Chenonceau. It's completely magical with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The gardens are lovely as well. I could wander through them all day.
It was seized by Henry II and offered it to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Over the years, it's had many owners, but in 1914, the Menier family (they own the Menier Chocolate Factory) bought it and still own it today.
Make sure you come early because it's the most visited castle other than Versailles (and much better than Versailles if you ask me). As you can see from the pictures, it's definitely a place that brings inspiration.
3. Mont Saint Michel- I could totally imagine this place back in the middle ages, monks toiling away the hours transcribing scriptures or valued passages. It has a sense of wonder and sacredness to the hallways. Legend says the archangel, Michael, appeared to the Bishop in 708 and told him to create a monument to Saint Michael and build a church on the site. Personally, I doubt angels care anything for monuments, but I do love legends.
I think that deep within the foundations of the monastery still lives an ancient dragon whose spirit draws the tides in and out each day to protect the island that the monastery rests upon.
Of course, there is so much more than this in France. I just highlighted a few destinations. Have you ever been to France? What were your favorite places? If not, where would you want to go?