About Intimate France – We travel every spring and fall to Europe's most beautiful destinations. Our small groups (usually limited to eight travelers) guarantee you the utmost in personal service and attention to detail. Contact us: IntimateFrance.com or (800) 676-1247. More about us. 

 

 

HELP US DECIDE – FOR SPRING 2017, BRITTANY OR GERMANY? GET DETAILS HERE.

 

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Just Back - Adventures, Mishaps, Gastronomy in France 2016

 

After six-plus weeks on the road in France, Switzerland and (briefly) Italy, we're back at the Intimate France office and making plans for fall 2016 and for all of 2017.

 

As always, Europe was both a joy and a challenge.

 

They just do things differently there. Sometimes the difference is charming and delightful. Other times, not so much.

 

As an example of the latter, we got caught (but only briefly) in the motor fuel crunch that hit France in late May. You may have read about it – protesters unhappy with proposed changes in French labor law blockaded (at times) five of the nation's eight oil refineries.

 

The result – a lack of fuel, in particular the very popular diesel, in some parts of the country.

 

Returning to Aix-en-Provence with my group on a Thursday in late May, we saw a line of cars waiting to fill up at a supermarket gas station. (In France, the best fuel prices are at hypermarchés.)

 

Photo courtesy Kelli Jew

We waited 30 minutes at a supermarket near Aix-en-Provence to fill up during France's fuel crisis.

 

We joined the queue, which started at a traffic circle, snaked through the immense parking lot, returned to the circle and then dipped into the station.

 

It took 30 minutes to arrive at the pump – much less time than we had anticipated when we joined the line. Monitors stationed along the way kept everyone honest. We counted ourselves lucky to be able to top up.

 

Within days, the crisis abated and France was back to normal. We were able to drive from Provence to Paris without incident.

 

Yes, the French love a good strike, but the impacts are usually short-lived. On balance, our spring tours were not greatly hampered.

 

 

 

France in Photos – Spring 2016

 

Herewith, some of our favorite images from our first 2016 tour –
Burgundy & French Alps. Next e-newsletter – photos of Provence.

 

 

Taking a cog train up the flank of Mont Blanc from Chamonix, the day could not have been better.

 

    

 

 

The group loved our visit on foot to the Gorge de Fier, a narrow
canyon carved in the rock by an Alpine river near Annecy.

 

 


Diane Fisk Arney was along when our group paid homage to the vineyard at Romanée-Conti,
Burgundy, which yields perhaps the world's most expensive red wine.

 

 


A highlight of the Ducal Palace in Dijon were the magnificent funerary monuments to the dukes of Burgundy. Here, John the Fearless and his wife, Margaret, are attended by angels and lions.

 
 
The facade of Notre Dame Cathedral in Dijon features not one but three tiers of false
gargoyles. False because they do not serve as drain spouts but are decorative only. Still, 54 gargoyles!
 
 
 
 
 
 
The striking Musée des Confluences in Lyon, designed by Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au,
houses arresting exhibits that address basic human questions – who are we,
where did we come from, where are we going?
 
 
Our group at the Brasserie of the Musée des Confluences, Lyon –– a fitting way to end our tour.
 
 
And what trip report would be complete without mentioning the food?
 
Three dishes served at restaurant l'Atelier des Augustins, Lyon -- highly recommended
 
 
 
Starter – a poached egg (specialty of Lyon and of Burgundy) with assorted goodies.
 
 
Main – pastry packets of shredded lamb, tender spring vegetables and lamb jus and emulsion.
 
 
Dessert – moelleux au chocolate (molten chocolate cake) with fruits, nuts and ice cream.

 

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IN OUR NEXT INTIMATE FRANCE E-NEWSLETTER -- CONTINUING OUR PICTORAL SCRAPBOOK
WITH IMAGES FROM OUR SPRING 2016 TOURS, THIS TIME IN PROVENCE

 

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2017 TOURS -- THREE DEFINITES AND A COUPLE OF MAYBES

 

At Intimate France, we are firming up our 2017 tour offerings. We can confirm three tours for next year, but we can't quite decide on the fourth. See below for how you can help.

 

We are especially excited about our June 4-16, 2017, tour to Devon and Cornwall, England. This is a region of stately homes, lush gardens and wild coastal headlands.

 

    Meanwhile, here is what information we have on:

To join a no-obligation interest list, email us. We'll notify you when all dates and arrangements are finalized and we are accepting enrollments, and you can decide if you wish to join us.

 

 

HELP US DECIDE BETWEEN BRITTANY (FRANCE) AND ROMANTIC GERMANY

 

At Intimate France, our bread and butter is, of course, France, and we love traveling in Brittany. The landscape is pleasingly rural, with dramatic coasts, an ancient culture (far predating the arrival of the Romans), and delicious seafood and other dishes.

 

At the same time, we fell in love with Germany when we took a group there two years ago. From the Bavarian Alps (with castles dating to the reign of 'Mad' King Ludwig) to the Rhine and Mosel River vineyards and timbered villages, Germany is a delight. We reveled in the gorgeous towns along the Romantic Road.

 

We can only operate one tour in the time period of May 21-June 2, 2017. So (drumroll), a little help. Please email us if you have a preference -- Brittany or Germany. To help you decide, here's a bit of background: