APRIL 2017

 

 
About Intimate France — We travel every spring and fall to Europe's most beautiful destinations. Our small groups (between eight and 16 travelers) guarantee you the utmost in personal service and attention to detail. Contact Intimate France or learn more about us.
 

 

SHAMELESS NEPOTISM DIVISION —

MARIMO MARSHMALLOW ONLINE STORE

George's nephew Hiroki Matsuuchi lives in Japan with his wife, nicknamed Marimo, and two children. Marimo and Hiroki operate the Marimo Marshmallow Store, online purveyors of Japanese-themed products — toys, candy, accessories, do-it-yourself kits, stationery and accessories.

 

Click on the image below to see a video showing the adorable Calico Cat Coin Bank George ordered for his grandkids recently.

 


JOIN US ON ONE OF OUR EXCEPTIONAL 2017 TOURS —
SEATS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!

 

St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall (Devon-Cornwall tour)

 

                                                                                  

 

SPRING 2017 TOURS —

STILL TIME TO ENROLL

 

NORMANDY-LOIRE VALLEY
MAY 21-JUNE 2, 2017

 

Luca Deboli via Wikimedia Commons

Mont St. Michel, crowned by a medieval abbey, rises above the Bay of Mont St. Michel.

 

You'll love this tour if:

• You adore ultra-fresh seafood and dishes featuring rich Normandy cream

• You've always wanted to see UNESCO-listed Mont St. Michel

• The old port of Honfleur really floats your boat

• Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny call to you

• The world-renowned Bayeux Tapestry weaves a web of enchantment

• Normandy's D-Day beaches and monuments have you humming 'America the Beautiful'

• The thought of seaside St. Malo, encircled by granite walls, gives you shivers

• The Loire Valley chateaux transport you magically to the middle ages

MORE INFO HERE

 

                                                                                  

 

 

DEVON-CORNWALL, ENGLAND
JUNE 5-17, 2017

 

 

The passenger ferry to Greenway, Agatha Christie's retreat, crosses the Dart River.

 

You'll love this tour if:

• You like outstanding seafood cuisine & wines
• You're thrilled by English gardens — Eden Project, Trelissick, Heligan

• The thought of pretty villages intrigues you — Mousehole, Mevagissey, Fowey
• You like grand manor homes – Coleton Fishacre, Antony, Lanhydrock, Longleat
• You love TV's 'Doc Martin' and want to visit Port Isaac, where the program is filmed
• You long to see the chic resort of St. Ives, with its Tate Gallery and Hepworth Museum

• You're curious about the English twin of Mont St. Michel — St. Michael's Mount, in Cornwall
• You want to visit ancient Wells, England's smallest cathedral 'city'
• Historic Plymouth and its vast harbor floats your boat

MORE INFO HERE

                                                                                  

 

RECENT INTIMATE FRANCE E-NEWSLETTERS AND PICTORIAL ALBUMS

 

• FEBRUARY 2017 — BEST OF EUROPE PART II

• JANUARY 2017 — BEST OF EUROPE PART I

• NOVEMBER 2016 — MEDITERRANEAN SPAIN

• OCTOBER 2016 — LANGUEDOC, S. FRANCE
• SEPTEMBER 2016 — SWISS AND FRENCH ALPS

• AUGUST 2016 — PROVENCE, FRANCE

• JUNE 2016 — BURGUNDY AND FRENCH ALPS

DO YOU NEED A VISA TO VISIT EUROPE?

NOT YET, BUT A CHANGE MAY BE COMING

The United States and the European Union have been at odds for several years over a U.S. requirement that citizens of five European countries must obtain a visa before visiting America — even as a tourist.

 

The matter appears to be coming to a head, with an E.U. body in early March voting to ask that U.S. citizens be required to obtain a tourist visa before coming to Europe.

 

This body, the EEuropean Union Parliament, lacks the authority to mandate the visa change, so its vote is seen as advisory.

 

There is significant opposition among European countries on the visa issue, as tourism would very likely be reduced if visas are required.

 

All sides agree that this requirement will not be introduced immediately — if at all — but there's a chance it may be instituted later this year.

 

Representatives of the U.S. and the E.U. are scheduled to meet again regarding this issue, in June, and no action is expected until at least then.

 

Meanwhile, the best advice for U.S. travelers to Europe is to check the U.S. State Department website regularly for current entry requirements. Find the page for France here, and a map giving access to pages on other European countries here.

 

 

New Lascaux Center in France
Brings Prehistory to Colorful Life

 

This image from the original Lascaux cave shows a frieze of animals — horses, aurochs (bulls) and deer.

 

By George Nevin

Founder-owner, Intimate France

 

The second elaborate reproduction of a stunningly beautiful cave crammed with prehistoric art has opened in France in as many years.

 

In April 2015 it was the Caverne du Pont d'Arc, a faithful copy of the cave commonly known as Chauvet, after its discoverer. This elaborate reproduction lies in sparse limestone hills east of the pretty Provençal town of Avignon.

 

                                                                                 

 

Intimate France's Dordogne tour, Sept. 3-15, 2017, visits the International Center for Cave Art

                                                                                

 

Now the Caverne du Pont d'Arc is joined by an even more ambitious project — the International Center for Cave Art, also called Lascaux IV, has opened in France's lovely Dordogne region, just a few hundred meters from the original Lascaux cave.

 

What sets the new reproduction apart is that it is a fully fledged museum and workshop dedicated to understanding the unknown artists of around 15,000 -20,000 years ago who decorated the original Lascaux cave.

 

 

Many images in Lascaux cave depict animals superimposed on one another.

 

Lascaux was "re-discovered" by a young French man in 1940 near the Dordogne town of Montignac.

 

Noticing a hole in the ground on a wooded hill a few miles from town, he returned with three friends four days later. Widening the hole a bit, they slithered inside and saw a profusion of wall art — animals, certainly, but also geometric patterns whose meaning and purpose have never been understood.

 

Visitors began flocking to the cave, and by the 1960s it was clear that human breath was damaging the paintings. In 1963 the cave was closed to the public, and 20 years later a replica cave, called Lascaux II, opened to the public. Visitors flocked to the reproduction in the millions.

 

In December 2016, Lascaux IV opened its doors. (Lascaux III is a traveling exhibition of cave art.) The project cost around $62 million and took artists and workers six years to complete.

 

Aerial view of the new Lascaux IV, a few hundred yards from the original Lascaux, which closed to the public in 1963.

 

Whereas Lascaux II reproduced only a fraction of the cave paintings of the original, Lascaux IV displays all but a handful of the known images.

 

The tour begins with a guided viewing of the landscape in Lascaux's Vézère Valley locale, and is followed by a visit to the faithfully reproduced paintings. Then visitors, with the aid of a tablet computer in their own language, are set free to discover two video experiences, an interpretation room with painting reproductions that can be examined closely, and an interactive electronic display of artworks with themes similar to Lascaux.

 

Paintings are displayed in faithfully reproduced 'cave.'

 

Lascaux IV has become so popular just in the past four months that many of the guided visits are sold out well in advance. At present there is only one visit per day in English (vs. 17 in French), limited to 15 advance ticket sales per tour. To visit, it's suggested you buy tickets online as soon as you know your dates (from this page). Be prepared in advance with the names and dates of birth of all would-be ticketholders – you will need them to complete the booking.

 

Or ... join our Dordogne tour. We already have tickets for a full tour complement of eight travelers.

 

Interactive features allow visitors to learn in depth.