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This is a guest post by James Cave.
France is a country famed for its food and any trip here is going to be centred on food, food and more food. Well, for me that’s how trips to France have always been anyway!
A few months ago I decided to go and live in France for a few months, having been lucky enough to read about a house that needed looking after on a pet minding website. I applied, was accepted and moved out here, ready to stuff myself with frog legs, baguettes and escargots. I still haven’t eaten any frog legs or escargots, but I’ve eaten plenty of baguettes. In the meantime I’ve picked up on a few quirks about food in France that I thought might amuse someone else.
Love for McDonalds
You might find it strange that in a country so well-regarded for its love of food, and in particular stodgy, rustic country dishes, McDonalds would be so popular. I did anyway, but outside of the US, the French are one of the biggest consumers of Big Macs and Happy Meals (pronounced ‘Appy Meals’) according to the NY Times.
Of course you can still pick up your baguette, croissants and pains au chocolat just about anywhere, but head to McDonalds (Or McDo’s as it’s known in France) at lunchtime and you’ll be lucky to get in the door. Well, ‘lucky’ may not be the right word.
Rigorous Cheese Laws
“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?” once asked Charles de Gaulle. Things were easier when he was in power; now France has anywhere between 350 and 400 different types of cheeses depending on your source.
Regardless of the number of cheeses France has, the government has been very successful in getting some governing in place. Epoisse for example, an incredibly pungent French cheese that’s so smelly it’s illegal to carry it on public transport in France. It’s not the world’s smelliest cheese however, that’s Vieux-Boulogne. No laws have been passed about Vieux-Boulogne in France, but the cheese has been declared illegal in the U.S. I’m hoping to pick up some in time for my French cheese board this Christmas.
The Toughest Marathon in the World
When you think of the toughest marathon in the world, you’ll probably think of something put together by the people behind triathlons like Alcatraz or Iron Man but in fact, unknown to most of us, the French have the toughest marathon in the world.
You won’t have to run through deserts or scale any walls here though; the Medoc Wine Marathon takes place in the beautiful French countryside in the warm, but bearable month of September. While the idea of drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a piece of cheese every mile sounds quite pleasant and leisurely, try doing it at every mile of the marathon as is encouraged by the marathon officials.
France is a fun country to visit, especially for its food. Stay here for long enough and you’ll start to uncover a few funny quirks and surprises.
Don’t even think about leaving your kids at home when you visit Europe this season. While Paris may seem like an adult-oriented city at first glance, the “City of Lights” offers a plethora of activities for children of all ages. Take in one or more of the top kids attractions in the city or sign up for one of the organized children’s program that proliferate in Paris and let him explore on his own.
This is a guest post by Chase Fleming of Wherever Worker.
We all know that flying isn’t easy. Well, actually, it is – there’s really nothing easier, unless you have a tough time sitting in a chair and reading a book for a few hours.
Unfortunately, some people can’t even get that right. They end up frustrating and annoying their fellow passengers by picking up one of these annoying behaviors, usually within the first five minutes of a seven-hour flight.
This is a guest post by Party Earth
So you saw the neoclassical architecture. You took pictures of the shining metal chariot atop the Brandenburg Gate. You stood at the end of the Berlin Wall and did that weird East-West dance where you hop back and forth between each side. Well now it’s time to remember that you’re on vacation and really let loose, and we at Party Earth want to help.
If you think spending time boozing and schmoozing is a distraction from experiencing what a city is all about, then you don’t know Berlin. Its beers are the stuff of legend. It’s the capital of techno and insane warehouse clubs. And the bars in Berlin, fueled by the city’s alternative youth culture, are some of the hippest and coolest in the world.
But anyone serious about making the most out of the city’s wild side needs to dedicate more than just their evenings. The nightlife here never stops, with beach bars and beer gardens opening around the same time that the craziest clubs in Berlin are kicking everyone out. Nightlife in Berlin should really just be shortened to “life”, because it goes day and night. So put two days of your visit aside and check out our sample itinerary for a taste of everything on offer – drinking, dancing, live music, and even a little bit of history – and if you can’t remember much by the time you’re done, then you know you’ve done it well.
This is a guest post by Gina Vasselli
Summer brings millions of people to Myrtle Beach so they can escape the heat with cool ocean water and breezes on their vacation.
But, you know, Myrtle Beach doesn’t close down during the Fall, Winter and Spring. There are three other seasons you can enjoy in Myrtle Beach, and each of those seasons have a different attraction to offer those on a Myrtle Beach vacation. But my favorite is honestly a fall trip to the beach for a few different reasons.
This is a guest post by blogger Harriet Freeman
If you have any knowledge at all about Barcelona, then when someone asks you “What should I see when I visit Barcelona?” you would probably answer without hesitation “La Sagrada Familia, it’s so beautiful… Oh! Don’t forget to see the buildings and the park from Gaudí”. Of course, it goes without saying that these attractions are a must, but what if you want to make your trip to Barcelona a little more unique? If you’re looking for a guide to the best places off of the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place.
Parc Laberint D’Horta
For the thousands of people that flock to Parc Guell every day, there will only ever be a few hundred that come to this wonderful park. Sure, Parc Laberint D’Horta doesn’t have the same modernist quirkiness as Gaudí’s landscaping project, but it does have it’s charm in other ways. This neoclassical garden is the oldest in the city and also one of the most romantic. If there was one spot in the entire city to take a loving stroll with your partner, it’s here. With a limit of 750 people at a time, it’s also a great place to take photos. Entry is only €2.23, but is free on Wednesday and Sunday.
This is a guest post by Drew James
Each autumn we witness a curious human social phenomenon. Millions of people flock from one part of the country to another to look at…trees! There’s no better excuse to get outdoors than the arrival of the fall foliage season, when perfect weather and gorgeous colors combine with festivals, flea markets and cookouts for great getaways to bid farewell to summer and brace for the long cold winter to come. Depending on where you live, peak fall foliage dates, when the leaves are at the height of color, generally arrive in October, just in time for Fall Break. Of course some places are better than others when it comes to enjoying the pageantry of fall in the Midwest. Here are a few of the best destinations to celebrate the beauty of autumn.
This is a guest post by Ross Tavendale, responsible for the online PR for Boots.com
Native American History
Thousands of years before Juan Ponce de Leon set foot in Florida, Native American cultures flourished throughout the United States. According to anthropologists, America’s original inhabitants crossed an isthmus that once connected Russia and the U.S. over 12,000 years ago.
The settlers migrated from Eurasia and arrived in the U.S. in three migratory waves. As they dispersed across the land, Native Americans modified their clothing, diets and lodgings in response to the environment that they encountered. The U.S. has 564 Native American tribes with distinct cultures and languages. There are several popular Native American cultural attractions in the U.S. Many locations offer hiking, fishing, horseback riding and other outdoor activities.
With the Olympics approaching faster than Usain Bolt, the world is getting ready for one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Two weeks of athletics, cycling, swimming, wrestling and whatnot.
Way back when, things were a touch different. Who needs hockey when you have underwater planking? The 100m running deer sounds like a barrel of laughs…or how about some Indian Club Swinging? Oh, the good old days…
Sit back and relax while you enjoy this infographic about 50 Olympic events you won’t see in 2012.
We’ve cobbled together this infographic to give an overview of the tourism activity in Amsterdam. Bloody foreigners – where are you all coming from? What do you get up to? When will we see the back of you? The answers to these questions and more are all right here: Under the skirts of Amsterdam tourism.