Crystal Groome - Page 6

The Artistic and Historic Town of Sarlat, France

Like a fine bottle of Bordeaux wine or an exceptional gourmet dinner at a Michelin three-star restaurant, the picturesque town of Sarlat deserves to be enjoyed and savored slowly.

Visitors to this gem of a city should set aside enough time to take a leisurely stroll through its charming cobblestone streets, study the stunning architectural details of its medieval buildings or enjoy a delicious al fresco lunch in the town's lovely main square.

Sarlat, which is also sometimes referred to as Sarlat-la-Caneda, offers visitors a fascinating peek at the way France once appeared.

In some ways, visiting Sarlat is like taking a trip to the past without having to invest in a time machine. The carefully restored town has even been classified as a Ville d'Art et d'Histoire -- or in English, as an Artistic and Historic Town.

About Sarlat: Sarlat is also on the tentative list to be considered for a possible UNESCO World Heritage designation.

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Five Things I learned as a First Timer in France

I recently traveled to France for the first time in my adult life. Although I’d been to Paris with my parents once before as a child, I felt that I was basically seeing and experiencing the country for the first time since I didn't remember much of my experience in France before. Being all alone in a foreign country as a non-French speaker was an incredible experience, and I set out with a goal to bring home a few small day to day tips that may help other first-timers feel (or at least look) like seasoned travelers.

Here are a few of my tips and interesting bits of knowledge I picked up on my great adventure:

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Tasty Cheeses of France

One of the best parts about visiting any part of the world is enjoying the different regional foods and beverages. This is especially true when you visit France. Although France has many wonderful things to eat and drink, they are particularly known for their excellent and varied cheeses. Practically any region you visit has a locally made cheese, from mild Camembert to pungent bleu.

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Festivals in France 2013

France celebrates the things that make it special--food, wine, music, art, film and that "je ne sais quoi" (that little special something) throughout the year, in cities large and small. Some of the festivals are well-known, like the Cannes Film Festival; others are found only by accident when you happen into a small town at just the right time. If you're headed to France this year, be sure to add one or two of these French festivals to your itinerary.

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First Impressions Aboard the Anjodi

I recently had the great opportunity of spending a week aboard the Anjodi hotel barge on the Canal du Midi in the south of France. From the moment I stepped aboard the vessel, I felt welcome and at home. Upon entering the barge you step down into the salon, a cozy sitting room with a stocked bar and dining area. The ever accommodating crew had graciously prepared each guest a cocktail, which we sipped over introductions and easy conversation. After receiving some information about the vessel and the week ahead, we toasted to a great week and were shown to our cabins.

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