Leanne

 

My favourite trip so far is my amazing trip to France in 2017. I was lucky enough to be accpeted on this educational trip and travel by rail throughout France. Paris being the city of lights lived up to its name of being a must see place in the world. Every hour on the hour, the tower is covered in golden lights and sparkles for five whole minutes while the Eiffel Tower’s beam lights up the city. Seeing the Eiffel tower lit up from my balcony at night was a dream coming true. There is so much to see and to do here. The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and eating like a Parisian on the Champs-Élysées were highlights for me. We took the train to Reims, the Champagne region of France. The highlight here was visiting the impressive Veuve Clicquot Champagne House and dining at Domaine Les Crayeres, which is a classic French chateau. We also did a city walking tour of Reims which was fascinating.

From Reims we travelled by train to Strasbourg, which is close to the border of Germany. Strasbourg was by far the most picturesque city, including our boutique accommodation. You can see and feel its German influence. Here we did a magical food and wine tour of the city. We visited the Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River. Strasbourg is very old-worldly with its cobble stones and old buildings. We had a traditional dinner at the heritage-listed La Maison des Tanneurs, a symbolic Strasbourg restaurant.

We then headed back to Paris to spend a few more days and I fell in love with Paris. We explored the Latin quarter, St Germain and Montmartre areas of Paris. We even had time for shopping at La Vallee Village luxury brands outlet centre just outside of Paris.

After Paris we took the new fast train to Bordeaux 2 hours 15 minutes in comfort in first class. We spent a few days exploring this amazing wine region. We did a city tour that took in a river cruise on the Garonne, a beautiful way to see the region. We then visited the new highly interactive wine museum La Cité du Vin and had an amazing lunch at the panoramic view restaurant ‘Le 7’ situated on the 7th floor. We visited and had dinner at Les Sources de Caudalie, a Palace establishment and did wine tasting at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classé Château Smith Haut Lafitte. Both wineries, which were breathtakingly beautiful places to visit.

This trip highlighted to me that France is more than just Paris and with their excellent rail system it’s so easy to get around to see the regional areas of France. Certainly, travelling France was a trip to remember.

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