But in spite of the colorful
life on the Rive Gauche half-way through this story one is dropped off
on the right bank where the Louvre towers as a symbol of royal power. The
palace, that became a museum following the Revolution, today houses some
400,000 art treasures such as La Joconde, better known as the Mona Lisa.
The gardens of the Tuileries run from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde.
This was known as the Place de la Revolution in the months following the
storming of the Bastille and was the site for the guillotine with which
the executioner (Monsieur de Paris) beheaded more than one thousand of
the aristocracy, including Marie Antoinette. A straight axis leads from
here along the Champs-Elysees with its expensive stores and offices to
Napoleon's triumphant Arc de Triomphe, built to celebrate his victory at
the Battle of Austerlitz.
||Paris Climate and Weather
Paris lies in the midst
of the Ile de France region, which has France's lowest rainfall, however
the city is known for its unexpected rain showers which can occur at any
time of year. Summer temperatures are mild to warm, with occasional heat
waves, while winters are very chilly with temperatures hovering around
The neighboring Quarter
Latin is devoted to education and it was here in 1968 in the narrow streets
around the Sorbonne that the spirit of resistance led to the Students Revolt.
The Rive Gauche or Left Bank is synonymous with a philosophy and the same
is true of neighboring Montparnasse with its exclusive streets and the
legendary Brasserie La Coupole.
Time: Local time is
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).
current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.
Money: The Euro (EUR) is
the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux
de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange
rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers
cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is
Paris Roissy Charles de
Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Location: The airport is
14 miles (23km) north east of Paris. Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last
Sunday in March and last Sunday in October). Contacts: Tel: +33 (0)1 48
62 22 80. Transfer between terminals: The three terminals are linked by
free shuttle buses. Transfer to the city: There is a good train service
(RER B) that serves the airport with connections to the Paris Metro. Taxis
are available on arrival at each terminal. Buses are also available to
the city centre and major train stations. Car rental: All major car rental
companies are represented. Facilities: There are ATMs, banks and bureaux
de change in all terminals as well as a wide selection of shops, restaurants
and bars. Terminal 1 also has a hairdresser and a business facility that
includes meeting rooms, fax and photocopier. Internet facilities and wireless
Internet access are also available. Mobile phones can be rented at the
airport. Disabled passengers are well catered for at the airport. Departure
Paris Orly Airport (ORY)
Don't-Miss in France
Location: The airport is
nine miles (14km) south of Paris. Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Sunday
in March to last Sunday in October). Contacts: Tel: +33 (0)1 4975 1515.
Transfer between terminals: The two terminals are linked by a free shuttle
bus. Transfer to the city: RER trains leave regularly from both terminals
and connect to the metro and SNCF train stations. A number of bus services
also operate from both terminals. Taxis can also be hired from outside
the Arrivals area. Car rental: All the major car rental companies are represented
at the airport. Facilities: There are a number of shops, bars and restaurants
throughout the airport and both terminals have ATMs, banks and currency
exchange services. Other facilities include information desks, an art gallery,
left luggage, and a medical centre offering vaccinations. Internet access
points and wireless Internet access is available, and a business centre
offers a venue and equipment for business needs. Disabled passengers are
well catered for; passengers with special needs are advised to inform their
airline in advance. Departure tax: None.
France Events and Festivals
France is almost always
bustling with one hot activity, festival or event after another. It can
be hard to narrow the thousands of fetes down to the few don't-miss events
of the year. Here is a list of the best, hottest events in France of 2006.
The Other Mardi Gras Celebrations
Beaujolais Nouveau 2006 Events
and Festivals in the U.S.
While everyone is familiar
with New Orleans' famous Mardi Gras parades and wild celebrations, there
are several other Mardi Gras celebrations around the world. In fact, the
New Orleans festivities have strong roots in French celebrations before
the arrival of Lent. Called "Carnaval" in France, there are Mardi Gras
events here that predate New Orleans' festivities by centuries. Find out
about all the other Mardi Gras celebrations in France and around the world.
Here is a listing of Beaujolais
Nouveau events throughout the U.S. The long-awaited release of each year's
Beaujolais Nouveau comes at the strike of midnight on the third Thursday
of each November. There are more than 120 festivals in this rich, picturesque
area of France. Even if you are nowhere near France, don't despair.
Christmas in France - Shopping,
Feasting and Magical Midnight Masses
A visit to France at Christmastime
is memorable and magical. Hit the enticing Christmas markets, sing at midnight
mass in a stunning gothic cathedral or dive into a Reveillon feast.
Christmas Markets of France
France is known for its
wonderful markets, but one of the best times of year to visit is during
the Santa season. There are several Christmas markets throughout France,
with wonderful handcrafted ornaments, gifts and food items. Use this guide
to plan your trip to visit the Christmas markets.
Thanksgiving in France
in France can be a bit of a challenge, since it is an American (or Canadian)
holiday. But if are an ex-pat living in France or will visit during that
time, here are tips for indulging in turkey day.
Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau's
The long-awaited release
of each year's Beaujolais Nouveau comes at the strike of midnight on the
third Thursday in November. This is a glorious time to visit this part
of France. There are about 120 festivals to honor the arrival of this enticing
young wine in the Beaujolais region alone, not to mention throughout France
and across the globe.
Halloween in France
Some of the earliest Halloween
traditions started in Europe, and indeed Halloween was born in nearby U.K.,
yet it was seen as primarily an American holiday with little or no fanfare
with the French until recently. Now, Halloween is seeing a resurgence in